State Invests More Than $1M to Restore Wetlands at BBC’s Mattapoisett and Rochester Reserves

The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is investing more than $1M to advance restoration of natural wetlands at two retired cranberry farms and at other impacted aquatic habitats throughout the Bay watershed.

MA DER staff visit the Stuart Bogs with Sara Quintal, BBC Restoration Ecologist

The Mattapoisett Bogs Restoration Project will transform previously farmed cranberry bogs back to natural freshwater wetlands and sandplain grassland habitat.  The adjacent Tripps Mill Brook, a tributary of the Mattapoisett River, will also be restored by replacing an old culvert that previously diverted water to the bogs with a wildlife-friendly stream crossing.  This Coalition-owned property will be enhanced for public use through the addition of bridges and boardwalks over wetland habitats, trailhead signage, and a more expansive parking area.  Work on the Project is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.

In Rochester, 65-acres of retired cranberry bogs – now owned by the Coalition – will be restored back to freshwater wetlands that drain to Snipatuit Pond and the west branch of the Sippican River.  This project will expand a rare natural Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, improve wetland habitat and function, and enhance public access through the creation of a trail network over the restored site.  Engineering designs and permitting supported by this grant are expected to commence in early  2023.

The projects in Mattapoisett and Rochester were selected by DER as part of its Priority Projects Program, which pursues wetland and river restoration and streamflow restoration projects that present the greatest benefit to the Commonwealth ecologically, socially, and economically.  More than $12M in grants were awarded state-wide, with funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Additional sources of funding for these projects include the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation’s Trails Program.

Category: On the Land

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The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

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