Historically, sea-run brook trout lived in coastal coldwater streams from New York to Cape Cod. But today, after decades of coastal development, Angeline Brook in Westport is one of only a handful of these sensitive streams that still exist along the southern New England coastline. Protecting natural forests and wetlands that surround streams like Angeline Brook helps keep water temperatures cool and provides places for fish to spawn. In addition, natural areas like forests and wetlands protect clean water in the Westport Rivers and Buzzards Bay.
“Angeline Brook is one of the Buzzards Bay watershed’s most important resources for native fish,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “This project is part of our ongoing commitment to protecting these rare, coldwater streams — for the fish, of course, but also for the people of Westport and for clean water.”
Yesterday, the project was completed when the Coalition and WLCT protected two neighboring properties totaling 50 acres of land along Cornell Road in Westport. The properties will be owned by WLCT, expanding the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area for public recreation such as hiking and freshwater fishing.
“Adding 50 acres to the 100 already preserved as the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area and more than 500 acres of protected land within the vicinity Angeline Brook is a great step forward in the conservation story of Westport,” said Ryan Mann, executive director of WLCT. “We are glad to have worked with the Coalition on this project and look forward to additional projects in the future. Together, with the help of so many, we are protecting what makes Westport so special for generations to come.”
As we shared in December, the Coalition has coordinated this project by securing contracts to purchase both properties and raising over $165,000 in federal and state grants and private contributions. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game will hold a conservation restriction: a legal land protection agreement that provides an extra layer of protection. The Trustees also provided funding to support the project.