Since 1987, it has saved more than 9,000 acres of sensitive watershed land, established 30 years of water quality data that guides public policy, transformed former industrial sites to nature reserves, removed dams to restore rivers’ natural flow and habitat, and engaged thousands of citizens in exploring and appreciating the region’s natural resources.
Upon reviewing the scope and impact of that work, the national Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) recently decided to award its 2021 Coastal Stewardship Award to the organization.
“The breadth and depth of its programs and progress makes the Buzzards Bay Coalition an exemplary steward of coastal resources and a very effective organization,” CERF officials said in announcing the award. The award, which will be formally presented in November, is intended to celebrate organizations whose work advances understanding and wise stewardship of coastal ecosystems worldwide.
Mark Rasmussen, president of the Coalition, said that the organization’s effectiveness comes from its grassroots origins.
“This award belongs to everyone on the South Coast and Cape Cod who has been a part of the effort to restore and protect Buzzards Bay and its watershed,” Rasmussen said. “The progress we’ve made is only possible because of the many thousands of people, including our members and our partner organizations, who value the incredible natural resources of the Buzzards Bay region and are willing to act with us to preserve them for the future.”
The Coalition was founded in 1987 as the closing of shellfish beds throughout the area and visible changes in water quality raised public awareness about the threats facing Buzzards Bay.
Today, the Coalition works to improve the health of the Bay ecosystem on many levels—advocating for public policies that protect the environment; restoring and conserving sensitive watershed lands, including Horseshoe Mill and The Sawmill; conducting research to inform management of natural resources, such as water quality monitoring; and engaging the public in outdoor activities that connect people to the Bay.