Coalition acquires Westport River watershed forests from Greater Fall River Land Conservancy

Over the last two decades, the Greater Fall River Land Conservancy protected over 61 acres of land in the city of Fall River, including forested land where water flows to the Westport River. When the Conservancy decided to “close up shop,” as Conservancy President Alfred Lima put it, they wanted to find a new owner that would ensure these properties remained in safe hands.

aerial photo of Westport Harbor and the Westport River inlet

The Westport River inlet and Westport Harbor from above.

In late August, the Conservancy approached the Buzzards Bay Coalition to acquire their properties in the eastern part of Fall River, guaranteeing these lands and their natural resources remain protected forever.

All of the newly-acquired lands are within the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve. They include forest, marsh, and grassland at the headwaters of Bread & Cheese Brook, the primary tributary to the Westport River.

“These lands result in quite an important acquisition to the complex of lands that make up the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve,” said Lima. “We’re thankful for the assurance that these properties will remain protected, and look forward to a promising future for our lands.”

The Greater Fall River Land Trust Conservancy was established in 1997 “to advance the protection of land resources in the Greater Fall River area that have natural resource and scenic qualities.” Much of their land was previously owned by private individuals, who donated the lands to the Conservancy.

“Mike Labossiere and Al Lima are conservation heroes, and we are honored that they asked us to safeguard the Greater Fall River Land Conservancy’s lands as part of the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s watershed land holdings,” said Buzzards Bay Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “They did the most important work of bringing these forests into land trust protection. Now we will care for them into the future, and ensure that they are always working to protect clean water in the Westport River.”

The continued protection of these properties supports the Coalition’s goal of conserving the lands around Buzzards Bay that help shield its waters. By keeping their forests undeveloped, the Coalition will ensure these lands serve as both a buffer and a filter, keeping harmful pollutants from washing into Buzzards Bay.

Category: On the Land

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