Coalition supports Round Hill marsh restoration in Dartmouth
The proposed Round Hill salt marsh project in Dartmouth has received a lot of attention lately. The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a strong supporter of this project because it has a myriad of benefits for our local environment as well as for Dartmouth residents. In short, we see no downsides to this regionally significant ecological improvement project.
By completing this project, Dartmouth residents will get to enjoy 11 acres of restored salt marsh habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife; reduced mosquito populations; fewer creek closures; improved views and recreational opportunities; a better shield against coastal storms; and cleaner water by replacing a 40-year-old septic system at Round Hill Beach with a new, modern wastewater system that reduces pollution.
All of this will happen without spending a dime of town money. Dartmouth has received grants totaling $5.1 million to complete this project – all of which will be lost if the town chooses not to proceed.
Residents have expressed concern that this project would bring changes to Round Hill Beach and its parking lot. Both funders and regulatory agencies have assured residents there will be no changes to beach management or resident-only parking status. We believe that town officials have done an excellent job obtaining assurances on those critical issues.
Envision driving down Ray Peck Drive toward the beach and seeing beautiful Meadow Shores Marsh on the right. Now – imagine that view is replicated on the left side of the road, where there is currently a scrubby wooded area. If you’re a town resident with a beach sticker, you could park your car in the lot and take a walk along the new marsh viewing platform and trail that would be constructed as part of this project.
The Coalition works in all of the towns around Buzzards Bay on environmental restoration projects like this. Few come with this level of grant support, and few bring as many benefits as the Round Hill salt marsh project. We can’t imagine how Dartmouth could let this opportunity slip away.