BBC secures funds for towns to restore wetlands, while making roads more resilient to flooding

Driving around the highways and backroads around Buzzards Bay, you may occasionally notice small guardrails or white cement posts on the side of the road. Often times, these structures indicate where that road crosses one of our many streams or tidal creeks and under that road is a culvert.

Culverts come in many shapes and sizes and are used to convey water (often times freshwater or tidal streams) under roads. There are well over 1,000 culverts in the Buzzards Bay watershed, many of which are undersized or in need of repair. Undersized culverts do not allow the natural flow of water and can act as barriers to fish attempting to migrate up and down the stream. In coastal environments, culverts can prevent proper tidal flows leading to negative impacts on our salt marshes.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition has been working closely with area towns to identify high-priority culverts, both on freshwater and tidal streams, that need replacement. Replacing these culverts with properly sized structures can make roadways less prone to flooding during heavy rains, and would also foster ecological benefits like improved passage for migratory fish to reach their spawning grounds and, in the case of coastal culverts, restoring tidal flow to improve the health and resilience of the Bay’s critical salt marsh habitats.

With support from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and recent grants from the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program to the towns of Marion, Westport and Wareham, the Buzzards Bay Coalition is advancing restoration projects that involve culvert replacements in Westport, Dartmouth, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham and Bourne. These projects will result in a better connection between our critical habitats upstream in our watershed and the Bay.

So next time you’re driving around our beautiful backroads and you see that guardrail or series of upright white posts, know that there may be a stream or creek under there – and the Buzzards Bay Coalition is working hard to ensure that stream will continue to flow freely.


Categories: On the Bay, On the Land

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

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.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: