Safeguarding 436 acres for clean drinking water

Two key projects, one complete and one in progress, will preserve a total of 436 acres of land in the Mattapoisett River Valley and Dartmouth’s Paskamansett River Valley, protecting local public drinking water supplies. 

The first initiative, completed this summer, is the Mattapoisett River Valley Drinking Water Resilience Project, spanning Acushnet, Mattapoisett, and Rochester. This landmark project safeguarded 240 acres of land, protecting clean drinking water in the towns of Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, Marion, and Rochester. The Coalition worked together with all five towns to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of the underlying groundwater aquifer, one of southeastern Massachusetts’ most critical sources of drinking water. This project is a partnership of the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the towns of Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, Marion, Rochester, and Acushnet; Mattapoisett River Valley Water Supply Protection Advisory Committee; Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program; and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program. 

The project, made possible with support from a Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant, enhances resilience to climate change and will also benefit important fish and wildlife habitats, outdoor recreation opportunities, and sustainable local agriculture. 

Community members will soon be able to explore expanded trails on these lands that connect to the Coalition’s Mattapoisett River Reserve trail system and enjoy Buzzards Bay Coalition activities and community programming in the farm buildings at Red Brick Farm. The portions of land that are currently being farmed will continue to be used for agricultural purposes. 

Henri Renauld, Superintendent of the Mattapoisett Water & Sewer Department, added, “The Town of Mattapoisett, working with its fellow communities and the BBC, have once again secured and protected a section of land that will ensure the protection of the existing water infrastructure. It will also allow for future wells to be placed within these properties to ensure our communities will have safe drinking water into the future.” 

The second initiative, located in Dartmouth, is the Paskamansett River Drinking Water Land Protection Project. Upon its completion, the project will protect 196 acres of open land over the town of Dartmouth’s public drinking water supply aquifer and protect an existing gap in the protected land along the river corridor. The initiative will also benefit local wildlife, both on land and in the river, provide public access for outdoor recreation, and preserve the scenic, rural landscape in this part of Dartmouth.  

Buzzards Bay Coalition was recently successful in securing a $350,000 grant for the Town, and last month, Dartmouth Town Meeting approved $250,000 in Community Preservation Funds. The Dartmouth Department of Public Works will acquire the land and Buzzards Bay Coalition will hold a permanent conservation restriction.  

“It is so easy for us all to take for granted the clean drinking water flowing from our faucets,” said Brendan Annett, Vice President of Watershed Protection. “there are so many good reasons to protect natural land around Buzzards Bay, but ensuring that we have clean water is certainly one of the most important.” 

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: