The Mattapoisett River Valley is home to an underground aquifer where more than 24,000 local residents receive their drinking water. Marion pulls more than half of its public drinking water supply from wells within the river valley. This area is a clean, dependable source of drinking water – which is why the Coalition has been working here since 2001 to conserve land.
The newly protected property is located on Branch Brook, a tributary of the Mattapoisett River. Nearly all of these 164 acres lie in the core of the most critical area for drinking water protection. The land surrounds a Marion town well and is situated just upstream from wells for Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.
After conducting a major cleanup on the property, the Coalition conveyed the land to the town of Marion to add to its drinking water supply protection area. At the same time, we placed a conservation restriction on the land, ensuring that it will be protected forever.
The Marion town well is now permanently protected on both sides of Branch Brook. The state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife’s Church Homestead Wildlife Management Area sits on the other side of the town-owned well. Together, these protected properties create a swath of more than 300 acres of conserved forests along the north side of Wolf Island Road.
Forests are an essential part of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem. These natural filters absorb harmful pollution before it can reach the Bay’s rivers, streams, and groundwater. Not only does this land protect clean drinking water, but it also provides important habitat for rare species like the eastern box turtle.