Nestled at the head of Buzzards Bay, the town of Wareham is inextricably linked to the water. Each summer, people flock to Wareham’s 54 miles of coastline – places like Onset Beach, Swifts Neck Beach, and Buttermilk Bay – to go swimming, fishing, and boating. Two of Buzzards Bay’s largest rivers – the Wareham River and the Weweantic River – thread through Wareham on their way to Buzzards Bay.
Maybe it’s Buzzards Bay’s rocky shorelines, where salty waves gently roll across pebbly sand and shattered scallop shells. Or maybe it’s our secluded harbors and coves, dotted with sea birds and sailboats and fringed by windswept salt marshes. Perhaps it’s our communities, each with its own distinct personality – some sleepy, others lively, all familiar to those who call them home. Or it’s the way Buzzards Bay is nestled into a nook of New England that’s off the beaten path of tourists heading to Boston, Newport, and Martha’s Vineyard.
There’s something special about our Bay that pulls in the people who live here: not just its beautiful beaches and fresh seafood, but the sense that you’ve found a hidden gem where you belong – and that you want to protect.
Among the historic buildings and commercial fishing vessels that populate New Bedford Harbor’s shoreline, Marsh Island has stood out as a rare, undeveloped stretch in this maritime hub.
The next time you find yourself driving east over the Route 195 bridge, you’ll likely see construction crews filtering past Breakwater Marinas (formerly Moby Dick Marina) in Fairhaven, as construction has officially begun on the Marsh Island Salt Marsh Restoration Project.
Since 2011, Sara da Silva Quintal, the Restoration Ecologist at the Buzzards Bay Coalition, has been managing the Coalition’s various restoration projects from feasibility phase through permitting, construction, and post-construction monitoring. We spoke with Sara to learn more about how the Marsh Island project came to fruition, and what we can expect to find when construction is complete.
Nitrogen from on-site septic systems is polluting West Falmouth Harbor. The nitrogen draining to the harbor from cesspools and conventional septic systems makes algae grow and turns the water murky and cloudy. Eelgrass beds die and shellfish begin to disappear. In short, nitrogen pollution is quietly destroying the Harbor we love. Upgrading your septic system from a cesspool or conventional system to a nitrogen reducing system can substantially reduce the amount of nitrogen coming from your home.