WEST YARMOUTH, MA – The Cape Cod Conservation District’s (CCCD) application for federal funds to undertake priority coastal restoration projects on Cape Cod was approved today by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The $10 million in FY17 funds will be used for Phase II of the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project (CCWRP) which assists Cape communities with the planning, design and construction of numerous coastal restoration projects across Cape Cod.
“The future of the Cape’s environment and economy depends on clean water - and the approval of our application is great news for all Cape Cod towns. We thank the NRCS for their strong support. This unique coastal restoration partnership between the Conservation District, Barnstable County, the Commonwealth and Cape towns is a national model.” said Conservation District Chairman, Mark Forest.
“A lot of individuals and organizations helped us get to this point. We thank Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman Keating for their support of the District’s application. We also appreciate the support of our legislators, local selectmen, the Commonwealth, the County Commissioners and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Their enthusiastic support has been critical to our success." Forest added.
The agency made the announcement in Washington D.C. today. Earlier this year, Leonard Jordan, Acting Chief of the NRCS, told the Conservation District that he called the Cape project a "national model for watershed-scale restoration”. *
For the past four years the CCCD has been urging Congressional leaders to add more funding to the NRCS’s conservation and restoration programs. Today’s news means that these efforts have finally paid off. In August, the District submitted a proposal for $7.5 million in funding, along with a list of potential phase II projects.
Jack Yunits, Barnstable County Administrator said this is “great news for Cape Cod, and will boost our ongoing efforts at the county to help our towns protect the Cape’s water resources. Barnstable County is proud to be a partner in this initiative and we look forward to continued success working with the Conservation District, the NRCS and Cape towns.”
The CCWRRP is a joint initiative of the NRCS, the Cape Cod Conservation District and Barnstable County to protect Cape Cod’s watershed and coastal resources. Together they work in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, the Division of Ecological Restoration, Division of Marine Fisheries and Cape towns. The Barnstable County Coastal Resources Committee helps the District and the NRCS identify and prioritize specific restoration projects proposed by Cape towns.
The Conservation District and the NRCS started working on the CCWRRP in 2003. By 2006, the plan was finished and identified over seventy projects – including the restoration of 26 tidally restricted salt marshes, 24 impaired fish-runs and over 24 storm-water discharges impacting shellfish beds. The plan’s cost exceeded $30 million and required Congressional approval.
Shortly after Congressional endorsement in 2009, the NRCS was able to provide $6.5 million in funding for Phase I. This work was completed in 2013 and provided significant benefits - over 3,568 acres of shellfish habitat were restored, along with 44.5 acres of salt marsh. Storm-water runoff treatment systems were built to treat run-off on more than 30 acres of impervious road surfaces. The projects protected water quality near critical fisheries habitat and numerous shellfish grants.
The District’s Phase II funding proposal identified over sixteen CCWRPP priority projects -
Brewster: Crosby Lane, storm-water runoff and salt marsh restoration project Mashpee: Shoestring Bay, storm-water runoff project
Mashpee: Santuit River, fish passage and storm-water remediation project Mashpee: Johns Pond, fish passage improvements
Sandwich: Sandwich Harbor, five storm-water projects
Falmouth: Magansett Harbor, storm-water project
Falmouth: Coonamessett River, fish passage Restoration
Orleans: Barley Neck Rd, storm-water remediation project
Orleans: Pilgrim lake, fish passage improvements
Yarmouth: Parkers River, Bridge replacement, tidal restoration
Yarmouth: Baxter Grist Mill dam, fish passage improvements
Truro: Eagle Neck Creek, salt marsh restoration project
Harwich: Cold Brook, obstruction removal for fish passage and tidal restoration Barnstable: Upper Marstons Mills River, improve fish passage and habitat Eastham: Depot Pond fish passage improvements
Bourne: Monument River, fish passage improvements
“These CCWRP projects are locally driven initiatives that enjoy a significant level of local grassroots support. This enthusiasm has generated an unprecedented level of help and cooperation from dozens of local, county, state and federal agencies. This initiative is alive today because all these organizations and individuals share a passion to restore the health and vitality of Cape Cod’s coastal waters.” added Forest.
For more background information on the District or the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project, see the CCCD website at www.capecodconservationdistrict.com.
*- In a June 20, 2017 letter to Mark Forest, Chairman of the Cape Cod Conservation District FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
CHAIRMAN - MARK FOREST: 508-776-3246
PROJECT COORDINATOR: RICK DEVERGILIO: 508-648-2417
CAPE COD CONSERVATION DISTRICT 303 MAIN STREET (ROUTE 28)
WEST YARMOUTH, MA 02673