By ecoRI News staff
MATTAPOISETT, Mass. — The town recently received $40,000 in federal grant funding to help protect important riverfront land containing critical habitat and drinking-water resources in the Buzzards Bay watershed. The grant is being matched by $60,000 in municipal and private contributions.
“This grant will directly protect an important municipal water supply, while also protecting riverfront land and habitat for endangered species,” Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beato said. “We are pleased to be able to work with the federal government and local communities to ensure the health of Massachusetts’ citizens and the survival of our native species.”
The town will use the funding to buy and permanently protect 21.9 acres in the Mattapoisett River aquifer. The entire property lies within a state drinking-water protection zone that provides drinking water to the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion and Fairhaven. The property also abuts an existing drinking water-well site.
The property contains endangered species habitat and 3,710 feet of direct frontage on the Mattapoisett River that includes important wetland and forest habitat. The Mattapoisett River has the second-largest river herring population in Buzzards Bay.
Funding is being provided through the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program’s Municipal Mini-Grant Program. Created in 1985, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the state’s Office of Coastal Zone Management. It provides grants and technical assistance to South Coast and Cape Cod communities to protect and restore water quality and natural resources in Buzzards Bay and its watershed.