Massachusetts will provide $72,000 in state grant funds for river restoration efforts in Andover, Freetown, and Pelham, matched by more than $1.1 million in federal grants.
The funds have been awarded to implement ongoing projects coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER).
Each of the grants was awarded to projects previously designated as part of the DER’s Priority Projects Program. DER pursues wetland and river restoration, urban river revitalization, and stream flow restoration projects that present the greatest benefit to the Commonwealth, ecologically, socially and economically.
The projects will benefit cold water fish and migratory fish such as river herring and sea lamprey, according to Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner George Peterson.
Priority Projects Grants:
Town of Andover and Atria Senior Living, Inc.
$25,000 awarded to the Town of Andover and $12,000 to Atria Senior Living, Inc. for two dam removal projects on the Shawsheen River in Andover. The Shawsheen River is a tributary of the Merrimack River, and removal of the dams will restore passage for resident and migratory fish and improve public safety. Both dams exacerbate flooding and are in various stages of disrepair.
City of Fall River
$35,000 awarded to the City of Fall River for the restoration of Rattlesnake Brook, a tributary if the Taunton River. Funds will pay for the removal of the Bleachery Dam located at the mouth of Rattlesnake Brook where it meets the tidal Assonet River in Freetown. The brook flows out of a protected watershed in the Freetown/Fall River State Forest, and the aging and unsafe dam is owned by the City of Fall River.
HRD Press of Pelham
$30,000 awarded for the second phase of the Amethyst Brook Restoration Project. Following the removal of the Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam in 2012, construction funds will pay for the removal of Allen Dam, a timber structure on a high-quality coldwater stream in the Connecticut River watershed.
source: Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game