Massachusetts River – Wetland Restoration Projects

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In Massachusetts, 12 river and wetland restoration projects will be designated Priority Projects through the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER).

Upon receiving designation, Priority Projects are eligible for technical services, including data collection, engineering, design work, permitting, project management, and grants.

The new Priority Projects include dam removals, culvert replacements, urban river revitalization, salt marsh restoration, and streamflow restoration. Each project restores healthy habitat while also helping communities prevent storm damage, address aging infrastructure, and improve outdoor recreation.

“The new dam removal, streamflow restoration, and salt marsh restoration projects expand habitat for Eastern brook trout, coastal waterfowl, and many other fish and wildlife species,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ronald Amidon. “The projects also open up new opportunities for paddling, nature observation, and other kinds of outdoor recreation.”

Once completed, the projects will provide significant social, environmental and economic benefits to the Commonwealth and local communities. Currently, more than 45 active ecological restoration projects throughout the state are designated as Priority Projects.


The Priority Projects include:

Stony Brook Flow Restoration – Littleton

Through this project, DER will provide assistance to the Town of Littleton to engage stakeholders in a variety of modeling and data collection efforts regarding streamflow and restoration of streamflow. The project builds on previous collaboration between DER and the Town of Littleton.

Great Marsh Restoration Project – Newbury, Essex, and Ipswich

Through this project, the Trustees of Reservations will brings together multiple stakeholders to pilot innovative methods for restoring saltmarsh habitat in the face of sea level rise.

Schenob Brook Restoration/Becker Pond Dam Removal – Mount Washington

Through this project, and in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the dam will be removed. As a result, wild Eastern brook trout and other species threatened by the effects of climate change will benefit.

Osgood Brook Restoration/Bowen’s Pond Dam Removal – Wendell

Through this project, the dam will be removed. As a result, wild Eastern brook trout and other species threatened by the effects of climate change will benefit.

Sucker Brook Restoration – Pepperell

Through this project, and in partnership with the Trout Unlimited Sqaun-a-Tissit Chapter and the Town of Pepperell, plans will be developed to remove a small dam and upgrade a stream crossing in the Keyes-Parker Conservation Area to benefit Eastern brook trout and other species.

Ware River Restoration/Wheelwright Dam Removal – Hardwick

Through this project, DER will partner with a private landowner and the East Quabbin Land Trust to explore options for removal of the dam on the mainstem of the Ware River on the Hardwick/New Braintree border. This project will reconnect over 100 miles of mainstem and tributary habitat.

Traphole Brook Restoration – Norwood and Walpole

Through this project, the Neponset River Watershed Association (NEPRWA), in collaboration with landowners and several regional environmental entities, will restore ecological functions to Traphole Brook, which is home to one of the few remaining wild Eastern brook trout populations in the greater Boston area.

Upper Child’s River Restoration Project – Falmouth

Through this project, and in partnership with the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club, several stream barriers will be removed in an effort to re-naturalize the river’s channel and floodplain through the former cranberry bogs to benefit a variety of species including wild Eastern brook trout and American eel.

Mill Brook Bogs Restoration – Freetown

Through this project, water controls and fill material associated with the former plantation and re-naturalize the stream channel through the wetland will be removed. Restoration of this site will complement conservation efforts in the adjacent Southeastern Massachusetts BioReserve.

Mattapoisett Bogs Restoration, Mattapoisett

Through this project, and in partnership with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 57 acres of former cranberry plantation in Mattapoisett will be restored. The project will restore connectivity on Tripp’s Mill Brook and improve habitat for rare species by restoring hydrology, controlling invasive plants, and introducing native plantings.


The Provisional Priority Projects include:

Stewart Bog Restoration – Rochester

Project will be in partnership with The Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Abbey Brook Revitalization – Chicopee

Project will be in partnership with the City of Chicopee.


source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts