BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $500,000 in grants to support local efforts to address polluted stormwater runoff to protect coastal water quality and habitat. The grants, provided through the Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program, were awarded to Arlington, Barnstable, Kingston, Sandwich and Yarmouth.
“The funding provided through the Coastal Pollutant Remediation grant program provides municipalities with the resources needed to take practical, proactive steps to improve coastal water quality,” said Governor Charlie Baker.“These projects are another opportunity for the Commonwealth and local communities to work closely on protecting Massachusetts’ coastal water quality by treating stormwater runoff pollution at the source.”
“Clean and healthy bays and harbors are a priority for our administration,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This locally targeted funding will help communities protect coastal water quality to provide clean recreational areas for swimming and fishing as well as healthy shellfish beds and coastal habitats.”
“Preventing the runoff of bacteria, nutrients and other contaminants into our coastal waters ensures healthy and productive marine habitats,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides. “Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants support communities in capturing and treating these pollutants at the source before they enter the ocean, protecting the environment and public health.”
The goal of CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program is to improve water quality and protect coastal habitats by reducing or eliminating nonpoint sources of pollution, the leading cause of water quality impairment in the nation. This type of pollution primarily occurs when contaminants are picked up by rain, snow melt and other flowing water and carried over land, in groundwater or through drainage systems to the nearest body of water and ultimately out to sea. Nonpoint source pollution reduces water quality, negatively impacts habitat for coastal wildlife and reduces opportunities to harvest shellfish and swim due to mandated closures.
“Since 1994, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management has been awarding Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants to help communities throughout the coastal watershed to effectively protect water quality and marine habitats,” said CZM Director Lisa Berry Engler. “The program is an important partnership that helps communities design and implement proven strategies to prevent contaminants from reaching the ocean. Congratulations to this round of grant recipients!”
The following five projects have been funded through this year’s grants:
Arlington - $135,000: The Town of Arlington, in partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association, will finalize designs and construct two bioretention basins and multiple infiltration trenches to treat stormwater runoff entering Alewife Brook, part of the Mystic River Watershed. The Mystic River, which is impacted by nutrient contamination from stormwater runoff, is critical habitat for river herring.
Barnstable - $155,538: The Town of Barnstable, in partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod and the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, will complete final designs and install a green infrastructure project to treat stormwater runoff. This project is the next phase of assessment, design and construction work in the Three Bays watershed that has been funded by CZM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to treat contaminated runoff, protect coastal habitat and improve water quality for swimming and shellfishing.
Kingston - $44,083: The Town of Kingston will finalize plans and complete permitting to retrofit existing stormwater green infrastructure to improve its function and capacity to respond to flooding and other climate change impacts. This project is the sixth phase of Kingston's long-term work to treat bacterial pollution and expand opportunities for shellfish harvesting in the Jones River and Kingston Bay.
Sandwich - $92,000: The Town of Sandwich, building on design work funded by CZM, will construct porous pavement and sand filters to treat bacteria and nutrients in stormwater. This project is a component of a large, multi-year restoration effort by the Town to improve water quality, protect coastal habitat and open shellfish harvesting areas in Sandwich Harbor.
Yarmouth - $73,380: The Town of Yarmouth will build on assessment, design and construction work funded by CZM to construct stormwater green infrastructure at a high priority location and develop final designs for a second site. The structures, designed to be resilient to climate change impacts, will treat bacteria and nitrogen from contaminated stormwater runoff. This project is part of a multi-year effort by the Town to improve water quality, protect coastal habitat and reopen shellfish beds to harvesting on Yarmouth’s southern coast.
“These grants are an integral part of Massachusetts’ ability to protect its coastal waters,” said State Representative Dave Rogers (D-Cambridge). “Alewife Brook, Mystic River, and the other grant recipients will greatly benefit from the important steps being taken by their towns and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to shield both coastal waters and the species living there.”
“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration and the Office of Coastal Zone Management for their continued support of our communities’ efforts to improve water quality and renew coastal habitats,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “Kingston and Sandwich have made multi-year investments in remediating bacterial pollution in waterways that are the centerpiece of our communities and these grants will allow them to continue that work while also improving coastal water quality and expanding opportunities for shellfish harvesting.”
“I am thrilled that Kingston will be receiving one of the six grants to address polluted stormwater runoff,” said State Representative Kathleen LaNatra (D-Kingston). “This grant will allow Kingston to continue the good work they have been doing to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff and improve the quality of the Jones River and the Kingston Bay.”
“The Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant program is critically important to the Town of Arlington’s efforts to protect water quality, habitat, and public health,” said State Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Through planning, technical and grant assistance and public information programs, CZM seeks to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources. The agency’s work includes helping coastal communities address the challenges of storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change; working with state, regional and federal partners to balance current and new uses of ocean waters while protecting ocean habitats and promoting sustainable economic development; and partnering with communities and other organizations to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitats.