Nearly $600,000 in EPA Funding for Four Pilot Watershed Projects will Demonstrate Holistic Solutions to Common Coastal Challenges
BOSTON (Oct. 14, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide $599,993 through EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP) to support four projects that will provide benefits to portions of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Charlestown R.I., and the Buzzards Bay watershed.
The funding, part of a new SNEP Pilot Watershed Initiative, is the first installment of an expected $3,000,000 across the four projects over the next five years. The project partners are also expected to leverage an additional $1,127,380 in matching funds. These projects are intended to demonstrate how concentrated, collaborative efforts and holistic planning can more effectively address common environmental challenges in coastal southeast New England. Demonstrating watershed scale solutions is a key piece of SNEP's Five-Year Strategic Plan and ultimately an important part of promoting safe and clean water, healthy habitats, and thriving communities.
"While every community in the Southeast New England region is unique, each of the projects announced today will address common environmental challenges that cities, towns, and tribes face, such as nitrogen pollution, habitat loss, and excess stormwater," said Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. "Developing solutions that can be demonstrated in one area and adapted to others is vital to tackling these challenges in an efficient, forward thinking way. I'm excited to see what these four strong groups of partners can accomplish in their watersheds in the coming years. And equally excited to see how their lessons learned will be transferred to and used by other communities across the entire SNEP region."
The funding announced today will support the following four projects:
- $149,998 to the Buzzards Bay Coalition to identify and prioritize sources of watershed impairments and develop solutions to address stream alteration and nutrient loading in an urbanized area of the Buttonwood Brook-Apponagansett Bay area of Massachusetts. Project partners include the City of New Bedford, the Town of Dartmouth, Buttonwood Zoo, the Friends of Buttonwood Park, and the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust.
- $149,995 to the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center to demonstrate the effectiveness of using distributed, small-scale stormwater control measures to restore hydrologic balance and address water quality and flooding issues in Tisbury, Massachusetts. Project partners include the Town of Tisbury, the Martha's Vineyard Commission, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
- $150,000 to the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition to apply an innovative nature-based solution to reduce nitrogen impacts from a retired cranberry bog in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, while also restoring habitat. Project partners include the Town of Barnstable, The Nature Conservancy, and the Native Land Conservancy.
- $150,000 to the Town of Charlestown, Rhode Island to support an enhanced integrated effort to address the impacts of excess nutrients from septic systems and stormwater on Greater Allen's Cove and Ninigret Pond, Rhode Island through installation of nitrogen reducing septic systems and nature-based stormwater solutions. Project partners include the University of Rhode Island, the Salt Pond Coalition, and Save the Bay.
In 2012, Congress charged EPA with conserving and restoring southeast New England's coastal environment, and in 2014 began providing funding to develop a Southeast New England Program (SNEP). The SNEP Watershed Grants program provides needed funding to local organizations that are restoring clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems while strengthening local communities.
More information: EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP), including the Five-Year Strategic Plan and Pilot Watershed Initiative https://www.epa.gov/snep