Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC) was recently awarded a five-year, $750,000 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Pilot Watershed grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
As one of four recipients for this new grant program, the coalition will receive $150,000 a year to advance their efforts to restore 56 acres of cranberry bogs at the headwaters of the Marstons Mills River to a natural wetlands system. An estimated 40 percent of the excess nitrogen load for Three Bays Estuary transits these cranberry bogs.
This grant award will fund design, permitting and a portion of the implementation of the cranberry bog restoration. The restoration will be designed to maximize the ability of the system to reduce nitrogen pollution and transport downriver to the Three Bays estuary. Excess nitrogen is the major contributor to Cape Cod’s ongoing coastal water quality problems. The grant will allow for continued funding of water quality monitoring in the Marstons Mills River, a key factor in determining the effectiveness of this restoration. The project seeks to provide a model for restoring water quality in other degraded areas throughout Cape Cod and New England.
“BCWC is excited to be named as one of the first ever recipients of the SNEP Pilot Watershed Grant,” said BCWC Deputy Director Casey Chatelain. “Since water travels down the Marstons Mills River from the bogs to the Three Bays estuary in less than eight hours, this project is a unique opportunity to use a nature-based solution to mitigate nitrogen overload in a way that will have a rapid impact on the estuary.”
Barnstable Clean Water Coalition works to restore and preserve clean water throughout Barnstable. BCWC deploys science as its foundation to educate, monitor, mitigate and advocate for clean water.