$150,000 in EPA funding to support local saltmarsh restoration efforts

Dec 28, 2020

Two of Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries — Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Wareham and Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Dartmouth — have been awarded $150,000 for saltmarsh restoration efforts through an Environmental Protection Agency program. 

The funding is provided through the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants, a partnership between the EPA and Restore America’s Estuaries. The program promotes “resilient ecosystems of clean water, healthy diverse habitats and sustainable communities in Southeast New England,” according to Mass Audubon’s press release. 

“Mass Audubon will use the grant to restore saltmarsh habitats and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” the organization said. The grant will also fund some education and community-outreach work.

The Town of Wareham, Wareham Land Trust and the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust are all community partners for the saltmarsh restoration project.

This winter, Mass Audubon staff and contractors will work to help the saltmarshes adapt to climate impacts such as rising ocean waters and more frequent storms.

Mass Audubon said the saltmarshes will be made more resilient after impediments to tial flow and saltmarsh landward movement are removed. These impediments include invasive species and “a decrepit squash court” at Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mass Audubon Program Manager Gina Purtell thanked SNEP for its support and emphasized the importance of the restoration efforts.

“It’s up to all of us to do what we can to address climate change in coastal regions that are already being impacted,” Purtell said. “To both help communities become more resilient and ensure vulnerable saltmarshes can thrive.”