The Baker-Polito Administration has announced a $1 million grant to advance the Herring River estuary restoration, the largest tidal estuary restoration project ever undertaken in the Northeastern United States.
The grant, awarded by the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) and funded by the Environmental Bond Bill, will complement another $1 million in newly-approved funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Restoration Center.
The Herring River Estuary Restoration Project will restore tidal flow to approximately six miles of waterways and 1,000 acres of degraded salt marsh and estuarine habitats that have been blocked for more than a century.
It will also improve water quality within Wellfleet Harbor, enhance migratory fish access to hundreds of acres of spawning ponds, restore a significant area of shellfish habitat, and enable the wetlands to build elevation and keep pace with future sea level rise.
“The Herring River restoration effort will improve water quality, increase climate change resiliency, boost recreation and tourism, and help sustain commercial and recreational fisheries,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“This funding will allow the Friends of Herring River and its project partners to continue the important engineering and design phase of this large-scale estuary restoration project,” added EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton.
The $2 million total will support engineering design for multiple infrastructure elements and advance other technical services tasks, including archaeological investigations, rare species assessments, preparation of permit applications, and development of mitigation measures to protect low-lying roads and structures from higher tide levels.
The project is being managed by Friends of Herring River, a non-profit organization based in Wellfleet.