Massachusetts officials awarded $165,000 in grants to four communities to conduct nonpoint source (NPS) pollution assessment and water quality management.
The projects, selected by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), are located in the towns of Mashpee, Bourne, Sharon and Georgetown. The grants are funded by the U.S. EPA under the federal Clean Water Act.
“Local officials have the difficult task of addressing often indiscrete sources of water pollution that cause harmful algal blooms, nutrient discharges, and elevated pathogen levels in streams, lakes, and harbors,” said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. “These grants help MassDEP partner with communities to implement simple, but effective strategies to eliminate the pollutants at the source and restore impaired waters for the public to enjoy.”
The four grants awarded are:
- Town of Mashpee – $50,000
Mashpee is partnering with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to advance up to five previously identified stormwater retrofit concepts for the Mashpee Town Landing site to preliminary design. The stormwater retrofits will reduce stormwater contributions including sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants to Santuit Pond, which has historically experienced harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues.
This effort is part of a larger multifaceted approach to address internal and external sources of excess nutrients to Santuit Pond. The preliminary designs will allow the town to seek further funding for final design, permitting, and implementation of the proposed retrofits.
- Town of Bourne – $50,000
This project will assess the sub-marine groundwater discharge into the Red Brook Harbor to determine whether sediments are a positive or negative source of nutrients on the ecosystem. This builds on two previous Red Brook Harbor projects in monitoring and modeling to support the overall development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
The project will support management planning by providing a critical piece of site-specific information to support the development of a TMDL.
- Town of Sharon – $40,400
Sharon will partner with the Neponset River Watershed Association to develop a watershed-based plan for Lake Massapoag, which has historically experienced cyanobacteria blooms and elevated pathogen levels. The lake is a valuable resource for the town and provides recreational uses for many groups, including two summer camps, a town beach, and residential neighborhoods.
Under this project, the town will perform in-lake assessments of water and soil quality, and watershed assessments as critical components to determine the existing pollutant load. It will also determine the necessary reductions required to meet water quality standards. Based on the results of the assessments, the project team will identify possible Best Management Practice locations and conduct field assessments to prioritize up to 10 sites to advance for preliminary designs.
- Town of Georgetown – $24,600
Georgetown plans to conduct water quality and shoreline assessments to support the development of two watershed-based plans for Pentucket Pond and Rock Pond, both of which are considered impaired waters.
The project team will use the assessment results to develop conceptual designs for five high priority sites.