Two coastal-resiliency projects receive grants from foundation

FAIRHAVEN – Two coastal-resilience projects in the Providence metropolitan area have been awarded funds, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced Monday.

A salt-marsh restoration project for Marsh Island in Fairhaven was granted $2 million from the National Coastal Resilience Fund this year. The grantee, Buzzards Bay Coalition, matched with $4.6 million for the project. The organizations plans to remove dredged materials to reintroduce tidal hydrology and plant march vegetation, the foundation said. This will result in the creation of a fish nursery habitat, enhancement of water quality, expanded fish passage and stronger shoreline along Buzzards Bay.

Marsh Island is a peninsula that juts out into New Bedford Harbor, directly south of the Route 195 bridge on the Fairhaven side, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In Rhode Island, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management received $75,000 from the NFWF for preliminary site design to improve coastal resiliency at Quonochontaug Pond and beachway. The DEM matched with $75,000. The project will assess 49 acers of beachway shoreline and adjacent landscape at Quonochontaug Salt Pond, to develop initial designs to incorporate green infrastructure and ecologically enhanced shoreline into the infrastructure already in place.

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The DEM said that the project will be permit ready.

The fund granted $29.3 million in grants for the 2019 year to 44 projects, which was matched by $60 million from grantees. The grants were jointly announced by NFWF, and its partners, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Shell and Transatlantic Holdings, Inc.

Created in 2018, the fund awards matching grants to projects that restore or expand natural features, such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, forests, coastal rivers and floodplains, and barrier islands that minimize the impacts of storms and other naturally occurring events on nearby communities, the foundation said.

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