The Baker-Polito Administration has announced that seven local projects targeting water pollution from stormwater runoff and erosion are recommended to receive more than $1 million in grants utilizing funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The projects are based in Amherst and Spencer, as well as Berkshire, Franklin and Hampden Counties.
The Town of Amherst has received a sizable grant in the amount of $276,549, the second largest grant award in this round, to restore and reconnect the Fearing Brook to its floodplain. This will increase nutrient and sediment retention, decrease bacteria and reduce erosion.
The work will be done on Amherst Conservation land near the East Village Center. The Fearing Brook is an urban stream that receives stormwater from about half of the Downtown area and flows into the Fort River. The project will recreate a flood plain that will slow the flow of runoff, mitigates flooding impacts prior to the confluence with the river.
“The importance and uniqueness of the Fort River cannot be understated. It is the longest undammed tributary of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts, containing a number of State listed species and one federal listed endangered species” said David Ziomek.
Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman added “A large amount of credit goes to Beth Willson, formerly our Wetlands Administrator and currently an Environmental Scientist in our Public Works Department and to David Ziomek, our Assistant Town Manager for securing these important funds.”
“Comprehensive watershed protection efforts like these are critical in order to keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides. “These grants will help local officials and regional groups to protect and enhance vital local watershed resources from nonpoint source pollution.”
For Immediate Release: October 28, 2019
Contact: Brianna Sunryd, firstname.lastname@example.org