Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project
Help APCC Save the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project
APCC is working with regional and national partners on efforts to restore federal funding for the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project (CCWRRP) and other similar watershed projects across the country. Money for these important environmental projects disappeared in 2011 when Congress eliminated funding of the USDA Watershed Program.
The CCWRRP is a comprehensive 10-year, $30 million Cape-wide project that would:
- Restore 1,500 acres of degraded salt marsh;
- Improve migratory fish access to 4,200 acres of spawning habitat; and
- Restore 7,300 acres of shellfish bed through stormwater remediation.
However, only $6.5 million were appropriated before funding was cut, leaving many of the Cape's critical restoration plans unfulfilled.
Now, efforts are underway to restore funding for the USDA Watershed Program, which is the funding source for the CCWRRP. APCC and our watershed coalition partners have encouraged Congressman William Keating and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, as well as other Massachusetts members of Congress, to help support the USDA Watershed Program.
Specifically, Congress is being asked to fund the Watershed Program at the following levels:
- Watershed Planning: $30 million
- Watershed Operations: $100 million
- Watershed Rehabilitation for Aging Dams: $100 million
Why is the CCWRRP So Important for Cape Cod?
The coastal resources restored by the CCWRRP are important for the Cape's environment, and also play a vital role in the region's economy. For example:
- Seventy-five percent of commercial finfish species depend on healthy salt marshes for shelter or food.
- River herring, which rely on accessible fish runs in their annual spawning migration, are a primary food source for many valuable commercial fish species.
- In 2009, commercial finfishing produced $20 million in revenue for Provincetown and Chatham alone, and brought in nearly $400 million for the whole state.
- Commercial shellfishing produces an average annual landed value of $6.3 million on Cape Cod. Shellfishing aquaculture, which is tracked separately from commercial shellfishing, yields an additional $4.5 million annually on Cape Cod.
- Water quality is essential for the quality of life of those who live on Cape Cod, and our water resources are vital to the Cape’s tourist-based economy.
What Can APCC Members Do to Help?
Please contact Congressman Keating, Senator Markey and Senator Cowan today and ask them to work with Congress to restore funding for the USDA Watershed Program. Tell them that USDA Watershed Program funding will directly benefit the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project by protecting the environment and boosting economic opportunities for the region, and that Watershed Program funding will also similarly support other important watershed projects in Massachusetts and across the country.
Congressman William Keating
Cape & Islands District Office: 508-771-0666
Washington DC Office: 202-225-3111
Email Congressman Keating
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Boston Office: (617) 565-3170
Washington DC Office: (202) 224-4543
Email Senator Warren
Senator Edward Markey
Boston Office: (617) 565-8519
Washington DC Office: (202) 224-2742
Email Senator Markey