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Restoration Coordination Center Projects

What types of projects does the RCC work on? (Click underlined text for examples.)

Salt marsh and fish run restoration projects that entail removal of tidal restrictions (human-created barriers such as undersized pipes or culverts (shown below), narrow bridge underpasses, or dams that limit or prevent natural tidal flow)and barriers to fish passage, to reestablish natural water flow, improve water quality, and restore habitat for native species.

Example Tidal Restoration Project: Parker’s River. A degraded and undersized bridge over Route 28 is restricting full tidal exchange to 153 acres of estuary, salt pond and salt marsh in the Parkers River. The new widened bridge opening will allow greater upstream tidal exchange resulting in improved salt marsh health, better flushing of nutrients, and improved fish passage. APCC is working with the project team to review design, permitting and construction plans and is providing pre- and post-restoration monitoring.

Example Fish Passage Project: Upper Shawme Pond Fish Ladder. This project involved the rebuilding of a failing dam, installation of a fish ladder (photo right), and restoration of a herring run that had been non-functional for more than 30 years. APCC helped the town of Sandwich to obtain grant funding and to monitor returning herring.

Stormwater management projects to protect and improve water quality and habitat through collection and treatment of polluted stormwater runoff.

Example Stormwater Installation: Hyannis Harbor Rain gardens, like this one installed by the town and the EPA at Hyannis Harbor (pictured below), collect and treat rainwater runoff from nearby roads and parking areas. This runoff can carry a variety of harmful pollutants including nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which can cause harmful algal blooms and low oxygen conditions in coastal waters. The inclusion of plants imitates natural wetland functions and helps remove excess nutrients and other pollutants before treated water is discharged into the harbor. APCC is working with towns and communities across the Cape to identify locations for similar stormwater installations around impaired waters.

Why is stormwater runoff a problem?

Stormwater runoff collects pollutants from the ground surface (bacteria from pet and wildlife waste, oil and gas from roadways, and fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and greenways) and discharges them into ponds, streams, and estuaries impairing water quality and contributing to beach closures, shellfish closures, and toxic algal blooms.

Coastal resilience projects, such as dune restoration, to protect the Cape’s environment and inhabitants from impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. Coastal Resilience is the ability of a community to ‘bounce back’ after hazard events, such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding, rather than simply reacting to impacts.

The Restoration Coordination Center is actively supporting the following restoration projects across the Cape and is working with partners to identify additional opportunities to assist with funding, technical aspects, or management of restoration projects.

Current Projects

 

Photo: Aerial view of Lake Elizabeth and the southern portion of Red Lily Pond with undersized culverts and failed fish ladder circled.

Lake Elizabeth/Red Lily Pond, Barnstable: Fish Passage Restoration

Herring run up the Centerville River to Lake Wequaquet and Long Pond. Historically there was also a run into Lake Elizabeth and Red Lily Pond. In recent years, however, herring counts at Red Lily Pond have declined to almost zero. Man-made barriers and restrictions have limited fish passage and impaired water quality by reducing the flow of water. Barriers include: 1) a culvert under Lake Elizabeth drive that is undersized and frequently clogged; 2) a failed fish ladder that is frequently dry despite the fact that stream flow bypasses the ladder and has eroded a channel undermining the structure; and 3) a culvert between Lake Elizabeth and Red Lily Pond that sits perched above water level prohibiting fish passage and stream flow. The goal of this restoration project is to replace the two culverts with larger pipes or box culverts that are positioned to allow natural water flow and redesign and replace the fish ladder with a fully functional one. APCC is providing technical advice and support to the Red Lily Pond Project Association.

Photo: Pamet River looking west from Truro Center Road. The river flows unobstructed to Cape Cod Bay from this point westward.

Pamet River, Truro: Tidal Restoration and Coastal Resilience Project

Three culverts under Route 6A, Route 6, and North Pamet Road restrict the tidal flow of the Pamet River, effectively dividing the system into one estuarine and one freshwater river system. Ocean overwash and erosion at Ballston Beach during recent storms has caused flooding in the upper Pamet River as water is not able to quickly recede due to these downstream restrictions. Salt water flooding in the upper Pamet River also poses a threat to groundwater and septic systems. The Town is currently working with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete analysis of the culverts for potential restoration of the marsh that will alleviate the impacts of flooding from storms and deal with the erosion issue at the beach. APCC plans to assist with next steps of the project once this report is complete.

Photo: Upper Quashnet River bogs, just east of the entrance to John’s Pond.

Upper Quashnet River, Mashpee: Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration

The Upper Quashnet River restoration consists of several components including: 1) fixing an erosion issue at the fish ladder where herring enter John’s Pond; 2) potential re-design and reconstruction of the fish ladder to improve herring passage into the pond; 3) re-aligning the river to address stream sedimentation caused by a failed berm and providing cold water habitat for brook trout; and 4) restoring a retired cranberry bog to a freshwater wetland. APCC is participating in steering committee meetings, conducts training and coordinates annual herring run monitoring, is providing support for seeking funding, and may provide technical assistance or project management pending the outcome of current proposals and available funding sources.

Photo: Mayo Creek salt marsh. Minimal tidal exchange has resulted in poor water quality and extensive growth of Phragmites.

Mayo Creek, Wellfleet: Tidal Restoration

An undersized culvert and one-way tidal valve extends from the Mayo Creek salt marsh into Wellfleet Harbor, preventing flow of seawater into the marsh. As a result, the marsh has become brackish and been overgrown by the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites). This project will likely consist of a partial tidal restoration to allow some, but not complete, tidal flow restoration to prevent flooding of surrounding low-lying properties. APCC and the MassBays Program helped the Town to obtain a NOAA-Gulf of Maine Council grant for a feasibility study that was completed in 2010, and the Town obtained a MassBays grant in 2015 to model alternatives to avoid flooding impacts to nearby properties to be completed in Fall 2016. APCC will be working closely with the Mayo Creek Restoration Committee on this project. This has been identified as a project where APCC may provide technical assistance or project management once the findings of the feasibility study are complete.

Photo: The existing bridge at the Route 28 crossing of Parker’s River.

Parkers River, Yarmouth: Tidal Wetland and Fish Run Restoration

A degraded and undersized bridge over Route 28 is restricting full tidal exchange to 216 acres of estuary and salt marsh in the Parkers River. The 18-foot long bridge will be replaced with a longer span (30-ft) bridge that will allow optimal tidal exchange. Completion of this project will: 1) enhance the resiliency of the coastal wetlands to buffer storm surges by allowing floodwaters to recede more quickly; 2) improve salt marsh health; 3) reduce water velocity and improve access for migratory fish species; 4) improve diadromous fish nursery habitat; 5) improve water quality and enhance shellfish resources; and 6) improve habitat for wetland-dependent migratory bird species. The bridge replacement will also provide a safer structure along a primary transportation corridor. APCC completed pre-restoration salt marsh monitoring in 2010 and 2011 and will be providing additional herring run and salt marsh monitoring before and after construction. APCC is working closely with the project team providing input and review of design plans and permit applications as well as support for funding and permit applications.

Photo: UNH researchers working in the Sesuit Creek marsh.

Sesuit Creek, Dennis: Tidal Restriction Post-Restoration Monitoring and Assessment

In 2008 tidal flow was restored to 57 acres of coastal salt marsh by replacement of the two-foot culvert with twin 10-ft. by 12-ft. box culverts. Natural tidal flow was restored to the upstream marsh causing die-off of salt-intolerant upland plant species including the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites). While the overall response has been positive, the recovery has been slower than expected and large marsh areas devoid of vegetation remain. Monitoring is underway to determine possible causes of the slow recovery and to provide recommendations to improve the recovery and health of the marsh. APCC is managing the project in coordination the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and working closely with salt marsh ecologists (Drs. David Burdick and Gregg Moore) from the University of New Hampshire, who are conducting the field monitoring and assessment.

Restoration Coordination Center Projects

What types of projects does the RCC work on? (Click underlined text for examples.)

Salt marsh and fish run restoration projects that entail removal of tidal restrictions (human-created barriers such as undersized pipes or culverts (shown below), narrow bridge underpasses, or dams that limit or prevent natural tidal flow)and barriers to fish passage, to reestablish natural water flow, improve water quality, and restore habitat for native species.

Example Tidal Restoration Project: Parker’s River. This project involves the replacement of an existing bridge along Route 28 in Yarmouth in order to restore full tidal flow to the upstream salt marsh system (pictured left). The new widened bridge opening will allow greater upstream tidal exchange resulting in improved salt marsh health, better flushing of nutrients, and improved fish passage. APCC is working with the project team to review design, permitting and construction plans and is providing pre- and post-restoration monitoring.

Example Fish Passage Project: Upper Shawme Pond Fish Ladder. This project involved the rebuilding of a failing dam, installation of a fish ladder (photo right), and restoration of a herring run that had been non-functional for more than 30 years. APCC helped the town of Sandwich to obtain grant funding and to monitor returning herring.

Stormwater management projects to protect and improve water quality and habitat through collection and treatment of polluted stormwater runoff.

Example Stormwater Installation: Hyannis Harbor Rain gardens, like this one installed by the town and the EPA at Hyannis Harbor (pictured below), collect and treat rainwater runoff from nearby roads and parking areas. This runoff can carry a variety of harmful pollutants including nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which can cause harmful algal blooms and low oxygen conditions in coastal waters. The inclusion of plants imitates natural wetland functions and helps remove excess nutrients and other pollutants before treated water is discharged into the harbor. APCC is working with towns and communities across the Cape to identify locations for similar stormwater installations around impaired waters.

Why is stormwater runoff a problem?

Stormwater runoff collects pollutants from the ground surface (bacteria from pet and wildlife waste, oil and gas from roadways, and fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and greenways) and discharges them into ponds, streams, and estuaries impairing water quality and contributing to beach closures, shellfish closures, and toxic algal blooms.

Coastal resilience projects, such as dune restoration, to protect the Cape’s environment and inhabitants from impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. Coastal Resilience is the ability of a community to ‘bounce back’ after hazard events, such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding, rather than simply reacting to impacts.

The Restoration Coordination Center is actively supporting the following restoration projects across the Cape and is working with partners to identify additional opportunities to assist with funding, technical aspects, or management of restoration projects.

Current Projects Click images to read more.

Photo: Aerial view of Lake Elizabeth and the southern portion of Red Lily Pond with undersized culverts and failed fish ladder circled.

Lake Elizabeth/Red Lily Pond, Barnstable: Fish Passage Restoration

Herring run up the Centerville River to Lake Wequaquet and Long Pond. Historically there was also a run into Lake Elizabeth and Red Lily Pond. In recent years, however, herring counts at Red Lily Pond have declined to almost zero. Man-made barriers and restrictions have limited fish passage and impaired water quality by reducing the flow of water. Barriers include: 1) a culvert under Lake Elizabeth drive that is undersized and frequently clogged; 2) a failed fish ladder that is frequently dry despite the fact that stream flow bypasses the ladder and has eroded a channel undermining the structure; and 3) a culvert between Lake Elizabeth and Red Lily Pond that sits perched above water level prohibiting fish passage and stream flow. The goal of this restoration project is to replace the two culverts with larger pipes or box culverts that are positioned to allow natural water flow and redesign and replace the fish ladder with a fully functional one. APCC is providing technical advice and support to the Red Lily Pond Project Association.

Content 2

Photo: Pamet River looking west from Truro Center Road. The river flows unobstructed to Cape Cod Bay from this point westward.

Upper Quashnet River, Mashpee: Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration

The Upper Quashnet River restoration consists of several components including: 1) fixing an erosion issue at the fish ladder where herring enter John’s Pond; 2) potential re-design and reconstruction of the fish ladder to improve herring passage into the pond; 3) re-aligning the river to address stream sedimentation caused by a failed berm and providing cold water habitat for brook trout; and 4) restoring a retired cranberry bog to a freshwater wetland. APCC is participating in steering committee meetings, conducts training and coordinates annual herring run monitoring, is providing support for seeking funding, and may provide technical assistance or project management pending the outcome of current proposals and available funding sources.

Photo: Upper Quashnet River bogs, just east of the entrance to John’s Pond.

Upper Quashnet River, Mashpee: Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration

The Upper Quashnet River restoration consists of several components including: 1) fixing an erosion issue at the fish ladder where herring enter John’s Pond; 2) potential re-design and reconstruction of the fish ladder to improve herring passage into the pond; 3) re-aligning the river to address stream sedimentation caused by a failed berm and providing cold water habitat for brook trout; and 4) restoring a retired cranberry bog to a freshwater wetland. APCC is participating in steering committee meetings, conducts training and coordinates annual herring run monitoring, is providing support for seeking funding, and may provide technical assistance or project management pending the outcome of current proposals and available funding sources.

Photo: Mayo Creek salt marsh. Minimal tidal exchange has resulted in poor water quality and extensive growth of Phragmites.

Mayo Creek, Wellfleet: Tidal Restoration

An undersized culvert and one-way tidal valve extends from the Mayo Creek salt marsh into Wellfleet Harbor, preventing flow of seawater into the marsh. As a result, the marsh has become brackish and been overgrown by the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites). This project will likely consist of a partial tidal restoration to allow some, but not complete, tidal flow restoration to prevent flooding of surrounding low-lying properties. APCC and the MassBays Program helped the Town to obtain a NOAA-Gulf of Maine Council grant for a feasibility study that was completed in 2010, and the Town obtained a MassBays grant in 2015 to model alternatives to avoid flooding impacts to nearby properties to be completed in Fall 2016. APCC will be working closely with the Mayo Creek Restoration Committee on this project. This has been identified as a project where APCC may provide technical assistance or project management once the findings of the feasibility study are complete.

Photo: The existing bridge at the Route 28 crossing of Parker’s River.

Parkers River, Yarmouth: Tidal Wetland and Fish Run Restoration

A degraded and undersized bridge over Route 28 is restricting full tidal exchange to 216 acres of estuary and salt marsh in the Parkers River. The 18-foot long bridge will be replaced with a longer span (30-ft) bridge that will allow optimal tidal exchange. Completion of this project will: 1) enhance the resiliency of the coastal wetlands to buffer storm surges by allowing floodwaters to recede more quickly; 2) improve salt marsh health; 3) reduce water velocity and improve access for migratory fish species; 4) improve diadromous fish nursery habitat; 5) improve water quality and enhance shellfish resources; and 6) improve habitat for wetland-dependent migratory bird species. The bridge replacement will also provide a safer structure along a primary transportation corridor. APCC completed pre-restoration salt marsh monitoring in 2010 and 2011 and will be providing additional herring run and salt marsh monitoring before and after construction. APCC is working closely with the project team providing input and review of design plans and permit applications as well as support for funding and permit applications.

Photo: UNH researchers working in the Sesuit Creek marsh.

Sesuit Creek, Dennis: Tidal Restriction Post-Restoration Monitoring and Assessment

In 2008 tidal flow was restored to 57 acres of coastal salt marsh by replacement of the two-foot culvert with twin 10-ft. by 12-ft. box culverts. Natural tidal flow was restored to the upstream marsh causing die-off of salt-intolerant upland plant species including the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites). While the overall response has been positive, the recovery has been slower than expected and large marsh areas devoid of vegetation remain. Monitoring is underway to determine possible causes of the slow recovery and to provide recommendations to improve the recovery and health of the marsh. APCC is managing the project in coordination the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and working closely with salt marsh ecologists (Drs. David Burdick and Gregg Moore) from the University of New Hampshire, who are conducting the field monitoring and assessment.