On Monday, September 24th, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded $2.2 million in federal grants for projects throughout Southeastern Massachusetts at a ceremony held at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA). Among the projects selected is a multi-community collaboration to reduce harmful nitrogen in Upper Buzzards Bay.
The Upper Buzzards Bay project brings together multiple partners across a large geographic area to capitalize on a unique opportunity that will jointly solve water quality issues associated with inadequate treatment of wastewater. The project aims to expand existing municipal sewer infrastructure in the region and relocate the Town of Wareham’s wastewater discharge pipe from an impaired estuary to the Cape Cod Canal. A possible connection to the MMA will allow the Academy to expand, while also reducing the nitrogen content in its wastewater. Nitrogen pollution leads to the deterioration of coastal ecosystem habitats and is a major issue in the Bay, where its surrounding estuaries continuously fail to meet water quality standards. The result of these efforts would be a significant increase in the region’s treatment capacity and unprecedented nitrogen reductions in Upper Buzzards Bay, enhancing quality of life in the surrounding communities and stimulating the local economy.
BETA has been working closely with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the Towns of Wareham, Bourne and Plymouth, and the MMA to push this project forward. The grant money will help the team with necessary research and permitting to identify the most economic relocation route for the Wastewater Treatment Facility’s treated effluent force main leading to a new outfall location at the Cape Cod Canal.
Congressmen William Keating, who spoke at the event, emphasized that the selected projects were not just short-term fixes, but lasting and holistic solutions that will clean up our environment and repair the Bay’s estuaries.
To read more about the project and other grant recipients, click here.