Watershed Program: A Little Known but Powerful Solution for Integrated Estuarine Restoration

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1 Watershed Program: A Little Known but Powerful Solution for Integrated Estuarine Restoration

2 Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project (CCWRRP) Initial farmer, landowner, and municipal official discussions started in NRCS/Conservation District outreach to local partners initiated during a meeting at Barnstable Courthouse October 11, 2001

3 Partners Cape Cod Conservation District Barnstable County Commissioners Coastal Resources Committee Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management National Park Service Towns on Cape Cod

4

5 United States Department of Agriculture Public Law Small Watershed Protection & Flood Prevention Act Insert cape cod map

6 Project Objectives Restore anadromous fish runs on obstructed streams Restore tidal flows to restricted salt marshes Improve water quality for shellfish areas

7 Existing Resource Concerns Overfishing, pollution, water diversion, and habitat degradation have reduced populations of anadromous fish species. Many of the existing fishways on Cape Cod have deteriorated or failed, eliminating or reducing the ability of the fish to move upstream to spawning or nursery habitats. There are 175 stream blockages and restrictions creating impasses for anadromous species

8 Problems & Opportunities Fish Passages

9 Existing Resource Concerns Contamination of shellfish waters by diseasecausing organisms poses serious public health risks because shellfish will filter out and accumulate these microscopic organisms. Shellfish managers also temporarily close certain shellfish beds during the winter months to allow them to rebound from active harvesting of the bed. This management strategy maintains the resource for the long-term growth and viability of the shellfish population.

10 Problems & Opportunities Shellfish Areas

11 Stormwater Management to Protect Shellfish Areas

12 Existing Resource Concerns Current estimates suggest that 36% of the 28,000 acres of salt marsh historically present on Cape Cod has been lost or severely degraded over the past several hundred years. Tidal restrictions caused changes in the vegetative structure, such as a change to a freshwater or brackish wetland type. Many of Cape Cod s restricted marshes have experienced a rapid expansion of phragmites, an invasive species.

13 Problems & Opportunities Tidal Marsh Channels

14 Problems & Opportunities Tidal Marsh Channels

15 NRCS Leadership Touring Cape Cod Shellfish Farms

16 Aquaculture EQIP Pilot Program Tour, Barnstable Harbor

17 EQIP Shellfish Aquaculture Growing Area, Barnstable Harbor 28 Contracts on 98 Acres

18 History and Process Work on Plan started in 2003 Final Plan and EIS published in 2006 Project agreement signed by towns in 2006 Fall CRC members update towns projects State agency partners (DMF, DER) identify priorities December Congress approves Plan Funding for first round is from ARRA [$6.5 million total, divided into two categories: construction ($4.5 million) and technical/design ($2 million)]

19 History and Process April - June 2010: CRC Executive Committee meets with NRCS to review proposed construction projects; CRC staff helps collect data for rankings; list is revised June 28, 2010: Full CRC votes to recommend to NRCS that the proposed list of construction projects be funded August September 2010: Town agreements signed (24 agreements with 11 towns) September 27, 2010: Additional $1.5 million obligated (7 agreements) April 15, 2011: First project completion; Sunken Meadow in Eastham a 16 acre saltmarsh opened to the sea by removing a 600 foot earthen dike. Project cost $57,000.

20 First Completed CCWRRP Project 16 Acre Saltmarsh Restoration, Sunken Meadow Eastham, MA

21 Planning Process Identify problems & opportunities Determine objectives Inventory the resources Analyze resource data Formulate & evaluate alternatives Write the draft plan/eis Make decisions Write the final plan/eis

22 Implementation PL Can only begin after plan is approved and project is funded. All projects are voluntary. Town or state agency request assistance and sponsor individual projects.

23 Implementation PL Planning and design costs: 100% Federal Permits and land rights: 100% Local Sponsor Construction costs: 75% Federal 25% Local Sponsor

24 Implementation NEPA Individual projects will tier off of the programmatic EIS. Individual projects will have site-specific Environmental Evaluation Section 106 Consultation Section 7 Consultation

25

26 Inventory the Resources 93 fish passage restrictions MA DMF Survey of Anadromous Fish Passage in Coastal Massachusetts 182 tidal marsh restrictions Cape Cod Commission Atlas of Tidally Restricted Salt Marshes & Atlas of Tidally Restricted Salt Marshes in Buzzards Bay Watershed 160 stormwater discharges MA DMF Survey of Shellfish Areas

27 Analyze Resource Data

28 Formulate Alternatives Stormwater Remediation Ranking Criteria Are other agencies or watershed groups addressing this site or conducting restoration? Is there a feasible solution? Distance from discharge site to target shellfish beds Less than 50 ft 5 50ft 500 ft 3 Greater than 500 ft 1

29 Evaluate Alternatives Other land uses impacting shellfish beds None 5 Other stormwater discharges 3 Many uncontrollable sources 1 Land rights Public land 5 1 private landowner 3 More than 1 private landowner 1 Monitoring data to support closures available? Yes 5 No 1

30 Formulate Recommended Plan 24 Fish passage projects 4,200 acres of spawning habitat $ 5 million 26 Tidal marsh projects 1,500 acres of marsh $ 15 million 26 Stormwater projects 7,300 acres of shellfishing areas $ 8 million

31 Economic Benefit for Region Provides employment for approximately 230 people for ten years $18 million toward construction contracting $10 million toward engineering, design & analysis.

32 Economic Benefit for Region Barnstable County Commercial Shellfish Landings and Economic Values 2004 SPECIES Pounds Value ($) 2/ Bay Scallop 116, ,974 Oyster 173, ,691 Quahog (Cherrystone) Quahog (Chowder) Quahog (Littleneck) 269, , ,902 37, ,895 1,283,333 Quahog (Mixed) 1,858,533 no data Razor Clam 363, ,835 Barnstable County Recreational Shellfish Landings and Economic Values 2004 Species Pounds Value ($) Bay Scallop 11,240 2,023 1/ Oyster 73, ,690 2 / Quahog (Cherrystone) 22,120 3/ Quahog (Chowder) 29,121 3/ Quahog (Littleneck) 81,315 3/ Quahog (Mixed) 317,952 no data Razor Clam 1, / Soft Shell Clam 72,118 2,207 5/ Other Shellfish 6/ 14, Total 623, ,983 Soft Shell Clam 2,275,472 3,640,755 Other Shellfish 1/ 1,622,807 1,914,912 3/ Total 7,890,252 8,470,065

33 Watershed Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Coalition Support Members: Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen s Association Cape Cod Salties Ducks Unlimited Massachusetts Audubon Society Trout Unlimited

34 Authorization of Plan Project plan authorized by Congress by Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.

35 Funding Allocation February 17, 2010 USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced 5 million dollars in American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) funding for Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project. Massachusetts was one of 5 states receiving authorization from a 9.4 million dollar allotment. Additional $1.5 Million authorized Sept 2010

36 Number of Projects by Objective Fish Passage Salt Marsh Shellfish

37 Number of Projects by Town

38 Construction Progress to Date Town STORMWATER REMEDIATION PROJECTS Impervious Area Treated (ac.) Number of Projects Shellfish Growing Area Benefits(ac.) Completion Date Barnstable ,677 Fall 2012 Brewster Fall 2011 Harwich Fall 2011 Mashpee Summer 2012 Orleans Fall 2011 Wellfleet Spring 2012 Eastham Summer 2012/In Progress Provincetown Winter/Spring 2012 Total ,878

39 Construction Progress to Date FISH PASSAGE RESTORATION PROJECTS Number of Town Projects Resotoration Type Completion Date Barnstable 1 Flume Bypass Winter 2012 Bourne 1 Denil Ladder Late 2013 Bourne 1 Pool and Weir Winter 2012 Falmouth 1 Pool and Weir Winer 2012 Mashpee 1 Dam Rehab and Denil Ladder Summer 2013 Mashpee 1 Denil Ladder 2014 Orleans 1 Pool and Weir Spring 2012 Total 7 SALT MARSH RESTORATION PROJECTS Number of Town Projects Marsh Surface Restored (ac.) Completion Date Eastham 1 12 Spring 2011 Brewster 1 15 Sping 2013 Cotuit 1 9 In Progress Harwich 1 14 Spring 2012 Total 4 50

40 Questions Sam Whitin EA Engineering, Science, & Technology Donald Liptack District Conservationist Cape Cod

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