A project to remove a dam that blocks fish passage on the Taunton River has received $40,000 in funds from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, The Nature Conservancy announced Tuesday.
The funds will be used to design a plan for removing the West Britannia Dam from the Mill River in Taunton next summer. The dam removal is part of the larger Mill River Restoration, an effort to remove three dams and install a fishway at a fourth, to restore access to one of the state’s key coastal watersheds for river herring and improve public safety by reconnecting the river system with its historic floodplains.
“This is the final link in our Mill River Restoration project. Once this dam is removed, fish will be able to swim from the ocean through the main stem of the Taunton River, into the Mill River past the former Hopewell Mills and Whittenton dam sites, and up the fishway at the Morey’s Bridge Dam to reach important spawning habitat,” said Cathy Bozek, a freshwater ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Environmental Trust is one of the state's largest sources of funding for water quality initiatives, funding projects for nonprofit organizations, municipalities, scientists and educational institutions. Since 1988, the Trust has dispensed over $17 million through nearly 650 grants to organizations to protect and enhance the state's water resources.
Funds for the Trust’s grants are raised through the sale of Massachusetts environmentally themed license plates. Currently three plates are offered and individually represent the coastal, central and western regions of the state, depicting whales & roseate terns, a leaping brook trout, and the Blackstone Valley Mill, respectively. The special environmental license plates are the only specialty plates sold in Massachusetts that exclusively fund environmental programs.
More information about the license plates can be found at: mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/grants-and-loans/mass-enviro-trust/enviro-license-plates.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts