We are thrilled to announce that NSRWA received $1 million from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and NOAA for removal of Veterans Memorial Park Dam in Marshfield. This is 1 of 109 projects across the US that received funding through NFWF’s National Coastal Resilience Fund and 1 of just 3 projects in Massachusetts.

This is the first major grant award that will help fund the South River Restoration Project, which includes the removal of 3 dams along the South River: Veterans Memorial Park, Chandler Pond, and Temple Street Dams. Veterans Memorial Park Dam is the first dam up from the ocean and its removal will restore 1 mile of instream passage to connect 4.2 miles of the South River, benefiting multiple fish species, specifically American shad, river herring and eels. 

This is an exciting project because annual river herring counts at Veterans Memorial Park have shown that the fish ladder is inefficient at passing sea-run fish present in the river. Just this spring, citizen scientists recorded approximately 700 river herring below the fish ladder but only 4 in the pool above it. Removal of the dam and fish ladder and creation of a nature-like fishway will allow more fish to move upstream to find suitable habitat.

This grant award is an essential first step toward bringing this project to life. While there are additional funds to be raised, we look forward to moving ahead with planning and hope to start construction in 2024.

The South River Restoration Project Project was accepted as a Priority Project by Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration in 2016. The South River itself is approximately 15 miles long and flows through Duxbury and Marshfield. It is a tidal estuary to the first impediment 8.8 miles upriver from Massachusetts Bay. The South River is classified as an Outstanding Resource Water (ORW) and, along its tidally influenced section downstream, it is listed as a National Natural Landmark under the Department of Interior. 

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NFWF and NOAA Announce $144 Million in Grants to Support Coastal Resilience Projects

South River Restoration