Thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (the Trust), the dam removal process on the Third Herring Brook is moving forward. This funding will help enable NSRWA to remove the Peterson’s Pond dam on the Third Herring Brook in Norwell.

According to Trust Program Director, Kim Tilas, the Trust provided over $471,512.00 in grants to 18 organizations last year, thanks to motorists who choose to purchase one of the Trust’s specialty license plates. “Trust plates, including our signature Whale Plate, are the only specialty plates that exclusively fund environmental initiatives,” said Tilas. “When you purchase a specialty plate for $100.00 from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the $40 specialty plate fee goes directly to the Trust to fund water-focused environmental programs.”

NSRWA Executive Director Samantha Woods said, “The grant funding from the sale of the license plates is helping to restore herring to the Third Herring Brook by enabling the removal of the dam owned by the Hanover Mall. This is the third and last dam to be removed on this brook and will enable river herring, a species whose populations have been in serious decline and are part of the base of the ocean food chain, to spawn in their historic spawning areas. Ultimately, the NSRWA and its partners are working to restore access for the river herring all the way into Jacobs Pond in Norwell.

Third Herring Brook marks the boundary line between Norwell and Hanover, and flows through the Hanover Mall property. As the Mall begins a massive reconstruction project, we are progressing steadily with the removal of the Peterson Pond Dam, also on site. Recently we signed a contract with an engineering firm, to complete the construction bid documents , final permitting and design. If our grant applications for funding construction are successful, we anticipate that dam removal will take place this winter. Funds from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration, NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center and from the Mall itself will help to ensure that our project remains on track and doesn’t interfere with construction.

Every driver in the state can help protect our water resources and environment by purchasing a Massachusetts Environmental Trust license plate. Supporting the environmental programs funded by the Trust in your community is easy: choose one of three environmental plates, the Right Whale & Roseate Terns, The Leaping Brook Trout, or the Blackstone Valley Mill when you purchase or lease a new car or renew your registration with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The standard registration fee for a Massachusetts plate is $60.00. The special plate fee is an additional $40.00 (tax-deductible every two years) for a total cost of $100. Every time you renew your registration, the $40.00 goes to the Trust.

Visit your local Registry of Motor Vehicles to order a plate online at or You can also visit to learn more about the Trust, the programs it supports, and the specialty license plate offerings.

Related Content:

Third Herring Brook Restoration

Dam Removal Brings New Protection for the Third Herring Brook

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See the Herring Runs on the South Shore