|Bard College Receives State Funds for Long Pond Brook Restoration|
|Staff Reports , |
11:00AM / Monday, November 21, 2022
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The state awarded Bard College at Simon's Rock $150,000 through the Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) that will support data collection, preliminary design, and permitting of the Long Pond Brook Restoration Project
The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the DFG DER has awarded through its Priority Projects Program approximately $11.8 million in grant funding to 24 projects that will strengthen community preparedness for large storms, improve climate-ready infrastructure, and protect fish, wildlife, and river and wetland habitats.
"Ecological restoration is essential for building a climate-ready Commonwealth that will restore and enhance Massachusetts' natural resources to address climate vulnerabilities while providing important access to recreational opportunities for residents," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Our Administration continues to invest in this work and support Massachusetts communities and ecosystems that will bring environmental benefits for generations to come."
The award in Great Barrington will fund preliminary work for the Long Pond Brook Restoration project, which aims to restore aquatic connectivity to Long Pond Brook by removing three dams on the Bard College at Simon's Rock campus.?
This project will eliminate the risk to public safety posed by aging dams, reconnect river habitats that benefit fish and wildlife, and restore natural riverine flows.?
In December 2021, Governor Baker signed a $4 billion federal COVID-19 relief spending bill utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). $11.4 million of today's grants are being awarded utilizing ARPA funds, with the remainder of the funding coming from DER's Operational Budget.
"Through these projects, communities will be able to increase climate resilience, improve public safety, enhance habitat, and provide additional benefits to our residents, wildlife, and natural resources," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "We are grateful for the strong partnership between our Administration, municipalities, and other organizations to move these valuable restoration efforts forward."
The Priority Projects Program is one of the vehicles by which DER pursues restoration projects that provide significant social, environmental, and economic benefits to the state and local communities and support projects throughout the Commonwealth that advance DER's mission. Priority Projects underway include the restoration of tidal flow to degraded coastal habitats, removal of aging and unsafe dams, and restoration of freshwater wetlands in former cranberry farmlands.
"It is imperative that we continue to improve degraded habitats to benefit wildlife and enable communities across the Commonwealth to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "Providing funds for these projects is an example of the Administration's ongoing efforts to support the restoration of our rivers and waterways in order to promote healthy ecosystems and climate preparedness."