BOSTON (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito Administration announced Wednesday more than $800,000 in grants by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protect to support four projects targeting stormwater runoff and erosion across the state.

According to the news release sent to 22News by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protect, the grants will fund projects based in the Town of Braintree, the City of Framingham, and Berkshire County, as well as a statewide project focusing on watershed restoration on farms.

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to place a high priority on investments in the management of water resources in order to prevent water pollution and preserve the Commonwealth’s rivers, lakes, and ponds,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “By working with our federal partners, these grants will help local officials enhance vital community watershed resources and protect them for future generations.”

The grant program focuses on the implementation of measures to control nonpoint source (NPS) pollution to both surface and groundwater. Unlike pollution from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is unregulated and comes from a variety of sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and ground waters. 

Two of the recommended projects will implement best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate the effects of polluted stormwater runoff and two projects will support public outreach and education and involve healthy watershed projects.

Each of the projects was reviewed and approved by MassDEP’s regional and program staff, and staff from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the EPA. Funding for the projects will be available in mid-2022. The four grants awarded are:

  • Town of Braintree: Watson Park BMP Implementation Project – $375,000

The project will result in the construction of BMPs in Watson Park to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff discharging into the Monatiquot River and the Weymouth Fore River.

  • City of Framingham: Lake Waushakum BMP Project – $249,980

The project will result in the design and construction of BMPs to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff discharging into Lake Waushakum, improving water quality in the 82-acre kettle pond located in Framingham, and Ashland.

  • Geosyntec Consultants: Massachusetts Watershed-Based Plans-Enhancement and Implementation Project – $139,400

The project will update and enhance the Watershed-Based Plan (WBP) web tool now being used by MassDEP’s regional partners and will help complete at least seven WBPs across the Commonwealth.

  • Housatonic Valley Association: Increasing the Pace of On-Farm Watershed Restoration in Berkshire County – $96,024

The project will create a new Agricultural Nonpoint Source coordinator position to lead the planning and implementation of BMPs to reduce agricultural-related NPS pollution. It will also establish a new partnership between the Housatonic Valley Association, Hoosic River Watershed Association, Berkshire Conservation District, and Berkshire Agricultural Ventures to reduce agricultural NPS pollution in the Housatonic and Hoosic watersheds and to remove existing water quality impairments.