319 Grant Shoreline Restoration Fact Finding Underway
Lida Jenney, Jon Lyon and I went on a tour of some Western Massachusetts sites this tuesday in preparation for our restoration at Martins Pond.
We visited a failed restoration of a very steep bank in Montague where plastic blanket was used. It was ugly. Some lessons learned there about using enough loam for seed to grow, proper anchoring, and site design.
We then visited and toured New England Wetland Plants in Amherst, a farm where they grow restoration materials for wetlands, banks, and upland areas, shrubs and some trees, all of which are native to the area. There are only 3 such farms that I have been able to locate on the East Coast and this one supplies much of the supplies for wetlands replication efforts in our area. An amazing place with very knowledgeable owner. We were able to see and feel the different types of blankets and coir rolls and see plants from which to choose.
Then we went on with local environmental scientist Alec Macleod, who used NEWP products at a successful restoration of Pequot Ponds in Westfield, done with DCR and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. They restored an eroded several hundred yards of shoreline to a beautiful natural site. We were able to see the coir rolls in place, 3 years old and the vegetation having grown through and around them and the now undetectable blanket.
Some lessons learned there were the proper anchoring of the rolls, and that you cannot preclude recreational use. In other words, the few areas where the restoration failed were where fisherman had favorite spots and continued to fish so planting that small portion of shoreline did not work. We will have to allow access to the water, even putting in slabs or allowing decks that vegetation can grow under and around, and that will keep foot traffic controlled. Another lesson was that maintenance is key. Some of the few areas where the coir roll came loose, it probably could have been fixed easily if caught early.
On August 14th Jon and I have a tour of Walden Pond at 10AM with Park Supervisor Denise Morrissey, then Fresh Pond with Cambridge Water Dept’s watershed manager Hannah Wilbur at 2PM. Both these sites had eroded shorelines that they restored using similar methods to Pequot, similar to what we will be using.
So we racked up 280 miles on the van, and 28.5 hours of volunteer time on the grant. The idea here is for us to do it right the first time, learn from other projects’ successes and challenges.
We will start design planning on the two outfalls with the Town Engineer and consultants in August, another key component of sedimentation reduction. We will be looking to use easily maintained sediment reduction structures along with nutrient grabbing vegetation swales to remove as much stormwater pollution as possible from these outfalls before they flow into Martins Pond. Some of us on this task will visit structural and non structrual BMP’s in use in Wilmington and other areas.
Thanks for listening!