Wednesday, 1 July 2009

NOAA grant to bring $1.3m to Brewster herring run

[A major tourist attraction in Spring, when the alewife, a species of herring can be seen leaping up ‘ladders’ to their freshwater spawning grounds, Brewster’s herring run also plays a vital role for the fishing industry on Cape Cod].

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will award $1.3 million in federal funding to the town of Brewster for the Stony Brook Saltmarsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project.

Above: Stony Brook mill, popular with tourists visiting Cape Cod

The grant funds were appropriated by the Congress under the Economic Recovery Law and awarded based on a national competition. Rep. William Delahunt made the announcement of the grant funding on Tuesday.

“This coastal habitat is one of the most important natural resources on Cape Cod and is a critical spawning area for herring,” said Delahunt. “Our herring stocks have been depleted and these restoration projects are important for the future of this fishery. I applaud the town of Brewster and the local officials who have worked so hard on this initiative.”
Right: Stony Brook in Brewster with its hordes of herring

Left: This remarkable photo of a snake trying to swallow a herring that it has caught at Stony Brook was taken by a visitor from Budleigh. The snake eventually gave up.
The Stony Brook Salt Marsh Restoration project has been spearheaded by the town to restore a large area of coastal wetland off Route 6A that has been adversely impacted by narrow culvert beneath the highway. The project involves replacing the exiting culvert with a much larger structure to improve the flow of water into the wetlands.

In addition, a boardwalk will be constructed near the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. It will provide a significant improvement to the health of the wetlands on the southern side of the highway. Over time, the restoration will help increase fish populations and open migratory paths for alewife.

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