In the heart of Harwich Port, Cold Brook runs through HCT’s 66-acre Bank St. Bogs Nature Preserve before reaching Saquatucket Harbor on Nantucket Sound. A series of old flumes affect the stream’s natural flow and the movement of aquatic animals. Ecological restoration of the stream and surrounding habitat has been a top stewardship priority for HCT.

Recently, HCT received good news from the Commonwealth’s Division of Ecological Restoration when the state agency designated Cold Brook as a top ecological restoration priority. Over the past few years, a grant to HCT from the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program managed in Barnstable County by Don Liptack and another grant from the Commonwealth’s Coastal Zone Management agency provided funding to conduct preliminary planning for stream restoration as well as selectively improve wildlife habitat.

The state’s priority designation for the Cold Brook Project underscores the importance of the growing public-private partnership to preserve the area’s biodiversity. The Division of Ecological Restoration will provide technical expertise to help plan, design, obtain permits for and implement ecological restoration that can enhance water flow and wildlife habitat as well as walking access around the Preserve. Stay tuned as we explore a range of restoration possibilities over the next year.