Feb. 25th: Eco-Restoration in Harwich Port


Dilapidated flumes need to be removed to enhance water quality and flow of Cold Brook. Photo courtesy of Bill Giokas.

Saturday, February 25th, 2:00 p.m.
(suggested donation: $5.00 pp)
Transforming Retired Bogs

Presentation by Eric Ford, Restoration Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration

Location: Harwich Community Center (#100 Oak St.)

Alongside its partners, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, HCT is planning an ecological restoration future for its largest land holding, the 66-acre Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve in Harwich Port.  For over 100 years, the property was used for cranberry cultivation.  When the HCT acquired the parcel in 2001, cranberry production had essentially ceased, and HCT was left with a decision as to how to manage the property moving forward.  Agricultural modifications, including periodic sand application, water control berms, flumes, ditches, and other activities had resulted in habitat alteration, water quality degradation, barriers to fish passage, and other ecosystem changes.  After much thought, HCT elected to restore the property to its original ecological trajectory as a wetland and coastal stream complex.

The Cold Brook/Bank Street Bogs Restoration Project will focus on restoring  ecological processes (examples: the natural movement of water, sediment, nutrients, organic matter, etc.) to transform the former bogs into a diverse, dynamic, and self-sustaining wetland and riverine system.  The project will remove the decaying water control structures, restore natural hydrology, diversify habitats, and remove barriers to fish migration.  The project will also promote conservation within and adjacent to areas designated by the state as being critical to the preservation of natural communities and biological diversity, provide enhanced ecological services (examples: floodwater storage, nutrient attenuation, water purification, carbon sequestration), foster a more adaptable landscape amidst climate change and sea level rise, and create a vibrant destination for visitors.