South Street Culvert Funded by Baker Admin Grant


The Baker-Polito Administration  announced recently that the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is awarding $4,635,000 in grants through three programs that will strengthen community preparedness for large storms, improve climate-ready infrastructure, protect fisheries, wildlife, and river habitats, and restore floodplain habitat and flood storage capabilities. 

Some $1.8 million has been awarded to 13 municipalities through DER’s Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance (CRMA) Grant Program, $600 thousand to support three Restoration Partnerships through DER’s Regional Restoration Partnerships Program, and $2.2 million to 15 Priority Ecological Restoration Projects. Additionally, in December 2021, Governor Baker signed a $4 billion federal COVID-19 relief funding spending bill from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Funding for this year’s DER projects have been awarded through the division’s capital budget and funds provided by the ARPA spending plan.

  • Project: Miscoe Brook Culvert Replacement, Franklin

The Town of Franklin, was award $44,500 (DER Capital) for the Miscoe Brook Culvert Replacement. The Town of Franklin will conduct field data collection work on a culvert replacement project along the Miscoe Brook at South Street. Replacing this undersized culvert will increase wildlife passage and stream connectivity and reduce flooding hazards on Miscoe Brook.

“Since coming into office, our Administration has taken a proactive approach to address climate change, and these ecological restoration grants will further our efforts to address aging infrastructure while enhancing outdoor recreation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through these programs, we are investing in our communities’ future by strengthening the Commonwealth’s climate resilience, creating jobs, and improving access to nature for residents to benefit from.”

“The Commonwealth’s lands and waters are a crucial part of the state’s infrastructure in contributing to the safety of our residents and the health of our ecosystems,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The strong relationships between our Administration and municipalities have enabled the transformative restoration of many habitats and wildlife that are directly beneficial to our communities and those who live within them.”

The CRMA Grant Program supports culvert replacement projects that improve river health and municipal roads in communities across the Commonwealth. Through a competitive process, the program assists municipalities in replacing undersized and deteriorating culverts with crossings that meet improved design standards for fish and wildlife passage, river health, and storm resiliency. The grants also help municipalities deal with the ever-growing cost of aging road infrastructure. Furthermore, DER’s Regional Restoration Partnerships Program was established in 2021. This program builds the capacity of local and regional organizations to advance restoration work collaboratively. The Partnerships Program helps non-profit organizations and Regional Planning Agencies to lead and support ecological restoration within their regions. Pairing partner strengths with the state's investments empower networks of partners to restore rivers and wetlands and helps people and nature adapt to climate change.

Recognizing the importance of these investments, the Baker-Polito Administration has proposed utilizing ARPA funding in the FORWARD Act to address the Commonwealth’s ecological and community resiliency. The bill, which is currently before the legislature, includes $1.4 million for culvert projects.

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to foster strong partnerships with municipalities to make significant investments that allow communities to restore their roads, streams, and fisheries,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “As communities throughout the Commonwealth feel the increasing impacts of climate change, these ecological restoration projects will create an appealing and functional community refuge for residents and wildlife across the Commonwealth.”

“Ecological restoration improves habitat, water quality, and public safety, all critical to creating more opportunities for Massachusetts residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation all across the Commonwealth,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “Importantly, these DER programs will advance significant projects that will greatly benefit local communities, ecosystems, and wildlife.”

Additionally, the Priority Projects Program is one of the vehicles by which DER pursues restoration projects that present the most significant benefits. The Priority Projects include dam removal, culvert replacement, river, wetland, salt marsh, and cranberry bog restoration projects, which will restore healthy habitat and provide benefits to Massachusetts communities, such as addressing the expected impacts of climate change. Once completed, these projects will provide significant social, environmental, and economic benefits to the Commonwealth and local communities. To review a full list of active ecological restoration Priority Projects throughout the state, please visit DER’s Priority Projects Map webpage.

“The Division of Ecological Restoration is excited to support such a wide array of ecological restoration projects to restore wetlands and waterways throughout the Commonwealth,” said DER Director Beth Lambert. “The Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to working with its partners to move this important work forward.”

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