New Project will benefit stream connectivity on the Nissitissit River
On Friday, Jan 11, Squan-a-Tissit board members, M. Rosser, R. Schott, and D. Armstrong met with Mass-DER (Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration) Dam Removal Specialist Nick Wildman and Pepperell ConsCom agent Paula Terrasi for a site visit at the Keyes-Parker Conservation Area in Pepperell, MA. The Squan-a-Tissit Chapter and the Town of Pepperell recently (12/18) received a Priority Project Status from Mass-DER to help with the removal of a dam and the replacement of a culvert on the Keyes-Parker Property in Pepperell. Upon receiving a Priority Projects designation the chapter is now eligible for DER technical services, including data collection, engineering, design work, permitting, project management and grants. The goal of removing the dam is to improve stream connectivity to improve habitat for brook trout and the endangered Brook Floater mussel, which relies on brook trout for part of their reproductive cycle. The Brook floater only occurs in a few streams in Massachusetts. You may have seen signs discussing the Brook Floater on signs posted along the Nissitissit. After the site visit at The Keys conservation area, the group decided to visit other areas of interest that the chapter has been monitoring as possible restoration projects such as the Sucker Brook culvert on Brookline Street where a drop off the culvert creates an aquatic wildlife barrier. While the group was in that area they also visit a previous restoration project by Squannatissit TU at the mouth of Sucker Brook. The group then ended their fieldtrip at a site on Gulf Brook to discuss the potential or a future project to remove a breached dam downstream of Lawrence Street. The Chapter is excited to have these new projects starting up to help To protect, re-connect, and restore our local waters !