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Grant will boost salt marsh restoration

The Trustees of Reservations has received additional funding support for an innovative salt marsh restoration it is undertaking north of Boston.

The statewide conservation group was awarded $217,931 through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, which support projects to strengthen natural ecosystems in order to reduce the vulnerability of communities to damage from coastal storms and sea level rise, while benefiting fish and wildlife.

The Trustees’ pilot project involves restoring 300 acres of salt marsh habitat in the face of rising sea levels at Old Town Hill Reservation, in Newbury; Stavros Reservation, in Essex; and Crane Beach and Crane Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich and Essex, all Trustees properties, plus 30 acres of state land in Newbury.


The restoration is already underway at the Trustees’ Newbury site. Added to nearly $200,000 in previously awarded state and federal funding for the project, the new grant will allow restoring all 330 acres.

By restoring natural marsh hydrology through a natural technique — using loosely braided, layered salt marsh hay — the Trustees hope to rebuild the salt marsh over time and stabilize, or even increase, the number of species inhabiting the area.

“We are so grateful for the incredible support from our many partners and are encouraged by the significant investments in resilient nature-based and innovative solutions that will protect the places we love from the impacts of our changing climate,” Barbara Erickson, the Trustees President & CEO, said in a statement.

John Laidler can be reached at