Windswept Bog, Nantucket Island MA: Watershed-scale Wetland Restoration and Research

Windswept Cranberry Bog Restoration Project Awarded $1 Million USFWS Grant

The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game's Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), in partnership with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, has been awarded $1 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration Project, which will restore and enhance a 231-acre property containing 39 acres of former cranberry bog and 111 acres of natural wetlands.

As part of the USFWS’s efforts to conserve and restore coastal wetlands, the Service awarded $10.8 million to support 12 projects in seven coastal states to protect, restore, or enhance over 2,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

“Thank you to the USFWS for this transformative investment in watershed-scale ecological restoration in Nantucket—this project will provide immense benefits for people and nature as this former cranberry bog is brought back to life,” said Department of Fish & Game Commissioner Tom O’Shea. “Support from our federal partners is critical for accelerating state and local efforts to build climate resilience and restore biodiversity, and we are glad to be part of a nationwide effort right here in Massachusetts.”

“The Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration Project benefits both people and nature. The project offers public access for the community and the healthy, self-sustaining wetlands will be home to native plants and wildlife,” said Division of Ecological Restoration Director Beth Lambert. “We applaud the Nantucket Conservation Foundation for their leadership of this regionally significant restoration project and are thankful to the USFWS for this grant award, which helps us get shovels on the ground for construction. We appreciate their investment in restoration and climate resilience.”

The Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration Project will preserve and enhance habitat for inland freshwater species and in the long term, potentially support salt marsh migration as sea levels rise. The activities funded by this award will focus on restoring natural hydrology, eliminating barriers to fish and wildlife movement, enhancing habitat, and providing opportunities for scientific research, public education, and outdoor recreation.

“We are so grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of this generous funding opportunity in support of our Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration Project,” stated Karen Beattie, Vice President of Science and Stewardship at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF). “This critically important restoration has been a true partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) since planning began over four years ago. This grant will enable significant forward progress on this project, which will both fulfill NCF’s habitat restoration goals and serve as a model for similar DER projects across southeastern New England.”

For more information on this project:/

By Karen Beattie
February 29, 2024