Building a Stronger Coast
Second dam on Coonamessett River to come down

fish swimming underwater

October 30, 2019 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gathered with partners on Monday to kick off the next phase of restoring the Coonamessett River in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The project is supported by Hurricane Sandy Resilience Program funds.

Phase 1 of the project, completed in spring 2018, included removal of the first dam from the ocean, installation of a boardwalk, reconstruction of the river channel, and restoration of 11 acres of wetlands bordering the river.

Phase 2 will include construction of a second boardwalk, removal of the next dam upstream, replacement of deteriorating culverts under a busy roadway, and restoration of cranberry bogs to riverside wetlands. It should be complete by Spring 2020.

The second phase will restore more than a mile of river, nearly 40 acres of wetlands, and three acres of upland. Migratory fish, including river herring, will have increased access to spawning and rearing habitat, and the local community will be safer due to reduced risk from flooding and dam failure.

Watch a video about Phase I of the project



Migratory fish like river herring will benefit from restoration of the Coonamessett River in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program/Will Parson


7 ways Hurricane Sandy started a tidal wave of resilience

people standing on shore surrounded by water making oyster castles

October 29, 2019 - It's been seven years since Hurricane Sandy ransacked the East Coast. And, while bigger storms — with even more devastating impacts — have certainly come along, Sandy was unique because it helped start a movement toward resilience and nature-based solutions.

Read the story



Partners make oyster castles to build a living shoreline at Gandy's Beach in New Jersey.
Credit: Mary Conti/TNC


Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge marsh restoration effort recognized as a national model for climate adaptation leadership

a channel of water and a machine blowing soil in the air

September 23, 2019 - The Tidal Marsh and Barrier Beach Restoration Project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is the recipient of a 2019 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources in the “Federal Government” category.

The award was established in 2016 to recognize outstanding and innovative projects “that are advancing the resilience of our nation’s valuable fish, wildlife, and plant resources in a changing climate.” The Prime Hook project is acknowledged for its “exemplary leadership in reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation.”

The award was presented Sept. 23 at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minn.

News release



Twenty-five miles of channels were dredged as part of the Prime Hook marsh restoration project supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery.
Credit: David Eisenhauer/USFWS


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Last updated: March 6, 2019