It’s a tall order—especially in lean economic times—but the $6 million price tag to protect 400-plus acres occupied by DeNormandie Farm and bordering the western shore of Buzzards Bay is worth fighting for, at least according to the Buzzards Bay Coalition, Land Trust groups in Mattapoisett and Fairhaven, and others who want to preserve and improve the health of Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. It’s a chance they may not get again.

The DeNormandie Farm property is shown here in red. Image courtesy Buzzards Bay Coalition

What does all of this have to do with boating? Quite a lot, actually, especially if you care about the environmental health of Buzzards Bay and its shellfish beds, aquatic vegetation and coastal fisheries. Then there’s the issue of public access, which is also on the table.

In short, the Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) has worked out a deal with the owner of DeNormandie Farm to purchase part of the property and place the remaining land under a conservation restriction at a cost of $6 million. The BBC, with the help of federal and state agencies, have gathered roughly two-thirds of the money needed to complete the project, but they are also hoping that the residents of Mattapoisett and Fairhaven will ask their town officials to make up the difference. Town meetings in May will be key to accomplishing this goal.

SAT map of kayak and small-boat launch area.

If the project succeeds, the existing Nasketucket State Reservation would gain 130 acres, including more than 600 feet of shoreline along Shaw’s Cove, in the northeast corner of Nasketucket Bay. The public would eventually be able access the water via newly created trails that wind from the Fairhaven/Mattapoisett bike path, through the reservation and down to the bay shore. Kayakers, canoeists, small-boaters and others would have a new place to beach their craft and explore the reservation.

But more importantly, the 400 acres would be protected from development—in perpetuity—leaving the open fields and woods to serve as natural filters of nitrogen and other pollutants that can harm the coastal waters and its fish and wildlife.

You can see the property and some of Nasketucket Bay for yourself by watching the accompanying video, shot in April 2013, just as the bay was beginning to come to life. I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth protecting.

For more details on the Nasketucket Bay Land Conservation Project, visit the Coalition for Buzzards Bay by CLICKING HERE.

SAT map of Buzzards Bay showing location of Nasketucket Bay, on the border of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.

Photo Gallery:

If the project is successful, part of the DeNormandie property bordering Shaw Cove on Nasketucket Bay would be made accessible to the public. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

A tidal marsh is part of the property that would be protected from development. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

Public access to Nasketucket Bay and the Nasketucket Reservation in Mattapoisett would be increased. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

View of Nasketucket Reservation near the bay. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

View of Nasketucket Bay, West Island, and the Elizabeth Islands from the farm fields. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

The DeNormandie property is a working farm where grass-fed Angus cattle are raised. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

Chickens are also raised on the farm. Photo/Buzzards Bay Coalition

Brendan Annett of the Buzzards Bay Coalition and BoatingLocals Tom Richardson walk the DeNormandie Farm property. Photo/BoatingLocal

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