The project helps conserve habitat for the rare sea run brook trout, protects water quality, and expands public recreation opportunities at the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area.
A conservation partnership between the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT), has led to the conservation of 50 acres of forests and wetlands to help preserve some of Westport’s unique and threatened sea-run brook trout habitat.
Historically, sea-run brook trout could be found in coldwater streams all along the southern New England coast. However as a result of coastal development, Angeline Brook in Westport is one of only a handful of these streams that still exist along the coast from New York to Cape Cod. Protecting the natural forests and wetlands that surround Angeline Brook is key in order to maintain the right water temperature and provide areas for fish to spawn. In addition, protecting forests and wetlands will help to protect clean water in the Westport Rivers and Buzzards Bay.
On March 28, 2016, the project was completed when the Coalition and WLCT protected two neighboring properties totaling 50 acres of land along Angeline Brook. The properties run along Cornell Road in Westport.
The properties will be owned by WLCT, as an expansion of the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. The Buzzards Bay Coalition coordinated the project, securing the contracts to purchase both properties as well as raising over $165,000 in federal and state grants and private contributions. In addition, the Mass Department of Fish & Game will hold a conservation restriction providing an extra layer of protection and The Trustees provided funding to support the project.
“The Coalition is proud to partner with the Westport Land Conservation Trust to make this project a success,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen. “Angeline Brook is one of the Buzzards Bay watershed’s most important resources for native fish. This project is part of our ongoing commitment to protecting these rare, coldwater streams; for the fish, of course, but also for the people of Westport and for clean water.”
“Adding 50 acres to the 100 already preserved as the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area and more than 500 acres of protected land within the vicinity Angeline Brook is a great step forward in the conservation story of Westport,” said Ryan Mann, Executive Director of WLCT. “We are glad to have worked with the Coalition on this project and look forward to additional projects in the future. Together, with the help of so many, we are protecting what makes Westport so special for generations to come”.