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Back River Salt Marsh Restoration

Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration - Bourne, MA


CLE Engineering, Inc. was contracted by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Wetland Restoration Program to assess the feasibility of improving the tidal flushing between the Back River and the adjacent salt marsh to the northwest.

CLE conducted a site inspection with a representative of the CZM Wetland Restoration Program and the Buzzards Bay Project, during which the project goals were discussed and existing conditions of the coastal bank and culvert were noted. CLE performed a topographic field survey to locate the culvert inverts, the corners of the structures at the southwest corner of the salt marsh, the coastal bank and the lowest elevation on the coastal bank. The field survey data was reduced and the lowest elevation on the coastal bank was established. CLE determined the lateral extent of the flooding resulting from the proposed coastal bank overtopping would encompass approximately 3.3 acres and would not result in damage to adjacent low-lying structures.

CLE completed a Feasibility Study to determine if tidal flushing of the salt marsh could be improved while avoiding storm water flooding of the adjacent residences by breaching the coastal bank. The project result was the unimpeded tidal exchange between the Back River and the salt marsh.