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Yarmouth Salt Marsh Wetland Restoration

MA Office of Coastal Zone Management - Yarmouth, MA


The 4-acre Shore Road salt marsh in West Yarmouth was identified in the Cape Cod Atlas of Tidally Restricted Salt Marshes. The salt marsh drains to Lewis Bay to the south through a culvert beneath Shore Road that had collapsed and filled in with sand, no longer allowing tidal exchange between the salt marsh and Lewis Bay. Stormwater runoff from the surrounding area ponded in the marsh, unable to flow to Lewis Bay and causing frequent flooding of Shore Road. Consequently large areas of salt marsh vegetation were stressed and Phragmites australis began colonizing the salt marsh. CLE Engineering, Inc. was selected to conduct a Feasibility Study to determine the effects of replacing the existing non-functioning culvert with various sized culverts and raising the elevation of the road to reduce the frequency of roadway flooding. CLE utilized hydrologic and hydraulic modeling to develop 3 design options that were presented at a public information meeting held for the abutting residents. Input from the public meeting was incorporated into the preferred alternative consisting of replacing the existing culvert with a larger culvert and raising the roadway surface. CLE prepared and submitted applications for environmental permits for the preferred alternative, all of which were granted. The Town of Yarmouth hired CLE to prepare construction contract documents and provide on-site construction management. CLE successfully complete the installation of the new culvert, replacement of disturbed salt marsh, coastal bank and beach and roadway paving prior to the summer season.