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Salt Marsh Restoration Project

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management - Mashpee, MA

Wetland Restoration Program and the South Cape Beach, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

The approximately 15-acre salt marsh adjacent to the South Cape Beach in Mashpee, Massachusetts was identified as a candidate for restoration in the Cape Cod Atlas of Tidally Restricted Salt Marshes. A channel in the marsh allows water to flow between Flat Pond to the east and Sage Lot Pond the west which drains to Waquoit Bay. The two concrete culverts that were installed as part of the construction of access roads through the salt marsh to the beach do not allow for free flow resembling natural conditions. Additionally it is suspected that if tidal flushing is not improved, Phragmites australis could spread into the salt marsh from the fringes. It was determined that the eastern culvert was to be replaced with a light duty pedestrian bridge and the western culvert was to be replaced with a larger open bottom culvert.

CLE was contracted to provide an alternative to a previously designed bridge and culvert. CLE reviewed existing plans, reports and survey data, which was used to develop designs that better met the project goals. CLE’s review of existing plans revealed a surveying error by others, which left undetected would have had serious negative consequences to the project.