Eric Walberg

Senior Program Leader, Climate Services

Manomet is a partner on a new project to address flooding in the Assawompset Ponds Complex (APC), the largest natural freshwater lake in Massachusetts and one of the most productive Bald Eagle nesting sites in the state.  The APC, located in southeastern Massachusetts, is a drinking water supply for both Taunton and New Bedford.

Flooding of adjacent residential areas is a long term problem, with a mix of causes including relatively flat topography, siltation of surrounding rivers and streams, and changing precipitation patterns associated with climate change.  Flooding in the APC results in economic impacts (damage to local properties) and water quality impacts.

Manomet’s role, in conjunction with project partners Southeast Region Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD), the Horsley Witten Group, and Mass Audubon, will be to evaluate and synthesize recommendations from previous studies and to develop nature-based solutions to the flooding. Nature‐based solutions (NBS) are a category of emerging strategies in climate adaptation and their exploration is of interest to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a national leader in comprehensive hazard mitigation planning. Effective implementation of NBS means designing a community whose built infrastructure is reinforced by its natural environment and vice versa.

The project will leverage Manomet’s previous green infrastructure analysis of the region and will seek to balance integrity of natural systems and needed flood control measures. Funding for the effort is from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration. Work is currently underway and will continue through summer of 2020.

Location of the Assawompset Pond Complex