Building the Park

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Broad Meadows Marsh, Salt Marsh Habitat Restoration project (2010-2013)

On November 24, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was awarded the construction contract for
The “Broad Meadows Marsh, Salt Marsh Habitat Restoration” project. Work began in 2010 and finished in 2013. The project’s objective was to restore the salt marsh and salt pond habitats within Broad Meadows marsh. The marsh’s estuarine habitats were degraded when dredged material from the Town River Federal navigation project was disposed of in the marsh in 1938 and in 1956. Approximately 106 acres of tidal marsh were filled and consequently converted to non-tidal habitat dominated by common reed (Phragmites australis).

The project successfully restored tidal flushing to the salt marsh system by excavating dredged material and lowering the surface elevation to pre-1950’s levels. A major milestone was reached on Dec. 21, 2011 when the marsh was flooded by tidal water for the first time after being buried under dredged material for more than 80 years. The project involved the excavation, transport, and redistribution of approximately 393,000 cubic yards of former dredged material. In addition, it restored approximately 31 acres of salt marsh, including salt pannes and tidal channels, four acres of wet meadow grasses, and 23 acres of coastal grasslands. The project also included the creation of public gravel pathways.

The cost of the project was shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Quincy. Project costs including the feasibility report, plans and specifications, and construction were approximately $6 million. The project was shared on a 75% Federal, 25% non-Federal basis. A portion of the project was partially funded by the Neponset River Watershed Association. The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration was also a partner in the project.