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Muddy Creek Restoration

Following more than a decade of coordinated effort, local, state and federal officials recently celebrated the completion of the Muddy Creek Restoration and bridge project, a $6.47 million investment to improve water quality and ecological vitality in an impaired tidal creek system.

Muddy Creek forms the town line between Chatham and Harwich and is part of the Pleasant Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The project involved replacing undersized culverts that severely restricted tidal flows to Muddy Creek with a new 94-foot wide single span bridge and restored tidal channel.

Ecological benefits of the restoration include:

  • Improved water quality
  • Increased salinity and tidal range
  • Reduction of invasive species – improved biodiversity
  • 56 acres of wetlands restored
  • Habitat for several High Priority Species/Populations of migratory waterfowl and other migratory species.
  • Improved fisheries habitat and diadromous fish passage American eel, Alewife, White Perch, Frost Fish and Blue Crab

Restoration Monitoring Results

The Pleasant Bay Alliance garnered $110,000 in non-municipal funds to undertake the early studies to assess ecological benefits and develop concepts for the design of the new channel and bridge. The studies, including an assessment of resource impacts associated with a 24-foot opening, entitled Final Technical Memorandum: Muddy Creek Restoration Project, may be downloaded below.

Executive Summary: MCReport_ExSummary

Complete Report (in three parts due to file size)




To view a PowerPoint presentation shared at a March 8, 2012 public meeting, click this link.  MuddyCreekWetlandRestoration_PublicMeetingSlides_20120308

Resource Assessment to Evaluate Ecological and Hydrodynamic Responses to Reinstalling a Water Control Structure in the Muddy Creek Dike, Final Report