Federal Grant Will Help in Restoration of Mill Creek

The city recently received a federal grant that will help pay for the restoration of Mill Creek.

The $428,000 grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) was secured under the leadership of the Chelsea City Council in conjunction with the city’s housing and community development department, GreenRoots, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and the Nature Conservancy.

“We have been prioritizing the restoration of Mill Creek because it is a degraded habitat,” said Director of Community and Housing Development Alex Train. “Because it is a degraded habitat, the partnership is seeking to restore the creek as well as restore public access to the waterfront.”

Train thanked the federal delegation of Senators Markey and Warren and Congresswoman Pressley for helping to secure the major federal construction grant through NOAA.

The grant will be used for the first phase of construction for the project, which consists of the removal of the Slade’s Mill Dam in the creek. The city previously secured $800,000 for the design and engineering of the entire project, Train said.

“The goal is to fully or partially remove the dam to restore tidal flow in the creek to improve water quality and to prevent invasive species while providing educational opportunities and engaging with residents on the importance of Mill Creek,” said Train. “This is going to occur in tandem with our efforts to design a new park at 88 Clinton St. as well as a riverwalk which are being designed in parallel with the restoration efforts.”

The timeline for the dam removal is likely 18 to 24 months due to the federal and state permitting processes, Train said.

“The second phase of the project will entail the stabilization of eroding coastline, a removal of invasive species, and installation of a new waterfront boardwalk,” said Train.

Currently, the city’s plans envision a boardwalk beginning on Broadway adjacent to 1005 Broadway and continuing to 88 Clinton St. with the opportunity to eventually extend the boardwalk to the Chelsea Housing Authority property, Train said.

Train said the city is seeking construction funds for the additional phases of the project.

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