Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation gets grant for Mill Brook permitting

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The Baker-Polito administration awarded $15,000 to Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation on Monday for ongoing Mill Brook planning geared to facilitate greater fish mobility.

“The funding will be used to support the permitting process and further refinement of the designs to replace undersized culverts on Mill Brook — one of the few coldwater streams on Martha’s Vineyard,” state spokesman Katie Gronendyke wrote in an email. “In 2016, restoration of the Mill Brook was awarded Priority Project status by the Division of Ecological Restoration. The upper portions of Mill Brook support wild brook trout as well as American brook lamprey, a rare species that has been designated Threatened by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. The Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation will replace two undersized culverts that block fish passage and improve water quality with a larger structure that provides passage for fish and wildlife and contributes to a safer road.”

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation executive director Adam Moore told The Times the section of Mill Brook the grant serves is located in the Roth Woodlands Property along Old Farm Road and North Road in Chilmark. Moore described it as the headwaters of the brook.

In addition to redesigning culverts so fish may pass, the foundation intends to eliminate a pond in Chilmark that suffers from summer heat increases intolerable to certain fish.

“We’re very happy,” Moore said about receiving the grant.