MassBays Among the Partners Honored with an Environmental Business Council Environmental and Energy Industry 2024 APEX Award

June 13, 2024 – Boston, MA – The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) is pleased to announce that the Trustees of Reservations and their partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are the 2024 recipients of the EBC Merit Award for Leadership by a Non-Profit Organization for their work to restore the Great Marsh, New England’s largest salt marsh.

At 16,000 acres, the Great Marsh provides habitat, stores carbon, provides world-class birding, and protects communities from storms and flooding. A legacy of agricultural embankments and ditching has left the marsh vulnerable to sea level rise. Without restoration, the Great Marsh is projected to convert to low marsh before 2070 and tidal flats before 2100. The Trustees and the USFWS, along with the project team, piloted an innovative yet simple approach to restore tidal hydrology allowing the marsh to heal itself and build in elevation naturally. Using runnels to drain impounded water and salt marsh hay to trap sediment inditches, the project has resulted in the completed restoration of 215 acres and paved the way for restoration of an additional 8,000 acres currently in process. The Great Marsh Restoration Project is leading the way through collaboration with marsh owners and permitting agencies to restore this nationally significant natural resource using innovative, nature-based techniques. Watch a short video of the project here. It is important to note that MassBays helped sow the seeds for this successful project by providing funding from the Healthy Estuaries grant for the pilot restoration of 86 acres in Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA (2018).

Ann K. Gisinger, Executive Director of the Environmental Business Council of New England, praised the project for “providing a path forward for marsh restoration across the Eastern Seaboard of the United States through a successful pilot project to restore the hydrology of the Great Marsh.”

Stephanie Cooper, Undersecretary for Environment Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, presented the award to the Project Team in recognition of Innovative Restoration of Massachusetts’ Great Marsh, Leading to A More Resilient Coastline:

· The Trustees of Reservations

· U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

· Northeast Wetland Restoration

· Mass Audubon

· Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife

· Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District

· Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust

· University of New Hampshire

· Rimmer Environmental Consulting LLC

· Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership

· MA Division of Ecological Restoration


About the EBC APEX Awards

Each year, the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for their outstanding accomplishments across the environmental and energy industries. The APEX Awards, for the advancement and promotion of environmental and energy excellence, are presented every June to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the industry. From innovative climate change projects to technical excellence in brownfields management, from outstanding collaborations to inspiring government leadership, the APEX Awards encourage companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and environmental professionals to serve as models for others to emulate, and in doing so, further the mission and objectives of the EBC.