Mashpee Shellfish Farm

Mashpee, Massachusetts faced a very serious environmental issue in 2008. The waterways in the town and surrounding areas had developed a toxic level of nitrogen that was kill plant and fish life. Although present in the environment naturally, too much nitrogen is considered a pollutant.

Ashley Fisher, Mashpee’s Shellfish Constable talks about the valuable contribution that Dura-tech made to their incredibly important project to restore the environment balance on Mashpee’s waterways.

Mashpee, Massachusetts Estuaries Project

The town of Mashpee, Massachusetts faced a very serious environmental issue in 2008. The waterways in the town and surrounding areas had developed a toxic level of nitrogen that was kill plant and fish life. Although present in the environment naturally, too much nitrogen is considered a pollutant.  It is a nutrient that feeds aquatic plants, including algae, which consume oxygen as they grow and die off.  When this happens, there is no longer enough oxygen in the water for aquatic life, causing fish kills and harming plants such as eelgrass that serve as a nursery for many important species.  The decomposition of organic matter creates odors and is unsightly, resulting in growing layers of muck on the bottoms of our water bodies, impacting recreational uses such as swimming and boating, as well as the economic backbone of the Cape economy – tourism and fishing. 

The Mashpee Sewer Commission hired the engineering firm GHD Inc. (formerly Stearns & Wheler, LLC) to prepare a waste management plan working with the UMass-Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology.  Each phase was presented at Mashpee Sewer Commission meetings for public review and comment.  The Recommended Plan was designed to meet the Town’s future wastewater treatment needs while protecting the ponds and estuaries Mashpee shares with Barnstable, Falmouth and Sandwich.

Working closely with the town of Mashpee, Dura-tech Industries built a set of custom aquaculture tanks design to hold millions of shellfish incubating them in preparation for release into the town’s waterways. These shellfish act as a natural filtering system removing the nitrogen from the water and restoring the balance to the delicate ecosystem.