Tidmarsh Farms, Inc.

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Public Informational Presentation and Conversation


On May 12, 2014, we are holding a public informational presentation and conversation about the design and implementation plan for the Tidmarsh Farms Wetlands Restoration at the John Alden Club 16 Minuteman Ln, Plymouth, MA 02360 6:30 p.m.

Handheld Infra-Red Survey Hydrologic Investigation


By Danielle Hare


Infra-Red is a cool new method that can determine changes in infra-red radiation, or heat radiation. It is used for police searches, medical imaging, night vision devices, building energy losses, among many other important applications! At Tidmarsh we use infrared to map the temperature of water at the site to determine locations of groundwater springs, which will help find suitable habitats for poikilothermal species (cold-blooded animals) particularly fishes.

Water temperature is an important indicator as it affects the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of an aquatic environment. Aquatic species rely on constant temperatures to regulate metabolism, internal nervous systems controls, and reproduction among other processes. If members of a species find themselves in an environment that is outside their optimal temperature range they experience immense stress and reproduction declines; at lethal temperatures, death. Temperature affects chemical balances: with an increase in temperature there is a decrease in solubility of oxygen and increase in the toxicity of certain pesticides and heavy metals.  The temperature of groundwater discharge varies little through time in comparison to the surface water. Groundwater discharge zones are thus very important for healthy ecosystems and habitat creation.

The hydrology group of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, led by David Boutt, has been monitoring the temperatures in Beaver Dam Brook in order to understand these dynamics at Tidmarsh Farms. Numerous hand-held infrared surveys were completed in various seasons to assess locations of groundwater discharge: these locations have temperatures ranging, annually, from 9.5-11.5 C (49-53 F) in Manomet, MA. Surface water temperatures, by comparison, can have extreme variation daily and seasonally ranging from around freezing to 30C (86F). Infrared cameras view ‘light’ (electromagnetic waves) that have less energy than our visible red light: infrared electromagnegtic waves have a longer wavelength than our visible electromagnetic waves. A warmer object emits shorter infrared wavelength than cooler objects, and this variation in infrared wavelength enables infrared cameras to detect temperature changes on a surface. By bringing this sensor technology to Tidmarsh, UMass was able to image locations of groundwater discharge into its wetland environment. This study has helped generate restoration plans that will emphasize locations promoting natural consistent water temperatures, thus encouraging healthy ecosystems.

Images below are from March 2014 where the surface water was about 1 C and the groundwater was 9.5-11.5 C (49-53F) so the groundwater looks warm in comparison to surrounding surface water.

In the summer, the groundwater is still 9.5-11.5 C but surface water can rise up to 30 C (86F), and in summer images, the groundwater is cold in comparison to surface water.

The temperature range maximum changes in each photo to show warmest observed temperature.



2/25/2014 Town Hall


7:30pm – Town Hall, Conservation Commission

Alex Hackman of the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration will present an overview of the project for the Commission.  This is an informational presentation made in advance of a permit application (expected in April).  A discussion will follow to address any questions of the Commission.

Location: Town Hall, 11 Lincoln Street, 2nd floor, Plantation Meeting Room

USDA-NRCS Funds Wetland Restoration


Wetland restoration to begin soon at Tidmarsh Farms, Plymouth

Project will benefit the environment and local economy

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (September 27, 2013) – One of the largest ecological restoration projects ever undertaken in Massachusetts will soon begin at Tidmarsh Farms in Plymouth, funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Encompassing 250 acres of degraded freshwater wetlands, including 192 acres of former commercial cranberry bogs, the project will protect and restore a substantial area of critical habitat in this coastal watershed.

Private landowners; federal, state and local agencies; and non-governmental organizations are partnering on the project which will generate significant benefits for both the environment and the local economy.

In 2010, a permanent conservation easement was placed on 192 acres of cranberry bogs and wetlands through the NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). WRP is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore, protect and enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring eligible land from agriculture.

Comprehensive wetland and stream restoration work is planned at Tidmarsh Farms in an effort to holistically restore ecological processes to the retired cranberry bog system, which includes the headwaters of Beaver Dam Brook. Agricultural berms and water control structures that are barriers to fish migration will be removed, degraded stream channels will be reconstructed using large wood to enhance habitat, and native species including Atlantic white cedars will be replanted.

The entire project – from initial design through construction and monitoring – is estimated to cost $3 million. NRCS will provide $1.92 million for construction or 64 percent of the total cost. Construction is scheduled to begin in late summer of 2014.

Other project partners are the Mass. Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, which is leading project management; the landowners; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); Mass Audubon; the Town of Plymouth; and many others.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts greatly appreciates the partnership and investment of NRCS in this important conservation and restoration effort,” said Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.  “When you combine the landowners’ extraordinary vision with this impressive team led by our Division of Ecological Restoration, you get a project that will deliver exceptional return on investment—year after year—for people and the environment.”

A 2013 study commissioned by The Trust for Public Land found that every dollar invested in land conservation returned four dollars in water quality protection, flood mitigation, and recreation opportunities to the Massachusetts economy. A 2012 DER study found that every $1 million invested in bog restoration design and construction generated 13.2 jobs and $1.82 million in economic output.  The ecological restoration work at Tidmarsh Farms is expected to generate an estimated 40 jobs and $5.4 million in economic output.

“Conserving important open space and restoring ecosystems are at the heart of all WRP projects,” said Christine Clarke, NRCS Massachusetts State Conservationist. ”Protecting and restoring such a large site – a significant portion of an entire coastal watershed – not only improves the environment, but also provides lasting social and economic benefits to the Plymouth community and the state.”

The Tidmarsh Farm project also includes a unique academic and technology partnership that will further expand the benefits.

“The restoration actions will kick start conservation across the landscape and provide a unique learning opportunity as a Living Observatory,” said Glorianna Davenport, Trustee of Tidmarsh Farms. “We are excited to work with collaborators from the MIT Media Lab, the Department of Geosciences at UMass Amherst, Public Laboratory and others to document changes brought about by the restoration in real time, and to make these changes visible to visitors both on site and over the internet.”

A “Living Observatory” approach leverages the value of this restoration to education, technological innovation and knowledge creation. Goals include innovation in low-power sensor systems to measure complex change across a restoration site, as well as technologies that allow the public to experience ecological interdependencies that span large and small time frames. The results will allow partners to thoroughly understand and adaptively manage changes at the site, and will advance the science of ecological restoration to inform the planning and design of future projects.


DIANE BAEDEKER PETIT | Public Affairs Officer | USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service | Massachusetts

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | P: 413-253-4371 | F: 413-253-4375 | C: 413-835-1276www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov | Twitter @NRCS_MA


Original news release can be found here: http://www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ma/newsroom/releases/?cid=STELPRDB1187309

Tidmarsh Sounds at Sunrise


50 seconds of sunrise at the Tidmarsh Farms, future site of a restored watershed and ecological education center.

Visit Wicked Local: Plymouth.


Re-run in Patriot Ledger

Visit Patriot Ledger.com.


Beaver Dam Watershed Restoration: Tidmarsh Farm and Living Observatory coming into focus.

In the early morning, if you stand near the headwaters, down in the rushes, as the spring mist rolls over the water and the blackbirds sing, you are as close as anyone has come for nearly 200 years to what the Beaver Dam watershed was like before it was constrained by commerce.

Visit Wicked Local: Plymouth.

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This Month on the Farm

December January 2016

Mass Audubon has launched a campaign to establish the

Tidmarsh Nature Sanctuary, Click the link for more information massaudubon.org/tidmarsh

To see the video Click the link


Visit Tidmarsh virtually



Visit Living Observatory's new website



Visit Bog People



11 Oct 2014 Administrator

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