What the Heck is Going on in the Marsh??
This is an update for the Third Marsh area of Hough’s Neck
   Working with City, County, State and Federal agencies, MARSH MADNESS is
halfway through an extensive and tricky saltmarsh restoration that will have dramatic
impacts on many aspects of our lives for generations to come.  

   This is a quality of life and safety based project that will also enhance property values.
On Sunday August 21st, Boy-Scouts from Troop # 6 conducted a tidal study of the
marsh. We determined and marked the tidal elevation that triggers the tide gate at
Spring Street (about 10’ 10”) and plan to be back in the marsh the weekend of Sept 17 &
18 setting “benchmarks” around the marsh.

   Third marsh is a saltwater marsh fed by an electric/mechanical tide gate on Spring St.
near the Rockland St. Bridge. The bridge at Rock Island Road has been blocked up to
help with the restoration.

   The restoration is well underway. First, we lowered the ground elevation at the high
end of the marsh near Rock Island Road. This will allow storm and coastal floodwaters
to drain into this marsh, instead of yards or basements. At the same time, we created salt
ponds where fish will breed. Small fry (baby fish) eat mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.
This phase is now complete.

   Next, we will adjust the mechanical tide gate to allow salt water to reach the furthest
ends and corners of this marsh. The goal is to put salt water on top of the marsh, not
just in the creeks.

   You will again see our local Boy Scouts walking around the marsh, checking the
benchmarks, to document where the water goes.

   Then, as we did at Post Island, we sit back and watch for a few weeks as the water
moves over the marsh during varying tides.
   Then, we go back in and adjust the salt ponds again, adjust the gates again, and
watch again.

    We are being very careful indeed!

   The result will be a newly restored Salt marsh / bird sanctuary / mosquito eating Fish
Farm! The only by-product will be big fat fish swimming into Massachusetts Bay!

   Hough’s Neck has almost 300 acres of marshland, both salt and freshwater,
surrounded by 7 miles of coastline. Our goal is to restore tidal flow to long neglected
sections of the marsh, while improving flood control and mosquito control. Proper
marsh management can eliminate over 90% of our mosquito population. We will
reintroduce a fish hatchery to our neighborhood and provide habitat for birds not seen
here for generations!

By the way, it will also be mighty fine to look at!

A word of caution!
   Many of us live in the floodplain. That means we will flood during coastal storms like
Northeasters and Hurricanes. We can’t stop the storms but if we’re smart we can reduce
the severity and frequency of the flooding.

Make no mistake…
Quincy is leading the way in proper Coastal Stewardship. We’re proving that
understanding our environment can give us the opportunity to live in harmony with one
of nature’s greatest forces, (well, most of the time anyway) the mighty Atlantic Ocean!

   I wanted to give you a brief update, I promise more.

   Check out the link to
Norfolk County Mosquito control. This is the agency shaping
and sculpting the marsh. I love these guys! They combine brains and bulldozers to create
wetlands that work for us, not against us. The brochure is the best quick read I’ve seen
yet on marsh restoration. I’m very grateful for their involvement and hard work on this

   If you have any questions check out our web site at

   Click on my name to e-mail me.

   I can’t tell you much time and effort has gone into this so far. A lot of very good and
dedicated people are working hard on our behalf.  I’ll gladly meet with you anywhere, at
anytime to talk about it.

                                          Hope all is well,
 P.J. Foley