The Gulf and Scituate Harbor Watersheds
The public process involved in creating this chapter included two steps, 1) an assessment of the Gulf and Scituate Harbor watersheds and 2) the development of a Five Year Action Plan. The assessment involved extensive literature review and interviews with stakeholders. Based on this process, information and a list of recommended actions were presented to the public at two public forums for additional input and priority ranking. These recommended actions are listed at the end of the discussion of each goal Based on the input and votes of those who attended the public forum, some of these recommendations were included in the Five Year Action Plan at the end of this chapter. Thus, this chapter consists of two parts; The Assessment and the Five Year Action. Please refer to Appendix A for a detailed description of the public process.
PART I. WATERSHED ASSESSMENT
Table 1-1. The Gulf and Scituate Harbor Watersheds Characteristics
Land Area Primary Municipalities Protected Open Space Limited Open Space
23 Square Miles Cohasset, Scituate 4101 Acres (27.7%) 444 acres (3.0%)
NHESP Priority Habitat for Rare Species Top three land uses # of NPDES Permits-3 Most Impaired Waterbodies
1665 acres (11.2%) 51% Forest; 33%Residential; 4.8% Salt Marsh # of Dams-7
Little Harbor, Cohasset Harbor Musquaschcut Pond, Scituate Harbor, Aaron River
Cohasset and Scituate are both coastal suburban resort towns south of Boston on Massachusetts Bay. Cohasset is located on rocky coastal lowlands with numerous small bay and adjacent uplands. Cohasset was originally used as haylands and pasture by the town of Hingham. Colonial industries include shipyards, fishing, and gristmills. Off-shore fishing became more prominent in the late 17th century as a profusion of mills blocked fish stream routes. A major cornmill was located at the mouth of the Gulf River and the production of salt in saltworks took place along the coast in the 1800s. Transportation during the early 19th century was through a system of packet boats with regular runs to Boston. With the decline in shipping, small shoe shops and the mossing industry provided employment until the situation improved with the construction of the Cohasset and Duxbury Railroad which provided easy exchange with Boston. Currently, Cohasset is home to a large and growing number of commuters, but there is little commercial development.
South Coastal Watershed Action Plan 9/12/2006 Watershed Action Alliance