Conservation Commission

Meetings

  • 6:30 pm
  • 3rd Wednesday of every month
  • Remotely on Zoom

Members

  • Laura Kozachek, Chair
  • Ashley Shedd, Vice Chair
  • Laura Fillmore Evans, Member
  • Nathaniel Mulcahy, Member
  • Jonathan E Lilja, Member
  • (Open Position), Open Member Seat
  • (Open Position)

Overview

Conservation Commissions were formed under the Conservation Commission Act of 1957 (G.L. Chapter 40 Section 8C) which gives Commissions responsibility for open space and other natural resource protection within their respective communities.

The Rockport Conservation Commission helps to identify key parcels that should be protected, works for acquisition by the Town or other forms of protection, and manages local lands dedicated to conservation and passive recreation. The Commission helps organize Rockport's Annual Earth Day Clean-Up among other activities and helps in other efforts to enhance the local environment.

The Conservation Commission also has a seat on the 9-member Community Preservation Committee dedicated to making recommendations on the spending of Community Preservation Act funds for open space protection, historic preservation, and affordable housing.

The Conservation Commission is responsible for administering the Massachusetts Wetlands (310 CMR 10) Protection Act (G.L. Chapter 131 Section 40) enacted in 1975 and the associated MA WPA Rules Rockport Wetlands Protection By-Law (PDF) (Rockport Code of By-Laws, Chapter 14) passed in 1972. It reviews proposed development projects in or near wetlands and other resource areas or within the 100-foot buffer zone of these resource areas. The Conservation Commission reviews plans, holds public hearings, conducts site visits, and issues Determinations of Applicability and Orders of Conditions for proposed projects to ensure that these projects do not impact resource areas that are protected by the Act or By-law. Please refer to Wetland by-Law Rules and Regulations - Revised February 29, 2012 (PDF).

Wetland resource areas protected by the Wetlands Protection Act ("the Act") cover both inland and coastal wetlands. Resource areas protected by the Rockport Wetlands By-Law, "the By-Law", include freshwater and coastal wetlands, marshes, wet meadows, bogs, swamps, vernal pools, banks, reservoirs, lakes, ponds of any size, quarry pits and motions, rivers, streams, creeks, beaches, dunes, estuaries, the ocean, lands under water bodies, lands subject to flooding or inundation by groundwater or surface water, lands subject to tidal action, lands within 100-feet of above-cited resource areas, lands subject to coastal storm flowage or flooding.

Wetland resource areas are important to safeguard because they help prevent storm damage, reduce flooding, protect ground and surface water, prevent pollution, support fish and shellfish, and they provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

The Conservation Agent acts as a technical expert to - and liaison between - the Conservation Commission and the public and other Town departments, boards, and committees.

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