Learning from the Restoration of Wetlands on Cranberry Farmland

Two centuries of cranberry farming transformed thousands of acres of natural wetlands into artificially elevated agricultural fields in Southeastern Massachusetts. Today, scientists understand that this transformation came at a high cost to the environment. Now that the economics of the cranberry industry have made it less advantageous to farm in the region, the time is right for policies and funding that encourage farmers to consider restoration.

There have been four such projects to date and LO scientists, artists, conservation and restoration practitioners have been tracking ecological changes. Acting as learning laboratories, the four projects have generated valuable data about the impact of restoration on the emergence of self-sustaining wetlands. In 2020, MA Fish and Game Division of Ecological Restoration’s Cranberry Bog Program commissioned a Preliminary Benefits Assessment of our findings.

Download the executive summary here and the report here.