Bird Island Ecosystem Restoration, Marion / Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts



Client: USACE New England District / Massachusetts Dept. of Fish & Game
Value: $3,120,000
Project Date: October, 2015 - April, 2017
Project Cut-sheet: Download


The project involves the reconstruction of Bird Island, a 4-acre gravel and boulder-composed island about a half-mile off the coast of Sippican Point and 3 miles from the Marion Town Wharf in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Bird Island is one of only three small islands along the coast of the U.S. that still provides the critical nesting habitat for the endangered Northeast population of Roseate Tern.


  • To reconstruct this critical nesting habitat, Cashman barged in ~13,000 tons of armor stone and conducted the reconstruction / repair of ~1,000 linear feet (LF) of stone revetment surrounding Bird Island; imported and filled ~5,000 cubic yards of gravel on the island; and will plant native vegetation in order to reestablish and expand habitat for federally endangered terns.
  • Access to the island is by shallow-draft boat or barge and required installation of a temporary unloading platform extending off the island.
  • Installation of two pile structures was allowed in the near-shore area. A staging / loading area was made available at the Marion Town Wharf.
  • Construction on the island is limited to an environmental window between Sept. 8 and April 6 due to nesting patterns. The project will take two construction seasons (with restoration completion by April 2017).