Childs River Estuary

About the Childs River Estuary

The potential to add another piece in the protection of Waquoit Bay prompted the state to purchase two abutting properties on Childs River, which flows into the bay. The 18.6 acres of riverfront marsh, bog and upland are owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and managed as part of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The parcels are within the boundaries of the state Area of Critical Environmental Concern for Waquoit Bay.

While the bulk of the funding for these acquisitions from Ed Govoni of Dream Developers and the McGuire family came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, local support was provided by The 300 Committee, Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, and the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. The state purchased the McGuire property in 2001 and Govoni in 2002.

In partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation, The 300 Committee  in 2016 assisted with the purchase from the Teixeira family of 8.5 additional acres on the Childs River in Waquoit, abutting the previously protected state land on the river. The preservation of this land will add to the protection of the river and Waquoit Bay.

A $3 million Childs River restoration effort was completed in August, 2021. The construction took one year and came after five years of planning by the project lead, the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club. The project is only the second river and bog restoration of its kind on Cape Cod and among only a handful now completed in southeastern Massachusetts.

The area, off Carriage Shop Road, is part of Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, and the river and its resources have been maintained by the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Friends of the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge. Under a memorandum of understanding, multiple landowners operate and manage their lands as part of the refuge, with shared conservation goals for the protection of waterfowl, wildlife, and their habitats.