Section 11. The department shall undertake such construction and work for the improvement, development, maintenance and protection of tidal and non-tidal rivers and streams, great ponds, harbors, tide waters, foreshores and shores along a public beach as it deems reasonable and proper, and for this purpose shall have the same powers conferred upon it by section thirty-one. The department, in pursuance of the work authorized, may construct, reconstruct, alter and repair bridges, culverts, conduits, pipes, walls and dams, and may do such other incidental work as may be deemed necessary for the improvement and safety of waterways. In selecting the places to do such work, the department shall consider the general public advantage of the proposed work, the local interest therein as manifested by municipal or other contributions therefor, the importance of the industrial or commercial and other interests to be especially served thereby, and any other material considerations affecting the feasibility, necessity or advantage of the proposed work or the expenditure therefor. No work authorized by this section shall be begun until after a public hearing has been held and a survey and an estimate of the cost has been made.
The department is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for the performance of work necessary on resource conservation and development projects approved for the commonwealth. Said agreements shall be limited to those for which the Soil Conservation Service is authorized to share in the installation cost, including flood prevention measures, agricultural water management, erosion and sediment control measures, fish and wildlife measures and recreation development.
In any project undertaken under the authority of this section, the department is authorized to pay the commonwealth’s share of funds to the federal government if the Soil Conservation Service is the contracting agency for the project.