Welcome! Here's what's new at MyRWA...
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria at the Blessing of Bay area in Somerville. Algal blooms can produce toxins that are dangerous to people, animals, and the environment. MyRWA advises you to avoid contact with the river until the bloom has dissipated. MDPH will sample again on August 29.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Patrick Herron, current MyRWA Deputy Director, to the position of Executive Director effective September 12, 2016. Patrick has a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Connecticut and has served MyRWA since 2009. In his work both as Deputy Director and as Director of Water Quality, Patrick has demonstrated tireless energy and enthusiasm for our work. In recent years he has initiated many of MyRWA’s most innovative and effective projects - including the highly successful Water Chestnut Removal and River Herring Monitoring programs. Outgoing Executive Director EkOngKar (EK) Singh Khalsa is stepping down in order to take on exciting new challenges nearer his West Coast family. Read more.
You're invited to attend a farewell event for EK Khalsa on Thursday, Sept. 8th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come celebrate the Mystic and all that has been accomplished under EK's leadership. Join fellow friends of the Mystic to wish him well on his next adventure! Get your tickets today.
MyRWA's Herring Monitoring Program came to an end on June 28th. Ninety citizen scientists counted 62,562 herring pass through the Mystic Lakes fish ladder in Medford. This is the largest number of fish observed since the monitoring program began in 2012. The total estimated Mystic River herring run is 448,060 +/- 48,113. This estimate represents another strong migration! Thanks to the volunteers who made this program possible, as well as the MA-DCR and MA-DMF.
Mystic River Water Quality Earns A- Grade
For the second year the US EPA issued localized water quality grades to provide information on how frequently Mystic waterbodies meet standards for swimming and boating. We are pleased to share that the Mystic River (fresh and salt water sections) received an A- , the Mystic Lakes an A+ and Chelsea Creek an A-. These water bodies meet bacteria standards for swimming and boating on average greater than 85% of the time. That's right -the Mystic River is a great place to go boating and the Mystic Lakes are a great place for a swim! The grade also shows that much work lies ahead in realizing the promise of the Clean Water Act in many of our water bodies. For example, the Malden River is a C, the Aberjona River is a C+ and Alewife Brook is a D. Please explore conditions and read the US EPA press release. View a map here.
Gather your employees for a fun day on the Mystic River this summer! Community and corporate groups of up to 100 hand-pull water chestnut from canoes during this rewarding stewardship event. A four hour event has tremendous impact, visibly clearing the river of the invasive weed. All materials are provided. For more information contact Beth at email@example.com or 781-316-3438.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced a major lawsuit against ExxonMobil for its decades-long climate deceit on May 17th. This is the first lawsuit against ExxonMobil since revelations last September that the corporation has engaged in a deliberate cover-up of sound climate science for over thirty years. The Mystic River Watershed Association and Chelsea Green Space joined Campbell at the press conference. MyRWA Executive Director, EkOngKar Singh Khalsa expressed his disappointment at learning that ExxonMobil is violating its own Federal stormwater permit and discharging pollution to the Mystic River. “The Mystic is seeing a revitalization – we have a strong herring migration underway and new developments connecting people to this natural resource. It is unfair that ExxonMobil puts this progress in jeopardy. We are grateful that CLF is holding ExxonMobil accountable for its actions and for CLF’s promise to help protect the Mystic River.” Read more.
Is it safe to swim? What about boating? MyRWA monitors water quality throughout the watershed and is working to make the data more accessible. Using Tableau, we’ve just begun to translate the data. Please explore and let us know how we are doing!