Welcome! Here's what's new at MyRWA...
What's your vision for the Mystic River Watershed? Join Patrick Herron, MyRWA's new Executive Director, to hear about his vision and get a chance to share your own vision. At the event MyRWA will also honor our key volunteers who make improvements to our River every day, elect the 2016-2017 Board of Directors, and provide an update on finances. The meeting will be held at Tufts University's Breed Hall on Oct. 26th.
The Mystic River Watershed Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Patrick Herron 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. Read more.
Stormwater Education Collaborative Funded
MyRWA received funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Program to support the development of multimedia education program to increase awareness of stormwater pollution for a regional coalition of municipalities. MyRWA was one of 22 organizations in 18 states selected to pursue community-based plans to address pollution in waterways. Read the press release.
Over the course of 22 events from June through September, 835 volunteers helped clean up the Mystic River by partnering with MyRWA. Working from canoes volunteers removed the invasive plant, water chestnut, by hand. More than 134,800 pounds of plant material were removed from the Mystic River in Medford and Somerville as well as the Arlington Reservoir.
MyRWA is pleased to share the announcement of funding through the 319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Program for the Egerton Road Green Infrastructure Demonstration Project in Arlington. The project includes two curb extension bioretention basins that will beautify the streetscape, decrease crossing distance for pedestrians, and reduce the discharge of pollutants into Alewife Brook. The project is expected to begin late spring 2017.
MyRWA is excited to work with the City of Medford to construct a gravel wetland to treat contaminated stormwater runoff from a municipal parking lot to reduce nutrients and sediment reaching the Mystic River. This project will improve water quality in the river, preserving critical habitat for river herring, and builds on previous work to prioritize stormwater treatment sites in the watershed.
As part of MyRWA's Herring Monitoring Program 90 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 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 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. Explore conditions and read the US EPA press release. View a map here.
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!
Support MyRWA While Shopping on Amazon
Did you know you can support MyRWA while shopping at AmazonSmile - at no cost to you? The next time you visit Amazon, be sure to designate the Mystic River Watershed Association as the recipient organization of AmazonSmile's donations. Just visit AmazonSmileto start. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to MyRWA with no cost to you. Thanks for your support!