The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is pleased to have partnered with students from Tufts University as part of a pre-orientation community service trip for incoming freshmen. The 8 students assisted MyRWA staff member Beth Meserve and interns Emily Starck and Sarah Erskine document the presence of Water Chestnut (Trapa natans), an invasive species, in the Mystic River and Mystic Lakes. The team set out in canoes, kindly donated by Charles River Canoe and Kayak, to explore the Watershed on a beautiful August day while scouring the water’s surface for rosettes of water chestnuts. Water chestnuts are present in the Mystic River in Medford, often forming dense mats that can make passage difficult and potentially dangerous for motor boats. Additionally, water chestnuts crowd out native species, and their decomposition may result in lower dissolved oxygen levels in waterways, which can lead to fish kills. MyRWA, along with other community groups, is developing a water chestnut management plan to tackle this issue. We are grateful for the efforts of Tufts students to collect the data necessary to implement a strong management plan. To read more about water chestnuts view the Fall 2009 Mystic Messenger.