MyRWA’s Patrick Herron Receives EPA Award

Karen McGuire (EPA), Patrick Herron, Curt Spalding (EPA Region 1 Administrator)Patrick Herron, MyRWA’s Water Quality Monitoring Director, received a 2012 Environmental Merit Award from the Environmental Protection Agency New England Region 1. Under Patrick’s guidance MyRWA put new attention on Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) as a major source of pollution in the watershed, launched the Herring Monitoring Program, and provided leadership on the water chestnut removal project to name a few accomplishments. Congratulations Patrick!

Patrick Herron, Water Quality Monitoring Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, has improved the lives of more than a half million residents living in Mystic River communities. The Mystic Monitoring Network, which uses volunteers to gather data, has been integral to the association's work for more than a decade. Patrick, a dedicated scientist, has used data collected through the network to raise awareness about discharges that pollute the Mystic River and other resources in its watershed. He drew attention to the problem of sanitary sewer overflows in the watershed because he believed that rain and snow were causing contamination of the river and neighboring waters. With help from university interns and dedicated volunteer monitors, Patrick monitored and calculated the impact of discharges on river ecology and water chemistry. He created an online sewer overflow reporting form that made data collected easily available. This information helped the association inform citizens and helped local officials identify overflow points. His conversations with local water and sewer officials influenced the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to study the pipe system and facilities in the Mystic River district to determine if they could prevent ongoing overflows. Patrick also created a Mystic River Herring Monitoring Network to be launched this spring, and advocated for installation of green infrastructure in the Mystic River Watershed. He has partnered with local officials, community organizations, environmental advocacy groups and a variety of academic partners in the watershed. Through these collaborations, he has brought hope and direction for the concerns of residents and decision-makers in the Mystic River watershed.