The Mystic River Watershed Association encourages you to contact your State Representative and Senator in support of three FY 2014 budget items that we feel will help restore the natural resources of the Mystic River Watershed. (You can easily look-up contact information for your Representative or Senator here.) Thank you in advance for your phone call and/or email.
A $75,000 increase to the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s budget, 2810-0100 line item, specifically targeted for water chestnut removal in the Mystic River. Large portions of the Mystic River are almost entirely blanketed with water chestnuts, resulting in significant impairment of navigation and a harmful impact on native habitat. The plants are spreading rapidly; since 2001, the population has expanded from 1 to 30 acres. Water chestnuts form mats over the water surface, which in turn impede boating, fishing, and swimming, and crowd out native plants. If serious efforts are not made to remove the plants, recreational use of the much of river will become impossible in just a few short years.
Creation of a Mystic River Water Quality Commission to study the feasibility of bringing the water quality of the Mystic River to a level consistently safe enough for fishing, boating and swimming. The proposal to establish a Water Quality Commission has also been filed as a stand-alone bill, H.785, by Representative Denise Provost. The bill is a re-file from the 2011-2012 legislative session, during which it received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
A $500,000 increase to the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s 2800-0100 line item specifically targeted for the implementation of the Mystic River Master Plan (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/pe/MysticRiverMasterPlann-Final.11-09.pdf). The Mystic River Master Plan proposed comprehensive improvements to more than 370 acres of this park system which when complete will transform the park and the lives of more than 800,000 Massachusetts residents within easy reach of the park's amenities. The Department of Conservation and Recreation requires funding ($500,000) to complete design development plans and construction specifications for the park improvements that are delineated in detail in the Master Planning document. Once these plans and specifications are complete, DCR can apply for various State and Federal funds to construct these park improvements.
Thank you for your consideration.
If you have any questions, please contact Tim Snyder at Senator Jehlen’s office at Tim.Snyder@masenate.gov or 617.722.1578, or EkOngKar Singh Khalsa at MyRWA at EK@MysticRiver.org or 781.316.3438. For any questions regarding H.785, An Act establishing a Mystic River water quality commission, please contact Mark Kennedy in Representative Provost’s office at Mark.Kennedy@mahouse.gov, or at 617-722-2263.