A small crowd gathered on a dock overlooking the Mystic River at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville, MA for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) press conference on July 15, 2014. The DCR announced their dedication to invasive species control in the Mystic River, noting that 850 tons of water chestnut has been removed thus far in 2014. An expected 85% of the invasive water chestnut will be removed this year, primarily via mechanical harvesting. The DCR thanked their partners in this effort – the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Cities of Medford and Somerville, Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), Friends of the Mystic River, Groundwork Somerville, Gentle Giant Rowing Club and area boat and yacht clubs. The DCR will invest $125,000 in invasive species removal in the Mystic River Watershed in FY2014 and project partners have dedicated an additional $25,000 to the cause.
Secretary of Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett stated that we are gathered “to celebrate the over-arching goal of restoring the use of the lower Mystic River as a viable habitat for fisheries and wildlife through a program to remove the water chestnuts. With the investment in an annual program we can knock back the spread of water chestnut each year with the mechanical harvesting until it can in fact be managed with volunteer hand-pulling alone.”
“The Mystic River Watershed is an urban gem,” stated EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. “The invasive species program helps to preserve the value of this beautiful living system."
MyRWA’s EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn, State Representative Denise Provost, Secretary of Environmental Affairs Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Department of Conservation and Recreation Deputy Commissioner Jack Murray, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Dan Hurley from State Representative Donato’s Office and Chief of Staff for State Senator Jehlen, Tim Snyder are pictured above.