Mystic River Watershed Water Quality Commission Established By State Legislature

The Mystic River Watershed Association is inspired that the state legislature has acted to empanel a commission to investigate water quality conditions in the Mystic River Watershed and to determine the ways in which water quality can be improved to support a healthy ecosystem and recreational opportunities. The thirteen member commission will include one member appointed from the Mystic River Watershed Association, the US EPA, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and members from the House and Senate, among others. The commission will submit a report, including its recommendations for legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by July 31, 2017. Read the Bill here.

The Association wants to thank the many members of the Mystic River legislative caucus and especially lead sponsors of the bill, Representative Denise Provost and Senator Pat Jehlen. Cosponsors of the legislation include local legislators Representative Paul Donato, Representative Sean Garballey, Representative Tim Toomey, Representative Dave Rogers, Representative Jon Hecht, and Representative Carlo Basile; and Senator Sal DiDomenico, Senator William Brownsberger, and Senator Jason Lewis.

The formation of this commission is timely as evidenced by the annual Mystic River Watershed Report Card grade recently issued by the US EPA. Unfortunately for the fourth year in a row Mystic River Watershed water quality earned a report card grade of “D” for calendar year 2013. This means that while the Mystic River Watershed met state water quality standards for boating 83 percent of the time, swimming standards were met only 49 percent of the time. Read the press release here

“We are very encouraged that the legislature has through this initiative brought new focus and attention to water quality issues in the Mystic River Watershed,” stated EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. “We look forward to working with the Commission to identify and implement the most effective ways to improve conditions in the Mystic River and its many tributaries.”

The Mystic River Watershed is a vital natural resource for the more than 500,000 people who live in 22 Mystic River communities.  For more information about the Mystic River Watershed Association please see www.MysticRiver.org.