Final Water Chestnut Cleanup

The big groups have come through and done their baskets of work, but there are still a few water chestnuts left in certain stretches of the river! Given our ambitious and exciting goal of collecting 100% of the plants in the river, we are sending out a call for volunteers to help us collect the stragglers. If you have your own boat and can spend an hour or so of your time to help clean up the Mystic, please let us know!

Use the maps below to pick a section of river you would like to work on, then sign up for the respective section on this Google form:


How are we doing this?

                We are asking volunteers with their own canoes or kayaks to sign up for a portion of the river and search among the Lily Pads and Algae for the last few Water Chestnut plants. Feel free to sign up for as many sections as you'd like, we appreciate the help!

When should I try to complete this?

                The earlier the better, we are trying to pull the plants before they have a chance to reproduce. Ideally, we’d like every section to be cleared by August 21st.

Which areas are most important?

                While we are trying clear all of the water chestnut, in general the further downstream the area is, the more plants are left. Therefore, our top priorities are the lower numbers (i.e. 1-6).


How do I know what to pull?

                The water chestnut looks like this: and grows on the surface of the water. Grasp the plant just below the water surface and gently tug it to pull up the long roots. Then pull the plant into your boat. Be careful of the spiky seeds: If you see these floating in the water, no need to pull them out (they are defective) however, the plants can have seeds on them so be aware and wear gloves!


Why are we removing water chestnut from the Mystic River?

 For more information on the Water Chestnut and the problems it poses for the watershed, refer to this document:


What do I do with the plants once I pull them?

                You can throw them on the shore or put them in your compost or trash. Just don’t throw them back in the water!  

If you have any more questions, or can't find an open slot that works for you, don’t hesitate to email


Thank you in advance for your help cleaning the last of this invasive species from the upstream portions of the river!