Mystic River Receives A- Water Quality Grade

Together with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) issued the 2016 Water Quality Report Card for the Mystic River watershed. Since 2015, we have implemented a water quality analysis that provides ratings for 14 river segments or tributaries. The report card grades are based on bacterial contamination from water quality samples collected by MyRWA volunteers and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). 

This year’s grade shows very good water quality for the Mystic River (both fresh and salt water), the Mystic Lakes and Chelsea Creek. It also calls out the water quality improvements at Belle Isle Inlet in Revere/Winthrop, where water quality conditions moved from a C grade in 2014, a B in 2015, and an A- for 2016. This progress, however, is inconsistent. Areas such as Winn’s Brook, Mill Creek and Alewife Brook received failing grades and represent locations where infrastructure improvements are needed. The culprits here: illicit sewer discharges to storm drain systems and stormwater runoff.

“This year’s grade shows, once again, that the Mystic is a great place to recreate. From swimming at Shannon Beach in the Upper Mystic Lake, to renting canoes and kayaks at Somerville’s new Paddle Boston location, to walking or biking along its banks, it’s an excellent time to explore your Mystic,” said Patrick Herron, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. "The report card also shows that there is still work to be done, and we and our many partners are committed to making these improvements."

The report card is a group effort, and we are happy to collaborate with the EPA, MWRA, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to make improvements in local water quality. This work would not be possible without our dedicated team of citizen scientists, who take water samples at 15 locations throughout the watershed each month to gather this important data.

Click to see a PDF version of this map, courtesy of the US EPA.

Click to see a PDF version of this map, courtesy of the US EPA.

The Report Card announcement took place at Mary O'Malley Park in Chelsea on June 29, 2017. Left to right: Representative Joe Mcgonagle; homas Ambrosino, City Manager, Chelsea; Patrick Herron, Executive Director, Mystic River Watershed Association; Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro, U.S. EPA; Deputy Commissioner Beth Card MassDEP; Fred Laskey, Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. We were joined by Chris Smith of Senator Sal DiDomenico's office, Kate Chang from Representative Capuano's office, Wade Blackman and Kelsey Perkins from Congresswoman Clark's office, as well as Roseann Bongiovanni of GreenRoots. Photo © Robert Castagna.

The Report Card announcement took place at Mary O'Malley Park in Chelsea on June 29, 2017.
Left to right: Representative Joe Mcgonagle; homas Ambrosino, City Manager, Chelsea; Patrick Herron, Executive Director, Mystic River Watershed Association; Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro, U.S. EPA; Deputy Commissioner Beth Card MassDEP; Fred Laskey, Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. We were joined by Chris Smith of Senator Sal DiDomenico's office, Kate Chang from Representative Capuano's office, Wade Blackman and Kelsey Perkins from Congresswoman Clark's office, as well as Roseann Bongiovanni of GreenRoots.

Photo © Robert Castagna.