WATER CHESTNUT REMOVAL PROJECT
Eradication efforts of water chestnut, an invasive plant clogging the Mystic River and elsewhere in the watershed, have been ongoing since 2010. MyRWA is aggressively combating water chestnuts by partnering with municipalities, local environmental organizations, boat clubs, corporations and community members to hand-pull the plant and obtain funding for a mechanical harvester.
Make a difference in your local community at a fun event on the Mystic River! We coordinate volunteers to hand-pull water chestnut from canoes. Three community water chestnut removal events were held this summer - thanks to all who attended!
MyRWA can organize a fun and rewarding employee community service day for you! If you would like to get your workplace, community organization, church, club or neighborhood involved in water chestnut removal please contact Beth at 781-316-3438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS A WATER CHESTNUT?
Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is native to Asia, Europe and Africa. It was introduced in 1897 by a gardener as an ornamental plant in Fresh Pond in Cambridge.
In Medford, parts of the Mystic River are barely passable due to water chestnuts that are working hard to extend their habitat from shore to shore. These floating-leaved plants form dense, continuous mats over the water surface of lakes, ponds and slow-moving waters. The mats in turn impede boating, fishing, and swimming, and crowd out native plants. Decomposition of large quantities of water chestnuts may result in lower dissolved oxygen levels, which can lead to fish kills. The plant’s growth is propelled by high levels of nutrients, such as phosphorus, in the Mystic River. One acre of water chestnut can produce enough seeds to cover 100 acres the following year.
THANKS TO THE MANY HELPING HANDS THAT MAKE THIS WORK POSSIBLE!
- 2016: 835 volunteers attended 22 events, removing nearly 67 tons of plant material from the Mystic River and Arlington Reservoir.
- 2015: 966 volunteers hand-pulled 94,160 lbs. of water chestnuts across 21 events. Program news coverage!
- 2014: 941 volunteers attended 19 events removing 6,603 baskets of water chestnuts, clearing 2.3 miles of the Mystic River.