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Do not throw out 10 million dollars of free US-EPA protection of our streams and rivers. This would increase the burden of watershed protection expenses for the State DEP. (what to say)
Support the 2017 Green Budget for Massachusetts from the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives, We have great respect for you and House members. Energy policy is complicated. It becomes simpler if you remove the profit motives of Big Utilities. Focus on only two considerations: What’s best for our economy and environment. ... (Ad in Boston Globe)
FAR was very pleased to have Naomi Dworkin bring a group of adults and youth to the Blair Pond meadow and rain garden on May 15th to assist in sustaining the meadow, woodlands and Pond's ecosystems. (article)
Peter Del Tredici speaks at Community Church of Boston (CCB)
The northeastern U. S. is a naturally forested landscape and has been so for thousands of years. In this slide lecture, Dr. Peter Del Tredici will present an overview of the recent history of the forests of the northeast as impacted by shifting land-use patterns (urbanization and suburban sprawl). He will not only discuss how today’s “emergent” forests differ from the native forests of the past but also how human priorities and evolutionary processes are working together to create a new ecological order. (article)
This Spring, we have been blessed with a great deal of help with the annual cleanup:
Thank you to all the volunteers who made this Spring's cleanup so successful! (pictures)
Read DCR's articles on Pollinators, Grants, webinars.
Exceptional ecology issue
FAR Summer Ecology Camp runs July 6th– August 12th every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Check us out : www.friendsofalewifereservation.org
MYSEP Applications due April 13 - May 6
April 16th: Cleaning around homeless encampments. (pictures)
On Thursday, April 14th twelve students from the International School of Boston found a way to give back to their community by spending the afternoon helping clean up the trails and surrounding area of the Alewife Reservation. Students removed a variety of plastic, styrofoam, and paper products throughout the afternoon. By the end of the day over 400 pieces of trash were collected and removed from the reservation! (pictures and ISB presentation)
Cambridge And Towns Take Heed
Becomes National LAW 7/1/17
(Notice From Mass Rivers Alliance)
Photo of storm water gushing from Belmont Uplands into land designated "Bordering Land Subject to Flooding", illegal for stormwater dumping by the Wetlands Protection Act.
Photo: Charles River Watershed Assocation (CWRA) meeting at headquarters in Weston with MA DEP Commissioner and watershed representatives and agencies. The Commissioner offers to take on role of federal government for many aspects of permitting, inspections, enforcement, despite the fact that DEP has been severely reduced in staff and budget.
"A recent article in the Boston Globe "US set to force cleanup of river" describes the new stormwater general permit that the U.S. EPA will be issuing next month. The MS4 (Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit will regulate the stormwater that towns and cities discharge to the Charles River and to water bodies throughout the state. Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) has advocated for this overdue permit, which should have been issued in 2008 and which has already gone through two public comment periods." (CWRA statement)
MA DEP will co-sign Federal stormwater permit
Massachusetts DEP has agreed to federal oversight on US-EPA Clean Water Act's NPDES second phase, focused on storm water. This is good national news for now. Hopeful to get mitigation and outfall attention at Little River in Cambridge and Little Pond in Belmont. Heavily contaminated waters require grass roots and community attention. FAR has just written a grant for someone to run a local Cambridge program, as Belmont and Watertown are doing, by forming Committees. Good News for Massachusetts waterways, streets and for climate change mitigation. Adaptation on the way if municipalities agree.
MassDEP has decided to co-sign the MS4 stormwater permit for Massachusetts, so we should see this regulation out in a few weeks, jointly issued by the state and federal agencies. That's the good news. EPA has made several changes to the permit, per DEP's requests. But DEP did not make this decision with great enthusiasm (see MA DEP letter to EPA.)
Annual Boston Water Conference Points towards Future Environmental Changes
Adaptation and Compliance Needed in Massachusetts
by Ellen Mass
EOEEA speaker Secretary, Matthew Beaton, noted that Massachusetts is one of 3 states still using US-EPA for storm water and waste water pollution standards and enforcement. We want them to continue to save the state close to 10 million a year and doing a high quality job. Our rivers and watersheds have become cleaner because of it. State apparatus is not equipped at this time to monitor and enforce these high federal standards, maintains many in the watershed movement meeting and campaigning on this issue. But Cambridge has received a ‘D minus’ federal report card for Alewife sub-watershed (one mile of Little River) and an ‘F’ grade for Belmont’s Little Pond and Perch Pond, indicating high dangerous bacteria counts. (full article)
from MA Energy and Environmental Bureau
Attorney General Maura Healey’s Energy and Environmental Bureau will be hosting a series of Listening Sessions across the Commonwealth this Spring. We hope you can join us for an evening of learning and sharing information about the environmental and energy issues that are important to you and your community. Our first Energy and Environmental Bureau Listening Session will be at the Chelsea Collaborative on Thursday, March 31st from 6-8pm. (article)
A serious EPA notice about our water bodies and severe contamination from urban infrastructure. Keep Flint in mind.
Take Care of the Discharge Problem Now - Growing Risk to Human Health
FAR criticizes City 2015 storm water Annual Report to US-EPA
Uses Sudbury MA as example of good watershed conservation practices in complying with MS4 federal regulations.
Meet at bridge Entry across from Alewife MBTA Station, Cambridge.
A two-hour walk at Alewife Reservation will celebrate the spring emergence of wildlife in the park. Birds and mammal sign will be identified, and the relationship of these wild animals to the various habitats in this urban wild will be discussed. We will also keep an eye out for spring ephemeral wildflowers and other new growth. Wear sturdy footwear as well as long pants and sleeves. The walk is suitable for adults and teens 13 and up. Meet at the reservation parking lot on Acorn Park Drive off of Route 2 in Cambridge. Call 617 415-1884 for more information.
The walk will be led by tracker-naturalist David Brown, lead surveyor for the Biodiversity Study of the Alewife Reservation Area. He is the author of several wildlife tracking publications including the recently-released book: The Next Step: Interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails and Sign.
Friends of Alewife Reservation
Ages 13+. Cost: Free. Donation requested.
A clean bill of health cannot yet be given to the city, state and the engineers as yet, says Friends of Alewife Reservation to a Belmont Citizen Forum February news about two combined sewer overflows (CSO) cut offs in Cambridge. (article)
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance has been working closely with ELM
to craft the water items in this year's Green Budget.
Now we need your help. (article)
February 22: Globe Reporter David Abel Explains Clean River Water Options from new EPA River regulations.
Strong storm water Implications for changes to D- report card for Little River in the Alewife sub-watershed of Mystic River Watershed
"Municipalities will be required to do whatever they can to allow more water to drain directly into the ground and wetlands, which filter out the phosphorus and other harmful chemicals, rather than have that water flow into the river. Over the next 20 years, communities will be required to replace asphalt with porous pavement, increase street sweeping, clear catch basins more regularly, and rebuild wetlands, among other things." (full article)
FAR signs to support Adaptation legislation:
(Adaptation Support letter to Rep. Smyzik)
Citizen Forester Newsletter- February 2016
- DCR Urban and Community Forestry Program
Ellen Mass speaks to Harvard Biodiversity 4 "A Livable Climate" conference May 2015 on losing a small floodplain forest and why our urban wilds are so important.
Announcing Next conference: The Power and Promise of Biodiversity: Visions of Restoring Land, Sea and Climate, April 30, 2016.
Elhwa River Freed- Brings glorious biodiversity to Washington State and beyond. (article)
Eagle at Alewife Little Pond. Bald Eagle requires protected habitat. Taken by Stephanie Liu of Oliver Road on Little Pond, February 15th, 3:30pm. (video)
State House Climate Rally- Last day of Paris global climate conference where global Agreement was reached to curb greenhouse gases. (article)
"We must ensure enough clean water to meet the future needs of wildlife, people, and a growing economy." (from Vision Statement) (article)
DER restoration projects of Massachusetts. (article)
We found 35 genets of the plants there on Friday 4 December 2015 in the early afternoon Other species present were ... (more)
Dialogue with MWRA continues. Discussion of more Variances proceeds (read more)
is a unique natural resource for the communities of Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge
and home to hundreds of species, including hawks, coyotes beavers, snapping turtles, wild turkeys and muskrats,
the reservation is a unique natural resource for the community.
Historical information (Powerpoint)
Interactive map with directions
Friends of Alewife Reservation works to protect and restore this wild area and the surrounding area for the water quality, native plants, animals and over 90 bird species with paths for walking, running and biking, recreation, and for classroom education and research. We regularly steward and preserve the Reservation area for wildlife and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.