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Muskrat Marsh Restoration Project Team requests Belmont Uplands Advisory Committee wait for any plans while study is being made of the area
Letter of request for consideration

Fred Paulsen
Chair: Belmont Uplands Advisory Committee
Office of Selectmen
445 Concord Ave.
Belmont, MA. 02478

May 10, 2005

Dear Fred Paulsen and members of the Belmont Uplands Advisory Committee

As Belmont Advisory Committee for the town, officially charged with recommending solutions for the town and region's concerns about watershed impacts of building on the Belmont Uplands, we ask you to take the following request into consideration from our technical working team in the adjacent wetlands, composed of scientists and engineers and volunteers from around the state of Massachusetts.

We are writing to urge that you delay any actions related to the development of the O'Neill property on the Belmont Uplands Silver Maple Forest. We ask that you postpone your decisions until all relevant information on the hydrology of the area is examined and findings have been released.

A growing partnership of federal, state, private, community environmental groups, and Conservation Commissions are working as a community partnership to try and understand the region's hydrology, future possibilities, and to develop solutions to restore the central freshwater marsh (Muskrat Marsh) on the Bullfinch Properties which are surrounded by and integral to the 115 acre Alewife Reservation. Agencies, businesses and groups include Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management - Wetlands Restoration Program; USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services; Bulfinch Company, and MA Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership; Friends of Alewife Reservation inc., the Conservation Commissions of Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge; Mystic River Watershed Association; Lesley University's Natural Science and Mathematics Division.

Our studies will involve measurement of groundwater levels, water flow rates and directions, and water levels in culverts and Little River, as well as vegetation in the marsh. Our studies will yield valuable hydrological information for the area that could influence our understanding of the quality of Little River for anadromous fish, and provide insight into enlightened management of the system. The information we gain will also enlighten us about the hydrological role of the old Little River streambed that runs along the northern border of the O'Neill site, and will shed possibilities to benefit the region's municipalities by discovering remedies to flooding, reducing pollution and eliminating large amounts of invasive plant species for purposes of biodiversity for Belmont, Arlington and Cambridge.

Our fact-finding process should be fairly swift and information for analysis and discussion would be disseminated soon after. Please inform our group through the Restoration team that you have received this letter, and are considering it.

Our address is

Marsh Restoration Project
186 Alewife Brook Parkway
Suite 304
Cambridge, MA. 02140


David Morimoto