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Muskrat Marsh Restoration Team project
Press Release — May 20, 2005
Concrete Description from Wetlands Restoration Program
To Belmont Citizen Herald
Muskrat Marsh Team Project
The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management's Wetland Restoration Program (WRP) is workng with the Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR), towns/cities of Cambridge, Belmont, and Arlington, Lesley College, the US Dept of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to explore the feasibility of improving the ecological function of approximately 12 acres of degraded palustrine emgerent wetland. The majority of the site is in Cambridge and owned by the Bulfinch Company, owner of the adjacent Acorn Park Drive Discovery Park business complex. The site is directly south of Route 2 bordering the 3 municipalities. WRP's focus for this preliminary phase of the project is to understand site specific topographic, hydrologic, and biological data in order to understand the existing ecological condition and function of the marsh. Collected data will include ground and surface water elevations, stream gauging and discharge, cover type mapping, and land surface elevations. Data is compiled from existing water flow sources. Other data is developed by students from Lesley College and FAR volunteers, with guidance from WRP. The later will provide additional resources in the form of training, GIS mapping support, data management, and interpretation. WRP has retained the services of the environmental consulting firm Horsely Witten Inc. to aid this effort. Collected data will eventually be used to prepare a range of potential restoration alternatives aimed at improving the overall ecological health and function of the marsh which is adjacent to Little River. Restoration options may include alterations to hydrology, removal of fill and debris, surface regrading, invasive species control, and native species diversity as well as riparian stream improvements. Detailed engineering and design will be required in order to choose a preferred restoration strategy and obtain permits from local, state, and federal agencies. Initital data collection is expected to continue through the summer and fall of 2005.
Volunteers knowledgeable in wetland or other marsh plants are encouraged to be in touch with WRP for vegetative mapping needs in various seasons.
call the Muskrat Marsh team for seasonal volunteer opportunities. Dave, 617 349-8226, Tim, 617 626-1247