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Using science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its

watershed.
NON PROFIT ORG.
Charles River Watershed Association U.S. POSTAGE
48 Woerd Avenue, Suite #103 PAID
Waltham, MA 02453 NATICK, MA Vol. 33, No. 6
PERMIT NO. 61
Spring 2005

the newsletter of the Charles River Watershed Association

Controversy Over Charles Permits Intensifies


tainable water supply and wastewater management solu-
the blue town campaign tions, and make sound infrastructure plans.
CRWA continues to promote basic, straightforward
This is an important year for the Charles. Unknown approaches to water: reduce, reuse, recycle. Communities
to many people who live here, most of the towns in the need to reduce their wasteful use of water and minimize
upper and middle Charles River watershed are in the midst non-essential outdoor water use in the summer when
of a critical debate about their water futures. The out- water demand is high and aquifers and rivers are already
come of this debate will have real consequences for all of stressed. We also need to implement many of the water
us as the state Department of Environmental Protection reuse techniques that people in arid parts of the country
(DEP) revises towns’ water withdrawal permits. The deci- routinely follow. Lastly, we need to recycle what water we
sions made by state and town officials in the next several do use back into the ground, renewing groundwater stores,
months will affect the future of our groundwater supplies, and ensuring a sustainable system.
the growth of our towns, the health But change is not easy.
Charles River Watershed Association of our rivers, streams wetlands and “Change is not easy. While While many town officials lis-
fisheries, and our basic quality of tened to CRWA’s ideas, few

Streamer life.
At CRWA, we have been pro-
moting technologies, policies, and
many town officials listened have tried them. Most of these
to CRWA’s ideas, few have communities continue to pump
water out of the ground and
programs to protect water tried them. The result? A discharge their treated waste-
resources for decades. In 1996, water somewhere downstream.
In this issue... Building Blue Cities CRWA News & Notes CRWA recognized that many towns looming water crisis.”
in the watershed were pursuing
They continue to pave over the
land, build sewers and storm

A special section: Who’s coming, who’s water resource practices that were unsustainable and that drains that carry water away from its source, pump water
Run of the River going, funding matters
would begin to dry up tributaries and dewater aquifers. We out of the ground at ever increasing volumes, and allow

Find out what’s happening Redeveloping cities as began to work to reverse this outcome. unfettered lawn watering.
The result? Dwindling water supplies, unnaturally
models of sustainability and comment letters We designed or promoted solutions such as treating
wastewater to drinking water standards and infiltrating it low streamflows in the headwaters and Charles tributaries, The fifteen towns in the Charles River watershed affected
in your neck of the river pages 6-7 into the ground near where the water was originally drawn, loss of habitat and river fish and species diversity, loss of by the Water Management Act permitting process.
pages 2-3 pages 4-5 and using cisterns and drywells to water lawns and to recreational opportunities, proliferation of aquatic weeds,
lems with water management begin when water is with-
reconnect rainwater to the ground to replenish aquifers. impaired water quality, and higher pollutant loadings: in
CRWA also developed planning tools to help communities short, a looming water crisis. drawn from the river or pumped out of its aquifers,
identify critical areas for water resource protection, devel- Realizing that good science alone was not changing CRWA looked at why the Water Management Act (WMA)
op zoning and bylaws to protect these areas, design sus- these outcomes, CRWA turned to the law. Since the prob- - the state law regulating continued on page 7

Letter from the Executive Director WHEN YOUR BLUE IS IN THE RED:
I am halfway through my 14th year as CRWA's stood that all of the problems we were trying to solve CRWA tackles this from all angles, finding technical
director. Early on, I thought my job would be to advo-
cate for solutions to the watershed environmental issues
of our day. I expected the solutions would be obvious
were ultimately caused by one thing: the way water is
manipulated.
Our water system and infrastructure have been
solutions, pushing for better policies and regulations and
their implementation, and taking legal action when we
must. The Charles communities and others across the
Building a water budget in Blackstone, MA
and highlighted by the US Environmental Protection engineered to be unsustainable. Water is taken from one state have a choice to make: either keep going down an When American National Power (ANP) wanted to town, primarily because the public
Agency and the state Department of Environmental place, used in our homes and businesses, and discarded unsustainable water path, or begin to change how water install a new power plant in the town of Blackstone in the water wells are in, or near, their
Protection, needing a local regional environmental somewhere else. We also build and pave over the land is managed. 1990s, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) watersheds. The Blackstone River
group like CRWA to focus attention and funding on that would otherwise connect rainwater to groundwater Lend your voice. Engage your neighbors. Call or immediately voiced concerns about the effect of the plant watershed has moderate stress pri-
implementing solutions. and replenish it. Instead, rainwater becomes polluted write to your town administrators, your legislators, and on the town's water resources. CRWA worked to mini- marily due to the large amount of
I was wrong, of course. By 1993, two years into my stormwater runoff, which is collected in pipes and sent local newspapers. Let's get this right. The alternative? mize the impact of the plant by requiring it to be air- impervious area and wastewater
tenure, the ongoing arguments between agencies, con- rapidly into rivers, lakes and ponds. The way water is We don't even want to think about going there. cooled and creating a mitigation fund to sponsor ground- losses. Other subbasins in the town
sultants, and advocates about how to solve the river's managed causes all of the environmental problems water recharge in the town. CRWA also assessed the showed little stress in this analysis.
problems made me question whether we really knew CRWA deals with in the watershed: water pollution; My best, streams located in the town, identifying those that suffer The impact of impervious sur-
what caused them. With strong CRWA Board support, dropping groundwater levels; depleted fish populations; from low flows and locations for recharging stormwater faces, which prevent rain from
in 1994, we started the Integrated Monitoring, Modeling loss of summer streamflow; algae blooms; and com- to increase stream flow. recharging groundwater, is greatest
and Management (IM3) project. CRWA's goal: to bined sewer overflows. Blackstone is the last town on the Blackstone River in the spring because the ground is
understand how the Charles River watershed works, to This issue of the Streamer highlights some of the within Massachusetts. Five wells in the Mill River water- already saturated and cannot absorb
identify the root causes of its environmental problems , work CRWA has been doing for the past decade to shed, which is a tributary to the Blackstone, supply most runoff from adjacent surfaces. In
and to make the management changes necessary to address the root causes and to solve these problems. of the town's water. Only a small portion of the town has the summer we see the opposite
resolve them. Our work is focused more than ever on changing the a sewer system; wastewater from the rest of the town is effect. The ground is dry and thus
We learned a lot, quickly. By 1996, CRWA under- way water is managed in the Charles and across the state. Bob Zimmerman, Executive Director served by septic systems. As part of the project, CRWA able to absorb more runoff from
evaluated the town's water budget, which can be compared the impervious surfaces. But
to balancing a checkbook. The water budget accounts for because of increased pumping of
water that enters or leaves a watershed the groundwater the town focus recharge efforts in the water-stressed sub-
Board of Directors Board of Advisors Staff
are removing too much water.
“The water budget
(also called a subbasin) and tells us if we by the town during the summer, the
impact is high on streamflow levels.
basins in the town, specifically the Lower Mill River,
Quick River, and Blackstone River. Land in the most
President Philip L. Hillman Co-Chairs Martha Clark Dick Mayo-Smith Executive Director Robert Zimmerman Jr.
Vice President Ralph W. Abele Beedee Ladd Jarrett Collins Judy Neville Senior Environmental Scientist Kate Bowditch A water budget was developed for accounts for water As the town becomes more developed, optimal recharge sites should be protected or purchased.
Blackstone to determine which streams it will have more impervious and sew- The optimal recharge sites should be narrowed down by
Treasurer
Asst. Treasurer
Elizabeth Levin
John Clark
Beatrice Nessen Woolsey Conover Betsy Nichols
Carole & Chris Ely Brian O’Donovan
Finance Administrator Suzanne Carleo
Publications/Office Manager Ariel Dekovic are "stressed" from low flow and when that enters or leaves ered areas, and irrigation losses. All using site-specific investigations. Local bylaws could help
Clerk
Past President
Jane Sender
Kelly McClintock
Alan Aisenberg
Deborah Babson
Bonnie Emmons
Richard Forte
Jeryl Oristaglio
Louisa Paige
Project Manager/Engineer Anna Eleria
Rita Barron Fellow David Kaplan
that stress occurs. All human uses of
water were quantified and the cumula- a watershed and these factors reduce the water going in
and increase the water coming out,
focus recharge efforts and limit future sewering to
Woonsocket wastewater treatment plants in stressed sub-
Directors Jon Bernstein
John Bonifaz
Bonnie Frechette Pat & Jim Poitras
Kim Goslant Margot Pyle
Senior Environmental Engineer Nigel Pickering
Membership Manager Louise Taylor
tive impact was compared to the natural
streamflow for each tributary's water-
tells us whether we therefore pushing the water budget
even more into the red. As a result,
basins. The water budget for the town should be
reassessed for future development conditions since future
Lee P. Breckenridge Attila Klein
John P. DeVillars Virginia M. Lawrence
John Brock
Gordon Burnes
Catherine Henn
Betsy Jackson
David Smith
Caroline Standley
Deputy Director/General Counsel Margaret Van Deusen shed to determine the relative impact on are removing too the streams of Blackstone will suffer growth will augment stress and streamflow impacts.
Edward S. Englander John G. Palfrey, Jr. natural streamflow. The water budget lower flows. The approach developed by CRWA for this study can
James Healy Robert Sproull
Caroline Dixwell
Cabot
Lillie Johnson
Max Kennedy
John Thomas
Denise Trapani
Charles River Watershed Association
48 Woerd Avenue considered water supply wells, water much water.” The optimal recharge sites need be adapted to any community and is being considered for
Jonathan D. Katz William J. Tedoldi Waltham, MA 02453 supply pipes, wastewater pipes, infiltra- to be as far from the streams as possi- a statewide water budget initiative. Results from CRWA’s
Lucy Caldwell Stair Carolyn King Ned Watts
Eugene Clapp George Lewis Hol Whitney phone: 781-788-0007 fax: 781-788-0057 tion from septic systems, irrigation evaporation, and ble so that the high volume of spring stormwater can cap- assessments will be used to site and install systems that
printed on recycled paper www..charlesriver.org reduced recharge from impervious areas. ture for groundwater recharge and show up in the fall as recharge stormwater in Blackstone.
The water budget identified the Lower Mill River and streamflow. They should also be in the sand and gravel -Nigel Pickering is a Senior Engineer at CRWA.
the Quick River as the most stressed tributaries in the areas with high permeability. CRWA has recommended
Page 8 Charles River Watershed Association Letter from the Executive Director
R U N
CHARLES RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION’S REPORT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING ON (AND AROUND) THE CHARLES
O F T H E R I V E R
MAKING A BETTER FISH PASSAGE
Thanks to a generous donation by
KESSELER WOODS UPDATE the Bilezekian Foundation and the
joint efforts of MA Division of
ESTIMATING PHOSPHORUS LOAD Roadway and utility construction has just begun for a 13-
lot subdivision on the 42-acre Kesseler Woods parcel, Marine Fisheries (MA DMF), MA
Last fall, CRWA completed the third of four monitoring
which was purchased from NSTAR by the Town of Dept. of Conservation and
events in the upper watershed for developing a total maxi-
Newton and Cornerstone Corporation for development Recreation (DCR), and CRWA,
mum daily load (TMDL) for phosphorus, which is the amount
and open space preservation. MWRA is also placing a river herring will have a better
of phosphorus the river can absorb yet still achieve its desig-
sewer line parallel to Saw Mill Brook within the floodplain. chance of reaching spawning
nated use and the state water quality standards. CRWA staff
Saw Mill Brook, which flows through the parcel, suffers grounds upstream of Watertown
collected water quality samples during and after two storm
from flooding and water quality impairments due in large Dam. The local foundation pro-
events and will conduct one more dry weather monitoring
part to increased development and resulting impervious vided funds to construct new baf-
event this summer. This monitoring data and other informa-
cover. CRWA applauds the inclusion of open space in the fles, which control water flow
tion is being used in a computer model to estimate the phos-

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site plan, which will provide valuable habitat, recreational within the fishway, and control
phorus TMDL. Phosphorus, the nutrient of greatest concern
opportunities and help maintain the area’s natural hydro- boards to regulate water height at
in the upper watershed, causes eutrophication or the over-
logic regime. At the same time, CRWA urges continued the Watertown Dam fish ladder. MA DMF installed the new baf-
abundance of nutrients that allow aquatic plants to choke the

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vigilance in reducing development impacts to wetlands and fles and boards in early April. Here, MA DMF workers replace the
river and ponds. Sources of phosphorus pollution include
other water resources abutting the development zone. grating at the entrace to the fish ladder (right).
runoff from fertilized lawns, golf courses and fields, and treat-

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ed discharges from local wastewater treatment plants.

A WALK IN THE WOODS DRIVING IN CIRCLES


CRWA recently submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for The MBTA’s Urban Ring public transportation
Waldenwoods, a planned residential development in Milford. The project will preserve 216 acres through a project will circumferentially link radial bus and
permanent conservation restriction; recreational fields will be developed on adjacent town land. Concerns rail lines from downtown Boston to help facili-
are the development's size, its proximity to the Charles River, and stormwater, water supply and rare species' tate transportation through the towns of
issues. The project will alter 50 acres, create 18.5 acres of impervious surface, and destroy rare species habi- Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Medford,
tat. The project area drains to Echo Lake and the Charles River, both of which are classified as Outstanding Somerville, Cambridge, and Brookline. In
Resource Waters and require heightened protection. Polluted stormwater runoff threatens the water quali- November 2004, the MBTA submitted a Draft
ty of these waters. The headwaters of the Charles River upstream of Milford Pond often run dry in the Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for
summertime and the project's water demand will further stress the Charles basin. CRWA suggests a drastic Phase II of the project, which will commence
reduction in the amount of the project's turf and the capture and use of rooftop runoff to reduce outdoor with the construction of Bus Rapid Transit
watering demands and as an alternative to drilling five irrigation wells. Environmentally-minded landscap- (BRT) facilities and the improvement of com-
ing and low impact development strategies need to be addressed in the project's Final Environmental Impact muter rail access to those BRTs within and
Report (FEIR), as a means of reducing water demand and treating stormwater runoff. A conservation per-

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between the aforementioned towns. CRWA
mit will need to be developed based on a rare species assessment currently underway. voiced concerns about stormwater impacts and the use of Department of
Conservation and Recreation parkways for BRT lanes during Phase I of the project.

MUDDY RIVER RESTORATION PROJECT RECEIVES APPROVAL


After a lengthy state environmental permitting process,

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DREDGING MILFORD POND the City of Boston and Town of Brookline have
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with received final approval to improve and restore the
WATER IN HIGH DEMAND Muddy River and surrounding Emerald Necklace Park
the Town of Milford are proposing to dredge The Dedham-Westwood Water District
approximately 45 acres of the 120-acre Milford System. This multi-faceted project involves improve-
(DWWD) draws far more water from the Charles ments in six different areas to provide better flood con-
Pond. The pond is impacted by sedimentation and River Basin than it returns, resulting in a large water

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nutrient loading, filling in river fauna habitat and trol, improve water quality, enhance habitat and land-
budget deficit. Dedham's stormwater is carried off in scape, provide better pedestrian and automobile circu-
causing a boom in floating vegetation that has storm drains or enters the town's sewage pipes and is
choked the once open water ecosystem. Dredging lation and restore bridges and buildings. CRWA, a long-
exported to the MWRA's Deer Island treatment plant. time advocate of restoration and active participant in
will help restore the ecosystem, increase recre- This leaves little water for recharging the local
ational opportunities and provide needed water- the design and scope of the project, supports the proj-
aquifers. DWWD has difficulty meeting summer ect as described in the Supplemental Final
fowl habitat. The project will likely commence in demand and is seeking to buy up to 2 million gallons
the fall of 2007. CRWA expressed concerns that Environmental Impact Report under MEPA. The Certificate issued by the Secretary of
a day from the MWRA to meet water demand. Environmental Affairs reiterated several recommendations made by CRWA including a com-
neither the town nor USACE have adequately The project is undergoing Massachusetts
addressed stormwater discharges into the pond, mitment from DCR to meet the same requirements for parkland maintenance and stormwater
Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review and management as Boston and Brookline, and commitments by the proponents to ongoing work
which could negate the benefits from dredging. DWWD requested that the Environmental Affairs
CRWA recommends the implementation of best with permitting agencies and the Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight
Secretary not require an Environmental Impact Committee as the project enters the design phase to flesh out the needed mitigation require-
management practices to mitigate impacts from Report (EIR). CRWA opposed this, requesting both
all ten outfalls. Currently, the town is looking into ments and to expand stormwater management programs.
a draft and final EIR on the grounds that the
reducing pollution inputs from six or seven of the Expanded Environmental Notification Form did not
outfalls. provide adequate information to assess project alter-
natives, to avoid or minimize environmental impacts,
and to mitigate unavoidable impacts. The Secretary
EAGLEBROOK VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT agreed that a full EIR is necessary.

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The proposed Eaglebrook Village mixed-use development in Exacerbating DWWD's water supply problems
Wrentham would alter 96 acres, create approximately 32 are a number of new developments planned for
acres of new impervious cover, generate 72,000 gallons of Dedham. These include the Senior Campus
wastewater per day, and increase vehicle trips in the area by Community and Fairfield Green developments.
nearly 6,500 per day. CRWA recommended that project pro- CRWA has submitted MEPA comments on both
ponents address specific water, wastewater, stormwater and projects and worked with the Senior Campus
transportation issues and coordinate with the town water Community developer to reduce the project's indoor
demand and water conservation issues. CRWA also raised and outdoor water use, to enhance recharge, and to
concerns about the lack of transit facilities in the area. protect water resources.

Page 2 Charles River Watershed Association Run of the River Streamer Charles River Watershed Association Page 3
WMA policy and guidance that DEP issued in April,
the blue town campaign
C R W A N E W S & N O T E S WATERSHED PROFILE
2004. The policy applies to high and medium stressed After
based as classified by the Water Resources Commission’s teaching
continued from page 1 water withdrawals in Stressed Basin Report. The Charles is formally classified “Hooked” on Fishing about

Boston Foundation to Fund CRWA CRWA staff changes


excess of 100,000 gallons a day - was not preserving as medium stressed; however, the headwaters are highly
water resources, or achieving a balance among competing stressed.
250 passer-by children how to fish at local ponds,
John Hoffman, who has a background in organizing
Urban Sustainability Project
Coming... ...G o i n g
water uses, as required under the law. CRWA then joined This year, DEP began reviewing and revising the youth activities and coaching sports, decided to try
forces with the Ipswich River Watershed Association and water permits for 14 towns in the Charles River water- his own luck and
CRWA has received $50,000 from the Boston Foundation to others to bring suit against DEP, charging that the water shed. Based on DEP’s WMA policy, these permits will
develop an environmentally sustainable urban development started a non-
supply permits it issued in the likely require towns, over sev-
approach for the Boston area. Three redevelopment areas in David Kaplan, a CRWA bade a fond profit organiza-
Ipswich River basin (named “This is not about wildlife eral years, to increase their
Allston, Cambridge and Fenway/Kenmore will be the focus of the graduate of Tufts farewell to Director of conservation measures, tion that provides
the third most endangered
study. CRWA will work with municipalities, community groups, gov- University, joins the Projects Kathy Baskin Boston-area youth
river in the country in 2003) and frogs at the expense of reduce nonessential outdoor
ernment officials and developers to create an example of how urban staff of CRWA as this past April. Kathy water use, and bring residen- with the opportu-
violated the WMA. DEP, to
design and development can enhance the community and the envi- the first Rita Barron joined the ranks of state
Fellow, a year-long government as Special
its credit, had commissioned people, but rather beginning tial water use to an average of nity to fish and to
ronment, focusing particularly on water and open space issues. scientific studies that showed 65 gallons per capita daily. learn about their
the impact of water with- fundamentally to change how
"Our experience with development projects is that too often placement named Assistant for Water Despite knowing about environment.
the processes of site review, design and impact analysis do not after the former Policy Implentation at
drawals on Ipswich River we think about and manage the upcoming permit modifi- Joined by two-
maximize the potential benefits of the development," said Kate Executive Director the Executive Office of cations for a year, many
streamflows, and the flows time MA Angler
Bowditch, lead project manager at CRWA. She pointed out that in of CRWA. Dave, Environemental Affairs.
needed for healthy fisheries, water. Reducing, reusing and towns in the upper watershed of the Year, Roy
typical development projects, planning and review processes are who has a Masters in Kathy spent nearly ten are upset. Misinformation is
and agreed that revision of Leyva, Hoffman
fragmented, community groups feel they have little opportunity to Environmental Management from Duke years with CRWA, during which she helped CRWA
University, will be working closely with the to receive one of the most sought after watershed
the permits was necessary. recycling our water will flying as some town officials provides safe, and affordable summer and after-
participate, and developers feel they lack clear guidance. Even Instead of decreasing the refuse to acknowledge that
when project review is coordinated, and neighborhood input is science and advocacy staff. Mr. Kaplan joined grants in the country, the EPA Watershed Initiative
water allocations, DEP ensure that our water their communities are literally
school programs, has developed quite a following
sought, environmental issues are rarely addressed, which can lead CRWA as an intern in 2000, followed by a Grant Program, used to fund community-based and is being considered a model for similar programs
imposed water conservation resources will be sustainable running out of water or that
to poor design and permit delays. stint at the Massachusetts Water Resources approaches to watershed protection, preservation this has consequences for in other parts of the country.
standards, aimed primarily at
"We are excited about this project because ultimately it will help Authority as a Water Quality Analyst, before and restoration efforts. Kathy was instrumental in
reducing lawn watering and now and in the future.” existing uses, growth, and the During a week-long summer program, campers
to improve the relationship between people, parks and the river. attending Duke. Mr. Kaplan returns to CRWA developing our scientific and technical capabilities environment. This is not fish Boston’s Jamaica Pond, Plymouth’s American
other nonessential uses in the
CRWA will seek to establish guidelines for environmentally sensitive where he will be working closely with the at CRWA. One of the first engineers on our staff, about wildlife and frogs at the expense of people, as one Legion Pond, Westwood’s Buckmaster Pond,
summer when the upper Ipswich regularly dries up.
urban development by using our scientific, advocacy and coalition CRWA staff on water policy and management she developed and managed the monthly volunteer Medfield Selectman claims, but rather beginning funda- Malden’s Fellsway Pond, and Boston Harbor, and
Each permit was modified to include: a cap on the total
building experience to create a model process for environmentally projects, including our Municipal Stormwater monitoring program, and was responsible for many mentally to change how we think about and manage
summer withdrawal; a restriction of inground sprinkler visit the state fish hatchery in Sandwich. After
sensitive urban development," she said. "We want developers to see Education Program, Total Maximum Daily pioneering science-oriented grants and projects water. Reducing, reusing and recycling our water will
use when streamflows fall to a specified level; a require- school, The Fishing Academy runs fishing clinics and
that there are opportunities to link development to larger infrastruc- Load Project, Environmentally Sustainable while at the organization. Best of all, she was a ensure that our water resources will be sustainable now
ment that residential use town-wide to be reduced to an academic tutoring workshops by Boston College,
ture improvements and leverage additional resources." Urban Development, and on various GIS thoughtful and enthusiastic co-worker and manag- and in the future. The decisions about our water future
average of 65 gallons per person per day; and the elimi- Boston University and Harvard University students.
The Boston Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and largest projects. -A.D. er, and her presence is already missed. -A.D.
nation of excessive water lost in the distribution system. are upon us DEP’s revised permits have launched a dis- Key partners of The Fishing Academy include the
community foundations, has an endowment of $648 Communities failing to meet the residential use and sea- cussion that is long overdue. For more information on
million and made grants of more than $50 million to District 14 Police Station in Brighton and the
DID YOU KNOW? sonal cap limits are required to adopt additional conser- the Blue Town Campaign, visit www.charlesriver.org.
nonprofit organizations this year in the Boston area -Written by Kate Bowditch, Margaret Van Deusen and Bob Massachusetts Environmental Police.
vation measures the following year.
and beyond. They support projects which include
public policy advocacy and public education on urban
REGULATIONS FOR RIVER HERRING These basic requirements were also adopted as Zimmerman. For more information about the Academy, call 617-
782-2614 or visit www.thefishingacademy.com.
The following regulations are stated in Chapter 130 of the Massachusetts General
environmental issues, including transportation, access Laws, under Section 6.17 of 322 CMR.

Thank you
to natural areas, and the built environment, and which Catching Days: No catch or harvesting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Foundation for parkland protection, and $25,000 from University, Pfizer Global Research & Development,
provide technical assistance and other forms of sup- The Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust for the Raytheon Corporation, Roche Brothers Supermarkets,
Daily Catch Limit: 25 river herring per day per person
port to community-based organizations. For more Rita Barron Fellowship. Loud quacks to Boston Duck Inc., Royal Sonesta Hotel, Shaw's Supermarket, Stop and
Fishing Gear Restrictions: Fish may only be caught by hand-held dip nets.
information on the projects for this grant, turn to the special sec- Tours for their generous donation of $13,000 for the Run Shop Supermarket Co., Tom's of Maine, Triumvirate
tion “Building Blue Cities” on pages 4-5. Permit Requirements: No permit is needed for catching river herring by dip nets.
of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race. Environmental, Inc., and Watertown Yacht Club.
A report of gifts to CRWA Corporate members are vital to CRWA's sucess. CRWA is most grateful to Whole Foods Market for
Recent contributors include ANP Operations Company, holding a 9-store 5% Day that raised $30,000 for CRWA
We are most grateful to those of you who joined or Haley and Aldrich, Inc., Houghton Chemical and the cleanup. CRWA give huge thanks to Whole
re-joined CRWA, and who gave to the Annual Appeal Corporation, Earle W. Kazis Associates, Inc., Head-of- Foods Market Team Leader Bonnie Frechette for organ-
this fall, or who made year-end contributions. CRWA the-Charles Regatta, NSTAR, Pfizer Global Research and izing the 5% day. Many thanks as well to New Balance
extends a special thanks to our Board Directors, and Development, Polaroid Corporation, Sun Life Assurance Foundation for their contribution to the cleanup.
Board of Advisors for their diligent service which bene- Company of Canada, and the Royal Sonesta Hotel. CRWA has lost two long-time champions of the
fits the Charles River and the people in the watershed. The 23rd Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race River. They are Franklin "Bunge" King, Jr., and Irene
CRWA is pleased to report the following unre- (ROTC) held on April 24th couldn't have been such a Perry Morrill. As a friend of Bunge's wrote, "He was a
stricted contributions from members and friends from success without our Corporate Sponsors and the hun- wonderful, cheery and enthusiastic fellow who was

ANATOMY OF A COMMENT LETTER


the beginning of fiscal year 2005 to present total dreds of volunteers. CRWA recognizes Community deeply concerned about the environment." Irene Morrill
$285,324. CRWA deeply thanks our Millennium Rowing, Inc. for donating the use of one of their boats. was the author of Canoeing on the Charles: Images and Field
Society members (gifts of $2,500 or more) who have CRWA thanks Building 19, Inc. for producing Notes from 1902 -1912, and she often donated the pro-
given since the beginning of this fiscal year (10/1/04). "Charles River Water" (bottled drinking water), commit- ceeds from the book to CRWA. "Irene carried on her
Every year, Charles River Watershed Association writes dozens of letters to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA) that analyze the environ-
They include: Sierra H. Bright, Bea and Woolsey ting a portion of the proceeds to CRWA, and for donat- father's love affair with the Charles River," said Harland
mental impacts of potential developments within the watershed. The public is also invited to comment. Below is a step-by-step guide to one of the most impor-
Conover, Miss Elizabeth B. Jackson, Susan Jarvi, Andy ing water for CRWA events. Riker, Irene's son-in-law. CRWA thanks both Bunge
tant tools of advocacy CRWA and the public has at their fingertips.
and Linda McLane, Dan and Lisa Salvucci, Robert F. We are most grateful to everyone who participated King's and Irene Morrill's family and friends for their
Under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, The public has 20 days to submit written comments you can request it from the developer's consultant. The Sproull, Mr. and Mrs. Holyoke L. Whitney, and (2) anony- in the Earth Day Charles River Cleanup, especially contributions to CRWA in their memory. Very special
(MEPA), development projects that exceed specified on the ENF to the Environmental Affairs Secretary. All EIR comment period is usually 30 days from Monitor mous contributor. Likewise, we are very grateful to the Bilezikian Family Foundation, Brandeis University, thanks to Sandy King, and Ann and Harland Riker.
environmental impact levels and require a permit, finan- MEPA comments must reference the project’s name and publication. The developer must reproduce each com- following Headwater Society members (gifts from Community Rowing, Inc. Department of Conservation Franklin "Bunge" King, Jr., and Irene Perry Morrill will
cial assistance, or a land transfer from the state, are sub- EOEA number. There is no set format for a comment let- ment letter and respond to it in the EIR. The final EIR $1,000 to $2,499) for their donations. They include: and Recreation, Doubletree Guest Suites, Genzyme live on in our hearts and in the work of CRWA.
ject to public review and comment. MEPA requires state ter: you should discuss your environmental concerns, any as scoped by the Secretary narrows the issues requiring Margaret J. Clowes, Richard S. Emmet, Jr., Bonnie and Corporation, Ginger Lawrence, Harvard University, Each year CRWA interns provide invaluable assis-
agencies to use all feasible means to avoid, or minimize information that you have concerning potential impacts, further analyses from those discussed in the draft EIR. Jay Emmons, Richard S. and Mariele Forte, Lawrence R. Lasell College, Boston Marriott Hotel - Newton, MIT tance to staff. Many thanks to Rebeca Monje, Cesar
and mitigate damage to the environment to the maxi- studies, plans or analyses the developer should be required CRWA comments on most MEPA projects in the water- Gottesdiener, Belle L. Halpern and Mitch Rosenberg, Mr. Environmental, Health and Safety Programs, Museum of Pereira, and Katie Wagner for their help.
mum extent practicable. MEPA review does not result in to produce, and the necessary mitigation measures. shed and recent ENF and EIR comment letters are avail- and Mrs. Sturtevant Hobbs, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold W. Science, New Balance Foundation, Northeastern -Louise Taylor is CRWA’s membership manager.
a decision approving or disapproving the project; howev- If the Secretary determines that the project has rel- able on our website at www.charlesriver.org. Hunnewell, Elizabeth B. Kloss, Virginia M. Lawrence,
er, the mitigation measures developed in the MEPA atively few impacts and does not require the filing of an In preparing your comments it is useful to compare Sharon and Brad Malt, Ellen McFarland, Jane and Robert
process become part of any state permit for the project Environmental Impact Report (EIR), she issues a certifi- the EIR to what was required in the Secretary's certifi- Morse, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nessen, Nancy and Richmond WATCHDOG FOR THE RIVER
that is ultimately issued. cate stating that the project adequately and properly com- cate. You should consider whether the developer ade- Mayo-Smith, Jeryl and Stephen Oristaglio, Geri and A list of projects on which CRWA commented to the state, town or developer between October 1, 2004 and March
MEPA review begins with the filing of an plies with MEPA and identifying the mitigation measures quately analyzed the environmental impacts and the proj- Douglas Payne, Dinah Vischer-Buechner, Dan and 31, 2005. Copies of the comment letters are available at CRWA.
Environmental Notification Form (ENF) by the devel- to which the developer has committed. If the project ect alternatives for avoiding environmental damage. Can Carmen Wheeler, Elisabeth Rhoades Wineberg, Richard TOWN PROJECT
oper describing the projects and its environmental requires an EIR, the Secretary's ENF certificate, which is certain elements be eliminated, or can the project be and Christina Wood and (3) anonymous contributors. Watershed Final Draft EPA/DEP Performance Partnership Agreement 2005-2006
impacts. Notice of the ENF is published in the sent to each person who commented on the ENF and reconfigured to avoid or minimize those impacts? Are CRWA thanks the many organizations and founda- Boston/Brookline Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Report for Phase I Muddy River Flood Control, Water
Environmental Monitor, which is issued electronically also available in the Monitor, will scope the required additional information or studies required? Will the tions who contribute to our work. Gifts of $1000 or Quality and Habitat Enhancement, and Historic Preservation Project
every two weeks. It is also available on the MEPA web- areas of analyses, including the project alternatives. The measures proposed by the developer actually mitigate more include: The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, Boston Metro Draft Environmental Impact Report for Urban Ring Project, Phase II
site (http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/index.htm). scope is normally limited to the direct and indirect poten- damage to the environment, or should additional meas- Bilezikian Family Foundation, Inc., Earth Share, Gunst
The MEPA website also contains useful information tial environmental impacts within the jurisdiction of the ures be required? If the analyses in the EIR are inade- Charitable Foundation, Noanett Garden Club, Richard Boston Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Center for Advance Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital
about the MEPA regulations and review process. The state permits required, unless the project is seeking a quate or do not fully address the issues as scoped by the Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, The Silver Tie Fund, Dedham Expanded Environmental Notification Form for Dedham-Westwood Water District - Admission to the
Monitor notice has the project's EOEA number, the state land transfer or financial assistance, in which case Secretary, you can request that the Secretary require a The Wapack Foundation, and (3) anonymous donations. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Waterworks Division
MEPA reviewer, the date comments are due, and the MEPA review extends to all aspects of the project with supplemental EIR. Construction cannot commence Restricted grants awarded CRWA thus far this fis- Dedham Final Environmental Impact Report for Senior Campus Community
consultant's contact information. It is a good idea to call the potential to result in damage to the environment. until the Secretary has issued a certificate on the final, or cal year include: $35,000 from Altria Group, Inc. for Dedham Environmental Notification Form for Fairfield Green
the developer's consultant and request that the full ENF Normally, a draft and final EIR are required, with public supplemental, EIR that says that the project complies SmartStorm®, $50,000 from The Boston Foundation to Medfield Draft Water Management Act Permit
be mailed to you (provided free) because it usually con- review and comment on each. If you commented on the with MEPA. develop environmentally sensitive urban planning,
tains information and site plans not available online. ENF you will automatically receive a copy of the EIR or -Margaret Van Deusen is General Counsel for CRWA. Wrentham Environmental Notification Form for Eaglebrook Village
$25,000 from the Herman and Frieda L. Miller

Page 6 Charles River Watershed Association News & Notes Thank yous The Streamer Page 7
Environmentally Sensitive Urban Redevelopment is our best chance to make lasting environmental change in the lower watershed.

B U I L D I N G B L U E C I T I E S
E
nvironmental organizations have long struggled with the issue opment” or urban redevelopment. Yet the relationship between the the ground, washes over streets, parking lots and industrial sites until it building of blue cities, which are designed to sustain and restore water ects to reduce polluted runoff, increase groundwater recharge, and con-
of development. Historically, most of the damage humans environment and development is just as important in urban areas. is captured in drains and piped out to the nearest river or pond, which resources. Funded by a significant grant from the Boston Foundation serve water. In many cases, especially in Boston where Mayor Thomas
have done to the environment is caused by development: Urban redevelopment projects present tremendous opportunities to may be miles away. In some cases, rainwater is directed into sanitary (see page 3), and supported by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust as well Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) are adopting
paving over fields and forests, filling in wetlands, burying streams in improve the environment, reverse degradation, and correct mistakes. sewers instead of separate storm drains, and often causes these “com- as other sources, CRWA has developed a three-year project, Green Building standards, redevelopment projects also adopt practices
pipes, and discharging our waste into the air, ground and water. In the The most successful urban renewal incorporates environmental restora- bined sewers” to overflow, discharging an untreated mix of stormwater Environmentally Sensitive Urban Development, which will use three such as green roofs, water reuse, and public open space.
struggle to protect vital natural resources, environmentalists and devel- tion, both because of the proven economic benefits, and because it gen- and sewage into our rivers, or worse, up through catch basins and onto specific geographic areas to develop a standardized approach to urban While these building-scale efforts are a huge step in the right direc-
opers are often seen as adversaries, and the debate becomes framed as erates widespread pub- development that will begin to tion, there is much more that can be done at the neighborhood scale.
the environment vs. growth. lic support.
Urban environ-
“The relationship between the environment and development is just as important restore the environment.
Over the course of the proj-
Redevelopment provides the opportunity to encourage the developer to
look for ways to participate in improving the neighborhood, and can
Gradually, that dichotomny has been changing. Today, more peo-
ple recognize the long-term costs of environmental degradation, and ments typically suffer a
wide array of problems
in urban areas. Urban redevelopment projects present tremendous opportunities ect, we will focus our efforts on
the Harvard Allston campus
leverage other public and private investments as well. Larger infrastruc-
ture improvements to the water and sewer systems, transportation sys-
development patterns and building techniques are shifting. The con-
cepts of Smart Growth, Low Impact Development, Green Buildings, that directly impact the
people who live there:
to improve the environment, reverse degradation, and correct mistakes.” development; the North Point
Development (Cambridge,
tems, open space and pedestrian amenities, and even the urban ecosys-
tem should all be considered when large-scale urban development is
and Zoning Overlay Districts all reflect changing attitudes towards the
ways we want our communities to develop. Planning, design and tech- poor air and water quality; lack of open space, contaminated soils, and the street. With little rainwater penetrating the ground under cities, Somerville and Charlestown); and the rapidly growing Longwood occurring.
nology have evolved, and the environmental impacts of well-designed overpopulation of “pest” species are common in all United States cities. groundwater reserves are depleted, rivers are polluted, and flooding Medical and Academic Area. Using our scientific capacity, our outreach As we embark on this new three-year initiative, CRWA will be tack-
development projects are substantially less than those of conventional The water environment is severely impacted in most cities, where near- becomes more frequent. and coalition building experience, and our knowledge of the regulatory ling some of the toughest problems in the watershed. And by support-
development. ly all of the ground is covered over with buildings and pavement. As we look for solutions to these problems, CRWA is working with and policy environment, CRWA will identify the critical watershed prob- ing certain redevelopment efforts, we may not always agree with other
While many people are aware of the importance of reducing the The impacts of urbanization on water are pervasive. Natural chan- the public, other environmental groups, public officials, and developers lems in these three areas, identify potential solutions to those problems, environmental groups. But we believe that Environmentally Sensitive
environmental impacts of new development on green, open land, there nels, tributaries, wetlands and ponds are often paved over, filled in or to ensure that urban development projects begin to reverse these trends. and bring people together to build support for restoration efforts. Urban Development is our best chance to make lasting change in the
is less emphasis placed on the environmental impacts of “infill devel- buried in culverts. Rainwater, much of which would otherwise penetrate CRWA seeks to create a new approach to urban redevelopment: the Existing policy and regulations already require redevelopment proj- lower watershed. -Kate Bowditch is a Project Director

NORTH POINT
THE
S
lated to make significant change in and around
the lower Charles River is the North Point
LOWER Development Project. This 45-plus acre site
lies primarily in Cambridge, with 1.5 acres in
CHARLES Charlestown and five acres in Somerville. Project
developers are proposing a 15-year, $2 plus billion
RIVER residential, commercial and retail development on
what is currently a neglected, heavily impacted site
BASIN comprised of industrial buildings and railroad lines.
Upon the expected completion of the four-phase
URBAN project in 2020, 19 buildings ranging in height from
35 to 220 feet will be constructed and 5.3 million
REDEVELOPMENTS square feet will be created. Ground has already bro-
ken for the first phase of the project, which will
include two buildings for 329 condominiums and a
5.5 acre 'central park.' The anticipated completion
date for the first phase is early to mid-2007. In its
North Point Development entirety, the greenspace component of the project is
HARVARD UNIVERSITY’S EXPANSION INTO NORTH ALLSTON North Point Park 10 acres, including various pedestrian and bicycle
pathways connecting to the proposed extension of

W
the Minuteman Bike Trail from Somerville and the
ith Harvard University’s recent acqui-
new DCR North Point Park slated to open in Fall
sition of approximately 100 acres of
2005. CRWA has been working with project devel-
land in North Allston, the school
opers on several issues, including stormwater man-
now owns more land in Boston than in
agement and parks.
Cambridge. The Charles River divides the old
-Anna Eleria is a Project Director
campus from the new campus, making
Harvard’s responsibility to its urban environ-
ment readily apparent. Over a four-year plan-
ning timeframe, Harvard has committed to
developing a community-based planning effort
that will benefit all the stakeholders in the WHEN IT RAINS, IT STORES:
Harvard Cleans Up While It Conserves Water
North Allston area. Actual development of the
sites in North Allston is expected to occur over
the next 50 years. The massive scale of this
project demands a long-term, large-scale The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) through internal drains and discharged at the four cor- the hot, dry sum-
approach to planning. CRWA’s work on the and Rainwater Recovery Systems (RWRS) have com- ners of the building to a combined sewer system that mer months. With
Harvard Allston campus will be comprised of pleted a pollution prevention demonstration project ultimately discharges to the Charles River in wet weath- rainwater unable
two main tasks: working directly with Harvard using an innovative rainwater recovery system at er. The new system reuses the water rather than allow- to seep into the
University to see the new campus develop in Harvard University that captures clean stormwater ing it to be dumped into the river. groundwater,
ways that will bring significant environmental runoff from rooftops to use for both irrigation and The system consists of a 1,200-gallon storage tank, rivers, including
improvements to the area and supporting a vehicle washing. The rainwater recovery system will which will supply the vehicle maintenance facility with the Charles, suffer
broad and inclusive process for evaluating envi- allow Harvard to reduce stormwater runoff while water, and a 2,500-gallon dry well, which will send the from lower flows,
ronmental improvements; and second, creating increasing groundwater recharge. excess rainwater into the groundwater supply. higher tempera-
a template for a replicable process to support The new system, located at the university's vehicle Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's tures, and
development that improves the urban environ- maintenance facility on North Harvard Street in New England Office, calls this a "project that will pro- increased pollu-
ment. Harvard’s expansion represents a signifi- Allston, MA, catches clean stormwater runoff from the vide useful information on how to solve stormwater tion.
cant development within the urban watershed, facility's rooftop and stores it in cisterns for vehicle problems in a heavily urbanized area." In neighbor- Since the sys-
and the opportunity to strategize on such a large washing and lawn irrigation. Though residential rain- hoods like Allston, as well as in heavily paved suburban tem was installed, Mark Gentile, Fleet Management
scale with an urban redevelopment project does water recovery systems can be found all over suburban areas, clean rainwater lands on the pavement and Harvard has con- Services lead mechanic, washes a
not come along often. CRWA has long been a Land recently acquired by Harvard Boston, the Harvard system is the first time the becomes contaminated by pollutants such as sediments, served 2,000 gallons
University car with recycled rainwater.
proponent of large-scale urban planning, rather SmartStorm® Rainwater Recovery System has been oil, and fertilizers before being sent by pipe to the of water each month
than responding to piecemeal developments Harvard’s existing Allston Campus installed in an institutional setting. Charles River or another local water body, he said. using rainwater to wash its vehicles.
schemes on a case-by-case basis; this case study The vehicle maintenance facility consumes an esti- Compounding the issue, impervious surfaces, such -Kathy Baskin, former CRWA Director of Projects, is
will be an example of how this type of large- Open space mated 1,000 gallons of water twice monthly for mainte- as pavement and buildings, prevent the rain from soak- now the Special Assistant for Water Policy Implentation at the
scale planning can benefit everyone involved. nance activities. Ordinarily, stormwater runoff from ing into the ground, limiting the replacement of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
-Ariel Dekovic is CRWA’s Outreach Director the 6,000 square-foot roof of the facility is collected groundwater that keeps our waterways flowing during