Blackstone River Watershed Association
Blackstone River Watershed Association
In This Issue


Coffee & Conservation!

34th Annual Canoe & Kayak Race

Water Quality Volunteers Needed

Join or Renew in 2010



BRWA Supports EPA Stormwater Permit

Bottle Bill Stalled


Citizen Science Opportunities

Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange

Flood Related Editorial Link

BRWA Online
About the BRWA


Issue 4 April 2010

Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly in the lawn and garden.

If you use too much pesticide or fertilizer or apply it at the wrong time (like just before a heavy rain), it can easily wash off your lawn or garden into storm drains and then flow into lakes or streams.

For more ways to "green up" your yard, attend Organic Lawns: Help Your Lawn Go "Green", the first event in our Coffee & Conservation series.
More information on how homeowners can help protect water quality in the Watershed can be found here.


Bring your Friends! Bring Your Neighbors! Coffee & Conservation
Reminder: We will host our first Coffee & Conservation event on Saturday April 17th, 9:00 to 11:00 AM at the Riverbend Farm Visitors Center. The topic will be Organic Lawns: Help Your Lawn Go "Green". Landscaper Dan Faulkenham will share his knowledge of how to have a beautiful yard without using chemicals that may harm children, pets and our environment. Topics covered include soils, nontoxic pest controls, insect control, and turf grass establishment and maintenance. Please RSVP by e-mail or call 508-278-5200 if you can join us.

34th Annual Blackstone River Watershed Association Canoe and Kayak Race
The Blackstone River Watershed Association will hold its 34th annual canoe and kayak race on Saturday, May 15, 2010. This years 12 mile event will start in South Grafton, MA across from the Fisherville Mill at 53 Main Street (Rt 122A). The race will end at the RiverBend Farm Visitor Center, Blackstone River and Canal Visitor Center, in Uxbridge, MA. After the race there will be food, music, an award ceremony as well as other family activities. For more information or to participate as a racer or volunteer please contact Rosemary Longo-Nutt at or go to

Volunteers needed for our Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program
We are looking for a volunteer to sample Emerson Brook in Uxbridge. Sampling is conducted on the second Saturday of the Month from April to November. Volunteers are trained to test for dissolved oxygen at the site and record physical observations. Then volunteers take a sample to Tri River in Uxbridge, where it is tested for nutrients, conductivity and turbidity. Samples need to arrive at Tri River between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm on the Saturday of testing. If you are interested contact Tammy Gilpatrick, 508-579-4597 or for more information.

2010 Membership Campaign - Join or Renew Now!
Don't forget to join or renew your membership to the BRWA. All donations received are invested in programs focused on protecting and restoring the Blackstone River and its tributaries.

Become a member online using Paypal



Coffee & Conservation - 9:00 AM @ Riverbend Farm
Organic Lawns: Help Your Lawn Go "Green"  RSVP
4/22 Earth Day
4/24 BRWA Earth Day River Cleanup  volunteer
4/17-4/25 National Park Week  info
5/8 BRC Water Quality Sampling
5/13 BRWA Board Meeting
5/15 34th BRWA Canoe and Kayak Race  info


BRWA Supports New EPA Stormwater Permit Designed to Improve Water Quality in Eastern Massachusetts
In January of 2010, the EPA issued a draft permit entitled North Coastal Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit. This permit is primarily targeting watersheds of north coastal Massachusetts but the Blackstone River Watershed communities of Mendon and Hopedale are also impacted. The BRWA sent a letter supporting the issuance of this permit, appealing for assistance to help towns meet its requirements and pledging to provide needed outreach resources to the affected communities. By building upon the stormwater management programs started in the previous 2003 permit, the 2010 draft is intended to further mitigate the negative effects of past stormwater management and development practices. These effects include:
  • elevated levels of nutrients, disease-causing bacteria and other pollutants in rivers & streams
  • inadequate recharge of surface and groundwater
  • flooding and erosion
To accomplish these goals, the new draft permit would require communities to:
  • remove illegal sewage connections to storm drains
  • increase street sweeping
  • educate the public about stormwater issues
  • expand stormwater infiltration rather than diversion into sewer systems
  • encourage low impact development and green infrastructure techniques
  • monitor stormwater discharges
  • implement approved watershed restoration plans
The BRWA has an ongoing involvement in analyzing and drawing attention to the negative effects of improper stormwater management by providing outreach & education to residents, businesses and farms in the watershed, organizing Stream Team Surveys along the Blackstone and its tributaries and participating in the BRC Water Quality Monitoring program. To view the draft permit or for more information, click here.

Updated Bottle Bill StalledDona with mountain of collected bottles
According to a recent MassDEP study, beverage containers comprised up to 60 percent of all litter collected at community cleanup events. Independent of alcoholic beverage containers left behind at party sites, non-deposit containers outnumbered deposit containers three to one. The current Bottle Bill does not include these non-deposit containers which now represent approximately 30% of containers sold in Massachusetts.

The Updated Bottle Bill seeks to extend the scope of the original legislation to include water, juice, energy drink and sport drink bottles and thereby reduce their contribution to litter and to the solid waste stream.

Currently the Updated Bottle Bill, HB3515/SB1480, is stalled in the legislature. MassPIRG is asking citizens to contact their representatives to push for prompt passage of the bill.


Citizen Science Opportunities
Listed below are several opportunities to provide observational data in support of Massachusetts wildlife. Participation is easy and will provide important data affecting future policy decisions and construction practices.

Mass Audubon Owls in Massachusetts

Mass Audubon Birds to Watch

Mass Audubon Breeding Bird Atlas Single Sighting Tool

Massachusetts Turtle Atlas

Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife

Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange
The Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange is offering incentives on highly efficient clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers when you replace an existing appliance. These rebates are available for a limited time only starting Earth Day, April 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM and running through May 5, 2010. Click here for more information.

Moving Forward After the Flood
Here's a link to an editorial appearing in the Providence Journal entitled "In our flood recovery, don't rebuild the problem"

Views & opinions expressed in linked websites do not necessarily state or reflect those of the BRWA.

Your input is crucial to this eNewsletter. If you have a local watershed-related story, information of interest to our subscribers, or comments about this publication, drop an email to the editor.

The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Editor: Michael Sperry
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200  Web:

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