Blackstone River Watershed Association
Blackstone River Watershed Association
In This Issue
TIP OF THE MONTH

BRWA NEWS

BRWA 2010 Highlights

Thank You Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers

MACOLAP Lake and Pond Management Workshop

CALENDAR

IN YOUR COMMUNITY

New Stormwater Regulations in Mendon

CSX Rail Yard Expansion in Worcester

Hawk Trapped in MBTA Station Released in Grafton

OF GLOBAL INTEREST

Rachel Carson "Sense of Wonder" Winners

Top Songs About Rivers


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Issue 12 December 2010

TIP OF THE MONTH

Holiday Gifts - Don't Forget the Rechargeable Batteries
Giving or getting the latest electronic gadget or toy for holiday gifts this season? Don't forget the rechargeable batteries.

It's estimated that about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Using rechargeable batteries:
  • reduces the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away
  • reduces impact on non-renewable natural resources
  • reduces packaging waste
  • saves money in the long run
And rechargeable batteries can be recycled. Many retail stores (Staples, BestBuy, etc) and some communities have drop-off locations.

Consider adding rechargeable batteries and battery chargers to your holiday gift list.

From The Editorlorax on truffula stump
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”

As we move through the holiday season, reflect on the past year and look forward to the next, it’s a time perhaps to pause and consider the message of the Lorax. Are our decisions, personal, economic and political, striking the right balance between desire and need? Are we making the most effective use of our natural resources or the most expedient and profitable? Are we growing or simply “Biggering and Biggering”. Are we, perhaps, a little too obsessed with the latest “Thneeds” without regard for the “Truffula Trees”

At the end of the first year publishing this newsletter, I wanted to give the readers an upbeat story. I found this one in Northern Woodlands magazine. It is a story about a tree, the efforts of one man to keep it alive, and the reverence for it shown by its community. It’s a story about a 217 year-old American Elm, New England’s largest, that finally succumbed to Dutch elm disease and the efforts made to “save” the tree by selling it’s wood to the public and gifting it to craftsmen and artists. Proceeds of sales went to planting new trees. Objects made from gifted wood would be auctioned with some of the proceeds going to the Arbor Fund, as well. The tree would live on. Please enjoy the article.

On behalf of the newsletter staff and the Officers & Board of the BRWA, I wish you happy holidays and a peaceful new year.


“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Quotes and image from The Lorax: (R) and copyright by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1971, renewed 1999

BRWA NEWS

BRWA 2010 Accomplishments

2010 was an exciting and productive year for the BRWA. Much was accomplished to further our mission to protect and enhance the Blackstone River and its tributaries and to lay the groundwork for another great year in 2011. Go to our website to view a slideshow reviewing highlights of the past year.

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Thank You Water Quality Monitoring Volunteers happy scientist cartoon
The BRWA extends heartfelt thanks to the Water Quality Monitoring volunteers who collect monthly water samples throughout the Watershed and to the lab volunteers who analyze the samples and coordinate the drop-off. The work of these dedicated citizen scientists strengthens our mission to improve water quality in the Watershed. The Water Quality Monitoring Program is coordinated by the Blackstone River Coalition. For more information about the Program or to join a monitoring team, visit the BRC website.

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MACOLAP Lake and Pond Management Workshop
The Massachusetts Congress of Lake and Pond Associations (MACOLAP) is holding it's 24th Annual Winter Lake and Pond Management Workshop on January 29, 9-3 at Worcester State University ($25 for members, $30 nonmembers)

See www.macolap.org or email Carol Hildrerth, MACOLAP Workshop Coordinator at hildrethcr@comcast.net for details, or call 508-429-5085.

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
1/13 BRWA Board Meeting
1/29 MACOLAP 24th Annual Winter Lake and Pond Management Workshop 9-3 at Worcester State University  see above

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IN YOUR COMMUNITY

New Stormwater Regulations in Mendon
In a special town meeting on November 29, Mendon approved new stormwater management regulations. The new rules will help control stormwater runoff into the watershed and will bring the town into compliance with the requirements of the Federal EPA National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES) Phase II regulations for Municipal Separate Sewer System Operators.

Apart from meeting Federal and State Requirements, the new regulations will reduce sediment and pollutants flowing into rivers and brooks and increase the recharge to local aquifers. All Watershed communities will eventually face enacting new stormwater management regulations and citizens can learn about the benefits and impacts by following the progress of towns that have already adopted them. We will try to provide “plain English” information in future newsletters.

Click here for a Milford Daily News article reporting the results of the Mendon Town Meeting.

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CSX Rail Yard Expansion in Worcester
A major expansion of the CSX rail yard in Worcester is in review by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The rail yard is situated within the Watershed. It doesn’t appear that there will be any impact to the Watershed from this project but we will continue to monitor it. For more information see:

Articles in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"Environmental impacts of CSX rail yard expansion under review"
"Closer look urged"

Reports provided by the Worcester City Manager


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Hawk Trapped in MBTA Station Released in Grafton
TheDailyGrafton.com

A Cooper's Hawk, that spent several days trapped in the Andrew Square T station in Boston, was released by the Wildlife Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton. The hawk was treated for shock and dehydration and released into the wild near the Tufts University Wildlife Clinic campus. Click here for the full text of the article.


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OF GLOBAL INTEREST

Rachel Carson "Sense of Wonder" Winners
The winners have been announced in the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest, a poetry, essay, photo and dance contest sponsored by the EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. Click here to view the work of the winners.

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Top Songs About Rivers
American Rivers polled it's members & fans to determine their favorite river songs. The resulting playlist can be viewed on YouTube. Be sure to let them know if they missed your favorite.

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 Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) has a mission to enhance and preserve the Blackstone River system and its watershed; its objectives are to:
  • Educate members, supporters, watershed residents on watershed protection strategies,
  • Engage the public in watershed stewardship activities, and
  • Improve the water quality and esthetics of the Blackstone River Watershed’s water bodies.
The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Editor: Michael Sperry mikes_brwa@comcast.net
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200  Web: www.thebrwa.org

Click here for back issues.