The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger of Belmont who also represents Watertown and parts of Boston:
At a recent MBTA board meeting, it became alarmingly clear that the MBTA is behind in its planning for climate resiliency. Add that challenge to the challenges of catching up on maintenance, assuring safety, and expanding service. Andrew Brennan, Senior Director for Energy and Environment, explained to the board that the MBTA completed a “high-level” vulnerability assessment of the system in 2017. His presentation materials are here and his talk begins at 2:55 in this livestream of the June 10 board meeting. The 2017 high level assessment revealed the obvious: Namely, that the most exposed asset is the Blue Line and that the greatest risk to the Blue line comes from flooding due to sea level rise. Only months after the assessment, the winter high tide of 2018 flooded Aquarium station. As to the lowest lying assets on the Blue line (Aquarium station and the Orient Heights Maintenance Facility), more detailed engineering studies have been completed to identify just how they would be flooded and what can be done to protect them: for example, raising openings like vent shafts and raising the most water sensitive components like transformers.
The following information was provided by The Plumbing Museum:
The Plumbing Museum is pleased to announce its first annual WATERtown Film Festival designed to increase the public awareness of environmental, social, and cultural importance of water. This two-day festival will kick off on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. at the Plumbing Museum featuring an exciting line up of documentary, narrative, and experimental short films from around the world. The full program will screen 20 films in four screening blocks over two days. Highlights include a narrative film Haleema about two young children in a search for water in Sudan, a documentary film Bass by Kayak about an expedition party crossing from the Australian mainland to Tasmania in sea kayaks, a narrative film The Great Route about the effects of global warming in the west cost of Greenland, and an experimental film Plankton about the ideas and aspirations that float around at the bottom of the food chain. “We’re excited to bring such a great variety of unique films to Watertown,” said Sasha Parfenova, Festival Director.
The following information was provided by Neighborhood Solar:
Now Is a Great Time to Consider Solar! Come Find Out Why! Please join Watertown Faces Climate Change, Belmont Goes Solar, and Neighborhood Solar for an informative presentation on the benefits of installing solar and why now is the perfect time to consider it.
Neighborhood Solar is a local nonprofit working to leverage a group-buy to make a solar installation more affordable. Right now, and until July 31st, Watertown residents, businesses, and nonprofits can save 20 percent off the base-price of installation, receive a 30 percent federal tax credit, use Massachusetts’s new SMART incentive, and apply for a zero-down loan to get the work done! Date: June 13, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Habitat, Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Road, Belmont, MA 02478
More solar-generated energy will be included in the electricity received by Watertown customers. Tuesday night, the Town Council cleared the way for the Town to negotiate “green” electrical contract for all residents and many business customers that will have a small savings, and will include a much larger portion generated by renewable methods. The new Community Choice Aggregation program will be an opt-out program, into which all residents, small businesses and organizations will be enrolled automatically. The goal is to have 50 percent of the energy generated by renewable sources (such as solar, wind generated and hydro), and the rate will result in an estimated savings of $7 a year, said Watertown Energy Manager and Facilities Project Manager Ed Lewis. Watertown customers will have the option of opting for a basic rate (which includes the state required amount of renewable energy), for a plan with electricity from 100 percent renewable sources, or to opt out of the program completely.
Watertown State Rep. Jonathan Hecht will be honored with a Massachusetts Clean Community Award for his work to reduce the amount of waste in the Bay State. The award will be given out by the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful group at a ceremony on May 16, 2019 in Boston. Other recipients include State Sen. Paul Feeney, Rep. Jay Barrows, and Rep. Randy Hunt. Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is a non-profit group working to “to keep Massachusetts communities clean, green, and litter-free.” Hecht will receive the award because of his work as a legislator trying to reduce waste, said Neil Rhein, executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful.
A member of a tree crew trims dead and damaged limbs from trees at Arsenal Park as part of the Town’s Arbor Day Celebration. Trees around Arsenal Park got a trimming, and visitors learned about trees, storm water and the environment on Thursday at Watertown’s celebration of Arbor Day. Watertown Tree Warden Chris Hayward organized the celebration with the help of the Massachusetts Arborists Association and some local organizations. Crews from the Department of Public Works, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Joe Butler & Sons, and Tree Tech (on behalf of Eversource) removed dead or damaged limbs from the trees around the parking area at Arsenal Park. “This is a week’s worth of work taking place in one day,” Hayward said.
Recycle your Styrofoam at the special DPW event. The Watertown Department of Public Works is hosting a special recycling event where styrofoam and tires will be collected. You can also shred papers. WHEN: May 4, 2019 Recycle Event, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Recycle Center on Green River Way
DIRECTIONS: West on Pleasant Street from Watertown Square, North on Bridge Street and West on Waltham Street to Green River Way. Details
The public is invited to the 2019 Arbor Day of Service, a free family friendly celebration. The event will be held Thursday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arsenal Park near the tot lot, rain or shine. Activities at the Arbor Day celebration include: tree pruning demonstrations, story time, sing along, sweet treats, crafts, games, and truckies (aka selfies in a truck). The Forestry Supervisor, Tree Warden & Commander’s Mansion would like to thank: Watertown Recreation Department, Watertown Conservation Commission, Watertown Stormwater Advisory Committee, the Watertown Department of Public Works, Trees for Watertown, Watertown Savings Bank, Armenia Tree Project, Massachusetts Arborists Association, The Icing on the Cake, Watertown Free Public Library, and Friends of Bees.
Find out about Watertown’s Stormwater Management Plan at the next meeting of the Stormwater Advisory Committee the information provided by the Department of Public Works below. The Watertown Stormwater Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Lower Hearing Room in Town Hall. Come to learn more about the Town’s program for managing stormwater runoff and to help us update our Stormwater Management Plan. Learn about stormwater runoff and its impact to the Charles RiverHear how the Town regulates stormwater runoff from developmentContribute to the Town’s Stormwater Management PlanBrainstorm ways to engage Watertown about stormwater
Stormwater from Watertown’s drainage system flows directly into the Charles River without treatment and contributes to pollution in the river. The EPA requires the Town to take certain measures to control and treat stormwater runoff.