Strange Substance Seen Flowing into Charles River from Storm Drains

A Watertown resident caught on video a strange looking substance flowing out of storm drains into the Charles River on June 2. He could not identify what it was and was frustrated by efforts to report the outflow. 

The resident, David, lives near the Charles River and spotted the floating, beige or yellowish substance in the water Saturday afternoon. See video below. “It was a dark color and was floating on the surface of the water,” David said. The substance was coming out of two of the storm drain pipes and going the water.

OP-ED: How Will Climate Change Impact Transportation in Massachusetts?

The following piece was submitted by State Sen. Will Brownsberger (D – Belmont) who represents Watertown:

I spent Wednesday morning at a Rappapport Institute forum on climate change and transportation infrastructure. When I think about the local impacts of climate change, what I worry about most is water — flooding due to sea level rise. Increased precipitation is also an issue, but for the coastal region that I represent, the big issue is sea level rise. The areas I serve are sheltered from direct coastal flooding and do not face immediate inundation risks, but every legislator has to be concerned about the vulnerabilities of the transportation system that the region depends on. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has lead the region’s efforts to understand climate change — making the initial investment in the Boston Harbor Flood Risk Model to better understand the risks to the central artery and harbor tunnels.

Watertown Group Removes Trash, Debris During Charles River Cleanup

A group from the Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice made the Charles River a nicer place by removing all sorts of items from the waterway during the Charles River Cleanup on Saturday, April 28. The group removed garbage, debris and much more from the shore of the Charles River in Watertown near the Stop & Shop on Pleasant Street. “We had a great turnout,” said Sue Ellen Hershman-Tcherepin, president of Watertown Citizens. She added, “It is both one of the most depressing and one of the most exhilarating activities that brings our community together!” The group was one of dozens participating in the Charles River Cleanup on Saturday.

Watertown Group Showing Movie on Plastic Straws, Environmental Fair

A Watertown citizens group announced it will host the showing of the Movie Straws, by Linda Booker and narrated by Tim Robbins. The group sent out the following information:

ReThink Plastic and The Watertown Public Library will co-sponsor a screening of the film, STRAWS, on Tuesday, May 15, at 7pm, in the Watertown Savings Bank Room at the Watertown Free Public Library. This film is great for all ages and even features some youth activists. The 33-minute film will be followed by an environmental fair with information about reducing plastic pollution in our lives and reducing the use of plastic straws in particular.

Watertown Celebrates Arbor Day Outside Commander’s Mansion

The sun came out Thursday for the Town’s annual Arbor Day Celebration at the Commander’s Mansion in the Watertown Arsenal. 

Attendees could visit tables of local organizations and businesses, or enjoy some of the activities for children. The event drew a number of youngsters, said Michelle Cokonougher, who coordinated the event on behalf of Trees for Watertown. “A whole class from Bright Horizons came over right at 11 (a.m.),” Cokonougher said. Arbor Day is an American holiday were people are encouraged to plant trees. In past years, the Tree Warden put together the Arbor Day event, but Watertown currently has no warden.

Tour of Chemical-Free Gardens in Watertown Planned for Early May

The organizers of a tour of gardens which do not use chemicals will be held on May 6, 2018 , from 1 to 5 p.m., at homes around Watertown. Organizers provided the following information:
We look forward to Watertown’s 20th Life-Friendly Garden Tour! Imagine a Sunday afternoon in May, redbud and dogwood in blossom, tulips and late narcissus in bloom, where bees are buzzing, robins are singing, and you are viewing flourishing plantings and learning from your host or hostess about healthy, earth-friendly gardens. On Sunday May 6 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., a chemical-free, admission-free garden tour will be sponsored by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment. This will be the 20th Life-Friendly Garden Tour since the first one in 2007!

Charles River Watershed Association Hosting Cleanup, Canoe & Kayak Race

This weekend will be a big one along the Charles River as advocates for the waterway will host a cleanup Saturday and on Sunday will hold a canoe and kayak race. The Charles River Watershed Association provided the following information:
River Cleanup
On Saturday, April 28 at 9 a.m., Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) will sponsor the Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. Volunteers from over 35 Massachusetts towns will work together at 104 sites along the Charles River to remove litter and beautify the river and its surrounding parklands. The largest one-day river cleanup in the country, this annual event brings together people from corporate, community and youth groups to protect the Charles River, an important natural resource for our whole community. After the Cleanup, volunteers will relax at one of three picnics, including a celebration at DCR’s Fiedler Field on the Esplanade.

Public Works Has Rain Barrels Available for Purchase at a Discounted Price

With spring here (or almost here?) the Watertown Department of Public Works announced it has rain barrels for residents to purchase at a discounted rate. 
Rain barrels can offset homeowner’s water usage, particularly in the spring, summer and fall seasons when outdoor watering needs increase. Also, stormwater from the Town’s drainage system flows directly to the Charles River without treatment and is one of many contributors to pollution in the river. Rain barrels can help reduce stormwater runoff. The DPW requests that people call in advance (617-972-6420) before picking up a barrel. The DPW sent out the following information:

Did you know that using a rain barrel to collect precious rainwater not only conserves energy and you may even save money on your next water bill?