The blooms of the black swallow-wort. The plant is poisonous to butterflies and other animals. By Nicole Gardner and Douglas Hood
Black swallow-wort is a non-native, highly invasive plant that is poisonous to butterfly populations and other animals, and which toxifies the soil to benefit itself and harm other plants. We need to act right now to stop its spread and protect the Monarchs, other animals, and other plants. Black swallow-wort can be found all around Watertown, sprouting up through and even strangling lush well-established perennials and shrubs, along chain-link fences, in empty patches of dirt, or coming up between pavement cracks.
Charles River Watershed AssociationThe Run of the Charles paddle race will take place virtually in 2021, with participants paddling live but on their own schedule. A run will also be held. The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Watershed Association:
We are excited for you to join us for this year’s Annual Run of the Charles with a virtual twist! While we had high hopes to do our beloved event in person, we have put together a fun and interactive event to get you out on the Charles enjoying the sights and sounds of Spring. We look forward to keeping the competition alive! Run of the Charles: Boston’s Premier Paddling Race, Sunday, April 25 – Sunday, May 23 www.charlesriver.org
RUN OF THE CHARLES PADDLE RACE
For this year’s paddle race, individual paddlers and teams have the option of four different routes, some taking you to areas of the Charles where you may have never paddled before!
The oval with blue stripes is the location of the contaminated soil at the east end of Building 311 in the Arsenal on the Charles. The U.S. Army has come up with a plan to remove contaminated soil from the former military site, which is now the Arsenal on the Charles. The public can submit comment on the proposed plan until April 14, 2021. The area where the contaminated soil is located is by 311 building on the Arsenal on the Charles site. Building 311, the long building along Arsenal Street, is home to Athenahealth, and used to be home to Boston Sports Club.
The Town Council postponed a vote on a resolution that would declare a climate emergency, instead sending it to a pair of subcommittees to study it more closely and come back with a revised version. At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilors said that they supported taking action against climate change, but members of the Council said they did not believe enough discussion had been allowed on the resolution. Some pointed to the fact that it would change the Town’s deadline for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in Watertown from 2050 to 2035. “This is a difficult decision for me because I believe climate change represents a real and dangerous threat to life on our planet and it is an emergency we must address,” said Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli. “However, this resolution was placed on agenda for vote with a lack of transparency, and circumventing our commitment for engagement on matters of great importance.
Find out about how urban trees can help manage climate change in Watertown at an event hosted by the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee and Trees for Watertown. Organizers sent out the following announcement:
March 20 Symposium: Trees & Climate Change in Watertown
The trees in our neighborhoods are vitally important players in protecting us from increasing urban impacts of climate change. Join your Watertown neighbors on Saturday, March 20, 10am to noon, to learn how our city trees protect us and how we can help them do that important job.
Register for the free symposium at this link: http://bit.ly/WatertownTrees2021 — or search YouTube for “T&CCWatertown” to watch the livestream on YouTube.
Two types of trees are available from the Watertown High School Environmental Club, the River Birch and Eastern Redbud. The following announcement was provided by the Watertown High School Environmental Club:
The Watertown High School Environmental Club needs your help to offset school paper usage in the community! During a normal school year, WHS uses up to 1.2 million sheets of paper, which is equivalent to 150 trees. The club has teamed up with Tree-Plenish to sponsor an event in which you can purchase a sapling for $5, and opt to have volunteers plant it in your yard. Tree-Plenish’s mission is to create more sustainable schools by replenishing the environment with these lost resources.
“As a member of the WHS Environmental Club, I am very proud to be working with Tree-Plenish to help our community,” said Cooper Petrie.
CleanChoice Energy has been sending mailings to Watertown residents. The Town of Watertown also offers a clean energy option. Editor:
Maybe you were tempted by a mailing you got from CleanChoice Energy offering you 100% renewable electricity. If so, you might want to look closer at local options. The CleanChoice Energy solicitation was for 12.40 cents per kilo watt hour but that rate will vary monthly. If you look at their website, they are offering twelve month plans for 14 cents/kwh and 16.8 cents/kwh. Compare this to what you get by opting up on our local town sponsored Watertown Electricity Choice. You may already be getting your electricity through the Watertown Electricity Choice Standard plan where 55% of the electricity delivered to you is green. If you haven’t already done so, you can get 100% green energy through WEC for 12.718 cents per kwh. Unlike CleanChoice Energy, rates under WEC are guaranteed through Dec.
The Watertown Dam on the Charles River. The Charles River Watershed Association and Communities Responding to Extreme Weather will host a virtual event focused on building resilience across the Charles River Watershed. The groups included the following description:
Adapting to the impacts of climate change is a daunting task but many local cities and towns are facing this challenge head on. Having the best possible information on the impacts of climate change locally can help guide effective local investment and appropriate regulatory changes. The fifteen communities that are part of the Charles River Climate Compact (CRCC) have teamed up to develop a Charles River watershed flood model.
The following announcement comes from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection:
Building on its commitment to protect and improve water quality across the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $300,000 in grants to five multi-community stormwater coalitions across the Commonwealth to help local cities and towns meet existing and upcoming stormwater management requirements.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to protecting water quality across the Commonwealth and these funds will make a real difference in the 228 communities that will benefit from these projects,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The stormwater collaboratives funded today will share resources, creative ideas and watershed protection strategies that have a proven record of success.”
“Stormwater is a significant source of water pollution across the state and is a complex issue that requires innovative ideas and cooperative solutions,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “MassDEP is pleased to provide funding that will lessen the costs of permit compliance locally, while we continue to work closely with communities and stormwater coalitions to provide critical technical assistance.”
The projects, selected by MassDEP, were awarded to the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, Neponset River Watershed Association, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Charles River Watershed Association, and Massachusetts Maritime for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative. The funding awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration will enable Massachusetts municipalities to expand their efforts to meet Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements and reduce stormwater pollution through coordinated partnerships that emphasize resource sharing. There are 260 Massachusetts municipalities subject to the current MS4 permit, issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and MassDEP, which took effect on July 1, 2018.