Charles River Group Discussing How Towns are Preparing for Extreme Weather

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.

State Provides Grant to Protect the Charles River

The Charles River from Watertown Square

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.

LETTER: Are More Artificial Turf Fields a Win for Watertown and the Planet?

The following letter is in response to the Town Council’s recent approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town of Watertown and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School to share share fields — the new artificial turf fields planned by the school on Grove Street and the fields at Filippello Park. Dear Watertown,

For more than a decade, the artificial turf industry’s campaign to convincemunicipalities, private schools, colleges and universities to build new artificial turf playing fields and to replace existing grass playing fields with artificial turf has grown steadily and has been highly successful. What has also grown is public opposition to this high powered, highly profitable, and often dishonest campaign. The industry’s claim that artificial turf has been proven to be safe for student athletes and for the general public is untrue. When public input is kept out of the decision-making process, the industry almost always wins.

LETTER: Watertown High Group’s Climate Demands

The following information was provided by members of the Watertown High School student group, Watertown Sunrise, which advocates to stop Climate Change. The demands were presented during a march and rally on the evening of Oct. 23, 2020. WATERTOWN SUNRISE DEMANDS

We demand that the Watertown town council declare a climate emergency. We’re also asking our town government, to help call on other town leaders and to sign onto the Green New Deal pledge to fight for our futures.

Meet the New Tree Warden at Watertown Group’s Online Event

Trees for Watertown invites residents to meet the new Watertown Tree Warden/Forestry Supervisor during an online event on Nov. 11. The group sent out the following announcement:

Please join us via Zoom on 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (VETERANS DAY)6 PM – 7:30 pmfor a very special event!TFW is delighted to be welcoming GREGORY MOSMAN, MCAWatertown’s new Forestry Supervisor-Tree Wardenat TFW’s 2020 Annual Meeting! Greg Mosman comes to Watertown with 18 years managing Boston’s public forest of over 37,000 shade trees.  We are immensely lucky to have his experience!

Town Using Part of Budget Surplus to Fund Climate & Energy Master Plan

Watertown’s Town Hall. On Tuesday, the Town Council approved using some of the funds left over from the Fiscal Year 2021 budget to fund the creation of a Climate and Energy Master Plan. Town Manager Michael Driscoll told the Town Council that the Town’s share of state aid and new growth came in higher than projected when the FY21 budget was created. As a result, the Town ended up with $1.57 million in additional revenues. He proposed using the money in multiple ways, including the Climate and Energy Plan.

Watertown Student Group Holds Rally to Stop Climate Change at Town Hall

Watertown Sunrise member, Carolyn, reads the groups demands outside of town hall on Oct. 23. The following announcement was provided by Watertown Sunrise:

Last Friday, a group of over 30 teenagers, all a part of Watertown Sunrise, took to the streets for a late-night march. Their purpose was to wake up the community to the climate crisis through songs, chants, and speeches. Backed by concerned citizens, they read their demands of town council outside of town hall.

Watertown Student Group’s Night March Looks to Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues

Members of Sunrise Watertown work on banners for the Late Night March on Oct. 23 to raise awareness about environmental issues. The following announcement was provided by Sunrise Watertown:

On Friday, October 23rd, Sunrise Watertown will lead a late-night march using tactics that are over a century old to enact change in the present day.Their goal is to educate the town on the truth of the climate crisis while also drawing support for a Green New Deal. WHO: Sunrise Watertown, a local student-owned and run organization. WHAT: Late night march led by Sunrise Watertown to wake up the community to the climate crisis.