MassDOT Grant Funds Watertown Bluebike Station, Other Improvements

A Bluebike station in Watertown Square was paid for by a state grant. Watertown received a grant from the Mass. Department of Transportation to build a Bluebike station in Watertown Square and make other road and sidewalk improvements. The $280,218 grant was part of the third round of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program. The bike share station is next to the entrance to the Charles River Path in Watertown Square.

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.

Portion of Bike Path Along Charles River Closed for Repairs

The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced that the bike path between Arsenal Street and North Beacon Street will be closed for repairs beginning June 1. The work on the path, which runs along Greenough Boulevard in Watertown and Soldiers Field Road in Boston, is expected to be take two weeks. \The DCR sent out the following information:

DCR Recreational Advisory: Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path

WHAT: Starting on Monday, June 1, 2020, and continuing through Monday, June 15, 2020, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement a closure of the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path in the City of Boston and the Town of Watertown between North Beacon Street and Arsenal Street from 8:00AM to 4:00PM to accommodate pathway reconstruction work. An alternative route is available along Greenough Boulevard in the Town of Watertown. Furthermore, pedestrian patterns will be clearly marked.

A Self-Guided Stormwater Walk Designed by a River Conservation Group

A self-guided tour of Watertown’s stormwater drainage system will show people how rain water gets from the streets to the Charles River. The walk features some of the stormwater devices you can see on the street that you would recognize, such as a catch basin, and some that are not as obvious, like a bioswale. There are also parts of the stormwater system where the water enters the river. The Watertown Department of Public Works collaborated with the Mystic River Watershed Association to create the tour, said Town Engineer Matthew Shuman. “Here’s some great activities we put together with the Mystic River Watershed Association for kids and adults to do to get some fresh air during these trying times … go for a stormwater walk,” Shuman said.

Animal Control Investigating Dead Cat Found in Bag in Charles River

The Charles River near Watertown Square. A resident walking along the Charles River in Watertown spotted a trash bag with a dead cat inside, Watertown’s Animal Control Officer reported. The bag was discovered on Thursday, Jan. 30, but someone walking on the California Street side of the river. The bag was weighed down by a rock, according to Karen O’Reilly, Watertown’s Animal Control Officer.

Watertown Police Join Other Departments to Patrol Along Charles River

Police from Watertown, Waltham, Newton and the State Police will patrol the Charles River this summer. Pictured L to R, Capt. Dowling (Newton PD), Capt. Rodley (Waltham PD), Lt. Dear (MSP
Brighton), Chief Lawn, Capt. Dupuis

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department:

The Massachusetts State Police, Waltham Police Department, Watertown Police Department, and Newton Police Department, along with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, are partnering in a summer initiative to enhance safety along the Riverwalk and other parkland along the Charles River Upper Basin. Troopers and Officers this weekend will launch Project Safe Summer, a joint patrol initiative that recognizes the four police agencies’ shared responsibility to enhance public safety along this serene area popular with walkers, runners, cyclists, and nature lovers. Teams consisting of members from each of the four departments will patrol the Upper Basin parklands and work collaboratively to address quality-of-life issues and other public concerns. The joint teams will patrol the area at various times, supplementing existing regular patrols.

Registration Open for 20th Annual Charles River Cleanup

Chuck Dickinson’s “Charles River, Watertown” came in third in the Watertown Savings photo contest. The 20th Annual Charles River Clean up is coming up in April. See how you can get involved. The following announcement came from State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s Office:

Registration is now open for the 20th Annual Charles River Cleanup, which will take place on Saturday, April 27 from 9 AM – 12 PM, followed by a volunteer appreciation picnic on the Esplanade. If you’re interested in participating this year, click here to register!