Author Archive

SWMI Regs out for Public Comment

April 15th, 2014
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The proposed regulations on the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) are out for public comment; comments are due June 10.  Hearing dates and locations are listed on the calendar on the right.  The new regulations and accompanying guidance document are the product of over four years of effort by the environmental agencies, and broad stakeholder participation.  While the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance strongly supports the SWMI principles of “no backsliding,” “mitigation commensurate with impact,” and improving flow-depleted rivers, we believe the regulations and guidance still need

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2013 Annual Meeting brings together river advocates

December 12th, 2013
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The Alliance’s Annual Meeting at Mass Audubon’s Habitat Sanctuary in Belmont (Dec. 11th) attracted 50 environmentalists from across the state, and again showcased presentations by our organizational members about their work.  This year’s featured speakers were Judy Grinnell of the Hoosic River Revival, Bruce Osterling and Garry Crago of Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, and Sue Flint of OARS.  Grinnell shared stories about her group’s quest to improve the Hoosic in her hometown of North Adams (the river is encased in a long, concrete culvert for

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New SWMI grants available

September 17th, 2013
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MassDEP has announced a new round of $1M in grants to help communities comply with the agency’s proposed changes to Water Management Act permits (permits for water withdrawals of greater than 100,000 gallons per day).  Planning, conservation, or environmental mitigation projects are all eligible for funding – last year, MassDEP funded several collaborative projects with municipal and watershed organization partners.  Details here: https://www.ebidsourcing.com/processPublicSolSummView.do?doValidateToken=false&docStatus=OPEN&soltypeCd=UNIVERSAL&docUserId=200120&docViewType=OPEN&action=soltypeCd&docId=162331

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New Stream Crossing Workshops scheduled for October!

August 9th, 2013
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We’re delighted to announce a new series of Improved Stream Crossings workshops scheduled for October 10, 17, and 29.  Go to BayState Roads  to register, and for additional information (and check out the short video about the workshops on their home page).  You can also download a workshop brochure Oct Stream Crossings Workshop Flyer.  Once again, these workshops are being brought to you courtesy of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and a very large group of project partners and sponsors: Environmental Organizations: American Rivers, The Nature

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$929,000 in SWMI grants announced

March 18th, 2013
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Today MassDEP  awarded $929,000 to 11 municipalities and water districts to assist them with “water conservation, demand management and other projects that will help to mitigate the ecological impacts of water withdrawals.”  The grants are part of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative, and an effort by the state to help towns comply with new permit requirements expected as a result of upcoming changes to Water Management Act regulations.  For more information about the grants: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2013/swmi-grants.html

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Pittsfield Workshop POSTPONED; winter storm predicted…

March 18th, 2013
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Due to a predicted storm – snow, wind, sleet, “wintry mix,” etc. beginning tonight (March 18) and continuing through tomorrow, we are postponing tomorrow’s Improved Stream Crossings Workshop and will reschedule it soon.

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Sign up now for March Stream Crossing Workshops!

January 22nd, 2013
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The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and our partners are pleased to announce an upcoming series of  March workshops on improved stream crossings to be held in three western MA locations.  (The same agenda will be repeated three times).  Click to download the Stream Crossing Workshop Flyer. This is a critically important topic at the confluence of public safety, municipal economics, and wildlife habitat protection. Culvert failures as a result of recent severe storms have wreaked havoc in some areas, causing road failures, costing millions of dollars

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Some rivers and their people…

September 5th, 2012
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Okay, so it’s not a policy update, but I finally got a chance to travel west, past Worcester, this summer, where I visited some rivers and met with some of the people who are looking out for them. Andrea Donlon and her daughter, Ursula, are passionate about the Connecticut River.  Andrea, who is a fierce and effective advocate for the river, works for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. The Connecticut, of course, has the biggest watershed in Massachusetts.  Upstream, it forms the divider between New

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SWMI Pilots Underway

June 13th, 2012
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The Sustainable Water Management Initiative continues to move (slowly) forward…  The Mass Rivers Alliance’s Julia Blatt, along with Ian Cooke of the Neponset River Watershed Association, are participating on the Pilot Oversight Committee (which also includes two water supplier representatives and staff from EOEEA, DEP, DCR, and DFG). The state’s consultants are currently scrambling to collect information on the water supply systems and hydrologic conditions of the four pilot areas, and have set up meetings with the municipalities and watershed groups in these areas.  They

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SWMI Comments Now Online

April 25th, 2012
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Against the backdrop of an unusual spring drought, the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) is continuing to move ahead.  The dry weather and very low streams highlight the importance of curbing excessive, non-essential water use in order to sustain both our streams and our public water supplies. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has posted all the comment letters it has received on the draft SWMI framework.  You can click on this link to read the framework and the letters.  The environmental community

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