Stream Team Program
With the support of the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration Riverways Program and local sponsors, the BRWA conducts surveys of rivers and streams in the Blackstone River Watershed. Trained volunteers conduct shoreline surveys to gauge the condition of the waterway and identify possible areas of concern. The results of the survey lead directly to follow-up corrective action.
Past surveys have identified and corrected:
- Riverbank erosion dumping unwanted sediment into the water and disrupting aquatic plant growth decreasing oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic life.
- Invasive aquatic plant life such as purple loosestrife and Asian water chestnut infests rivers, covering the water with a dense mat of vegetation, reducing the flow of the River, displacing native species, and impeding boating and fishing in the area.
- Stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, lawns and farms deposit sediment, oil, road salt, organic materials, bacteria, pesticides, and fertilizers washing into the river making it an unhealthy place for aquatic life to thrive. It also makes it unsafe for humans to swim.
- Inadequate vegetative buffer zones along the river that would absorb nutrients and other pollutants through the root and act as a filter. These buffers also prevent lawn chemicals from entering the river.
- Runoff from pipes discharging into water.
- Trash including old construction materials, machinery, booms, litter.
Past surveys include:
- 2014 - BRWA, in partnership with Save the Bay, conducted a shoreline survey and aquatic connectivity assessment of the Peters River and it's tributaries.
- 2009 - BRWA, with funding from the French Foundation, conducted a shoreline survey of the Quinsigamond River.
- 2008 - BRWA was awarded an additional grant through Mass Riverways to continue its efforts to protect promote and restore the Mumford, West, and the Mill Rivers.
- 2008 - BRWA promoted awareness and built up advocacy by educating municipal leaders, homeowners, and business owners on best practices for “river-friendly” behavior by handing out the Homeowner’s Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Blackstone River Watershed, developed by the Blackstone River Coalition. The communities covered include Blackstone, Douglas, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, and Whitinsville.
- 2007 - BRWA, with funding from Mass Riverways Adopt-a-Stream Program and Unibank, conducted stream surveys along the Mill and West Rivers.
- 2006 - BRWA, with funding from Unibank, conducted a shoreline survey on the Mumford River.