Spring ’21: An Update From the Field

Volunteers and Citizen Scientists play an essential role in many projects across the Watershed.

We rely on the commitment of many volunteers who assist us with important fieldwork across the Neponset River Watershed. Thank you to all, without whom much of our conservation and restoration work would not be possible!

Environmental DNA Sampling

Volunteers from NepRWA and Greater Boston Trout Unlimited (GBTU) teamed up to collect Environmental DNA samples at 68 locations throughout the watershed in April.

After technical training, volunteers canoed through swamps and crawled over beaver dams to collect samples at one-kilometer intervals on eight key Neponset tributaries.

These water samples are now on their way to the University of Maine where they will be tested for Eastern Brook Trout DNA. The results will tell us where in the watershed the trout are living this time of year. This data will help NepRWA know where to focus our conservation and restoration efforts to protect this important native species. Stay tuned for the results!


Launch of New Habitat Assessment Program

In an ongoing effort to better understand the ecology and habitats of the Neponset’s tributaries, NepRWA has partnered with GBTU to do an in-depth study of habitat quality. Volunteers will measure and observe water temperature, water depth, oxygen levels, vegetation, and 11 other factors that are important in determining if a stream will make a nice home for fish and aquatic insects.

Volunteers will revisit the streams monthly to study how stream habitats are changing throughout the summer months.

The data will help NepRWA identify what is missing from these habitats and how to make the Neponset River Watershed a better home for wildlife!


Water Quality Monitoring Program Enters 27th Year!

This week the NepRWA Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Network (CWMN) will begin its 27th year documenting water quality in the Watershed. 50 dedicated volunteers will venture out early Thursday morning to begin the monthly collection of bacteria, dissolved oxygen, nutrient, and other data. The results help identify pollution sources as well as document long-term changes across the Watershed.


Cleanup Efforts Continue

On May 1st, volunteers from NepRWA and the Belnel Neighborhood Association filled an entire dumpster with litter and debris from a long-neglected stretch of park along the Neponset River in Hyde Park. The community’s stewardship of this open space continues to beautify the banks of the River. Thank you to James G Grant Co for donating the dumpster.


To learn more about these projects or to volunteer, contact NepRWA Environmental Fellow, Declan Devine, at devine@neponset.org

 

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