Together with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) issued the 2016 Water Quality Report Card for the Mystic River watershed. Since 2015, we have implemented a water quality analysis that provides ratings for 14 river segments or tributaries. The report card grades are based on bacterial contamination from water quality samples collected by MyRWA volunteers and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).
This year’s grade shows very good water quality for the Mystic River (both fresh and salt water), the Mystic Lakes and Chelsea Creek. It also calls out the water quality improvements at Belle Isle Inlet in Revere/Winthrop, where water quality conditions moved from a C grade in 2014, a B in 2015, and an A- for 2016. This progress, however, is inconsistent. Areas such as Winn’s Brook, Mill Creek and Alewife Brook received failing grades and represent locations where infrastructure improvements are needed. The culprits here: illicit sewer discharges to storm drain systems and stormwater runoff.
“This year’s grade shows, once again, that the Mystic is a great place to recreate. From swimming at Shannon Beach in the Upper Mystic Lake, to renting canoes and kayaks at Somerville’s new Paddle Boston location, to walking or biking along its banks, it’s an excellent time to explore your Mystic,” said Patrick Herron, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. “The report card also shows that there is still work to be done, and we and our many partners are committed to making these improvements.”
The report card is a group effort, and we are happy to collaborate with the EPA, MWRA, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to make improvements in local water quality. This work would not be possible without our dedicated team of citizen scientists, who take water samples at 15 locations throughout the watershed each month to gather this important data.
Read the EPA press release.
Read more about how the report card is calculated.
EPA Mystic River Watershed Initiative website
MyRWA water quality info