Culvert Survey Gets Boost from MA Environmental Trust
August 28th, 2012 | by Brian
On August 24th, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) announced this year’s grants for water protection, habitat restoration and education. We are pleased to report that IRWA’s proposal (on behalf of the PIE-r-squared Partnership) to conduct a comprehensive habitat survey of culverts and bridges for the Parker, Ipswich and Essex river watersheds was chosen for funding.
This funding will allow us to expand our ongoing culvert survey to the entire PIE-r-squared region. The results will help us understand exactly where and how severely fish and wildlife migration is hampered by road-stream crossings. The MET grants are funded through the sale of the state’s three environmentally-themed specialty license plates: the Right Whale Tail, the Leaping Brook Trout and the Blackstone Valley Mill. So thanks to all of you who are driving around with one of those plates!
The Water Closet, August 24, 2012
August 24th, 2012 | by Middleton Stream Team
RECENTLY DEPARTED IPSWICH ELM
Here in temperate climes trees lay down a yearly layer of wood made basically from water and carbon dioxide. The other day the old Closeteer returning from clamming on an Ipswich flat stopped at a recently cut American elm on the corner of East and County Streets in Ipswich. He and his clamming buddies had been admiring this late great beauty for many years. Only a waist high, five-foot diameter, stump is left. He stopped to count the years, clearly seen on tree cross cuts because spring and summer growth differ. The no-growth period during the fall and winter makes a distinctive line between the smaller cells, hence denser wood, of summer and the larger cells of spring wood. The widths of concentric growth each year are called annual rings. He counted about 190 from the bark back to the administration of President James Monroe. Someone with similar interests had gotten there before him and labeled rings 1875 and 1850 with a black Sharpie. The closeteer’s count closely agreed with that of the unknown tallyman. He plans to return with plane to smooth rough places where the count was iffy, especially back between Monroe and Andrew Jackson when the fast growing sapling had wide rings not easily seen. (more…)
View IRWA Map Gallery
August 22nd, 2012 | by Ryan
We are developing a set of maps in our website to highlight restoration and monitoring work. Follow the link to our map gallery for an interactive look at restoration and monitoring work.
The first map shows possible or current restoration projects in the watershed. By clicking on a site a brief description with links to more detailed information in the restoration page of our website will appear. The second map shows all dams and road crossings throughout the watershed. Clicking on a site will again provide some information for that site. You may also click on and off the different layers to better see the dams or crossings. Brian Kelder, the Restoration Program Coordinator at IRWA, developed these maps. (more…)
Water Closet, August 17, 2012
August 17th, 2012 | by Middleton Stream Team
STRANGERS IN PARADISE
The old Closeteer often harkens back to when he was young and sent across the sea to where in the 19th century Yankee whalers plied the Pacific for sperm whales and where American and Japanese navies battled in steel fleets. The bottom is littered with their debris. While in the Navy on a ship larger than a whale ship, but not much, he was sent to the lonely South Pacific to help test diabolical weapons from his country’s labs and factories. These novel nuclear bombs were made by brilliant men who knew little of where they would be tested.
Far, far away from anywhere, a fifteen-mile diameter ring of low islands and reefs peeks barely above the sea. Their single mountain base is huge, though not visible to us who live in air. The atoll referred to is the infamous Eniwetok of the Marshall Islands. The rim of this once active volcano is of course innocent. It was formed by mindless magma roiling deep in the earth’s crust and then rising. After nuclear bombs were created in the 1940s by Americans afraid of Nazis and then Communists; our leaders and scientists sought out remote places to test their new weapons. The residents who called the palm covered islands home were (more…)