Guided Walk- Heritage State Park

Friday, July 1, 2022:   Fall River Heritage State Park   10:00am-11:30am

TRWA volunteers will lead an easy walk along the boardwalk at the Fall River Heritage State Park. We will look at nature along this end of the Taunton River Watershed, and discuss the area’s history. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Pups on leash welcome. Restrooms available.

Cost: Member- Free, Non-member- $5

Meeting Place:  Battleship Cove Parking Area near the small bridge

Attendee Limit: 15;   Pre-registration required by 4pm, Thursday, June 30, 2022

To register call (508) 828-1101 or email director@savethetaunton.org

Successful 2022 Taunton River Festival

This year’s celebration of the Wild and Scenic Taunton River was a huge success!  Many thanks to all our vendors, exhibitors, non-profit organizations, food trucks, musicians, dancers, and visitors who made this event so enjoyable. The day was filled with sunshine, smiles, laughter, song, dance, food, shopping and more!  A special thank you to our generous sponsors and dedicated volunteers, including Taunton Troop 40, whose assistance made the event possible.

Mark your calendars for next year on June 11, 2023 at Weir Village Riverfront Park, 33 East Water St, Taunton. 

Click here for photos of the 2022 event.

 

Guided Bird Walk at Sweets Knoll State Park

Sunday, June 5, 2022:    Sweets Knoll State Park, Dighton MA   8:30am-10:00am

TRWA volunteers will lead an easy walk through the Sweets Knoll State Park which abuts the Taunton River. We will look for and identify birds on and near the river through sight and sound. If you have binoculars and/or bird guides, feel free to bring them along. Wear sturdy waterproof footwear. Families welcome, though not stroller friendly. No pups please. Restroom available.

Cost: Member- Free, Non-member- $5

Meeting Place:  TRWA Office, 1387 Somerset Ave, Dighton

Attendee Limit: 15;   Pre-registration required by 4pm, Friday, June 3rd

To register call (508) 828-1101 or email director@savethetaunton.org

                  

World Turtle Day: May 23

TRWA’s work to assess the population of Diamondback Terrapins in the Taunton River Watershed will be entering it’s seventh season in June 2022. This unique terrapin is a threatened species, protected under Massachusetts Law. If you have laying females on your property and would like us to install screening to prevent nest predation by skunks, foxes and raccoons, you can call our office at (508) 828-1101.

Celebrate Earth Day with a Guided Walk

Saturday, April 30, 2022,  (Rain Date Saturday, May 7, 2o22):   Woodward Forest, Norton MA   1:00pm-2:30pm

TRWA volunteers will lead an easy walk through Woodward Forest managed by the Land Preservation Society of Norton. We will walk through various habitat, stopping along the way to look at signs of wildlife. The trail will lead us to the Three Mile River which flows into the Taunton River. Great for children, though not stroller friendly. Please no pups. Restrooms not available.

Cost: Member- Free, Non-member- $5

Meeting Place:  Forest entrance, located between 4 & 5 Gateway Lane off Old Taunton Ave. Parking available along Gateway Lane.

Attendee Limit: 15;   Pre-registration required by 4pm, Friday, April 29th

To register call (508) 828-1101 or email director@savethetaunton.org

                 

Event: Town River Restoration Project, Bridgewater

APRIL 19 – 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Join a walk and talk event with handouts during school vacation week. Children welcome! Learn about the Town River Restoration Project and explore the site.

Program led by Kristopher M. Houle, P.E., Senior Ecological Restoration Engineer.  Parking is at the entrance to the Bridgewater Highway Dept at 151 High St, Bridgewater, MA 02324.

 

Event: Native Plant Gardening

APRIL 14 – 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Lakeville Public Library

4 Precinct St. Lakeville, MA

Learn from Martha “Mike” Schroeder, master gardener with decades of experience. She has a slide presentation on the basics of native plant gardening which will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Fully handicap accessible

 

Restart of TRWA Water Quality Monitoring Program

TRWA is pleased to announce the TRWA Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program will resume on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 this year! Existing and new volunteer monitoring training will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022 at TRWA’s Sweets Knoll State Park Office in Dighton, MA (on Rt 138 just South of the Bristol Aggie traffic light – 1387 Somerset Avenue, Dighton, MA). On March 26th we will have sign-in and an informal get acquainted and Q/ A session from 9:30am to 10:00am and the training will run from 10:00am to Noon. If you want to participate but can’t make the March 26th training date, contact the TRWA office at director@savethetaunton.org and we’ll see if a make-up day is needed.

TRWA volunteers will sample the second Tuesday of the month for the sampling season April through October (7 months). Teams take their samples from 2 or 3 locations anytime between 5:00am to 8:00am and drop them off at the Taunton WWTP lab no later than 8:30am. As we have done in the past, and as noted above the refresher sampler/new volunteer training is on the last Saturday morning of the month before sampling begins which is Saturday, March 26, 2022 this year.

During 2022 all five wastewater treatment plants up stream of Somerset are required to start removing nitrogen making this year an important one for water quality monitoring. As the veteran samplers know TRWA teams’ sample 20 locations (4 on the main stem of the Taunton River and 16 locations on tributary rivers/streams) the second Tuesday of each month during our sampling season. We have a MassDEP Quality Assurance Project Plan approved sampling program. We do 2 duplicates and 2 blanks each month (1 for every 10 samples for Nitrate, Total Phosphorus and Bacteria the most important pollutants we monitor). We do 2 duplicates (no blanks) for dissolved oxygen, and pH/TSS. TRWA monitoring is important because it documents the need for upgrading all seven major wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the watershed to remove nitrogen and for the four WWTPs in the upper freshwaters of the watershed to also remove phosphorus. It also highlights the need across the entire watershed for better stormwater controls for new and existing development to reduce bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from stormwater discharges.

We delayed the start of the sampling program last year to give our volunteers time to obtain their vaccinations. We encourage our volunteers to obtain their booster vaccinations if they have not already done so. Until we see how things are going with the virus this spring wearing a mask at the training and when dropping off samples at the Veolia lab is recommended.

I look forward to seeing you at the training session on March 26th . Our 2022 Standard Operating Procedures guide is unchanged from the 2021 on the TRWA website https://savethetaunton.org/ at the monitoring tab as well as our simple one-page sampler instructions sheet, chain of custody form, instructions for filling out sample bottle labels, Google map of sampling locations, and 2022 blank reporting forms which show in the lower section which locations/teams will collect duplicate and blank samples each month. This webpage generally has anything you might want to review concerning the sampling program.

One of the most important things we want to accomplish at the training is assure that we have teams of people with at least one veteran sampler ready to cover each sampling location. We will assign new volunteers to teams with veterans for hands on training and to ease them into the program. We always need new volunteers to replace folks who have moved away and to build up our teams to make sure we have coverage for vacations etc. If you know anyone who might like to get fresh morning air, knowledge, and be part of an important effort to save our environment, please invite them to the training.

If you are a veteran sampler and are no longer able to participate in the sampling program, please let Steve Silva (steve124@gmail.com) know to help us with planning.

 

TRWA Posts 2021 Sampling Results

TRWA has posted the 2021 sampling results to the website. We want to thank all our sampling volunteers for a very successful monitoring program year after the pandemic shut down for 2020 and the first 4 months of 2021! Our team sampled all 20 sampling sites each month and collected the 2 Quality Assurance (QA) and Duplicate samples along with the QA Blanks each month! We also want to thank our partner Rick McCormack at the Veolia Taunton treatment plant for all his great help getting the program successfully restarted.

As you know river flow was very high each time we sampled resulting in a lot of pollutant dilution. Despite this we saw high nitrogen in the Matfield and Upper Taunton Rivers reflecting the fact that Brockton is not scheduled to begin to remove nitrogen until 4/1/2022. Phosphorus levels were elevated in the Town River below Bridgewater. Unfortunately while Bridgewater is scheduled to remove nitrogen by 5/1/2022 they have until 5/1/2027 to remove phosphorus. The City of Taunton is behind in their nitrogen upgrade schedule. The last we were advised, Taunton was expecting to complete Phase 1 June 2022 and Phase 2 December 2022.

As would be expected during wet weather bacteria levels were elevated but we are also using the Commonwealth’s new more sensitive bacterial indicator (enterococci) which is more sensitive than the indicator used in the past (fecal coliform). As a result of it being new we don’t have much prior year data to compare it to. Two urban rivers the Three Mile and Mill Rivers showed relatively encouraging bacteria results compared to other rivers sampled.

Again we thank our sampling team members so much for their commitment to the environment! We look forward to seeing them at our 2022 sampling refresher training on the last Saturday morning in March 2022 (3/26/2022), the month before we are planning to start the program in 2022. We currently have 19 samplers on our 9 sampling teams. We always need new samplers each year to replace people who move out of the watershed. If you are interested in joining our team, please email our office and come to the March 2022 training session. No training or experience is necessary. It is a great way to get some morning fresh air and help the environment.

August Sampling Results Posted

The August water sampling results are in and posted on the website.

Flows were high due to all the rain we have had. Higher river flows result in more dilution for the wastewater treatment plants usually resulting in lower nitrate and TP. Because Brockton, Bridgewater, and Taunton WWTPs are not scheduled to complete their plant upgrades until next year, we still saw some elevated nitrate below the Brockton plant and elevated TP levels below all three plants despite the high river flow.

High stormwater runoff which causes the high river flows tends to result in elevated bacteria levels (from street runoff) which we saw as well. We hope to get more bacteria data using our new more sensitive indicator enterococci in the future to help put this in better perspective.

We had a perfect month for sample collection from all our 20 sites plus our 2 duplicates and blanks. I appreciate that our team was able to step in and successfully restart our sampling program after a 1 year and 4 month hiatus due to the pandemic.

As we have in the past TRWA forwards our results to EPA Region 1 and MassDEP for their information. My hope is that now that there is a new Administration in DC they will be motivated to complete updated permits for Somerset and Fall River with nutrient limitations so that the five major treatment plants who are already completing upgrades and everyone who lives in the watershed will receive the benefit of their investment and a healthier estuary and river.