As promised, I'm posting the link to a very important petition to protect Massachusetts' rivers and streams. As I mentioned in a (bit angry) previous post our Governor, Deval Patrick, has allowed the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection to roll back critical "safe yield" water withdrawal levels.
What is "safe yield"? Simply put, that's the maximum amount of water that can be pumped out of a river system without damaging the river: i.e. pumping it dry. In previous summers when my local river, the Ipswich River, ran dry withdrawals were at 28 to 32 million gallons a day. The DEP was sued and levels were dropped. The past three summers the river has flowed, wildlife has flourished and the herring are starting to return to spawn.
Just when I was starting to relax and jumping for joy over this recovery the DEP has decided that the new "safe yield" for the Ipswich River will be 55.5 million gallons a day. YES: 55.5 MILLION gallons a day. That's almost twice the levels that pumped the river dry.
What will happen? All the fish will die and the river will look like this. I'm fairly sure those are dead fish in that puddle in the foreground. So no fishing, no kayaking, no working beaver dams, and most definitely no herring fry getting out of the river to grow up in the ocean.
Please visit the Conservation Law Foundation's website to sign a petition to rescind this action. I signed it yesterday and immediately received the following reply from the governor's office:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with Governor Patrick. The Governor values your opinions and enjoys hearing from people across the Commonwealth. Please know that your views are always welcome in this administration.
The Governor and his staff strive to review every piece of correspondence in a timely manner. If appropriate, we will forward your message to the appropriate staff member, department or the state agency that can best address your concerns.
If you need an immediate response, please call the Governor's Office at 617-725-4005 to speak with a Constituent Services Aide. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your ideas with Governor Patrick. Stay involved and engaged...this is your government!
I'd like to think this is positive, but I'm not very hopeful. Thank you everyone for caring about the little ecosystem at the end of my road. The Ipswich River was listed as one of the country's top ten most endangered rivers, how is it ever going to recover if this policy goes into action?
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