Governor Maura Healey’s first budget includes $100,000 for the Alewife Brook. Funding will go through Mystic River Watershed Association for a hydraulic and dredging study.
Construction of the Alewife channel with a crane dredge, circa 1909.
From the Department of Conservation and Recreation,
courtesy Massachusetts State Archives.
Why do we need a study of the brook?
A dredging and hydraulic study is needed to find solutions to the problems of flooding and poor water quality in the Alewife Brook. It is the first step needed to attract State and Federal Funding to address these problems.
In 2022, the EPA wrote to MWRA, asking the agency to work with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to remove sediment from the brook. According to EPA: “the channelized nature of Alewife Brook, as well as the amount of sediment in the Alewife constructed channel, takes up flood storage capacity.”
Currently, water quality remains poor even on dry weather days when a lack of CSO and stormwater discharges should mean better water quality. Dredging sediment would improve water quality by removing contaminants and reducing bacterial counts in the water on dry weather days.
Thanks to our Awesome Alewife Lawmakers!
Dave Rogers, 24th Middlesex (East Arlington & North Cambridge)
Dave Rogers, his Chief of Staff Kira Arnott, and his Aide George Armstrong worked with Save the Alewife Brook and Mystic River Watershed Association to craft the Alewife Brook budget amendment.
Representatives Sean Garballey (Arlington) and Christine Barber (Somerville) co-sponsored the request in the House Budget. Senator Pat Jehlen (Cambridge & Somerville) submitted it for the Senate Budget. We also want to thank Alewife area Senators Cindy Friedman (Arlington) and Will Brownsberger (Belmont) for supporting funding for the Alewife.
Thank YOU & thanks to EPA!
Honestly, this wouldn’t have happened without EPA’s recommendation and without your interest in a safe and healthy Alewife Brook. Thanks everybody!
Plans for dredging and removal of Alewife Brook concrete channel, page 43 of the MDC 2003 Alewife Master Plan Courtesy Massachusetts State Archives