Water Closet for September 11, 2015
[pullquote]”If you are interested in helping to protect our ever more important natural resources contact Kristin Kent, Conservation Agent or Derek Fullerton, Conservation Administrator and Public Health Director at 195 North Main Street, 978-777-1869″[/pullquote]. Located in the center of the Ipswich River Watershed, appropriately named Middleton has been blessed by the last continental glacier in its topography, 50 inches of rain each year, two large reservoirs and their watersheds, and over 500 acres of protected “conservation” land. In it’s almost 10,000 acres there are over 3000 acres of swamps, 9 miles of Ipswich River, 16 miles of notable streams, the river’s tributaries, and ground water everywhere that isn’t ledge. As the world’s eight billion people are increasingly aware, sources of water are ever more precious and in need of protection and careful stewardship. In Middleton the job of protection of this essential resource falls to Conservation Commission and the Board of Health with the help of Essex County Greenbelt Association, Danvers Water Department’s treatment plant and its reservoirs and watersheds, state and town conservation lands and the Middleton Stream Team.
In 1972 the towns and cities of Massachusetts got strong help protecting their wetlands when the Great and General Court, our legislature, passed the Wetlands Protection Act. (MGL Chapter 131, Section 40). Towns formed Conservation Commissions to administer the regulations (310 CMR 10.00) of the act. Two decades later the Rivers Protection Act passed and was subsequently incorporated into the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA).
For the past five years Conservation Commissioner Roger Talbot very ably helped administer the WPA’s regulations, two years as a strong chairman who insisted upon significant buffers between development and wetlands. He retired from the commission this summer thus leaving a seat on this five person board for Middleton applicants wanting to serve our town by protecting its invaluable water resources. The commission in so doing makes the community a much more attractive habitat for people, other animals and plants.
One old Stream Teamer, who served as the Middleton commission’s agent for 14 years, said he was constantly learning about his town’s wetlands, wildlife, soils, geology, hydrology, and government. Free workshops and courses are available to commissioners about these and other subjects. He recommends participation on this important board to Middletonites.
The commission meets formally the first Tuesday of every month from 7 to 9 PM or so for hearings on applicants’ plans for work near wetlands. Prior to some hearings there are site visits.
You don’t need to be a wetland specialist to serve on the commission. Interest, fairness, and good sense are what citizens bring to the job. Age and experience, while of value, are not necessary. Nathaniel Cameron, a student in his early 20s, served for several years as one of Middleton’s best commissioners. Another, Gertrude Dearborn, a retired nurse in her 60s and 70s, served well for over 20 years.
If you are interested in helping to protect our ever more important natural resources contact Kristin Kent, Conservation Agent or Derek Fullerton, Conservation Administrator and Public Health Director at 195 North Main Street, 978-777-1869. Applicants are interviewed by the Commission and by the Selectmen. The latter select and appoint.
As Kermit the Frog famously said, “It isn’t easy being green”. But he and we know it is very much worth the try for all, frogs as well as humans.
WATER RESOURCE AND CONSERVATION INFORMATION
FOR MIDDLETON, BOXFORD AND TOPSFIELD`
|Precipitation Data* for Month of:||June||July||Aug||Sept|
|30 Year Normal (1981 – 2010) Inches||3.95||3.89||3.37||3.77|
|2015 Central Watershed Actual||5.87||2.12||3.5**||0.0 as of 9/8**|
Ipswich R. Flow Rate (S. Middleton USGS Gage) in Cubic Feet/ Second (CFS):
For Sept 8, 2015 Normal . . . 4.0 CFS Current Rate . . . 0.49 CFS
*Danvers Water Filtration Plant, Lake Street, Middleton is the source for actual precipitation data thru July.
**Middleton Stream Team is source of actual precipitation data for Aug and Sept..
Normals data is from the National Climatic Data Center.
THE WATER CLOSET is provided by the Middleton Stream Team: www.middletonstreamteam.org or <MSTMiddletonMA@gmail.com> or (978) 777-4584