Reading Takes Steps to Address Stormwater Pollution

The Town of Reading is partnering with the Mystic River Watershed Association in a new effort to address stormwater pollution at the watershed scale. The Stormwater Education Collaborative includes representatives from more than 15 municipalities within the 76 square mile Mystic River Watershed.

“By working at the watershed scale we can better address stormwater pollution by pooling knowledge, experiences and resources. Together, we are raising awareness of stormwater and local solutions to improve our shared water resources,” said Town Manager Robert LeLachuer.

Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over the ground surface and is not absorbed – such as when rain lands on roads, parking lots, and rooftops. As the rain flows off of these impervious surfaces, it often picks up pollutants including litter, oil, fertilizers, road salt and pet waste. Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution to the Mystic River and its tributaries, lakes and ponds.

The Collaborative is developing a multimedia outreach campaign for each municipality to implement, allowing for consistent messaging across the watershed. Materials will include video public service announcements, social media graphics, website content, and posters to start, with additional educational materials to be developed in 2018. This project is partially funded through a US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Urban Waters grant.

“We are excited to work across municipalities to develop an innovative and effective education campaign addressing a primary source of pollution to our waterways. There are a lot of steps community members, businesses, and developers can take to limit their impact on the Mystic. We’re here to act as a resource for the municipality as they work to improve the local river,” said Patrick Herron, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association.

To learn more about the Stormwater Education Collaborative please contact Patrick Herron, Mystic River Watershed Association, at 781-316-3438.

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