Kingston has the opportunity to maximize funding for a construction project to minimize the flow of untreated stormwater into the Jones River.
What: A construction project that will minimize the flow of untreated stormwater into the Jones River at Elm Street. The $260k of free cash will turn into far more funding through grant programs.
Why? Stormwater contains pathogens from sewage/septic systems and pet waste, fertilizer from lawns, automotive fluids, road salt, and sediment. All of these affect the quality of the water moving through the Jones, it’s estuary, and out into the Bay.
And why should I care?
These inputs often cause harmful algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen (think fish trying hard to breathe) and other ecological issues that lead to poor ecosystem health and low biodiversity/productivity. They have also led to the Jones being designated as a pathogen-impaired water body, the closing of all the estuary shellfish beds and many of the shellfish beds in the Bay, and beach closures through the summer months.
Beyond that awful designation, the Jones and many of it’s tributaries were recently designated Coldwater Fish Resources, being important habitat for species that thrive in cold water, such as native brook trout, rainbow smelt, American brook lamprey, slimy sculpin and longnose sucker. Contiguous sections of the Jones and tributaries are also considered excellent habitat for diadromous fish (fish that run to/from the ocean to reproduce) such as the American eel, an amazing species that feeds voraciously on mosquito lar-vae until reaching adulthood, where it stops feeding altogether and swims out to the Sargasso Sea to repro-duce and die. Other species include blueback herring, alewife, American shad, white perch, Atlantic tomcod and rainbow smelt, all being heavily sought-after for food throughout history, but slowly returning from extremely depleted stocks due to our treatment of our rivers in past centuries.
The Jones has historically been a treasured resource in town due to the abundance it brought. With proper restoration we can get there again. Improving fisheries, along with general cleanup of the Jones and improvements to our trail networks and open space parcels, will result in increased visitation to Kingston, which brings revenue to local businesses.
For more information about this project or ways you can minimize your stormwater inputs, contact the Conservation Department at 781-585-0537 or email@example.com