Pretty soon the Charles will be getting extra credit

The EPA reports it's given the Charles River an A- for cleanliness in 2013:

Reflecting nearly twenty years of focused efforts by EPA, state and local officials, private environmental advocacy groups and concerned citizens, this is the first time the Charles River earned a grade higher than “B+”. As with past years, the grade is based on bacterial sampling conducted by the Charles River Watershed Association during the previous year.

The latest grade reflects continued improvement in the number of days the river is safe for boating and swimming. For the 2013 calendar year, the river was safe for boating 96 percent of the time and safe for swimming 70 percent of the time, representing the highest safe swimming percentage in the past 19 years since the Charles grade was first issued. This is a notable improvement over the past several years and a dramatic boost from 1995 when the River met boating standards only 39 percent of the time and was safe for swimming just 19 percent of the time.

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    Here's the Charles

    .along Watertown Square. https://flic.kr/p/oHxy5K

    The heron is a bonus. The water is quite clear. The lack of murk or turbidity is an important clue.

    Note the foam. That also indicates oxygen retention when the water churns its way over the dam. I could see some eel grass along the bottom in shallower sections which is another good indicator.

    I've explored it as far as the Shattuck Reservation in Medfield where you can readily ford it and spotted a fly fisherman near the dam in South Natick. Trout are another key indicator as they need lots of oxygen and avoid murk.

    The money spent over the years to alleviate industrial era air and water messes here produced observable results. The quality of the natural environment may be the best in my lifetime, which began with rivers like the Nashua running red from manufacturing dye releases.

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    THANKS

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    Really appreciate the pictures you have been posting/linking here lately.

    You're welcome.

    My main retirement hobby is to promote the open space amenities of the region. I just add simple links as back story when useful and upload U Hub stuff in a kind of counterpoint to topic flow.

    I could embed stuff but I don't want to complicate Adam's bandwidth needs and it lets a user chose rather than pounding em with an embed.

    We live in a time where it is much easier to remove the mystery from the area that held sway when a place was at best a reference on a Rand McNally atlas.

    Fall is coming, mosquitoes will be having a die off and people will be stirred to explore the particulars of place after the more epic activities of summer.

    I want it to be easy for people who live here to find and explore the area, particularly the hosed urbans who end up overpaying for everything. I want the urban poor to find quiet and know about all that has been made available. I want people to get their tax dollars worth.

    And I want the rest of the world to know about how basically compelling the funny little region is.

    It's kind of amazing to have lived to see a time where all of that is fairly easy and doable if you know your way around the system.

    but

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    When it was upgraded to a B (I think) a few years ago.. they said it was safe,. just don't touch the bottom

    I wonder if we can touch the bottom now without stirring up mucky yucky stuff.

    No, you can't

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    The stuff that's on the bottom doesn't really have anything to do with bacteria counts. It's industrial waste that's covered in river silt. Unless they dredge out the river (which they won't) it will take a pretty significant amount of time for enough clean silt to build up on top of the contaminated stuff to make it safe to be touching the bottom. In the Boston area of the basin, anyway. Further upstream you might be ok. Depends on the former upstream industries.

    The grades reflect, in part,

    By on

    The grades reflect, in part, the percentage of days it is safe to swim/boat on the water. So when it had a B it was safe to swim/boat fewer days than now, when it is safe to swim 70% and boat 96% of the time.

    Seriously?

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    Please, next time you think something like this, re-consider the idea of posting it.

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    Sigh

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    It's one thing for a member of a group to crack about the group; quite another for somebody who isn't (and no, I have no idea what your background is, but surely you can recognize that on a public forum with a nondescript user name your crack comes off as Yet Another Example of White Cluelessness at best).

    It's almost verbatim to one

    It's almost verbatim to one of his routines about a restaurant rating and comparing it to what his mother did to him when he brought home an A-. *shrug*