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Charles River drops below a beaver's knees in West Roxbury

Beaver along the Charles River

It's got to be frustrating to be a Millennium Park beaver these days: There's just not enough water to dam up along the Charles, but especially in Sawmill Brook, which no longer empties into the Charles because it no longer flows. This morning, Mary Ellen spotted this once eager beaver forced to waddle across mud and what's left of the water.

Update: Mary Ellen posted video showing that the little guy was able to get a bit of a swim in.



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It's dryer than a beaver's knees!

Voting closed 8

In California: "Riverine wetlands rebuilt by beavers can counteract rising temperatures, nourishing vegetation that stores carbon and benefiting sensitive species including steelhead trout. Spreading water across the floodplain creates a network of firebreaks — gaps in combustible vegetation that can stop or slow wildfires. And beaver wetlands help combat drought because their dams raise water levels so the ground stores water like a sponge, percolating out in drier seasons, which keeps streams flowing instead of going dry."

"Beavers are an untapped, creative climate solving hero that helps prevent the loss of biodiversity facing California. In the intermountain West, wetlands, though they are present on just 2 percent of total land area, support 80 percent of biodiversity. Further, beaver dams improve water quality and control water downstream, repair eroded channels, reconnect streams to their floodplains, and the ponds and flooded areas create habitat for many plants and animals. Beavers create habitat complexity, significantly increase biodiversity, and can provide perennial flow to streams that would otherwise run dry. Through this process of ecosystem engineering, beavers can expand wetland, riparian, and wet meadow habitats and increase wildfire resiliency in areas with known beaver activity."

Voting closed 11

Beavers have been living along Sawmill Brook for quite awhile now (I've never actually seen one myself, but I've seen any number of trees they're in the process of gnawing down).

Sawmill Brook runs between the old city landfill, now Millennium Park, and a large marshy area that stretches to the Charles River - some of the more than 8,000 acres the Army Corps of Engineers bought along the Charles as a natural flood-control project, rather than using their normal levee/dam methods for preventing flooding. The idea is that the land just sits there most of the time, but acts as a sponge to soak up floodwaters in the spring or during other high-water periods.

Army Corps of Engineers and beavers: Partners in wetlands reclamation.

Voting closed 18

Is nobody going to mention the passing of Tony Dow here?

Voting closed 8

Looks like something I chewed on this past weekend.

Voting closed 7

Boston does have a rat problem. Now it's river rats!

Voting closed 6