Taunton River Wild and Scenic River Study Committee

                                                                        May 27, 2004

 

 

Present:  Jim Ross, Alexander Houtizager, William Taylor, Maryan Nowak, Tim Watts, Francis Pereira, Rachel Calabro, Bob Davis, Namcy Durfee, Richard Ashcroft, Christina Wordell, Daniel Lopis, Joe Callahan, Joan Kimball, Bob Davis, Jamie Fosburgh,  Bill Napolitano

 

I. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes were approved unanimously.

 

II.                Outreach meeting

The outreach committee met at 6  to talk about next steps leading up to fall or spring Town Meeting.

 

III.               Management Plan

Rachel and Jamie have been working on the Management Plan.  Rachel sent out the “Introduction” by email and asked for comments.   Rachel asked if we liked the table of contents and appendix.  Joan, Jamie and Bob recommended that there be many more bullets under “Some of the outstanding attributes of the Taunton River corridor include…” Jim recommends that we be consistent in using terms “fishery” and anadromous fish in talking about our outstanding values.  Bob says that we should also include the Taunton River as an anadromous fish run.   Alexander asked do we want to talk about existing or past outstanding resources?  In the section about the Wild and Scenic Study Committee, Jim felt that we need to acknowledge and thank groups and people who came before us.  Bill has written a piece about the groups that come before us.   Bill read us an email from Scott asking if other designated rivers have had stewardship councils—has the spirit and action continued beyond designation?  We will add that this is modeled on other Wild and Scenic and has proved to be effective.   For types of members, we agreed that we would use the same description we used in initial outreach to selectmen for study committee members.  Francis suggested that we seek to get interested people for each of the outstandingly remarkable characteristics.  We want to get highly motivated members who will attend meetings.   There has to be more than one person per town.  The meetings are all open.   The Committee will review the Management Plan at the June meeting.  After discussion we agreed that we would name the plan the “Taunton River Stewardship Plan.”

 

IV.              Updates on the Projects approved for funding at the 4/29 Meeting

 

A.  Synthesis of  existing water quality data ($5,000)

Bob has sent the scope to Kevin.  TRWA meeting asked how many groups have data? Many groups from TRWA to Save the Bay.  We will look to all existing data.

 

B. Small tributary macro survey ($2,500)

Fred and Tim have been choosing tributaries.  They have done some sampling on an unnamed tributary off Cherry Street in Bridgewater.  They have found good diversity of species.  Quite a few people have shown interest in the study.  On the 12 June, Fred will come on the canoe trip. Tim said they could take some people to site on Cherry Street.  They will look at a site on a tributary on the Assonet River recommended by Cindy Delpapa, Riverways.  DEP sampled here and found good habitat but no species. They will also investigate a tributary off the Nemasket. Alex has a small stream—salt water comes up and you can see where the two merge. Tim will look at this one.  Bill said that Cahall O’Brien has some sites.  Kevin Curry was interested in seeing if there is any overlap with his study.

 

C. Cultural landscape tributary ($14,000)

Jess Rowcroft is very excited about doing this study and has a 50% match from DCR.  They hire a consultant to look at sites that are important to the community and recommend management care of the resource.

D. RIFLS Rotating stream monitoring ($14,000)

Joan said that Kevin Curry wrote a very complete scope for the RIFLS Rotating Tributary Study Workplan.  After going over it, the Committee discussed possible sites for the secondary tributaries. Suggestions included: the Mill River in Taunton; Three Mile River; Cotley River, Salisbury Plain (as part of the basin team, Pat Rogers did an assessment of the Matfield), Labor-in-Vain, Cobb Brook.  Other suggestions included Mother’s Brook, Assonet River at Route 79.   Jamie suggested that the grouping for these sites be from the lower section.

The training for the RIFLS program will be June 9 at West  Bridgewater Library.  Volunteers need to read the gage once a week for the full season.  All that is required is reading a gage and putting the data on a web page.

Cindy and Rachel are installing the gages tomorrow.  Bill will send the MOU to Kevin and Bridgewater will invoice SRPEDD.  There is over a 100% match from Bridgewater State College and Riverways will be providing staff time.

 

E.     Stream Team implementation ($8000)

Rachel is having an informational meeting for Stream Teams on June 3.   Stream Teams will be asked to send a proposal to her one week before the next meeting.  The Stream Teams will have another chance to submit a proposal in July.  Nancy said that most Stream Teams are interested.  Winnetuxet, Somerset, Matfield, Rayham, and Nemasket Stream Teams have all expressed interest. 

 

V.                 Stream Team Reports:

Nancy reported that already begun Three Mile and Segregansett Rivers have had introduction, training and are surveying from May 22 to June 13.  The follow up meeting will be on June 13.  We compiled a list of the Taunton River Shoreline Survey for the float.  For people who will only take one day, choose a section on Saturday.  Bob got volunteers from TRWA.  Nancy and Rachel will have simplified data sheets because of the time limitations and will be there all day on Saturday to assist, pass out sheets.  We need 2 boats per section so they can go in tandom in each shore.  The June 22 Assonet River initial meeting will be at the Grange in Dighton. We congratulated the Stream Teams and the great job that Nancy has done organizing them.   Nancy expects to get the first day totally signed up and then the second day people will sign up. 

 

VI. Outreach

People have been doing outreach in Middleboro – the Taunton Heritage Maps, brochures are popular, plain white, un-glossy fact sheets were not taken.  Bill and Maisy worked on the new brochure which was passed around.  Bill did some outreach to two groups.  People love the little Taunton Heritage River pocket maps.  Bill did a display with the Taunton River Wild and Scenic.  There was an outreach committee meeting tonight 6-7.  People can sign up on the Web page for the Taunton River float.  Maisie has made a link to TRWA’s web page. 

 

VI.                Other Business

TRWA canoe trip is well organized with sweepers to ensure that everyone gets to camp by 6:00.  Being safe is of ultimate importance. 

 

Town updates:  Raynham passed the Community Preservation Bylaw.  THE CPA resonates with our study.  Jim suggested passing the CPA.  Bridgewater is trying again.   Bill suggested that we also create Agricultural Committees along the river.

 

June is Rivers Month! 

 

Bill tried to get the trash bags—but we needed to have a minimum order of 5000—and we were thinking 2000.

Jamie suggested using the Wild and Scenic logo and purchasing in bulk for all Wild and Scenic river—if we get a good quote.

 

The next meeting is on June 24 at 7:00.  The outreach meeting will be at 6.  Rachel will premiere her new power point!    Joan Kimball