Minutes of the

 

Taunton River Wild & Scenic River Study Committee Meeting – March 25, 2004

 

 

Attendance:  Tricia Cassady, Tim Watts, Bill Taylor, Francis Pereira, Middleboro

                      Jim Ross, Lou Bousquet, Ray Brierly, Raynham

                      Nancy Durfee, Chris Wordell, Richard Ashcroft, Somerset

                      Cheryl Wall, Jack Traynor, Halifax

                      Alex Houtzager, Joe Callahan, Angela Possinger, Margiana Petersen-               

                      Rockney, Berkley

                      Dan Lopes, Freetown

                      Maryan Nowak, Taunton

                      Bob Davis, TRWA

                      John Torgan, Save the Bay

                      Joan Kimball, Riverways           

                      Rachel Calabro, Riverways

                      Jack Callahan

                      Bill Napolitano

       

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM

 

1.  Minutes of February approved, with noted corrections

 

2.  Introductions of guests and group

  

3.  Review of the Charette:

   

Bill reported to the group that 70 people were in attendance, including at the 2/28 charette;  he had received several very positive emails, phone calls and excellent press from the Somerset Spectator; 

 

Rachel reviewed the notes from the individual sessions conducted at the charette,

Highlighting key issues, major concerns and priority action steps;  Rachel also told the group that we should focus on data gaps, based on the issues raised at the charette, in constructing the draft management plan;

 

Alex said that a “Save Our Bridge” group had started up in Berkley as a result of the session on culture, history and archaeology at the charette;  the group is looking for an alternative to the state’s proposed design for a replacement bridge ( the group would like to see the new bridge retain more of the design qualities and integrity of the old bridge);  Alex also wanted to know if the W&S Committee could help influence the development of bike paths within  our communities;

 

Bill said that many communities have sought funding through the Transportation Enhancements Program (Fall River has been funded previously, Somerset will be voted on this spring, and looks very good);  John Torgan said that the land conservation groups could help to support such actions, especially as The  Nature Conservancy (TNC) has made the Taunton River one of their focus areas;

 

John said that TNC recently held a meeting in Vermont during which they said that stats from our biodiversity section and introduction  are highlights behind their reasons for choosing the Taunton as a focus area; John said that the meeting provided a good perspective on the conservation needs of the watershed;

       

4.   Project Proposal Reviews

 

Per request of the W&S Committee, the following proposals were submitted for review and funding consideration:

 

a.      Synthesizing of Taunton River water quality data accumulated since 1989 by the TRWA and the Watershed Access Lab at BSC;  Bob Davis presented this idea, which has been discussed at meetings several times in the past, to the Committee;  Bob and Kevin Curry (BSC) estimate that it would take approximately $5,000 to do this properly, using interns from the Watershed Access Lab under the supervision of Kevin Curry;

 

b.      Rachel Calabro presented a proposal to continue the Stream Team      

Implementation and Awards Program within the basin;  the program costs

approximately $5 – 10,000 annually (usually $8,000);

 

c.       Bill and Tim presented the macro survey proposed by Fred SaintOurs and

Kevin Curry (SEE ATTACHMENT 1);

 

d.      Bill presented the Cultural Landscape Inventory proposal by Jessica

Rowcroft of DCR (SEE ATTACHMENT 2);

 

e.      Joan Kimball of the Riverways Program presented a proposal for

Rotating Tributary Monitoring (SEE ATTACHMENT 3);

 

f.        Joan Kimball presented a proposal for a Taunton River Water Budget

Study (SEE ATTACHMENT 4);

 

  Jim Ross led the Committee through a discussion of our selected “Outstanding

Values” in terms of the proposals and prioritizing our needs;  Jim would like the Committee to vote on the proposals at the next meeting;

 

5.  Other Business

 

Alex told that the BBC was going to present a 2 hour special on PBS in the near future on the Chinese exploration of the Taunton River based upon the book “1421, The Year Chinese Discovered America”

Bob the Committee that the USGS is looking for brooks and streams that not impaired by human activity for further study;

 

Jim thought that maybe beyond the proposed studies, we could still have a mainstem survey during the TRWA’s  Source to the Sea” paddle in June (at least from Bridgewater to the Weir);

 

Jim would also like to work a lot on outreach in the coming months; he’d also like to find out when towns are scheduling their Fall ’04 and Spring ’05 Town Meetings;

 

Nancy gave brief report on the stream team activities; Nemasket, Forge and Winnetuxet are now complete;  Nancy has begun work with the Assonet, Three Mile and Segregansett teams;

 

6.  Next Meeting: April 29, 2004, 7pm, at SRPEDD;  meeting adjourned at             

8:38pm.