Mystic River Watershed Association

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Mural along Mystic Ave, Somerville. Artist: David Fitcher


PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY: Potentially Toxic Cyanobacteria Found in the Mystic River in Medford & Somerville: During routine water quality monitoring of the Mystic River in Medford and Somerville on November 13th, 2008, Mystic River Watershed Association staff and volunteers observed widespread cyanobacteria blooms ranging from Medford Center to the Blessing of the Bay boathouse. Certain types of cyanobacteria can be toxic and may pose a potential health risk to humans that come in contact with the water. The cyanobacteria can also be harmful to dogs that ingest the water.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, "Health concerns vary depending on the type of exposure (contact or ingestion) and the concentrations of microcystis and its toxin, microcystin. Contact with high levels of the cyanobacteria algae has been found to contribute to eye, ear, and skin irritation. More serious health effects (e.g. muscle cramps, twitching) can also occur. If elevated levels of the algal toxin, microcystin, are also present in the water, serious liver damage can result."

The Mystic River Watershed Association recommends that people and their pets avoid contact with water that is covered in a blue-green film of algae.

For more information about cyanobacteria blooms, please visit /

If you have any questions or would like to report a sighting of a cyanobacteria bloom in the Mystic Watershed, please contact Mary Beth Dechant at 781-316-3438. Photos of cyanobacteria bloom at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville on 11/13/2008.

New Outreach Materials Available for Download! : The Mystic River Watershed Association has compiled several outreach brochures to educate the public about non-point source pollution. We welcome communities to distribute these brochures to help spread the word about how residents can help reduce pollution in the Mystic Watershed. Click here to view and download the brochures.

EPA gives the Mystic Watershed a "D" for water quality: The EPA released its grade for water quality in the Mystic Watershed at the April 10th Mystic Watershed Summit. To read about the grade and EPA's plan for going forward, click here.

The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), is pleased to announce the appointment of EkOngKar Singh Khalsa as full time Executive Director.

The addition of a full time Executive Director to its staff will greatly assist the association in its efforts to restore clean water in the Mystic River Watershed, and to protect the natural resources in this region. (859) 740-4411

State Legislation to Improve Mystic Water Quality: Local members of the General Assembly are proposing legislation to create a
Mystic River Water Quality Commission .

Mystic River Baseline Index: To read MyRWA's latest report on water quality throughout the watershed, click here.