Monday, August 31, 2009

Massachusetts Bays Window Summer 2009


Massachusetts Bays Window banner

Summer 2009

Welcome to the Massachusetts Bays Window, the newsletter of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program. Our quarterly newsletter reviews the latest Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) projects and accomplishments. For more information about the MBP, please visit

A Note from the Director
Readers of this newsletter who are familiar with the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) know that we are funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and hosted by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Though we rely on this federal and state support, it is our mission to protect and restore the Bays by working directly with the communities that border their shores. Particularly in Massachusetts, where home rule is, indeed, the rule, we depend on these local connections and contributions to bring to fruition the habitat and water quality protection efforts that are the hallmark of the MBP.

To make those local connections happen, MBP relies on the services of local non-profits and regional planning agencies. These groups provide a critical bridge for interaction and cooperation with communities by promoting the mission of the MBP to the people working "on the ground". They also help MBP to determine where to best direct our resources in each of our unique regions. This summer, MBP reaffirmed its commitment to these local partnerships by renewing contracts with our four existing regional coordinators: the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (Upper North Shore region), Salem Sound Coastwatch (Salem Sound region), the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (South Shore region), and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (Cape Cod region).

The partnerships that are cultivated through these contracts provide us an incredible return on our investment. The relationships provide MBP with access to the full resources of these programs, the local networks of environmental managers and stewards available to them, and the many grants and in-kind services they are able to leverage towards our shared priorities.

I have found the knowledge and experience of these regional partners to be an invaluable resource during my own transition into the Mass Bays Program, and the relationships are already beginning to bear new fruit as we develop new habitat protection strategies and targets for the coming years. It is these relationships that allow MBP to work outside if the bounds of government and truly be a stakeholder-driven program.

-- Jay Baker, MBP Executive Director

<!--[if !vml]-->Stony Brook undresized culvert<!--[endif]-->Massachusetts Wetlands to Benefit from Federal Stimulus Funding
In late June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced grants for coastal habitat restoration projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. From a pool of 814 applicants, 50 projects were selected for funding, including the Town of Brewster's Stony Brook. In addition to the Town, the MBP has joined a dynamic team of other committed partners working on this effort, including the MBP's Cape Cod program host, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Other partners include the MA Department of Fish & Game's Division of Ecological Restoration (formerly the Wetlands Restoration Program) and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

The $1.3 million grant will be used to replace the undersized tidal culvert running under Route 6A (see photo) with larger, twin box culverts. This will enable greater natural tidal exchange and improve herring passage to 386 acres of prime herring spawning grounds upstream. Increased tidal exchange will restore 20 acres of salt marsh and 3,000 linear feet of stream habitat. Additionally, the restored system will offer the area greater protection from flooding and storm surge. Increased tidal flushing will also inhibit the growth of invasive non-native plant species currently found in the Stony Brook salt marsh.

Entire MBP Region to Benefit from MET Grant
<!--[if !vml]-->Herring counting station<!--[endif]-->The North and South River Watershed Association (NSRWA), host of the MBP's South Shore program, was awarded a $25,750 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to acquire and deploy temperature and water-level data loggers in important fish runs throughout the MBP region from the New Hampshire border to Provincetown. The funds received will help the NSRWA and MBP address two major ecological concerns - the rapid decline of diadromous fish populations (migratory fish such as herring and eels) in coastal streams and rivers, and changes in temperature and flow regime due to climate change. Volunteer fish counting projects will be established and/or supplemented in each MBP subregion so that fish counts can be paired with the environmental data from the data loggers (see photo of fish counting station).

In addition, the grant will enable MBP to develop a database for the information collected that will be shared with resource managers. An outreach workshop will be held, at which staff and volunteers involved with local fish counts learn how the data is being used by local, state, and federal agencies to inform decisions related to fisheries management and climate change. This workshop will also provide an opportunity to share information about regional and national efforts to protect and restore diadromous fish populations, and for local groups to share ideas and methods related to citizen stewardship of these important habitats.

Upward Bound Youth Get to Know the Shore
Reaching out to youth and teaching them about watershed ecology have been important summer activities for Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW), the MBP's regional host in the Salem Sound region. As the service partner of the Upward Bound Program at Salem State College, SSCW staff worked with 45 teens in July, leading them on beach clean ups, pepperweed pulls and storm drain stenciling. Many of the students had never spent time exploring the intertidal zone, and they had a blast spending the last day searching for Asian shore crabs and European green crabs.

Volunteers on the Hunt for Invasive Species on the North Shore
<!--[if !vml]-->Invasive tunicate<!--[endif]-->The Eight Towns & the Bay Committee, which advises the work of the MBP's Upper North Shore program along with host Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, has launched a marine invasive species monitoring program at half a dozen sites in Ipswich, Essex, Rockport, and Gloucester. Often introduced accidentally by human activities such as shipping, fisheries, and the pet trade, marine invasive species can overwhelm the ecosystem. They have the potential to smother or outcompete native species for space and food (see photo), impede navigation and recreation, and result in economic losses. Volunteers are utilizing training and equipment provided by CZM, who coordinates the Marine Invader Monitoring Information Collaborative (MIMIC). The monthly monitoring will continue through the autumn and findings are fed into MIMIC's database along with data collected by over 100 volunteers from Rhode Island to Maine.

<!--[if !vml]-->Clam survey at Mill River in Gloucester<!--[endif]-->Volunteers also played an important role in Salem Sound Coastwatch invasive species management activities this summer. Teams of volunteers have been monitoring non-native species at rocky shores and floating docks, and employees of Timberland's Peabody store and students from Marblehead and Salem schools removed stands of the invasive perennial pepperweed from Salem Sound beaches. Additionally, a regular cadre of volunteers collect samples of water from area stormwater outfall pipes to test for bacterial pollution, and these results are shared with public health officials.

Volunteers Needed for Mudflat Monitoring in Gloucester
In late September and October, Salem Sound Coastwatch's (SSCW) will be back at Mill River in Gloucester (see photo) to survey for clams and worms returning to the mudflat since the tide gate was opened four years ago. If you like to play in the mud, volunteer for a day or two! For more information, email SSCW or check out their website where you can also see photos of last year's sampling.

Rain Gardens Featured in Boston Globe Magazine's "Green Issue"
In the Spring issue of the Mass Bays Window, we reported on the success of establishing rain gardens throughout our region. Rain gardens and MBP South Shore coordinator Sara Grady were highlighted in July's "Green Issue" of Boston Globe Magazine. Check it out - and consider how you might incorporate this low-cost, water-saving, and pollutant-reducing feature in your yard or elsewhere in your community!

Inner Little Harbor Report Now Available Online
The MBP and CZM recently completed a report on tide levels and water quality in Cohasset's Inner Little Harbor (ILH) based on monitoring conducted in 2008. The ecological health and management of ILH have long been of local concern, and the area suffers from the problems of stagnant water, eutrophication, habitat fragmentation and reduced habitat value, nuisance algal blooms, and poor aesthetic appearance. The report states that the presence and current management of tide gates at Cat Dam, which regulate tidal exchange from ILH, are directly linked to the poor water quality, limited fish and wildlife passage, and overall impairment of the water body. It recommends that the gates be fully or partially opened, or managed in such a way as to allow for significant tidal flushing. Requested by and prepared for the Cohasset Town Manager and Conservation Commission, the results will help to inform management decisions that will be developed and implemented through a tidal gate operation and management plan.

Sara's Swim for Clean Water
Sara Grady, MBP's South Shore Regional Coordinator, recently undertook a huge effort to swim the typically "paddling-only" Great River Race to highlight the issue of stormwater pollution and water quality in the North and South rivers. As of writing, Sara's swim has raised $1,970 for her employer and the event's host, the North and South River Watershed Association. With a little help from a tidal current, swim fins, and the knowledge that her effort was being supported by appreciative citizen, she swam the 7-mile race from the Marshfield Canoe Launch to the Hanover's Washington Street Bridge in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 7 seconds.

<!--[if !vml]-->CCCSR students at nektron identification training<!--[endif]-->Wetland Monitoring Continues with Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research
With assistance from MBP, several of the MA Division of Ecological Restoration's (formerly the Wetlands Restoration Program) priority wetland sites on the South Shore continue to be monitored by students from the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research. MBP and the North and South River Watershed Association have been providing expertise in benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and identification, and also conducted a nekton identification workshop for the team leaders in July.


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MBP logoNEP logo

The Massachusetts Bays Program is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program, and is hosted by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lieutenant Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs - Ian A. Bowles, Secretary
Office of Coastal Zone Management - Deerin Babb-Brott, Director

Massachusetts Bays Program - Jay Baker, Executive Director
Massachusetts Bays Program
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114

Produced in August 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

World Ocean Day June 8th

About World Ocean Day

The Concept of a "World Ocean Day" was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Although not yet officially designated by the United Nations, an increasing number of countries mark June 8th as an opportunity each year to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. The Ocean Project, working closely with the World Ocean Network each year, helps to coordinate events and activities with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, businesses. Together with the World Ocean Network, we are also working to have the United Nations officially designate World Ocean Day as June 8th each year. Take time to do something good for our ocean: Sign the petition today!

Why Should I Celebrate World Ocean Day?

The world's ocean:

Generates most of the oxygen we breathe

Helps feed us

Regulates our climate

Cleans the water we drink

Offers us a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines

Provides limitless inspiration!

Yet for too long, human society has taken the world's ocean for granted.

Now we can give back! Take part in World Ocean Day events and activities this year and help protect our ocean for the future!

It's up to each one of us to help ensure that our ocean is protected and conserved for future generations. World Ocean Day allows us to:

Change perspective - encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.

Learn - discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.

Change our ways - we are all connected to the ocean! By taking care of your backyard, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will greatly benefit our blue planet.

Celebrate - whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.

check out

Celebrate World Ocean Day - June 8th

Spring is almost here and then with Summer quickly approaching, World Ocean Day fits right in... Celebrate World Ocean Day - June 8th

Check out the official Website at

One of our local events to celebrate the day is planned for in Maine! (see below)
World Ocean Day Celebration

World Ocean Day Festival 2009

World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day is celebrated around the world every year on June 8th. Old Quarry is proud to be the venue for a World Ocean Day celebration here in Maine. Come to our beautiful ocean front facility and participate in a weekend, family-oriented, festival of outdoor activities, education and fun to honor our planet's oceans. Old Quarry is committed to helping protect the ocean in our own backyard and raise awareness of how critical a role the ocean plays in all of our lives.

Saturday, June 6th, 10:00am - 7:30pm
Sunday, June 7th, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Schedule of events includes:
  • Interactive display tables from a dozen organizations/sponsors
  • Food court
  • Eco-tours aboard our 38" lobster boat
  • Kayaking events
  • Presentations by staff members from the Department of Marine Resources, and Project Puffin
  • Poster gallery - ocean themed posters created by local school children on display
  • Large touch tank
  • Ocean exploration tours with a remotely operated submersible
  • Lobster bake
  • Puffin parade
  • Coastal cleanup excursions with the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA)
We are working on a number of additional exciting activities, and we will be posting a full schedule of events in the coming months.

General admission will be free to the public.

Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, Inc.
130 Settlement Road
Stonington, Maine 04681

Lat 44° 10.27' N / Lon 68° 38.34' W

Monday, February 23, 2009

New England Aquarium - Climate Change Symposium

Experts now agree that many of the risks of climate change are no longer just potential—they are inevitable. On February 5, the New England Aquarium and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution brought together a diverse group of climate change experts and business leaders, policy makers, and representatives from non-governmental organizations to bring the issue of global climate change closer to home. The interdisciplinary group gathered at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston for "Changing Climate, Changing Coasts," a day-long symposium on the local impacts of climate change.
Speakers described the potential impacts of climate change on coastal development, real estate, fisheries, marine animals and their habitats. In New England, sea level rise may cause dramatic changes in the coastline and in Boston's harbor; the 100-year flood zone will move inland; flooding and erosion will increase, especially along Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and barrier islands will disappear.
The symposium examined the implications for the local economy and environment and—with a pragmatic bias—explored ways to adapt to climate change. Steps to be taken include revisiting current zoning requirements and development regulations along the shoreline, protecting urban waterfront property, bringing insurance premiums in line with new levels of risk, and implementing measures that will make natural areas more resilient.
Read New England Aquarium President Bud Ris' op-ed piece on climate change that appeared in the Boston Globe.

New President & climate change

BASED ON the pledges President Obama made during his campaign and his well-credentialed appointees to key policy positions, it is clear that we are in for a whole new level of debate around the issue of climate change. Most likely, that debate will center on how aggressively to tackle climate change through measures such as a nationwide cap and trade program or a nationwide tax on emissions of carbon dioxide.

From our vantage point at the New England Aquarium, focusing on mitigation of carbon emissions is absolutely the right thing to do. But, unfortunately, that will not be enough.

The problem is that once emitted, a molecule of carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years or more. So even if we get started now on reducing future carbon emissions, some climate change is inevitable. There's too much carbon dioxide already up there, resulting from 150 years or so of emissions. And, once the oceans warm up as they have already started to do, there is no easy way to cool them down. There is no going back, no feasible way to avoid a certain amount of irreversible change. All policies have to start with where we are now, and move aggressively from here.

The effects on the oceans over the next several decades could be profound. Our coral reefs, highly vulnerable to changes in temperature of just a few degrees, and already devastated by pollution and overfishing, will be heavily affected by the warming of the oceans. The range and distribution of many marine species such as lobsters and cod will change, some moving northward if suitable habitat and food can be found, others succumbing to change that they just can't keep up with.

Marine turtles, hardy survivors for millions of years, will be challenged by the flooding of low-lying nesting beaches, or sand temperatures too high for egg incubation. And the already-endangered right whale, threatened by ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, may have trouble securing sufficient food, as zooplankton populations shift or decline because of warming and altered wind and water currents.

Humans won't be exempt either. With sea level now expected to rise about 1 to 2 feet by the end of this century, and much of that now irreversible, we will see dramatic changes in our coastline. The 100-year flood zone will move inland and what was previously a 100-year zone will become more like a 30- or 40-year zone. Urban areas will be more vulnerable to flooding, and erosion of shorelines will accelerate along Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. The current estimates of sea-level rise are now believed to be fairly conservative. It could get much worse if portions of Greenland and/or Antarctica melt.

We need to implement policies to help us and the marine world adapt to climate change - not just mitigate it. For example, we can increase coral reef's resilience to climate change by removing other stresses such as pollution or disturbance from fishing gear. Projects like the Aquarium-supported Phoenix Islands marine protected area in the Pacific Ocean are imperative to save pristine coral reefs and the unique fish species they support.

To protect our cities, we will need to revisit current zoning requirements, wetlands permits, and other development regulations along the shoreline. In urban areas such as Boston, it may be possible to bolster waterfront property against the increased risks, but there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest that those measures will not be effective for long expanses of coastline where erosion is already a major challenge.

The only real solution there is to buy time by enacting appropriate land use regulations and setting insurance rates commensurate with the increasing risks. Wise deployment of public infrastructure is key, too.

It is going to take the keen focus and collaboration of government, business, and conservation groups to ensure that we don't just wait for climate change mitigation measures to take hold. We must get started on adaptation now.

Bud Ris is president and chief executive officer of the New England Aquarium, which is co-sponsoring a Climate Change Symposium Feb. 5.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007




9:30 a.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2007

Join us for an early Spring journey onboard the Voyager III for a day of seeking the great Rights, Humpbacks and Atlantic White-sided Dolphins on Stellwagen Bank. Voyager III is the whale watch vessel of the New England Aquarium and is crewed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic naturalists who will identify and provide information on the species we will see. They also conduct an informational tour as we motor out of Boston Harbor. The Voyager III is equipped with educational materials including a computerized fluke identification station, Loran and chart station, live-well and whale biofacts.

When: Sunday, April 29, 2007 MEET at 9:30 a.m.; Boat departs 10:00 a.m.
Boat returns between
1-2:00 p.m.

Where: New England Aquarium, Central Wharf. Meet in front of the Whale Watch Kiosk on the Aquarium Plaza at 9:30 a.m.

What to Lots of warm, weather resistant clothing and water-proof no-slip shoes. The

Bring: weather can be wet, wild and cold on Stellwagen even if it is warm and sunny dockside so bundle up!
Food service available on board or you may bring your own. (NO GLASS or ALCOHOL, please.)
Binoculars, Camera and Film
Sea sickness preventative is HIGHLY recommended

Tickets: Tickets are Adults - $29.35; Children (under 18) - $21.95 (children must be at least 3 yrs. old and 30" tall); and must be paid with reservation

No. of Adult Tickets ______ X $29.35 = $______.
No. of Child Tickets ______ X $21.95 = $______. TOTAL $_____
Please make checks payable to NEADC. By Mail: NEADC c/o P.O. Box 70, Raynham, MA 02767


For more information, please contact Maryhelen at (508) 942-9119


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mass Beaches

Friday, March 23, 2007

Great New Coastal Guide to the North Shore - Get yours Free!

Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore
From Salisbury to Hingham, the Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore can help you get to nearly 400 public access sites, ranging from expansive beaches with parking and concession stands to more out-of-the-way areas with scenic vistas. Developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), the 10" x 6.5" spiral-bound publication contains 22 maps, descriptions of access spots, photos of a variety of sites, transportation information, and more. The new online version contains all 22 maps, their accompanying descriptions, and other relevant information.
photo of kids on Wingaersheek Beach
The Coast Guide website includes the following information:

For additional information about Massachusetts public access sites, including sites located outside of the area covered by Coast Guide, check out the Online Locator of Coastal Public Access Sites.

Looking for earth-friendly autos?
Browse Top Cars by "Green Rating" at Yahoo! Autos' Green Center.

Boston Harbor Artificial Reef - A must see!

Boston Harbor Artifical Reef

The Division of Marine Fisheries completed 1.7 acre complex of six individual cobble-boulder reefs in Boston Harbor initial monitoring studies appear to indicate a wealth of marine life utilizing the new reef structure. Come check it out.

If you boat and dive the Boston Harbor and have not checked out this new reef follow this link for the GPS position:

Check the dive calendar for this 2007 season for some dives I will be coordinating to this site.

Looking for earth-friendly autos?
Browse Top Cars by "Green Rating" at Yahoo! Autos' Green Center.

Friday, February 16, 2007

American Eel Restoration

Friday, February 02, 2007

Re: Rhode Island Marine Debris Issue - Beach clean-up

Eugenia Marks <> wrote:
Greetings, Beach Captains:
I attended last night's meeting organized by Surf Riders about the debris that is washing up along South Kingstown beaches from dredge operation spoils from Point Judith Harbor being dumped, to replenish South Kingstown beaches with sand, off shore.  This was a permitted and purposefully designed alternative, for which a probe to find the chemical constituents of the sediments took place, but no one thought of thirty years of the inappropriate dumping by multiple users.
Please consider joining the cleanup.  See attached and below.  Kathy Raposa, one of your fellow beach-captains, sent this request.
Low tide is at approximately 2:45 p.m. We are planning the clean-up from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  We will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the Deep Hole Parking Lot (at the end of Matunuck Beach Road, past the Ocean Mist, and on the right).  Dress warmly and wear sturdy shoes.
More info attached.
Also in attendance at last night's meeting were Ray Nickerson, South Kingstown Planner, and Dr. Jon Boothroyd, who helped us understand the complexity of the situation. 
If you are interested in commenting on the next phase of the dredging, there is a permit application open until Feb. 14.  Contact me for details.
Thanks, Eugenia

From: []
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 12:33 PM
Subject: Fwd: Beach clean-up
Hi Eugenia,
Would you mind alerting the Coastal Cleanup captains to the following cleanup. I realize this is short notice, but the more people we can make aware of the problem, the better.
Kathy Vigness Raposa
From: "Peter Paton" <ppaton@URI.EDU>
Subject: Beach clean-up
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 11:25:10 -0500

in the event you are looking for something to do on Saturday afternoon… following is an invite from the RI Chapter of Surfrider Foundation to participate in a beach clean up – a Grass roots response to the COMPLETE MESS that the Pt Judith dredging project has made of our coast from E. Matunuck to Green Hill!
"One major idea that came out of last nights discussion forum was to take a proactive
approach to start cleaning the beach. The fact is that the beaches are not
being cleaned up to the degree that we all expect.  Rather than just
merely complain, we are going to take the situation into our own hands and
organize a major beach clean-up stretching from Green Hill Beach to East
Matunuck State Beach.  I am calling the Dredging Company and we will be
charging them for bags, gloves, dumpsters, tipping fees, etc.
Low tide is at approximately 2:45 p.m. We are planning the clean-up from
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  We will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the Deep Hole Parking
Lot (at the end of Matunuck Beach Road, past the Ocean Mist, and on the
right).  Dress warmly and wear sturdy shoes.
Please forward this email to everyone you know.  Let's have a strong
response at the clean-up and show the state how much we care about our
David Prescott
Chair, RI Chapter Surfrider Foundation
WHAT:  Dredging Project Beach Clean-up
WHEN:  Saturday, February 3rd, 2007
TIME:  1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Meet at the Deep Hole Parking Lot in Matunuck (at the very end of
Matunuck Beach Road, past the Ocean Mist, and on the right)  From there we
will spread out and clean from Green Hill Beach to East Matunuck State
WHO:  Invite everyone who cares about our state's beaches
Dr. Peter Paton
Professor and Chair
Dept. of Natural Resources Science
1 Greenhouse Rd.
Coastal Institute at Kingston, Rm 107
University of Rhode Island
Kingston RI 02881
401.874.2986 (work)
401.874.4561 (fax)

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dive into Earth Day 2007

Dive into Earth Day 2007
Will be held on Sunday, April 22, 2007.
10am - 3pm
Location TBA
Contact: Alicia,
Is your local beach/waterway filled with marine debris?
Let me know, perhaps your site will be our Earth Day Dive Clean up location for 2007.
gloves and bags will be provided
underwater "trash" bags will be provided
light refreshments
TOO Cold for you in April?  Join another cleanup in 2007...look for them on the dive calendar in August and September 2007.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

2006 Heavy rains...spoiled many of our Spring and early summer events...runoff pollution!

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