Page 10 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2021 Malden River continues to struggle while Mystic River continues to flourish T By Christopher Roberson he latest Water Quality and Compliance Report on the Mystic River Watershed gave the Mystic River a grade of B+ while the Malden River lagged behind with a grade of C-. According to the report, which was issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, a C+ is the highest grade the Malden River has received since 2014. In contrast, the seven-mile Mystic River received an A- every year from 2015 to 2019. Patrick Herron, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), said the Mystic Lakes, which feed the Mystic River, have very low levels of Enterococcus and Escherichia coli. Therefore, the Mystic River has remained fairly clean in recent years and is safe for swimming. “Even when tributaries have poor water quality, this very clean water will dilute those pollutants,” said Herron. “The good news is that the Mystic, like each of the three great rivers of Boston Harbor, is a relatively clean urban river. This represents a great success story of the Clean Water Act and its 50year history of improving environmental and even economic conditions.” Although the Mystic River grade fell from an A- in 2019 to a B+ in 2020, Herron does not see it as a cause for concern. “When the grade changes just by a single step it is likely to be random,” he said. “We would take notice if there is a trend across multiple years or a severe change from A- to B- for example.” Unlike the Mystic River, the two-mile Malden River does not originate from a clean water reservoir and is constantly plagued by stormwater runoff and decaying underground infrastructure. “The Malden River has continued to struggle as there has not been a mandate to correct these infrastructure problems that contribute to the problem,” said Herron. “Quite frankly, while municipalities make annual investments in their infrastructure, they spend less than what is required to address the problems.” Therefore, the Malden River is not safe for swimming at this time. “Based on our data, you would be much more likely to get a gastrointestinal illness swimming at the Malden River than at a place like Shannon Beach on Upper Mystic Lake or even at Constitution Beach in East Boston,” said Herron. However, a turnaround is still possible as communities are now required to find the cause of water quality problems and develop ways to rectify them. “We work with municipalities to site, design and construct green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff,” said Herron. “On the Malden River, we have been working with the Friends of the Malden River on a litter reduction program.” Herron also said neither river has undergone any major changes in the past five years. “These are water bodies that provide significant value for the ecosystem but are also tremendous resources for paddling and rowing,” he said. However, Herron said MyRWA’s efforts remain ongoing. “We have significant work and investments to make to reduce nutrient and bacteria inputs to these rivers and make them healthy every day,” he said. Aging Backwards to be held at Connolly Center M ayor Carlo DeMaria and the Council on Aging are excited to welcome back Everett’s own Jill Tiberi Martin to the Connolly Center for a new class – Aging Backwards – every Thursday at 11 a.m. beginning September 16. This slow paced program is a full body workout created by Miranda Esmonde-White. It aims to release tight muscles, rebalance joints, restore your body, relieve pain and stimulate your cells to increase energy and your immune system. This program is available to seniors aged 62 and over. For additional information, please call 617-394-2323 or 617-394-2260.

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