Town of Stoneham Conservation Commission

The SCC protects wetlands and resources in the town of Stoneham through acquisition, management, edu

12/10/2022

Join us for this annual Stoneham holiday tradition!

Santa will be on hand on Saturday, Dec. 17th and Sunday Dec. 18th from 2-5PM at the Whip Hill Estate located off Perkins Street in Stoneham. There will also be goodies, cocoa and crafts!

This event is hosted by the Stoneham Conservation Commission and the Stoneham Garden Club. Please contact Megan Day at [email protected] with any questions

08/10/2022

BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card today declared the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast Regions will join the Northeast and Central Regions as a Level 3-Critical Drought. The Cape Cod Region will elevate to a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Islands and Western Regions will remain at a Level 1-Mild Drought. As outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, a Level-3 Critical Drought and a Level 2-Significant Drought calls for the convening of an inter-agency Mission Group, which has already began to meet, to more closely coordinate on drought assessments, impacts, and response within the government. Additionally, a Level 1-Mild Drought recommends detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities.

“With the majority of the state now experiencing a Level-3-Critical Drought, it is incredibly important that we all practice water conservation and adhere to local requirements and recommendations in order avoid over stressing our water resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Efforts to minimize water usage now will help our water systems to rebound more quickly, and ensure that essential public health, safety and environmental needs continue to be met.”

“The continued dry, hot weather has increased drought-related hazards for much of Massachusetts including the risk for fires,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “We need the public to be especially careful during this time by adhering to local water use restrictions, and exercising caution around any outdoor activities that increase the risk of brush and forest fires such as barbecues, campfires, and safe disposal of smoking materials.”

The month of July 2022 experienced minimal precipitation and high temperatures throughout the state. Rainfall was the lowest across eastern Massachusetts, particularly within Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard reporting less than an inch of rain, less than 50% of normal precipitation. Within eastern Massachusetts, rainfall totals ranked within the top 15 driest Julys on record with Boston and the Blue Hills experiencing the 4th driest. However, slightly higher rainfall totals occurred across much of central and western Massachusetts, ranging from 50 to 100 percent of normal, as well as on Nantucket. Totals ranged mostly between two and four inches, while some locations in the Springfield area and southern Berkshire County experienced higher totals of four to five inches.

Additionally, the Commonwealth is also experiencing decreasing levels in some reservoirs, dry streambeds, ponding, and diminished extent of streams in many watersheds leading to lack of flow, increased turbidity, higher water temperature, and increase in growth of plants and algae in the water. Groundwater, which is a slow reacting index, is starting to be impacted in many regions. Caution is also advised as fire activity has increased across the state as drought conditions have set in, and wildfires in remote areas with delayed response are now burning deep into the organic soil layers. Drought induced fire behavior can result in suppression challenges for fire resources and result in extended incidents so residents are asked to exercise caution while working with open flames, and to completely drown all campfires out cold.

The agricultural sector continues to also experience drought impacts, such as some depletion of water sources, and production acreage and are irrigating crops on a more consistent basis due to current precipitation deficits, high temperatures, and low soil moisture. Consumers are encouraged to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products at local farm stands and retail stores throughout the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan. Private wells, local streams, wetlands, vernal pools, and other water-dependent habitats located within MWRA-serviced areas are being impacted by drought conditions while water quality in ponds can deteriorate due to lowering of levels and stagnation.

Below are recommendations for communities and individuals living and working within a Level 3 – Critical Drought, Level 2 – Significant Drought and Level 1 – Mild Drought region, including those utilizing a private well. Residents and businesses are also asked to check with their local water system in case more stringent watering restrictions are in place.

For Regions in Level 3 – Critical Drought
Residents and Businesses:
• Minimize overall water use.
• Stop all non-essential outdoor watering.

Immediate Steps for Communities:
• Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 3 restriction calls for a ban on all nonessential outdoor water use.
• Provide timely information on the drought and on water conservation tips to local residents and businesses.
• Enforce water use restrictions with increasingly stringent penalties.
• Strongly discourage or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
• Establish or enhance water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:
• Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
• Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
• Prepare to activate emergency inter-connections for water supply.
• Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 2 – Significant Drought
Residents and Businesses:
• Minimize overall water use;
• Limit outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m.
• Follow local water use restrictions, if more stringent.

Immediate Steps for Communities:
• Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 2 restriction calls for limiting outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m. If local restrictions are more stringent, continue to keep them in place during the course of the drought.
• Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
• Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:
• Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
• Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
• Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
• Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
• Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 1 – Mild Drought
Residents and Businesses:
• Toilets, faucets and showers are more than 60% of indoor use. Make sure yours are WaterSense efficient.
• Limit outdoor watering to one day a week (only from 5:00 pm – 9:00 am), or less frequently if required by your water supplier

Immediate Steps for Communities:
• Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought.
• Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
• Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:
• Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
• Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
• Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
• Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
• Develop a local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

Practicing water conservation now will greatly help reduce water use to ensure essential needs, such as drinking water and fire protection, are being met, habitats have enough water to support their natural functions, and to sustain the Commonwealth’s water supplies in the long-term. State agencies will continue to monitor and assess current conditions and any associated environmental and agricultural impacts, coordinate any needed dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare additional responses that may be needed in the future. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will continue to provide technical assistance to communities on managing systems, including emergency connections and water supplies assistance.

08/10/2022

State Agricultural Officials Ask Residents to Report Sightings of the Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
Hampden County Find Indicates Species Is Continuing to be Found in New Areas


BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) today announced that an infestation of the invasive insect known as spotted lanternfly (SLF) was found in the City of Springfield last week. Agricultural inspectors are in the middle of performing surveys in the area in order to determine the extent of the infestation. While MDAR has not been able to determine the origin of this new find, cities like Springfield with large industrial areas are at especially high risk for spotted lanternfly introductions, since this pest can hitchhike on trucks and other methods of transportation that come from infested states. Urban and industrial areas often harbor large populations of the spotted lanternfly’s preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven.

“With new populations of the spotted lanternfly likely to pop up more and more frequently as the invasive pest becomes established across the northeast, it is critical that we all remain diligent in identifying them early on,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. “Anyone who sees this pest is asked to report it promptly. Early detection will help limit the spread of spotted lanternfly and give orchards, farms, and other growers time to prepare.”

MDAR is urging the public to be on the lookout for this pest, especially if they live or work in the Springfield area. Spotted lanternflies may be found on sides of buildings, in or on vehicles, or on host plants, including tree of heaven, grape, maple and walnut. Anyone who has recently received goods or materials from states where SLF is known to have been introduced (including Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) should also be on the lookout. Additionally, if a spotted lanternfly is found, the public is asked to take a photo or collect the specimen, and report the sighting using MDAR’s online reporting form.

The public should look for both adult insects (large, gray bugs, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings), as well as nymphs (younger, wingless insects that are red with black and white markings). Spotted lanternfly is a sap-feeding insect that has caused significant impacts to vineyards, orchards, and other agricultural commodities in states where it has become established. SLF not only harms grapevines, maples, hops, blueberries, and over 100 other host plants, but has the potential to negatively impact outdoor recreation through the swarming behavior that occurs during mating season.

Conservation Commission | Stoneham, MA 11/24/2020

Conservation Commission | Stoneham, MA

Now that the beautiful autumn colors are upon us,

Please remember to

Protect your Stoneham wetlands and natural areas!

Do not pile or dump leaves, grass clippings, or brush

Wetlands are crucial resources for all Stoneham town residents.

Wetlands:
•Play a critical role in preventing storm flood damage to our properties

•Slow storm water and allow ground infiltration

•Help clean pollutants from our water resources

•Provide important wildlife habitat

Dumping yard waste damages wetlands and natural areas.

Piled material:
•Displaces water storage capacity

•Creates new soil, decreasing potential to mitigate flood events

•Creates nutrient overload, encouraging dangerous algal blooms on site and down stream

•Smothers vegetation, further reducing the capacity for the site to handle incoming water

•Reduces desirable wildlife habitat

Properly handle and dispose of your yard waste.

Examples:
•Rake and properly bag leaves for yard waste pickup

•Shred leaves and use as free mulch in flower beds

•Compost on your property, away from wetlands and other natural areas

The fine print (from Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions maccweb.org):
•The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (General Laws Chapter 131, §40; the Act) protects important water-related lands such as wetlands (“swamps”), floodplains, riverfront areas, and other areas from destruction or alteration. Most work proposed to be done in those areas requires a permit (known as an Order of Conditions) from the local conservation commission.

•Under the Act no one may “remove, fill, dredge, or alter” any wetland, floodplain, bank, land under a water body, land within 100 feet of a wetland, or land within 200 feet of a perennial stream or river (25 feet of a few urban rivers), without a permit (known as an Order of Conditions) from the local conservation commission that protects the wetland “interests” identified in the Act.

•The “interests” or values protected by the Act are: flood control; prevention of storm damage; prevention of pollution; and protection of fisheries, shellfish, groundwater, public or private water supply, and wildlife habitat.

•The term “alter” is defined to include any destruction of vegetation, or change in drainage characteristics or water flow patterns, or any change in the water table or water quality. The wetland regulations prohibit most destruction of wetlands and naturally vegetated riverfront areas, and require replacement of flood storage loss when floodplains are filled.

Find out more information about the Stoneham Conservation Commission or contact us at:

https://www.stoneham-ma.gov/588/Conservation-Commission

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12/08/2019
The U.S. and Canada Adopt a Plan to Save Lake Ontario's Wetlands 12/09/2016

The U.S. and Canada Adopt a Plan to Save Lake Ontario's Wetlands

https://www.theatlantic.com/liveblogs/2016/12/news-today/509966/12356/?utm_source=atlfb

The U.S. and Canada Adopt a Plan to Save Lake Ontario's Wetlands After 16 years of negotiating between the United States and Canada, a joint committee between the two nations adopted a plan Thursday that would allow water levels of Lake Ontario to fluctuate more naturally, with hopes of eventually restoring wetlands and protecting shorelines from erosio...

Timeline Photos 12/08/2016

Tips for Living with Coyotes

Timeline Photos 12/06/2016

2016 CHRISTMAS AT WHIP HILL
DECEMBER 10TH AND 11TH
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Timeline Photos 12/06/2016

Check out this information from Mass Wildlife about Living with Coyotes in Eastern Massachusetts

09/06/2013

The Conservation Commission will be at Town Day tomorrow. Stop by and say hello and be sure to brush up on your wetlands trivia. Goody bags will be awarded to anyone answering a question about conservation. See you there!

Untitled Album 09/11/2012

Untitled Album

09/11/2012

Town of Stoneham Conservation Commission's cover photo

Location

Telephone

Address


35 Central Street
Stoneham, MA
02180

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