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State releases long-term plan to protect Mystic River area

Posted by Matt Byrne  September 16, 2010 10:04 AM

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mystic1.JPGA long-term plan to preserve and improve usability of publicly owned green space along the Mystic River was released yesterday by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The DCR aims to improve recreational uses of the river banks, improve the river's ecological health, implement a pathway system along both sides of the waterway's banks, and protect wildlife habitats, according to the report. 

The document, called a master plan, was three years in the making and encompasses studies of wildlife, site features, and current usage of the approximately 370 acres of preservation land.

The plan is the first major examination of the land's use since the 1970s, according to the document, and lays out a framework for the area for years to come. 

"By making preservation plans for this watershed, we ensure that its recreational space, wildlife habitat, and vital natural resources are protected for generations to come," said Governor Deval Patrick in a statement released by the DCR.

The plan was presented to the Mystic River Watershed Steering Committee yesterday, the DCR said, a group convened in 2008 composed of 22 local stakeholders, including nonprofit community groups and local, state, and federal governmental agencies, the DCR said. 

Ian Bowles, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary for Patrick, said the plan will help urban residents connect with nature and access recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. 

"This plan will make DCR's Mystic River Reservation a gem among state park properties," Bowles said. 

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