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Conservation Connection e-blast - January 9, 2012

Conservation Connection e-blast

Conservation Connection e-blast...the latest news from NRCS Massachusetts and our partners 

NRCS Massachusetts video:

Protecting a Silent Protector: A project to upgrade the George H. Nichols Dam in Westborough, Mass.

Upgrades are proposed for six flood-control dams in the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsCo) rivers watershed. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns, operates and maintains the dams. Built between 1962 and 1987 by USDA and DCR, these "silent protectors" provide $1.7 million in annual flood protection to the 36 towns in the SuAsCo watershed. Although the dams are still sound, today's increased land development generates higher amounts of storm runoff than the dams were designed to handle. Upgrading the dams will also maintain wetland and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. One upgrade project is already under way at the George H. Nichols Dam in Westborough. Learn more by watching this NRCS Massachusetts video.

From the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project Blog:

Water quality makeovers in Brewster: Paine�s Creek Landing and Saint�s Landing Beach stormwater projects

Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project graphicCape Cod's Town of Brewster recently received a water quality makeover at two important shellfishing and recreation areas. Until recently, Paine's Creek Landing and Saints Landing Beach, five minutes apart on Cape Cod Bay, had an unfortunate commonality: they discharged stormwater into the Bay. Like many asphalt roads and parking lots near open water, the paved surfaces at Paine's Creek and Saint's Landing were channeling untreated surface water - stormwater - into an important water body because of their large impervious surface areas. So the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project installed underground systems to catch and treat this stormwater to prevent more harmful contaminants from entering Cape Cod Bay.

Wellfleet stormwater improvements underway

Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project graphicA stormwater treatment project that will significantly improve the water quality of Duck Creek in Wellfleet is in progress and, as a result, motorists may encounter construction work along Commercial Street between Bank Street and Holbrook Avenue. The work is part of the Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project, spearheaded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in partnership with the Cape Cod Conservation District and Barnstable County Commissioners.

EPA extends SPCC compliance deadline to May 2013 for agricultural facilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently extended the date that agricultural facilities must come into compliance with the new Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to May 10, 2013. Many of the changes to the 1974 rule now streamline the requirements for farmers and small facilities, especially those storing up to 10,000 gallons of oil. Agricultural facilities that began storing oil before August 16, 2002 must revise their SPCC plan to meet the 2002 changes by the May 2013 deadline. EPA is providing compliance assistance to farms for the SPCC rule.

Worcester County Conservation District to hold quarterly meeting with ag commissions

The Worcester County Conservation District and Agricultural Commissions next quarterly meeting will be on Wednesday, March 14th, 7:00 pm at the Holden USDA Service Center, 52 Boyden Rd., Holden, Mass. The topic is "Farmers' Market Issues" and Ag. Comm. members within the county are encouraged to come and participate! Call Lisa 508-829-0168, ext. 5 or email for more information.

Do you own woods? Hit hard by the recent storms?

Attend the upcoming WOODS FORUM to discuss caring for your woods today and planning for the future of your land. Share your questions, concerns and advice. Hear other landowners' experiences and meet local forestry and conservation professionals. The forum will be held Thursday, January 26, 6:30 - 8:30pm at the West Brookfield Town Hall, 2 East Main St/Route 9, West Brookfield, Mass. Hosted by MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership and UMass Amherst. Space is limited, please save your spot today! RSVP: Tyler Van Fleet, Coordinator, 207-939-7674 or

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Helping People Help the Land

NRCS Massachusetts State Office: 451 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002 | 413-253-4350 | fax 413-253-4395 |  

Christine S. Clarke, State Conservationist

Massachusetts Conservation Connection editor: Diane Baedeker Petit, Public Affairs Officer

NRCS field offices are located at USDA Service Centers in Barnstable, Greenfield, Hadley, Holden, Pittsfield, Westford and West Wareham.
Visit for addresses and phone numbers.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.