Worthington, MA – This Friday, July 17, at 12:00 reporters are invited to visit a successful stream restoration project on Bronson Brook. Staff from American Rivers, The Nature Conservancy, and the Town of Worthington will be onsite as they study how the stream’s health is progressing since a new, improved culvert was installed. A culvert is a structure that allows a stream to pass under a road or other type of impoundment, in this case, Dingle Road. The Bronson Brook project is a great example of how well designed culverts work and how they can gradually improve the quality of a river.
WHO: Staff from American Rivers, The Nature Conservancy, and the Town of Worthington
WHAT: Stream Monitoring and Press Event
WHERE: Bronson Brook crossing at Dingle Road in Worthington, MA
WHEN: 12:00 pm, Friday, July 17
WHY: To demonstrate the effects of the new, well designed, culvert
Rivers and streams are important corridors for fish and wildlife movement, as animals need to move up and down the stream for food, shelter, and reproduction. While culverts can help keep these streams flowing even as roads and other impoundments are built, poorly designed or failing culverts act as barriers when they are too small, too shallow, or become perched or clogged with debris. A well designed crossing spans the stream and banks, has a natural streambed and does not change the water velocity or depth. In other words, a well design crossing creates no discernable change in the stream.
Last December, American Rivers and the Nature Conservancy worked with Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Riverways Program and other partners to complete a culvert replacement beneath Dingle Road allowing the road to reopen after being closed for five years after an October 2003 flood. The new culvert is an example of a properly designed crossing under the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards as it makes way for natural stream flows, allowing fish and wildlife to move unimpeded along the stream corridor. The culvert is also large enough to prevent debris from blocking its opening, as it did during the rain storm in 2003 that washed out the road around the culvert.
The completion of this project was the culmination of a multi-year initiative to restore Bronson Brook, a high quality cold water stream that flows to the wild and scenic Westfield River. Spearheaded by the Massachusetts Riverways Program, the restoration also included retrofitting a culvert at Cummington Road for fish passage and installing large pieces of wood in the water along the brook to improve habitat for Atlantic salmon and trout. The overall Bronson Brook restoration project was supported by private, local, state and federal grants and technical assistance. Funders included the town of Worthington, Massachusetts Riverways Program, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Connecticut River Watershed Council, and American Rivers. Other partners included the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee, Westfield River Watershed Association, and The Nature Conservancy.
If you are interested in attending this event, please contact Amy Singler at 413-584-2183.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.