A suggestion for Governor Deval Patrick
Governor Deval Patrick's transition team is asking for ideas for the new administration. This is what I submitted today:
Dear Governor Patrick
Please stop the DCR's destruction of urban wilds on the Charles River. These are places nature’s reclaimed after the damming and landfill of the estuary a hundred years ago. Wildlife has retreated to them as the city continues to crowd in on the river and the DCR proceeds with development. They’re wonderful refuges for people, too, where we take our children to see the natural world close up. And they're right in the middle of the city.
The DCR is now working with Cambridge to destroy the beautiful fields at Magazine Beach and replace them with landfill, sod, an irrigation system, fences, and lots of chemicals. (Grace Ross has publicly opposed the poisons being placed in Magazine Beach as part of that project.)
The DCR maintains the land subject to flooding at Magazine Beach—which it admits is ordinarily rich wildife habitat—is so altered by human activity that it isn’t habitat now. Anyone can see that’s false, that the DCR-Cambridge project itself will destroy this irreplaceable Commonwealth resource.
The DCR and Cambridge have already destroyed the urban wild in Cambridge where birds, including red-tailed hawks, mallard ducks, and the Charles River White Geese nested. The waterfowl have returned but the DCR and Cambridge will drive them out again when they begin work on the BU Bridge. And in the meantime the project at Magazine Beach has been starving the White Geese since 2004.
Please halt the state’s support of this project. Runoff from its 7 acres of chemically-treated sod will create algae blooms in the Charles like the one we saw last August off 6 similarly treated acres at Lederman Field. It will expose humans as well as wildlife to poisonous chemicals at Magazine Beach, where anyone can now enjoy the nice mix of activities safely.
Thank you, and congratulations on your election and inauguration.