Marilyn Wellons responds to article of Praise for Environmental Destroyer
2. Marilyn Wellons letter.
The most destructive private entity on the Charles River is a developer funded group which uses the strikingly false name “Charles River Conservancy.” The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge are more destructive.
Last Thursday, March 17, the Cambridge Chronicle frontpaged a question and answer session which, by its answers, continues the lie that this destructive organization is an entity worthy of respect.
Marilyn Wellons has submitted the following response to the article.
2. Marilyn Wellons letter.
To the Editor:
In your March 17, 2011 interview, we read the Charles River Conservancy’s goals are to involve more people “in taking care of the parklands” and “making the river swimmable.”
The CRC morphed from a discredited Friends of Magazine Beach after participants in the annual cleanup learned they’d been cleaning the fields for BU’s graduation, not the public. Some FOMB board members reformed as the CRC, ostensibly to provide volunteer services to the DCR.
The DCR argues underfunding prevents it from successful stewardship, as though limited resources were not a constant in all government activities. Neglect of its assets and their costly subsequent “restorations” to what never was have kept a core bureaucracy, its consultants and contractors fed despite the agency’s loss of responsibility for police, water resources, and now some roads and bridges.
The CRC raises money for large concrete projects (skate park), light pollution (bridges), and for planting “non-native,” “invasive” species (daffodils). It mobilizes people who care about the river—and who doesn’t?—for what’s called maintenance, all to help keep this game going.
A court order and watershed municipalities, not the CRC, are working to make the river swimmable. The DCR polluted the river with algae fed by runoff from 6 acres of new sod on playing fields near MGH in Boston. The CRC said nothing. When the DCR and Cambridge installed 7 acres of the same stuff and an algae-filled “lagoon” at Magazine Beach, the CRC applauded and said that would help swimming there.
Like its maintenance campaign against “invasives,” e.g., false indigo (sustainable North American plants cultivated since 1724 to hold riverbanks), the CRC campaign for swimming distracts people from the DCR’s incompetence (or worse). How many eroded acres have we lost for sightlines for the Head of the Charles?
We know Massachusetts needs $20B to maintain the entire state’s existing transportation infrastructure. Pushing for new underpasses at the bridges, the CRC plays to the bicycle lobby and relies on the Department of Transportation to be the grown-up and say No.
We read the CRC wants beauty on the river. When the public objects to the DCR’s clearing shade trees, cherries, crabapples—anything beautiful and loved—if the CRC isn’t silent, it applauds.
Beauty, historical or scientific accuracy, public economy, even logical consistency don’t seem to figure in this. How long can the CRC persuade some of us DCR stewardship is a luxury we can afford?
I may have missed it, but I have not been able to find this article on line.
If anybody can provide the link, I would be pleased to post it in this location.