U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England and UMass Boston Sign Memorandum of Understanding
December 21, 2011
US Environmental Protection Agency, New England and UMass Boston have
signed a memorandum of understanding in recognition of their mutual
commitment to protect the public health and safety and the environment
on December 21, 2011. With this agreement, both parties are committing
to establish a basic framework for a relationship to promote urban water
restoration and monitoring, water quality awareness, scientific
research, and marine and environmental education.
In March 2010, Assistant Professor Anamarija Frankic led the UMass Boston team in
submitting a letter of interest to collaborate with EPA on the Mystic
River Watershed Initiative and other urban waters restoration work.
Five universities were selected as finalists, and UMass Boston was
chosen as the best fit.
The goal of this collaborative effort is to help restore and protect
water quality and wildlife habitat, increase open space and public
access to, and sustainable recreational use of, the river and its
tributaries. The group plans to support these goals by collaborating on
activities that improve water quality, increase the level of
environmental compliance, and raise public awareness, understanding and
access to information about the Mystic River Watershed. EPA New England
and the Steering Committee, Frankic serves on, also intend to
address overarching environmental justice concerns within the watershed
as we move forward.
In addition to our Mystic River Watershed Initiative, EPA New England
and UMass Boston anticipate collaboration on regional Urban Waters
projects. EPA New England has a long history of focused urban waters
work, and in 2007, co-hosted a series of Urban River conferences. The
events were each co-hosted by local organizations and both were very
well attended by people from all levels of government, environmental and
public health advocates, watershed associations, utility
representatives, consultants, planners, citizens, non-profits, colleges,
universities and private organizations. These conferences highlighted
topics of on-going importance to the Mystic River watershed, such as
stormwater and illicit connections, water quality, sediments, public
access, restoration, land conservation, and success stories.
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