Westport Watershed Alliance study seeks source of West Branch pollution

Posted

WESTPORT — The Board of Directors of the Westport River Watershed Alliance voted Thursday, Sept. 27, to make a significant investment in determining the problems that have closed shellfish beds in the upper half of the West Branch of the Westport River since 2009.

The Board voted to enter into a contract with the Horsley Witten Group, recognized experts in the field of stormwater runoff.

Board President Sally Ann Ledbetter said, “Thanks to generous contributions to our Watershed Improvement Fund, we are able to make this important contribution toward identifying and seeking remedies for River contamination.  The project will also have a positive economic impact on Westport and the surrounding communities.”

Horsley Witten will prepare a computer modeling analysis of land uses and pathogen or bacteria sources in the area.  The analysis will rely on the EPA’s Protocol for Developing Pathogen total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

Executive Director, Matt Patrick, said, “We have been doing this piecemeal for a couple of years now.  Finding one source of the bacteria will not be enough to open up the entire area closed to shellfishing.  It’s time to look at all potential sources of pollution.  When we have the complete diagnosis, we will be able to engage the community to create a plan to comprehensively solve this chronic problem.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

2016 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Prudence Island · Riverside · Rumford · Seekonk · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.