Nashua River Watershed Association Nashua River Watershed  Association & The Massachusetts Watershed Initiative
Massachusetts Watershed Initiative
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Executive Summary
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Summary of Specific Watershed Issues
Making the Watershed Connection
Watershed Perspectives
Sub-basin Profiles & Maps
Bowers/Nonacoicus River
Catacunemaug River
Fall Brook
Falulah/Baker Brook
Flag Brook
Flints Brook
James Brook
Monoosnoc Brook
Mulpus Brook
North River Main Stem
Nissitissit River
North Nashua River
Phillips Brook
Quinapoxet River
South Nashua River
Squannacook River
Still River
Stillwater River
Unkey Brook
Wachusett Reservoir
Wekepeke Brook
Whitman River
Action Plan Matrix
Recommendations by Category
  Recommendations by Town
Recommendations by Sub-basin
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Summary of Specific Watershed Issues

Summary of Specific Watershed Issues

The Five Year Action Plan identifies issues and makes recommendations for each of the 22 sub-basins.5 Listed below is a summary of stakeholder concerns drawn from public meetings, surveys and review of resources.6 Many of the recommendations below apply to all of the sub-basins.

Water Quality

  • Protect high water quality in the basin.
  • Ensure continued protection and evaluation of fisheries, especially cold water fisheries, throughout the watershed.
  • Promote extended aquifer protection through land use regulations and acquisition.
  • Promote regional, sub-basin water supply and wastewater planning.
  • Provide educational materials for lake and pond associations on aquatic invasive flora and fauna.
  • Promote water quality improvements as recommended in MDC, NRWA, and DEP water quality surveys and assessments.
  • Address water quality issues in areas with high impervious coverage.
  • Implement agricultural best management practices while supporting farming throughout the watershed.
  • Monitor and provide public education on combined sewer overflows (CSO) issues and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
  • Work with communities in growth planning and water quality protection.
  • Pursue sanctuary type designation for the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers in NH.
  • Pursue Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) nominations and stewardship committees for the north Nashua region.
  • Promote continued protection and completion of the Nashua River Greenway.

Water Quantity

  • Provide water supply and conservation planning for the sub-basins identified as having immediate flow stress conditions.
  • Conduct additional assessment and monitoring of those sub-watersheds which contain operational multi-month reservoirs.
  • Conduct follow-up assessments for habitat impacts to flow stressed systems.
  • Work toward integrating wastewater discharge permit limits with flow conditions in sub-watersheds.

Habitat, Bio-diversity, Open Space

  • Promote continued protection and completion of the Nashua River Greenway.
  • Facilitate greater coordination with the EOEA Interagency Lands Committee
  • Protect pristine headwaters throughout the watershed.
  • Assist local land trusts and conservation commissions in protecting the Nashua River main stem and its tributaries.
  • Coordinate with towns to complete a greenway inventory of protected and unprotected lands.
  • Promote increased use of Chapter 61a and b as a means of temporary land protection.
  • Protect and manage existing lands through improved stewardship.
  • Protect prime agricultural lands and support active agriculture.
  • Protect important habitat areas and linkages as identified through habitat studies and assessments.

Growth Management

  • Implement watershed protection legislation for protective buffer zones, protection of potential groundwater supplies, funding for acquisition of critical land parcels.
  • Provide technical assistance for planning, zoning, health and subdivision bylaw review and revision.
  • Promote wise land use and development.
  • Encourage local land use controls (bylaws, subdivision regulations, site plan review).
  • Improve oversight of development and construction for local projects as well as those which may have a regional impact.

Local Capacity Building

  • Promote professional staffing and training for planning, conservation and health boards.
  • Promote review and update of resource protection and growth management tools and bylaws using the Bylaw Project as a starting point.
  • Provide support to communities for development of Phase II and III Stormwater Program.
  • Pilot technical assistance workshops for Phase II implementation.
  • Implement recommendations in recent planning reports.
  • Provide support for training to local boards for construction monitoring and erosion and sedimentation controls.

Recreation and Access

  • Promote additional use of trail easements and linkages for passive recreational use.
  • Explore opportunities for extending/connecting rail trails for multi-use and accessibility.
  • Provide opportunities for swimming and passive recreational use of our waterways.
  • Promote dialogue regarding balancing multi-use on rivers and lakes in the watershed.
  • Provide continued educational opportunities for a broad audience.



5 See Action Plan Matrix for a complete listing of sub-basin/community recommended actions
6 See Reading Room, Reference Material for a record of public input.

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