PIPING PLOVERS HOT TOPIC AGAIN
For the last couple of years people who love the beach have noticed the ever-expanding, roped off areas protecting the piping plovers on Winthrop and Revere Beach.
Last week at a meeting regarding the condition of Winthrop Beach, the piping plovers were discussed by officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
At a meeting of the DCR last week Jorge Ayub, coastal ecologist for the DCR, explained that the piping plovers are attracted to soft sand where they can burrow down and make a nest. He said they arrived in Winthrop on March 16. Turins, another shore bird also were in the area but appear to be moving. The birds starting coming to the area in 2007 and they feed on small sea worms.
“Worms in the water have created a better food source,” Ayub said.
Right now there are eight nesting pairs of piping plovers and seven nests. There are also 11 chicks, another two expected this week and three more expected the week after. Ayub said it takes 25-30 days for the chicks to grow and they are unable to fly.
“Plovers have always nested in the area but once they became protected the numbers of them have grown,” Ayub said. “They are seen at many other beaches. This year Nahant Beach has two nesting pairs.”
He added that federal and state regulations require the roping off of the nesting areas.
“The birds are not attracted by the fences,” he said.
MWRA TOUTS DRINKING WATER QUALITY
Throughout the month of June, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority will be mailing its Annual Water Quality Report to every household in its service area.
For 2015, as a system, MWRA again met every federal and state drinking water standard, including lead. The hundreds of thousands of tests taken during the year confirm that the quality of MWRA’s water is excellent.
With all the recent stories about lead, MWRA wants to assure customers that their water is safe. This year, the report includes additional pages with information on lead in drinking water and ways to minimize your risks. MWRA has also made $100 million in zero-interest loans available to its member cities and towns to remove remaining lead service lines in their communities.
“We hope our customers take a few moments to read this report,” said MWRA’s executive director Fred Laskey. “The best way to ensure your safety is to stay informed. We have great confidence in the water we deliver to over 2 million customers and we want you to, as well.”
The report is distributed to over 850,000 homes in the MWRA service area as required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Community-specific inserts also provide information about municipal water systems. The reports are being mailed through the end of June. Look for it in your mailbox.
The report is also available on-line in English and Spanish (PDF). A large print version is available upon request.
For more information, please visit MWRA’s website at www.mwra.com.