Neponset River Estuary
Designation Date: 3/27/95
The central resource features of the Neponset River Estuary ACEC are the Neponset River and portions of its tributaries, the estuary, salt marshes, floodplains, fishery habitat, and diverse wildlife habitat. The predominant ecological and visual features of the ACEC are the Neponset River and the adjacent salt marshes. The combined acreage of open water, salt marsh, and other wetland resource areas totals approximately 830 acres, or two thirds of the ACEC. Floodplains cover approximately 1,005 acres or 80 per cent of the ACEC. The Neponset River supports valuable anadromous fishery habitat, including one of the largest smelt runs in Massachusetts Bay. Blue back herring spawn in the Neponset. Substantial soft-shell clam beds are located at the mouth of the river. Numerous other fish species are significant for commercial and recreational fishing. The Squantum Point area provides habitat for a tremendous diversity of bird species and is one of the most important wildlife habitats in the urbanized Boston area. Highly significant historical and archaeological resources (including the Dorchester and Milton Lower Mills Industrial District), recreational areas, and scenic and educational values within this area contribute to the overall significance of the ACEC to the people and communities of the region.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR, formerly Metropolitan
District Commission) owns over 500 acres within the ACEC, providing a
wide variety of public open space and recreational opportunities. The
MDC Lower Neponset River Reservation Master Plan provides a vision for
the long-term development of these properties.
Water bodies included (partially or entirely) in the ACEC