Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act established a national system to identify outstanding values and protect the free-flowing condition of rivers through a Wild & Scenic River nomination and designation process that recognizes certain rivers as having ‘outstandingly remarkable’ attributes. According to National Park Service personnel “protection of these outstanding rivers designated as Wild and Scenic can only occur with commitment from state and local partners.” In Massachusetts, DER has provided leadership in all three of our national designated rivers: the Westfield River, Sudbury/Assabet/Concord Rivers, and the Taunton River. DER staff, representing the Commonwealth on the three Wild & Scenic Committees, work on stewardship, management, research and the protection of Wild & Scenic attributes in partnership with municipal representatives, environmental organizations, the National Park Service and other state and federal agencies.
Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers
Towns of: Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland
Designated in 1999, the Sudbury Assabet and Concord River Wild and Scenic sections includes corridors that stretch for 29 miles along the Sudbury River, Concord River and Assabet River. The corridor width is 0.25 miles wide as determined by the Federal Wild and Scenic River Act (P.L 90-542 as amended.). The designated section includes 16.6 miles of the Sudbury River-Framingham (below Danforth Street Bridge), Wayland, Sudbury, Lincoln and Concord, 4.4 miles of the Assabet River-Concord (1000 feet below the Damon Mill Dam in West Concord to confluence with the Sudbury and Concord Rivers) and 8 miles of the Concord River-Concord, Bedford and Billerica (Upstream of the Route 3 Bridge).
Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council
DER Contact: Cindy Delpapa, 413-572-8837
Westfield Wild and Scenic River
Towns of: Becket, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Huntington, Middlefield, Savoy, Washington, Windsor, and Worthington
The Westfield River Wild and Scenic River includes corridors that stretch for 78.1 miles along the East Branch, Middle Branch and West Branch of the Westfield River. The corridor width is 200 feet wide from mean high water, corresponding to the width of the Massachusetts River Protection Act. Originally designated was in 1993 but serval additional sections were designated in 2004. The designated sections include 5 miles of the headwater streams of the East Branch including Drowned Land,Center and Windsor Jambs Brooks (Windsor, Savoy), 28 miles of the East Branch (Savoy, Windsor, Cummington, Chesterfield, Huntington), 13 miles of the Middle Branch (Worthington, Middlefield, Chester, Huntington), 0.4 miles of Glendale Brook (Middlefield), 14 miles of the headwater streams of the West Branch including Shaker Mill, Depot, Savery, Watson and Center Pond Brooks (Becket, Washington), 16 miles of the West Branch (Becket, Middlefield, Chester) and 0.8 miles of the Main Stem (Huntington).
Westfield River Wild and Scenic Committee
P.O. Box 397
Huntington, MA 01050
DER Contact: Carrie Banks, 413-579-3015
Taunton Wild and Scenic River
Towns of: Bridgewater, Halifax, Middleborough, Raynham, Taunton, Berkley, Freetown, Dighton, Somerset and Fall River
The Taunton River Wild and Scenic River study was authorized by congress in October, 2000. This legislation included 22 miles of the upper Taunton River from Bridgewater to Taunton. In September 2002, the study area was expanded to include the lower Taunton River extending to the Braga Bridge in Fall River. The primary focus area of the study and the proposed Wild and Scenic designation include a one half mile corridor along the 44 miles of the Taunton River mainstem beginning at the confluence of the Town and Matfield Rivers and including the communities of Bridgewater, Halifax, Middleborough, Raynham, Taunton, Berkley, Freetown, Dighton, Somerset and Fall River.
Taunton River Wild and Scenic Stewardship Committee
Taunton, MA 02780
DER Contact: Tim Purinton, 617-626-1542