For Immediate Release - May 09, 2012

State Environmental Officials Celebrate Wetlands and Rivers Months with Events Across Massachusetts in May and June

BOSTON – Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – As warmer spring weather draws outdoor enthusiasts to the Commonwealth's waterways, officials from the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today announced its springtime calendar marking May and June as "Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months" with outdoor events across the state.

"With the warm weather approaching, we encourage residents and visitors to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our Commonwealth’s coastal marshes, rivers and streams," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

The 2012 Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months Calendar contains detailed information and links to more than 220 events in, along or about the rivers and wetlands of Massachusetts. Upcoming events include kayaking trips, riverside picnics, canoe races, fly fishing instruction, river cleanups, overnight camping trips and nature hikes.

"Wetlands and rivers are extremely important to our state’s environment and economy and this calendar provides interesting and fun outdoor events like bird watching, fishing and hiking that celebrate and protect wetlands and rivers throughout the Commonwealth," said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin.

The DFG's Division of Ecological Restoration (Riverways Program) first published the calendar in 1988 to honor state and national recognition of May as Wetlands Month and June as Rivers Month. The events listed are designed to appeal to everyone from families with small children to adult whitewater enthusiasts. A sampling of activities and locations covered in the calendar, scheduled through July 4, include:

  • urban whitewater rafting on the Concord River in Lowell;
  • paddle trips on coastal creeks such as the Slocums River in Dartmouth, where changing tides enable boaters to paddle with the current in both directions;
  • whitewater and flatwater paddling, including Chinese-style Dragon Boat Races along the Charles River;
  • family-friendly river festivals along the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls, the Taunton River in Taunton and in the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord Rivers watershed;
  • hikes along rivers and streams to see Native American hunting sites in Andover or migrating birds in Beverly or Milton; and
  • overnight camping trips along the Connecticut, Town, and Sudbury Rivers.

"We're happy to highlight the great work our partners are doing to raise public awareness about why rivers and wetlands are a cherished piece of Massachusetts' environment," said Division pf Ecological Restoration Director Tim Purinton. "We encourage the public to invite their friends and family to clean up, paddle, protect, and enjoy our rivers, streams, and wetlands."

The mission of the Division of Ecological Restoration is to restore and protect the health and integrity of the Commonwealth's rivers, wetlands, and watersheds for the benefit of people, fish, and wildlife.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

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