For Immediate Release - May 19, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Celebrates Wetlands and Rivers Months with Events Across the State in May and June

BOSTON - May 19, 2010 - With the warmer spring weather drawing outdoor enthusiasts to the Commonwealth's wetlands and waterways, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has published a springtime calendar marking outdoor events that celebrate the state's beautiful wetlands and rivers.

"Massachusetts is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts because there are so many magnificent spots for fishing, hiking or wildlife viewing along saltwater marshes, river and streams," said Energy and Environment Secretary Ian Bowles. "This is a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy these special places."

DFG's Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) published the calendar to honor statewide and national recognition of May as Wetlands Month and June as Rivers Month.

DER's 2010 Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months Calendar contains detailed information and links to more than 190 events in, along or about the rivers and wetlands of Massachusetts. Upcoming events include kayaking trips, riverside picnics, canoe races, birding in salt marshes, fly fishing contests, river cleanups, overnight camping trips, and nature hikes.

"These fun events draw attention to the importance of our rivers and wetlands, and help to get people involved in protecting the natural resources that depend on healthy aquatic habitats," said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin.

"We're pleased to celebrate the great work our partners are doing to raise public awareness about why rivers and wetlands are a treasured part of the Massachusetts landscape," said DER's Acting Director Tim Purinton. "We encourage the public to invite their friends and family to clean up, paddle, protect, enjoy and celebrate their favorite rivers, streams and wetlands, or experience new ones."

Since 1988, the DFG has published a Massachusetts Rivers Month Calendar as part of the national celebration. Events listed in DER's 2010 Calendar, scheduled through Sunday, July 4, are designed to appeal to everyone from families with small children to adult whitewater enthusiasts. A sampling of activities and locations covered in the 2010 Massachusetts Rivers and Wetlands Months Calendar include:

  • urban whitewater rafting on the Concord River in Lowell ;
  • paddle trips on coastal creeks such as the Westport River in Westport, where changing tides enable boaters to paddle with the current in both directions;
  • whitewater and flatwater paddling, including Chinese-style Dragon Boat Races on the Charles River;
  • family-friendly river festivals along the Hoosic River in Williamstown, the Deerfield River in Charlemont, and in the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord Rivers watershed;
  • hikes along rivers and streams to see old-growth forests in Monroe or dramatic waterfalls in Middlefield; and
  • overnight camping trips along the Connecticut, Taunton, Charles and Sudbury Rivers.

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 enjoyment and conservation of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land preservation and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and game species, and enforcement of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. 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 lakes and ponds.