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News Stony Brook Streamflow Restoration Priority Project

New DER Priority Project will work to improve streamflow in the Stony Brook in Littleton and Westford
  • Division of Ecological Restoration
Two Images The outlet of Forge Pond. and DER staff in the field with partners

DER recently accepted the Stony Brook Flow Restoration as one of its newest Priority Projects. This project is focused on Stony Brook as it flows through Littleton and Westford, passing through a series of surface water impoundments before it enters the Merrimack River in Chelmsford. The goal of the restoration project is to improve streamflow in the watershed through coordinated releases from the dams during periods when streamflow is low, without compromising in-lake uses. Dam operation will be based on an online decision support tool - informed by streamflow data, lake level, precipitation forecast information, and model results.

The project has received two grants from MassDEP’s Water Management Act program to further planning and implementation. Funding in 2018 was used to expand the monitoring network and develop a decision support model. Funding in 2019 is being used to finalize flow release strategies; submit permit applications; field-validate streamflow data; conduct testing of the low-flow releases; and conduct a desktop optimization of Littleton and Westford’s 12 groundwater wells.

Project partners include Littleton Water Department, Westford Water Department, Geosyntec consultants, and various dam owners and lake associations. DER’s role in the project will focus on assisting with streamflow and biotic monitoring, as well as project implementation. We look forward to working with a great group of partners on this unique project to improve streamflow!

Images: Left: The outlet of Forge Pond. Right: DER’s Kate Bentsen shows partners how to measure streamflow.

Division of Ecological Restoration 

DER restores and protects rivers, wetlands, and watersheds in Massachusetts for the benefit of people and the environment.