Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Little Further Down the Concord River

Today I ventured just a little further down the Concord River than I'd paddled before.  All of my previous trips had stopped at the Talbot Mill in Billerica, and there didn't appear to be any easy access points to the river downstream of the dam.  However a post on the "Kayak the Merrimack" blog alerted me to the boat ramp at Muldoon Park in South Lowell (pictured at left).
Early this morning after the rain let up, I launched there along with these fishermen...

A short downriver paddle brought me to the dam where navigation by boat pretty much comes to an end...
From this point, it's another 2 miles of to the river's confluence with the Merrimack.  Old Massachusetts Bay Colonial records in 1671 referred to the confluence as "Popessgosquockegg"...another great Native American name, meaning?

After turning around I began paddling upriver towards Billerica and the falls at Talbot Mill.  Along the way there were lots of cormorants, ducks, blue herons, belted kingfishers, and plenty of trash.  This plastic bottle was "alive"...
and left for further incubation.

Amidst the usual trash there was floating cash...

Note the plastic water bottle that had been used as a "poor man's fishing bobber".  There were at least 6 of these plastic bottles so modified.

This blossom provided some color and beauty...
 
 
Much less trash was encountered upstream of the recently rebuilt Rt. 495 bridge.
 
At Talbot Mill the falls could be seen just beyond the the mill and bridge...
  Another turnaround had me heading downriver again.  On the way a green heron was encountered...
 
 
Though The Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet Rivers guidebook refers to the bridge below as the "five-arched railroad bridge", I counted 6 arches...
 
 
The day's haul spilled forth...
There were 60 recyclable containers (17 redeemable) and 62 pieces of misc. rubbish such as plastic bags, styrofoam, and nip bottles.  YTD = 5437. 
 
Note the large number of plastic water bottles.  Given the present situation where the bottled water industry (with help from our legislative leaders) thwarts all attempts for adding these containers to the state's redemption/recycling program, I applaud the citizens of Concord, Massachusetts for banning the sale of water in such containers.  Hopefully, other communities will consider adopting a similar measure.




6 comments:

suep said...

ah that bottle looks like it growing a bryozoan - pectinatella magnifica ! Didn't know it could grow on plastic... saw my first one in the concord river, come to think of it. See this link: http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/bryozoa.html
sue p

Erik Eckilson said...

Don't suppose you saw the RICKA crew there - they did the section from Bedford to Concord.

Mike said...

I've adopted better "pick-up trash principles" following your example! May I be an "honorary" "trash paddler" too? http://www.durhamblogger.com/2012/09/beauty-trees-birds-and-paddling.html

Suasco Al said...

Sue, Thanks for the bryozoa identification and link. Interesting stuff: "The Blob" and "colony of zooids". I was surprised by how much weight they added to the bottle.

Suasco Al said...

Erik, The RICKA folks were about 7 miles upriver from where I was paddling.
Saw the video of you getting swallowed in the Deerfield River. Kinda scary looking.

Suasco Al said...

Mike, Certainly and I'm honored to be cited by you as an example. Truth is, there are many "trash paddlers" out there who always leave the water just a little bit cleaner than they found it.