Muddy Water Initiative Celebrates Third Annual WaterGoat Launch

The third annual WaterGoat trash net launch took place on July 17 at the Ipswich Bridge in the Fenway, and many volunteers turned out to help keep the river clean.

More than 50 people showed up to this year’s event, according to Caroline Reeves of the Muddy Water Initiative. The event featured live goats, music by the Bill McGoldrick Duo, and cold treats from the Boston Police ice cream truck.

District 8 City Councilor Kenzie Bok holds a baby goat at the WaterGoat launch in the Fenway on July 17.

“This was an active cleanup,” Reeves said, adding that over 50 pounds of trash were removed from the banks of the Muddy River.

“Senator [Will] Brownsberger and his wife, Carolyn, won the prize for the biggest trash bag,” she said.

“It’s really important to understand that if the Muddy River is open to the Charles River, all of this trash that right now we’re collecting would flow directly into the Charles if our volunteers weren’t so terrific.” She said that while the Muddy “is not a closed system,” it is a “controlled” system. “We want to be cognizant of what’s in the Muddy River before we open it to the Charles River.”

Additionally, she said that the Muddy Water Initiative plans on launching its phosphorus reduction boom “to compliment the WaterGoat” later this summer. “That will take it to a whole new level,” she said.

Several volunteer groups are returning this year to help empty the WaterGoat trash net, including Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, The Chica Project, Theta Chi fraternity at MIT, Alpha Phi Omega at Northeastern University, and others.

“Most of our volunteers come back three or four times,” Reeves said. She said that this year, the event was advertised in the Boston Calendar, and “people came out of the blue.” To help clean up trash from the Muddy River.

“It was an amazing, feel good, happy day,” said Jackie Royce of the Muddy Water Initiative. “The music was outstanding and baby goats adorable and popsicles a good reward.”

Reeves added that “we would like to emphasize that when the Muddy River is daylighted to the Charles by the DOT, water quality issues become increasingly important.”

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