Turning Point in Boston Harbor Clean-Up
September 6th was a memorable day in the environmental history of Boston Harbor.
At a ceremony with invited USGS scientists in attendance, the world's
longest tunnel for treated sewage was opened. Since then, some 380
million gallons per day have been discharged 9.5 miles offshore instead of at
the harbor mouth.
USGS on hand:
Rich Signell, Mike Bothner, Debbie Hutchinson, and Marinna Martini witnessing
the transfer of sewage flow as the Harbor outfall closes and the new offshore outfall opens.
Known as the Nation's dirtiest harbor in the late 1980s,
Boston Harbor is showing remarkable environmental improvements following a
comprehensive clean-up program that has lasted more than 11 years and has cost
about $4 billion.
The switch to the outfall tunnel is one of the final steps in
the program. The Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant and outfall pipe now serve
as an international model for successful urban waste management.
Throughout the program, the USGS Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC) has been an
active scientific partner with State agencies and local academic institutions
and has contributed basic information to address both scientific and management
questions. In fact, at the opening ceremony, four WHFC folks were given honorary
membership in the End-to-End Club, which recognizes those people who were with
the project from the start in 1989.
Final view of secondary treated waste water before it enters a 25-ft. diameter tunnel and travels
9.5 miles into Massachusetts Bay where it will be discharged through hundreds of small ports at
the sea floor about 100 ft. below the surface.
Mike Bothner, Brad Butman, Rick Rendigs,
and Rich Signell joined about 200 other folks named to this elite honor! Douglas
MacDonald, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority,
also specifically thanked Debbie Hutchinson for the valuable USGS contribution
to the project (nothing like a USGS hatwhich she was wearingto bring out
the best in folks!).
USGS work is not finished in Mass Bay and Boston Harbor
because our models of contaminant redistribution can now be tested following
such a dramatic change in source location.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
in this issue:
Florida Bay Red Grouper
Divers at Turners Falls
Long Island Sound
Boston Harbor Clean-Up
Sea Floor Mapping DVD-ROM
Santa Cruz Shark Festival
Natural Systems Restoration
Mapping Tools for Fisheries
Alaska Geologic Mapping
Coral Reef Task Force
Gulf of Mexico Sediments
October Publications List