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Tim Purinton

Tim Purinton

Acting Director, Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration

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This winter I braved the cold on the banks of the Neponset River with an environmental delegation from Ireland and Northern Ireland, under the direction of Boston College’s Irish Institute, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department, to discuss watershed protection and restoration.

Tim Purinton on the banks of the Neponset River

The Neponset River was a fitting backdrop to discuss how a diverse group of stakeholders are cooperating to restore a river that has been neglected for years. Partners are examining the partial removal of the Baker Dam (see photo below) and the removal of contaminated sediment to restore ecological integrity to the Neponset River in Milton and Dorchester Lower Mills.

The visit underscored the shared passion for rivers and the need for effective watershed conservation techniques and programs on both sides of the Atlantic. While Ireland and Massachusetts approach watershed protection differently, all agreed that healthy rivers sustain economies and reflect our cultural identities. The photo above is of me with the delegation.

Baker Chocolate Factory Dam

The Irish Institute’s mission (is to promote the peace and normalization process on the island of Ireland and to contribute to social, political, and economic stability through cross-border and cross-community cooperation. The delegation is made up of a dozen environmental leaders, including the Acting Director of the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland Helen Anderson.

Massachusetts has over three dozen watershed associations. Click here to find out more about your local river and stream and what you can do to get involved.

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