Protecting Wetlands: Blue Hills Reservoir

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In 2003 the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority began developing plans to convert the eastern half of the Blue Hills Reservoir into two 10 million gallon buried drinking water storage tanks.  The reservoir, built in the 1950’s had been inactive as a public drinking water source since 1981, but served as a protected wetlands area in the reservation along scenic Chickatawbut Road.  The 16 acre reservoir was home to at least five species of native fish, and served as a vital wetlands ecosystem in the Blue Hills Reservation.

Friends of the Blue Hills, with the help of local legislators and citizens, advocated against the project because it violated the state’s Wetland Protection Act.  Under the act, the MWRA should have been required to provide mitigation sites as part of the “no net loss” wetlands policy, which they did not.  However in an unprecedented exemption to the legislation, the Department of Environmental Protection decided that none of the 8.7 acres of open water habitat would be replaced.  The project, which was completed in 2009 at a cost of $38 million resulted in the largest net loss of wetlands by a public works project in over 20 years.

7 Responses to “Protecting Wetlands: Blue Hills Reservoir”

  1. richard gold says:

    good day
    i have recently visited, fished in and enjoyed the reservoir. Do you know where I may obtain a topographical map of the reservoir itself. The folks that desighned and constructed the pond and surrounding landscape did an exceptional job. Kudos to all involved, job well done. Thank you.

  2. richard gold says:

    Thank you.. very helpful map and info. Anything similar regarding Popes Pond .. constructed long ago, hoping to get some info on that. Thank you again & have an awesome day. Rg

  3. James Mainey says:

    Are there fish in this reservoir? I just saw about three guys yesterday fishing the place but I didn’t know if it had been stocked since it’s completion.

  4. Michael Casey says:

    I don’t know whether it’s been stocked or not, but 4 & 5 pound large mouth bass are common.

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Want to hike the Blue Hills, but don't know where to begin? Click here for recommendations to the best hiking near Boston. If you're interested in hiking Boston and Boston hiking, the Blue Hills Reservation offers great hikes near Boston. If you want to go hiking around Boston, be sure to check our suggested Boston hikes in the Blue Hills. The Blue Hills also offers a good place to find a South Shore MA mountain biking trail and you'll enjoy great Boston birding and birding near Boston. You'll also find a great swimming hole south of Boston at the Blue Hills Reservation and in general, great family fun South Shore.