Group awards $30,000 of legal settlement to Mystic River Watershed Association

EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association receives a check Oct. 7 from Carolyn Mieth, representing the Oaktree Appellants. With them is Minka vanBeuzekom, a former city councillor who is on the board of directors of the Mystic River Watershed Association.
EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association receives a check Oct. 7 from Carolyn Mieth, representing the Oaktree Appellants. With them is Minka vanBeuzekom, a former city councillor who is on the board of directors of the Mystic River Watershed Association.

From the Mystic River Watershed Association, Oct. 16: The Mystic River Watershed Association was grateful to get $30,000 on Oct. 7 from the Oaktree Appellants, a group of local activists. This funding will be used to restore environmental conditions in the Alewife Brook sub-watershed, which includes parts of Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and Arlington.

The history and source of this funding will define the work Mystic River Watershed Association undertakes through this grant.

In the early 2000s the Oaktree Appellant activists objected to a proposed residential development next to the Alewife MBTA station based upon the excessive size of the project, the high levels of traffic it would generate and the lack of sufficient flood storage onsite. An appeal of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s approval of the development plan was filed by Oaktree Appellants, and subsequently a lawsuit was filed by the developer against these individual litigants. Funding provided to the Mystic River Watershed Association under this grant is derived from the settlement of these suits, totaling $135,000.

This funding, under the terms of the settlement, must be used for improvement of the Alewife floodplain. The Mystic River Watershed Association’s expertise and experience in the Alewife area will ensure that is how the funds are deployed.

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