From The Mystic River Watershed Association, April 7: The Mystic River is an integral part of 22 communities that more than a half-million people call home, but in Somerville and Medford parts are barely passable due to the invasive water chestnut plant extending its habitat from shore to shore.

These floating-leaved plants form dense, continuous mats over the water’s surface that impede boating, fishing and swimming and crowd out native plants, and decomposition of large quantities of water chestnuts can result in lower dissolved oxygen levels and lead to fish kills.

For the past five years, the Mystic River Watershed Association has made strides to control the water chestnut, working with groups of up to 100 people to provide fun days on the Mystic removing the plant by hand from canoes. Last year set a record for 19 events with 34 partnering corporations and community groups – resulting in more than 940 volunteers removing 6,603 baskets of water chestnuts.

The Mystic River Watershed Association is extending an invitation to get involved. It is scheduling weekday and weekend events from June 22 through August. All participating groups are acknowledged on its website, newsletters and reports.

By sponsoring an event, your business, church or community group will participate in a major green initiative while enjoying an exciting day on the river with friends, colleagues and co-workers. The association supplies the materials and expertise needed for a team-building day that not only gets people together but has them walking away knowing that they made a positive impact on the community and all who enjoy the Mystic River.

To learn more and schedule an event, call Chris Brown or Patrick Herron at (781) 316-3438 or waterchestnut@mysticriver.org. Information is here.