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North River study meeting Thursday

COLRAIN — Major bank erosion in the North River watershed has damaged or threatened roads, bridges, farm land, water supplies and homes — despite money already spent to repair damaged infrastructure and stabilize eroding river banks.

To ensure that future repairs will be more successful, the state Department of Environmental Protection has given the Franklin Regional Council of Governments a $61,200 grant to study the geology and habitat of the North River watershed.

Residents and river abutters are invited to a project kick-off meeting Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Town Office, to learn about research that has been completed so far, work planned for the rest of the year and project outcomes and next steps.

This project will provide information on the causes of erosion, channel instability and habitat degradation. These findings will help in designing future repairs within a framework that anticipates the potential impacts of a project on other sections of the river.

Kimberly Noake MacPhee, FRCOG’s land use and natural resources program manager, says this up-front investment will, in the long-run, result in cost savings, as less expensive but more effective repairs are made in the watershed, which may also improve the aquatic habitat and water quality.

FRCOG has hired Field Geology Services and Cole Ecological to do the assessment.

For more information, contact MacPhee at 413-774-3167, ext. 130 or by email at:

kmacphee@frcog.org

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