Protecting Pine Brook's Native Trout

 

 

River-bred Eastern Brook Trout are a relative rarity in the streams, brooks, and rivers of North Eastern Massachusetts. Some populations have shown promising signs of rebounding -- like the upper reaches of the Neponset River -- and others have quietly supported a relatively healthy population of brook trout for a number of years. Pine Brook is one such watershed. Located in Wayland and Sudbury, MA, the brook is now facing a threat from development that could affect the health of the stream and its brook trout.

 

Wayland Brook Trout #2

 

A massive housing development has been proposed on the former Mahoney’s site on Route 20 in Wayland 20. The development -- called Cascade 40B and sponsored by developer Steve Zieff -- backs directly up to Pine Brook. The proposed four-story, 250 feet long, 148 feet wide structure will have its septic field installed within a few feet of the brook. The development could potentially pump 3.85 million gallons of sewage into this field every year and create stormwater runoff into the brook. 

 

The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife rates the brook as one of the best Eastern Brook Trout Streams in the Northeastern part of the state. While Pine Brook currently runs through many developed areas, the majority of these leave a sizable buffer between it and the brook, minimizing impact. 

 

 

Local concern around the building project has been heightened by the developer’s failure to produce necessary documents, reports, and FEMA studies on flood hazard areas. Furthermore, those studies that have been completed have been questioned in an open letter by water quality expert, Scott Horsley. Horsley has asked for clarification on how the hydrological report’s sensitivity analysis was conducted and more. The full letter can be found here

 

Opposition to the project in its proposed form has been led by Mark Hayes of Protect Wayland. Former GBTU president and Wayland resident Tom Largy has headed a group of GBTU members in diligently following the progress of the development’s approval process. A number of GBTU members have also appeared at meetings to present testimony.

 

Additionally, GBTU has sent several letters raising concerns about unaddressed potential impacts to the stream and its brook trout population, urging caution and requiring the developer to provide an additional study on floodplain impacts as well as stormwater runoff effects on Pine Brook and its native brook trout. Stay tuned for more updates on the project.