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Challenges to Returning Public Access Swimming to the Charles River in an Urban Environment

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In 1995 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implemented the Clean Charles River Initiative with the goal of making the river swimmable and fishable by 2005. As water quality began to improve through the initiative, river advocates were inspired to begin exploring options for returning public access swimming to the river. This paper examines several factors germane to the effort to establish a public access swimming site on the river. In particular we look at whether the water quality is consistently high enough to support a swimming area, the economic benefits of providing public access swimming on the Charles River, and the impacts of the Charles River Dam operation on the water quality at one potential swimming site.

Keywords: Charles River; E. coli; Swimming; dam operation; economic benefits; modeling; urban river; water quality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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