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Beaver Brook Subwatershed Information

Municipalities: Primarily West Newbury, also Groveland and Newbury

Estimated Population: 1148

General Description: A number of drumlins rim the perimeter of the Beaver Brook subwatershed.Drainage from this area is collected in wetlands and unnamed streams, which flow into and form Beaver Brook. This flowage drains to the Parker River. The subwatershed is largely forested. Much of the Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by MassWildlife, is found here. Farm fields, tree farms, orchards and pasture are sprinkled throughout the subwatershed. Undeveloped land use has declined from 2006 acres in 1991 to 1983 acres in 1999. Residential land use covered 464 acres in 1999 compared to 288 acres in 1991.

Land Area: 2447 acres (3.8 square miles)

Land Use as of 1999: Undeveloped – 1983 acres (81% of the subwatershed, Forest is 58%)

Residential – 464 acres (19% of the subwatershed)

Commercial/Industrial – 0.0 acres (0% of the subwatershed)

Named Tributaries: none

Lakes and Ponds: Little Crane Pond.

Rapid Watershed Assessment: The proportion of impervious cover in this subwatershed is estimated to be 2.5% based upon 1999 land use information. This is a slight increase from the 1991 estimate of 2.2%. The water quality would be expected to be of high quality. While a comprehensive survey has not been done, one would expect to find excellent habitat, diverse communities, and a stable stream channel. However, some localized impacts from summer low flows, road runoff, non-point source pollution and habitat alteration is likely.

Water Quality Information: Little information is available on the water quality in this subwatershed. The information that is available indicates that the water quality is excellent. There are no known sources of point source or non-point source pollution. The Department of Environmental Protection Division of Watershed Management had two water quality monitoring stations in this subwatershed in previous years. The data from the 1994 water quality assessment
indicate that this subwatershed has excellent water quality. The Department of Environmental Protection did not sample these sites in 1999.

Wildlife and Fisheries: Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area contributes to a large portion of this subwatershed. One large area at the boundaries of the Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area was identified by the Watershed Team to be a critical area for open space protection by building upon the already protected wildlife management area. One site for Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Priority Site and Rare Habitat is located within this subwatershed.

Recommendations: One consideration would be to work with the local open space committees and the Open Space Committee Network recently established by Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The open space committees of Georgetown and West Newbury could work together to identify unprotected open space parcels and develop a plan to increase the amount of protected open space through acquisition, conservation restrictions and other innovative means. Need to locate and certify vernal pools. Conduct stream survey and aquatic habitat survey.

(Data obtained from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Massachusetts Watershed Initiative, 2002 Watershed Assessment Report)

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