New England News Releases

USACE hosts open house August 1 in Oxford, Mass., for Hodges Village Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house August 1, 2024, in Oxford, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1976 Hodges Village Dam Master Plan for the Hodges...
USACE hosts open house July 31 in Monson, Mass., for Conant Brook Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 31, 2024, in Monson, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 1998 Conant Brook Dam Master Plan for the Conant...
USACE hosts open house July 30 in Uxbridge, Mass., for West Hill Dam Master Plan revision
7/5/2024 UPDATED
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District will host an open house July 30, 2024, in Uxbridge, Mass., to kick off a process to revise the 2011 West Hill Dam Master Plan for the West Hill...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

Filipino Engineer's Key Role in Advancing Transatlantic Middle East District Mission
5/31/2024 UPDATED
Josephus Resma, a native of Cebu, Philippines, has advanced from his hometown to a key role in engineering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Middle East. His dedication to quality, safety,...
Life Jackets Worn, Nobody Mourns
7/1/2024
On a beautiful, warm Texan day at Lewisville Lake, Jennifer Lawson, a natural resources specialist from the Army Corps of Engineers, heard about two males traveling at a high rate of speed on a...
Mobile District celebrates Juneteenth
6/20/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District hosted a Juneteenth celebration at the District Headquarters Annex Building, in Mobile on June 18. The event featured guest speaker, Eddie Irby, Jr.,...

Feature Stories

District Rangers, Public Discuss Master Plan for Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area

USACE, New England District
Published May 8, 2017
Joseph Zanca, Project Manager, Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, takes questions from the audience during the Master Plan public meeting in Millis, April 19, 2017

Joseph Zanca, Project Manager, Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, takes questions from the audience during the Master Plan public meeting in Millis, April 19, 2017

Members of the New England District team gathered with the public, April 19, in Millis, Massachusetts to listen to comments on the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area Master Plan.  The Master Plan will provide guidance for future management of the project.  The Master Plan was last updated in June 1984. 

Approximately 41 people attended the meeting.  Larry Rosenberg, Chief, Public Affairs, served as moderator at the meeting.  Joseph Zanca, Project Manager, served as the presenter.  “The Master Plan covers 3,229 acres of federally-owned land and 4,865 acres of restrictive flow easement throughout the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area,” he said. 

During the meeting Zanca discussed project operations, master planning efforts and public involvement.  Zanca, Andrew Labonte and Mark Larson took questions and comments from the audience.  Thames River Basin Manager Adam Durando also attended the meeting.

According to the draft plan, the natural resources of the project will continue to be managed to provide the best combination of responses to regional and ecosystem needs, project resources and capabilities.  All specific proposals for recreational or other development at the project must comply with this Master Plan, the Charles River Basin flood risk reduction requirements, the National Environmental Policy Act and federal requirements.

The draft document states that the Master Plan prescribes an overall land and water management plan, resource objectives and associated design and management concepts which provide the best possible combination to regional needs, resource capabilities and suitabilities and expressed public interests consistent with the project’s authorized flood risk management purposes.

Input to the planning process included surveys and management plans for natural, wetlands and cultural resources and an analysis of recreational use, capability and project needs for project lands, according to the document.  Natural and man-made resources were located, identified and analyzed, including wetlands, exemplary natural communities, and cultural resources that require management efforts for their protection. 

The Charles River Natural Valley Storage Project lies throughout 16 eastern Massachusetts communities in the middle and upper areas of the Charles River.  The creation of the Charles River Natural Storage Project was authorized by Congress in March 1974.  

According to the draft Master Plan, federal funds of $8.3 million were used to purchase 3,210 acres of fee land and 4,891 acres of restrictive easement.  The area acts as a flood risk reduction project by using the natural flood attenuation characteristics for more than 8,000 acres of protected wetlands purchased to reduce flooding. 

The project has prevented approximately $11.9 million in flood damages through September 2016.   The project attracts more than 60,000 visitors a year, who bike, boat, fish, hike, hunt, view wildlife and partake in other passive recreational uses. 

The Master Plan is available for review at the Millis Public Library and can be accessed on the New England District’s website.  Comments on the Master Plan will be taken until June 15. 


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