Published on April 28, 2023

Stream Restoration to Combat Climate Change

stream with trash filter

At Broad Meadow Brook, we're restoring our namesake stream to ensure landscape resiliency through the anticipated changing climate. 

Why Restore the Stream?

Wetlands are becoming increasingly important in combatting the future effects of climate change. With rainfall levels expected to rise, we must give our wetlands the space they need to provide important ecosystem functions, such as preventing flooding in adjacent areas. Restoring Broad Meadow Brook will improve water quality, soften the effects of climate-related flooding, and enhance this area’s value for wildlife habitat in the future. 

How Can We Ensure Climate Resiliency?

Since our last update in February 2022, we have improved our understanding of the stream system and its surrounding landscape. To begin, Mass Audubon staff have monitored how the water’s flow changes through many storm events. With that information, we can model both current flood patterns and future changes due to climate change and the increased rainfall it brings. Bigger storms may worsen flooding in the Broad Meadow Brook watershed. By uncovering (also known as daylighting) the brook and expanding its floodplain access, the restoration project should reduce these potential flood events. 

What Can You Do to Help? 

Any work on the stream will happen only after much planning and permitting, which could take years. In the meantime, you and your neighbors can help improve water quality and ecosystem health. All of our water is connected–the rain that falls goes into the ground or into storm sewers, then directly into the nearest stream.  You can make a difference and improve water health by taking simple actions at home.  Minimizing chemicals on your lawn can prevent water contamination and improve habitat quality for the creatures that call the wetlands home. Planting trees is also a great way to prepare for increased rainfall in your area as trees absorb large amounts of water on your property.  Making sure that recycling bin lids are closed and picking up litter in your community is also very important to water health because litter and recyclables often find their way to a stream or lake and can contaminate water health within your community. Helping with stream cleanups is a great way to get involved in improving stream health and habitat quality. 

Mass Audubon membership also supports the work we do in protecting the nature of Massachusetts. If you're not one already, consider joining today