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Headwaters Stream Team

This gallery is dedicated to the Headwaters of the Ipswich River. There will be photos of everything from pumped dry river beds to beautiful vernal pools, trees, flowers, birds and animals. Anything and everything headwaters. Hopefully as time goes by through my photos people will see that the often forgotten "step child" of the Ipswich River is equally as important as the main stem and just as beautiful in different ways. Like most headwaters the Ipswich has extensive wetland systems in its upper reaches. It is so important to remember that what ever happens in the headwaters eventually makes it way down stream, all the way to Plum Island Sound, whether contamination or policy.
The Ipswich River in Reading was pumped dry for decades by town wells. You can see in the first Reading picture the roots of the trees and mosses that would normally be under water. The over pumping of the Ipswich River in the upper portions ( headwaters in Reading, North Reading and Wilmington ) are the main reasons the Ipswich was deemed by American Rivers as one of the most endangered rivers in the country, twice.

Things have improved. Reading is now on an alternative water supply ( Quabbin ). Unfortunately Wilmington is still over pumping two headwater streams. Year after year Lubbers Brook is pumped dry (no longer has fish population at wells) and significantly impacting stream flows in Martins Brook. They have no intentions of stopping this practice. Storm water is another huge problem not only for the headwaters but for the whole river. The town of Wilmington no longer pumps from Maple Meadow Brook due to contamination (NDMA) detected in the public drinking wells in the Maple Meadow Brook Aquifer. This contamination has been traced to the Olin chemical superfund site ( see website The Town of Wilmington pumped this brook dry for decades. Pretty sad Maple Meadow Brook's restoration will be contributed to the contamination of the aquifer which is no longer fit for human use.

The Ipswich River is an important ecosystem. It provides water resources to many communities and provides an equally important riverine habitat for a multitude of animals, plants and birds
(migratory very important). The Ipswich River begins in Burlington Ma. and ends its journey in Ipswich at Ipswich Bay/Plum Island Sound.
For more information on the Ipswich River visit the Ipswich River Watershed Association website at