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    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    Why Old Mystic loves its swamp

    It is no secret that the developer cut most of the woody vegetation at 16 Smith Street without a permit. Wetlands Enforcement Officer Candace Palmer stopped them just before they cut down all the trees. There are still eleven native water-absorbing survivors (seven willows and four red maples) on the property, all of which will be removed if the developer’s plan gets approved.

    The tidal marsh marine life relies on this wetland to filter the water draining into it from Quoketaug Hill and Main Street before it drains into the Mystic River. Children on the playing fields rely on these vernal pools to generate mosquito-eating amphibians and dragonflies. And everyone in Old Mystic relies on the trees to take up excess water. A mature willow can remove “several hundred gallons per day,” according to soil scientist George Logan. The USDA confirms 300-500. A very conservative estimate leaves neighbors managing half a million more gallons of water per year.

    In denying this developer’s first application, the Stonington Wetlands Commission did Old Mystic residents a great service. Show up to witness them following through on Febr. 2, World Wetlands Day, at 7 p.m., Stonington Police Station across from the High School.

    Maggie Favretti


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