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May 2, 2002

Quabbin public access expanded for recreational purposes

BELCHERTOWN – Bob Durand, Secretary of Environmental Affairs, today announced plans to expand public access to areas of the Quabbin Reservoir that had been closed to the public following the September 11 th terrorist attacks.

Joining Durand in the announcement were Fred Laskey, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), David B. Balfour Jr., Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), and state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources.

Effective Monday, May 6, 2002 at 7:00am, the Swift River Y Pool fly fishing area will be re-opened as well as the East Side Forest Roads from Gate 43-52 at the Goodnough Dike.

“These areas represent great recreational opportunities for those who fish, hike and just enjoy the spectacular outdoor scenery that the Quabbin has to offer our citizens,” said Secretary Durand. “I am confident that our state police and park rangers, who will still be patrolling the Quabbin area, can ensure the security of this valuable resource.”

“The MWRA has worked closely with the MDC to strengthen the safety of the water supply system from watershed to the tap,” said Executive Director Laskey. “The critical areas of the system will be protected by a variety of measures and water quality is being continuously monitoring by our system operators.”

“The general public needs to be aware of the continuing restrictions that will apply with respect to vehicular access around Winsor Dam and Goodnough Dike and the public should pay close attention to areas marked off limits for public access,” said Commissioner Balfour.

“In addition to its obviously critical role in supplying drinking water, the Quabbin Reservoir and surrounding land provides unmatched recreational opportunities for the people of Massachusetts, particularly residents of Central Massachusetts,” said Sen. Brewer. “It is great news that the area is getting back to normal and we can once again enjoy this great resource.”

In conjunction with the expansion of public access, National Guard troops now patrolling the Quabbin area will be withdrawn. However, the Guard will still patrol other vital areas of the MDC and MWRA water distribution system.