Ye Olde Manual Labor

By Lisa Purdy

We spent last week in Kingston, MA — a few miles north of Plymouth, the landing spot of the Pilgrims (of whom Marina is a descendant!). There’s a lot of history there. For instance, did you know that the Jones River is named after the captain of the Mayflower? And that in Plymouth Harbor there is the Mayflower II, a replica of the original given to the US in the 1960’s? Also, fun fact, Plymouth Rock is by now just a fraction of its original size, due to chunks chipped off, water fissures, and the slow process of erosion. Anyway, it was a very educational week!

We were helping out at the Jones River Landing, an organization that connects the people of Kingston to the Jones River by teaching kids how to build boats, hosting potlucks and bluegrass concerts, and snipping through the red tape in order to get rid of the dams that hash through the Jones River, one of the main sources of water and nutrients to the South Shore. The ponds and marshlands surrounding the Jones River were major nurseries for the fisheries of the Atlantic Ocean, until construction of concrete dams in place of temporary wooden ones diverted the water and affected the spawning habitat. But that’s where our contact Pine E. Dubois comes in! She is an enthusiastic, energetic woman who has got a finger on just about everything environmental in Kingston.

One of her projects is removing Phragmites Australis, an invasive species that was brought over from–you guessed it–Australia to New Jersey, and has made its unstoppable way up the coast. Below is a video of Mass Action working–that is, toiling away– with a volunteer and an employee to clear the land for the native reeds to come back in.

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