Sad to see the Canton River poisoned


Editor’s note: According to Bernie Plante of Canton Holdings LLC, the spraying referenced in the letter below was done with a product called Custom Roundup, which is different from the commercially available Roundup and specifically made for use in areas adjoining wetlands. Plante said he reached out to the state Department of Agriculture and received confirmation that the product is an acceptable herbicide for this particular use.

Dear friends and neighbors:

A few weeks ago I observed a worker from the Plymouth Rubber redevelopment project spraying Roundup (active ingredient is glyphosate, a chemical that has been linked with cancer, endocrine disruption and neurological diseases) indiscriminately on all the vegetation in the river, along the riverbanks, and in the buffer zone extending to the fence along Neponset Street. Last year, the developer had received permission from the Canton Conservation Commission to inject Roundup into the invasive plants (Japanese Knotweed) they wish to eradicate, which is a targeted way of using an herbicide in a wetland resource. However, this year the developer apparently decided that spraying the Roundup was faster, easier and cheaper. Now all the plants in the area, including native shrubs and trees, are showing signs of herbicide damage. I can only imagine what this treatment has done to the river, the pond below it, and the Neponset River watershed that it flows into.

While herbicides are toxic to many aquatic life forms, they are also toxic to humans, such as those whose water comes from the Neponset River watershed (i.e. Canton). I wish the town authorities would be more proactive in protecting the health and wetland resources of our town. Soon this developer will be long gone, but the effects of the ongoing herbicide treatments to the river and its banks may last much longer. All the weeds that are now being routinely herbicided could be pulled manually instead, which would have no health impacts on the river and watershed at all. The great blue herons, fish and turtles that were seen living and fishing in the Canton River on a daily basis this spring and summer are no longer there. It is great to redevelop Plymouth Rubber, but do we have to watch the Canton River and the life it used to harbor be destroyed in the process? I find it very sad, especially because it is avoidable.


Ann MacAdam

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avatar Posted by on Oct 13 2017. Filed under From One Citizen to Another, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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