Talk:Charles River

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White Geese[edit]

Regarding this edit war over the Charles River White Geese political protest, could someone who is knowledgeable provide some WP:NPOV content about what this is about? Seems like it might actually be germaine to the topic of this page. --ScottMainwaring 22:37, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Response on White Geese[edit]

I tried to make the entry less inaccurate and less biased.

There is great propaganda in here about so-called clean up of the Charles River which gives the dramatically false impression of proper environmental behavior.

The opposite is the truth.

The state's behavior at Ebersoll Fields was strikingly destruction of the environment.

The behavior at Magazine Beach is exactly the opposite of the impression falsely being given.

The designer plants introduced in place of the wetlands at Magazine Beach create a wall blocking any possible swimming in the Charles River at that location, exactly the opposite of the PR piece in the report.

The heartless and deliberate starvation of the Charles River White Geese is also exactly the opposite of the claims of environmental sainthood.

The bizarre behavior in the playing fields is exactly the opposite of the claims in the report.

I did not put in the deliberate poisoning of goose eggs over the last four years, Canadas all four years, Whites the first two of the four years.

Neutrality is to balance the PR piece with reality or to keep the PR nonsense out of the report.

Neutrality is not to spout the false party line of really destructive state and local governments.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

That's fair enough. One big part of presenting this controversy in a way that is suitable for an encyclopaedia is good documentation. Blogs and personal Web sites, even if everything in them may be true, will always be called into question (because where are their sources? and so on).
Some sources that would help here would be transcripts from public meetings or hearings, or newspaper articles. Is their solid documentation for the poisons that are mentioned (pesticides? fertiliser? which ones?) and the deleterious effects that are claimed? As well, for the introduced vegetation?
Please understand, I'm not arguing that none of these bad things have happened. I'm only pointing out the things that I, as a reader who stumbled upon this article today, would want to see before accepting the assertions on that section as fact or at least probable. Those things may be enough to put the dispute to rest amongst the editors as well. -- 08:59, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Remediation controversies[edit]

Good to see some content here about efforts (misguided or not) to improve the environment in and around the Charles, but much of this content is presented with a clear POV bias. A more balanced presentation based on published, verifiable facts is necessary to conform to WP:NPOV it seems. --ScottMainwaring 00:29, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Naming History[edit]

If I recall correctly, the bridge just downstream of the Watertown Dam bears writings which claim that the river was named the Massachusetts River (by John Smith), and then renamed the Charles River by order of the then-Prince Charles. Now, I'm not claiming that a bridge should really count as a Reliable Source. I mean, it's just a bridge, what can it know?.. but anyone who is interested in the English naming of the river may want to look into this anyway. - 00:06, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

It's true! I just added this with a good reference. However I called Charles "king".. I guess technically he was still the prince heir apparent at the time. Not sure how to say that tersely, it is almost besides the point, no? Pfly (talk) 21:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Charles, at age 15, may "tersely" and accurately be said to be Prince Charles, as Karl Haglund notes in his Inventing the Charles River (MIT Press, 2003), page 5. Since Charles was not made King of Great Britain and Ireland until 1625 (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 3, Micropedia, p. 112), designating him "king" at age 15 is clearly incorrect. Jwhitman (talk) 23:02, 15 March 2008 (UTC)jwhitman

I've lived here all my life and I've never heard it called "the River Charles." I propose deleting that sentence. Mergy (talk) 19:46, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

See Dirty Water for one example. Explanation: "all your life" isn't long enough. :-D - Denimadept (talk) 01:11, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Early History[edit]

How can Waltham have been the site of the first factory when the very next paragraph says that a canal for water power was created in the 1600s? What's the definition of "factory" which allows the first statement? - Denimadept 19:28, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I can't speak for whoever first wrote it, but as it stands the article says that Waltham had the first "fully integrated textile factory in America." I assume that in this context "fully integrated" means that the mill combined spinning and weaving (and possibly other processes, such as carding and fulling) in the same facility. That claim seems plausible to me, though it's unsourced. Spinning and weaving were mostly cottage industries until the 18th century even in England, and the colonies were a couple of decades behind the mother country in many aspects of their economic development. My guess is that the 17th-century mills the article refers to were sawmills and grist mills. (talk) 17:27, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. - Denimadept (talk) 18:03, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

More early history[edit]

A Radio Boston special on the river mentioned a project in 1634 to put the river (or part thereof?) into a ditch? Anyone know what that's about? -- Beland (talk) 00:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


Where is Category:Charles River? --Mr Accountable (talk) 21:38, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Looks like it's implicit. Looking at the category page, it knows its principal article is Charles River. - Denimadept (talk) 22:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Water Test Results June 24 2012[edit]

Water taken from Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, across the street from MicroCenter store at noon, 6.24.12: (yesterday)

  • No bad smell whatsoever
  • Ammonia: 0
  • Nitrate: 0
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Hardness: 75
  • Chlorine: 0
  • Alkalinity: 80
  • pH: 6.8
  • Phosphates: 0

Testing was done at PetSmart in the Aquarium department at the Fresh Pond Mall, with the Phosphate test done with a separate test kit. There had been a huge rain storm the previous day.

--Radical Mallard (talk) 23:27, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Response Letter from Charles River Watershed Association[edit]

(Response to above water test information)

From: charles (AT)

CC: jwood (AT); aash (AT)

Subject: RE: Tested Charles River Water Yesterday

Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 15:11:44 -0400

Thanks for your interest in the water quality of the Charles River.

The fish kits at the PetSmart are designed for use with tap water, so the scale might not be tailored to use with river water. We test the water monthly year round and bi-weekly in the summer, you can find some of our data here

As to your question about what is polluting the water, one of the big problems is with bacteria levels (ecoli particularly) that come from sewage that gets into the river when the sewers overflow after a heavy storm and from other sources. As I’m sure you know high levels of certain bacteria found in sewage can cause people to get sick. The swimming and fishing standards that you mentioned are based primarily on bacteria levels. You can find more information about boating and swimming standards here In addition high levels of cyanobacteria (often called blue green algae, but they are in fact bacteria) produce toxins which can be harmful on contact or ingestion. You can find more information on that here Stormwater carrying high levels of nutrients (mostly phosphorous) contributes to this problem as the cyanobacteria require phosphorus to grow.

There are fish populations in the Charles River. As water quality has and continues to improve, the fish populations continue to grow. Some challenges for fish include low dissolved oxygen levels in some areas of the river and getting over the dams that are still in the Charles River.

We are working with MA Fish and Game to restock the American Shad population. You can find more information about that project here. This Friday at 2:00 pm you can watch them restock the fish if you are interested.

As to chemicals, as you may know, there are various heavy metals on the floor of the river in the lower basin of the Charles River. For the most part they stay put, but if something stirred them up they could cause problems.

You are right that a lot of the problems from the ‘90’s which made the river smelly and off color have been addressed thanks to a lot of hard work by CRWA, citizens, government agencies, and companies, but there is still a lot of work left to be done. Polluted stormwater carrying bacteria, nutrients, and other pollutants is one of the biggest current causes of the water quality problems.

I hope this answered your questions. Let me know if you have any more questions and you can visit our website for lots more information.

If you are interested in becoming part of our citizen water quality monitoring program and testing water monthly with our tools then let us know!



Alexandra Ash

Office Administrator and Events Coordinator

Charles River Watershed Association

190 Park Road

Weston, MA 02493

Phone: (781) 788-0007 ext. 200

Fax: (781) 788-0057

(end of letter)

--Radical Mallard (talk) 20:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Real Source of the Charles?[edit]

The article says that the Charles originates at Echo Lake. Yet the Google map labels one of the rivers flowing into the Lake from the north as the Charles River. What gives? JKeck (talk) 02:12, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

GNIS agrees with you. According to U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Charles River, the source of the Charles River is 42°12′54″N 71°30′52″W / 42.21500°N 71.51444°W / 42.21500; -71.51444, which is somewhat north of Echo Lake. Pfly (talk) 05:42, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I suggest fixing the article. - Denimadept (talk) 17:55, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I noticed this error myself then came here to see it had already been discussed... but not fixed in two years. So it's fixed now. - (talk) 20:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Good! Thanks. - Denimadept (talk) 23:23, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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John Smith/Charles river[edit]

John Smith explored "Northern Virginia" and presented his Map of "New England" To King James the first in 1614. King James requested that his son PRINCE Charles could help transfer names of England to Smith's map of New England. Smith was given the title of Admiral of New England for his map. Charles does not become KING or "Charles the first" until long after he names a river after himself.

Wolfdog1940 (talk) 00:22, 3 October 2015 (UTC)wolfdog 10/02/2015 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Request to add link or mention[edit] A character from The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner was commemorated on the Anderson Memorial Bridge across this river. Perhaps it should be mentioned here? (talk) 08:22, 18 April 2016 (UTC)