Impact Area Groundwater Study Program

River River Drops of rain on a leaf

Natural Resources

At least 876 species of animals and 545 species of plants reside on Camp Edwards and 37 of these are on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern Listing including:

  • 3 species of plants
  • 19 species of moths/butterflies
  • 2 species of turtles
  • 8 species of birds
  • 5 species of dragonflies & damselflies
Natural Resources

Karen Wilson is the Natural Resource Rehabilitation Specialist for the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program office. Her job is to oversee areas that have been disturbed by the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program's environmental investigations and make sure these areas are returned to their natural states, while protecting the plant and animal species that call Camp Edwards their home. Before any fieldwork activities begin, species and habitat evaluations are conducted. After her evaluations, Ms. Wilson will report her findings to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program as part of an environmental site review.

When a monitoring well is installed, vegetation in the well area is flush cut and a special fabric called geo-textile is laid under any soil brought in for well pad installation, allowing for easier removal of soil, which might contain invasive seeds. This technique is used to preserve the native vegetation at the well installation site and ensures minimal impact to the natural habitat on Camp Edwards.

Previously cleared sites also are monitored to see if any exotic invasive plants have taken root. These plants are the biggest threat to the natural habitat at Massachusetts Military Reservation. The installation procedures limit the introduction of these non-native plants and lead to quicker recovery for disturbed sites.

In addition to complying with all applicable state and federal endangered species regulations of habitat and wildlife, Camp Edwards Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan's (INRMP) objective is to coordinate management of natural resources with military training.

Another Camp Edwards agency, called the Massachusetts National Guard Environmental & Readiness Center (E&RC), implements and manages the National Guard environmental compliance programs. The E&RC also provides guidance to all commanders on how to conduct compliant training.

The Impact Area Groundwater Study Program believes that its job does not end with removing munitions and contaminants, but in restoring the natural resources found on the 15,000 acres of Camp Edwards.

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