DCR Asleep at Wheel; Lambert is No Sullivan

August 14, 2012
By

The Department of  Conservation and Recreation has failed miserably in carrying on the legacy left by former DCR Commissioner Rick Sullivan.

Sullivan, now the governor’s chief environmental official, was a true friend to this city. He understood the Lynn/Nahant beach problem with the algae and he did something about it.

For the first time in 100 years – and for the past five years – the horrific stink that comes from putrefying algae was gone and the quality of life in this city along the shore was improved dramatically.

All that ended about three weeks ago, and really long before that when the jokers manning the DCR base that cares for the Lynn/Nahant Beach area, stopped picking up the algae under the ruse that there wasn’t enough overtime pay to do the job.

So they let it go.

The head of the operation here let it go and didn’t care. The employees let it go and didn’t care. Two weeks ago, the stink got so bad residents were vomiting on Lynn Shore Drive.

Only after numerous calls were made to DCR headquarters by the likes of Robert Tucker and the members of the Lynn/Nahant Residents Beach group and others did the DCR relent and make it possible for the algae to be picked up.

So the stink is now receding and things are getting back to normal but Ed Lambert, the head of DCR ought to be ashamed and Rick Sullivan should tell him so.

DCR isn’t doing us a favor picking up the algae. DCR is simply following through on what Rick Sullivan achieved during his time as the head of DCR.

He was here. He understood. He smelled the stink and he did everything in his power to create a system that worked tirelessly against it. During his entire time at DCR, Sullivan fixed what had been broken for longer than a century. Even scientists said it couldn’t be done. Sullivan never took no for an answer.

When Sullivan left DCR to take over the environmental job for the governor, Lambert made it one year before everything Sullivan worked for collapsed miserably into a stink – a stench really – that had the entire North Shore of Boston remarking once again, how badly Lynn stinks and what a complete dump the place is.

Where were the employees and the head of the Lynn/Nahant DCR employees when the stench got so powerful it could cause residents to vomit? Where did they go? What were they doing? Shrugging their shoulders and saying nothing can be done or simply coming in, twiddling their fingers and complaining about overtime?

Something should have been done. Instead, nothing was done and might not have been done unless angry and threatening calls were made to Mr. Lambert who has come to understand what dereliction of duty is when it comes to DCR employees.

These people supposedly managing the well being of the Lynn/Nahant Reservation should be reprimanded, removed to another location or fired.

They’re useless and they proved it.

More importantly, they proved to marginalize everything good done by Rick Sullivan and they proved as well how easy it is for Mr. Lambert, again, to be used.

Mr. Lambert should come here now and then as Rick Sullivan did. But we’re told he’s just too busy to care about one of his major beaches – and he proved that recently without a doubt.

  • Mnahant

    thought dcr did a great job this year.  algae is uncontrollable comes and goes beach looked terrific red rock has never looked better.

  • psoreilly

    Algae washed up on the beach baking in the hot sun is clearly something that is controllable. And algae grows in excess largely from sewer overflows from leaky or illegal pipes which have yet to be tracked down and fixed. The beach grooming should continue.

  • Mnahant

    Algae found on lynn beach is formed in the north atlantic and is found on only eighy american beaches. In the nineteen ninetys m.i.t did a study and found no way to stop it.

  • Typical Mass Bull

    Don’t let facts get in the way of your assertion MNahant. You couldntbe more wrong. In fact “MIT had perfected a way of removing the algae.” (See Boston Globe article – Odious algae a summertime scourge for beachgoers By Steven Rosenberg, Globe Staff Correspondent, 7/14/2002/)

    Per the article:

    According to Cliff Goudey, a research engineer with the MIT Sea Grant

    College Program, MIT had perfected a way of removing the algae by

    placing a suction vacuum system at the water’s edge in 1994. Goudey

    drew up a proposal to establish a permanent removal program, with the

    algae being shipped to a Swampscott composting plant. At the last

    minute, he said, the MDC withdrew the contract because it wanted

    proprietary rights over the suction vacuum.

    ”I always thought the real problem was that the MDC was trying to

    avoid the issue and that they really didn’t want a solution,” said

    Goudey. ”If they had a practical solution they would be forced to

    remove it.”

    ”This is a delicate issue,” said DiPietro, acknowledging that the

    Commonwealth wanted to own the rights to MIT’s invention.

    After 1994, the MDC abandoned any active attempts to remove the algae

    from its beaches in Nahant and Lynn.

  • psoreilly

    Whales are also formed in the North Atlantic, and if they washed up on a public beach and caused a stink I’d want them cleaned up too.

    I think nutrient run off certainly causes excess algae growth and there is a CSO (combined sewer overflow) problem. And perhaps Deer Island outflow is really the root problem.

    But regardless of the cause, taking the algae off the beach seems to be a workable solution.

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