Public meeting held to discuss potential changes to Quabbin Reservoir

Suggested changes to the public access plan could last for the next 10 years

WWLP file image

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – A public meeting was held on Monday to address potential changes at the Quabbin Reservoir.

State officials presented the draft of the public access plan for The Quabbin Watershed, which aims to balance public usage of the reservoir property, and protect the drinking water for two and a half million people in Massachusetts.

Every ten years, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation updates their public access plan for the Quabbin watershed. This year, they are proposing several changes for public access.

These changes include prohibiting feeding wildlife and making sure your boat is decontaminated before heading out on the water.

Several public access changes proposed for Quabbin Reservoir

If approved, these changes will stand for the next ten years.

Jonathan Yeo, Director of the Division of Water Supply Protection, told 22News that they are not trying to discourage visitors to the Quabbin.

“There’s a lot of access here and we welcome the public to come here to the visitors center and also to the park and to many areas of Quabbin to enjoy the natural beauty of this part of the state.”

Cheryl Moriarty, a Palmer resident, told 22News that she’s glad state officials are focusing on the safety of the public and wildlife.

“They need to keep it safe and the animals here need to be kept safe too to keep it going the way it is, it’s just a beautiful place to be,” Moriarty said.

The Quabbin Reservoir supplies water for Boston and dozens of eastern cities and towns. Hadley, Chicopee and Wilbraham are the only Western Massachusetts towns supplied by the Quabbin.