Boston Globe: Pity the Mystic. The gritty 7-mile river that flows from Medford and Arlington to Boston Harbor rarely earns better than a “D” on the federal government’s annual water quality report card.

Raw sewage still spews into the river during severe storms—including almost 4 million gallons in December. Vast mats of invasive water chestnut clog the surface in places.

Almost 30 years after Boston’s sewage-laden shores began their transformation into sparkling, swimmable beaches, the Mystic—one of the 3 main rivers that flow into the harbor—lags far behind the beloved Charles or scenic Neponset in water quality and public access. Hidden in spots and surrounded by asphalt, it serves as a stark symbol of the cleanup challenges remaining for waterways in cities nationwide.

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