Real Goats Will Aid in Marsh Cleanup Project

The goats are here to help Revere.

Don Ciaramella, superintendent of the Revere Water and Sewer Department, launched the city’s Goats-To-Go project here Tuesday morning, releasing 50 goats for a weed and brush removal project on the half-square mile of marshlands along North Shore Road at the end of Bay Road and Loring Road. The marshlands are situated on the northbound side of Route 1A.

A goat ignores the construction work off in the distance and is more curious about the camera.
Goatherder Jamie Gennest shows his goats the lay of the land.

“We are using the goats to remove evasive species, plant species, phragmites, and poison ivy, and Japanese knotweed,” explained Ciaramella, whose idea it was for the Goats-To-Go project in Revere.

Ciaramella said the goats looked to be off to an effective start at their collaborative efforts.

“It’s going well but there is some water in this area and sometimes goats don’t like the water,” said Ciaramella. “This is a trial offered by Goats-To-Go at no charge to see how they do and whether it’s something we want to enter.”

Ciaramella said usually the City of Revere pays the state to cut all the phragmites at a cost of approximately $23,000 per year.

“This is also a fire prevention effort because when the phragmites grow, they grow to 12-14 feet and dry out and it becomes a fire hazard – so what we’re trying to do is rid the area of the phragmites, the Japanese knotweed, and poison ivy before it starts to grow.”

A low-voltage, electric fence has been installed to contain the goats to the job at hand from the land boundaries to the ditch. Goats-To-Go provides the fencing and an overnight shelter for the goats.

The project is expected to continue through the weekend.

Ciaramella said that Revere Police will be on patrol to discourage people from observing the goats in action.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” said Ciaramella about the free trial. “I don’t want to spray a herbicide there because it’s something you can’t take back. This is an alternative to a herbicide. I don’t want to be spraying chemicals.”

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