Mission and Goals - Charles River Watershed Association
Protecting, preserving and enhancing the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy and the law.
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One of the country's oldest watershed organizations, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last five decades have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management.

CRWA’s river restoration creates meaningful change. Our strong science and engineering research and advocacy promotes smart environmental policies while informing CRWA’s green infrastructure and urban design projects. Combined, CRWA’s work promotes resilient communities and a healthy river ecosystem.  

At Charles River Watershed Association, we strive to:

  • Develop a sound, science-based understanding of interactions in the watershed.
  • Define long-term, cutting-edge solutions to watershed problems.
  • Promote sustainable watershed management practices with government agencies and private entities.
  • Advocate for the protection, revitalization, and expansion of public parklands along the Charles.

We are Guided by 5 Key Principles of River Restoration

  1. Restore Nature

    Nature is far more efficient than we are at creating storage and conveyance for flood-water, and storage and long-term resilience to drought. By replicating nature's design, we enlist her aid in confronting and adapting to flood, drought, and climate change. Our Blue Cities Initiative embodies this principle.
  2. Resource to Waste to Resource

    Current wastewater systems throw away a tremendous amount of value.  in fresh water, thermal energy, and . The organics in wastewater can be gathered and used to generate electricity. Wastewater is warm; it takes about 2,250 kilowatts of energy to treat one million gallons of wastewater. That same million gallons contains about 36,500 kilowatts of thermal energy we could and should be using to heat and cool our homes and businesses.

  3. Keep Water Local

  4. Flexibility, Adaptability, Interconnectedness

  5. Promote and Support Rich Diversity

Learn more about CRWA

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