Accomplishments - Charles River Watershed Association
Now in our 50th year of advocacy, Charles River Watershed Association continues to mark improvements in the health of the Charles River, provides national leadership in watershed management and is recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and River Network. 

Because a healthy urban river requires infrastructure and development that restores or mimics natural processes, CRWA’s work has evolved toward urban design, sustainable infrastructure and eliminating barriers between water supply, wastewater and stormwater management. 
LEARN MORE: Protecting the Charles River

Our Key Achievements Include:

  • Winner of the 2011 Thiess International Riverprize for visionary and sustainable excellence in river management.

  • Creation of the Natural Valley Storage Area in 1974; 8,000 acres of protected wetlands prevent downstream flooding, provide extensive natural habitat, replenish water supplies, and filter out many pollutants from entering the Charles.

  • Implementation of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority Long-Term Combined Sewer Overflow Control Plan, which minimizes sewage overflows into the river during storms.

  • Invention of Smart Storm®, a rainwater harvesting system, coupled with creating a stronger regulatory climate for rainwater recycling.

  • National recognition of the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup from American Rivers for the last 3 consecutive years. We have had the Most Pounds of Trash Collected and Most Volunteers Mobilized.
  • Fish ladder repair and replacement and Bleachery Dam Fish Passage Improvement Project in 2005.

  • Introduction of the American Shad Restoration Program and the return of the American shad to the Charles.

  • Development of Charles River Nutrient TMDL studies.

  • Creation of the Blue Cities Initiative for water-sensitive urban development demonstration projects.

  • Issuance of 13 Charles watershed conservation-oriented public water supply permits with mitigation offset feasibility requirements.

  • New draft municipal stormwater permits and EPA’s pilot exercise of Residual Designation Authority to control private property stormwater runoff in the towns of Milford, Bellingham, and Franklin, MA.

  • Boston’s Complete Streets Guidelines with goals for “greening” City streets and achieving stormwater targets.

Learn more about CRWA

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