Julie Dyer Wood - Charles River Watershed Association

Today, the Charles is once again a living river—and a living river in the heart of a city is a glorious thing, tying humans to nature and threading delight through the fabric of every day. 


54 Aerial shot CROPIn September 2019 CRWA went public with the Campaign for the Charles River. This $10 million campaign will provide CRWA with the financial resources we need in order to: 

  • Restore a clean swimmable river for people and wildlife;
  • Restore natural river flow for ecological, recreational and human uses;
  • Protect human and ecological system from climate change impacts by replicating nature;
  • Protect public trust parklands, watershed lands and access to the river;
  • Shape the successful transformation of the Charles into a practical model for communities worldwide. 

During the initial quiet phase of the campaign CRWA raised $6.3 million. The private part of the Campaign is over and now we are telling the world about this opportunity and our need for you to invest in CRWA, invest in our science, invest in our advocacy, and invest in the future of the Charles River! Share our vision for a fully restored, fully protected, healthy, resilient Charles River Watershed. 

We look both to our longtime partners who have supported more than 50 years of inspiring progress and to new allies eager to see the Charles flourish.

Campaign for the Charles River


The Campaign consists of three parts:

    • The Action Fund
    • Project Fund
    • Endowment Fund

The Action Fund has enabled CRWA to:

    • Leverage a $50,000 match from the Rosin Fund of The Scherman Foundation to develop the concept of Community Water and Energy Resource Centers (CWERCs) for managing
      water holistically and treating wastewater in urban areas.
    • Participate in climate adaptation planning initiatives in Milford, Millis, Dedham, Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to ensure green infrastructure and nature-based solutions are employed as adaptation tools to address stormwater flooding and sea-level rise.
    • Successfully advocate for a better I-90 Allston Interchange Improvement Project design that will put I-90 at grade, create new parkland and river access, improve the river’s water quality, and restore riverbank for fish and wildlife habitat.

The Project Fund has allowed CRWA to:

    • Partner with The Nature Conservancy to develop an online mapping tool for urban watershed characteristics. This tool enables communities to identify priority conservation and restoration sites for climate adaptation, water resource and habitat protection, and environmental restoration.
    • Monitor the river regularly throughout the summer
      for blooms of cyanobacteria and then alert the state, surrounding communities, and stakeholders of blooms and precautionary measures.
    • Work with communities, businesses, and volunteers to fight invasive plant infestations in the Charles and along its banks. This included removing phragmites, water chestnut, and swallow-wort with a focus on replanting natives and restoring healthy habitats.

The Endowment has empowered CRWA to:

    • The Endowment will give CRWA three vital strengths—stability, boldness, and nimbleness—to ensure the Charles thrives for years to come.



Learn more about CRWA

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