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On the River Today
Mini Current: On the River Now

Massachusetts needs 1% for the environment


Currently only 0.5% of the state operating budget supports environmental agencies, agencies that are asked to do more with less—including responding to the drought, reducing emissions, ensuring clean water and preparing for the impacts of climate change. CRWA, as a member of the Green Budget Coalition, advocates for allocating 1% of the state budget for the environment. Last week, the Green Budget Coalition released its budget recommendations for FY 2018 including increased spending for climate change adaptation, improving water quality, protecting wetlands, restoring habitat and maintaining parks. Stay tuned for upcoming action alerts on the green budget.

Read the Green Budget FY18

Scott Pruitt confirmed as EPA administrator


Last week, the Senate voted to confirm Scott Pruitt, a longtime critic of the Environmental Protection Agency, to head the agency. CRWA's Executive Director, Bob Zimmerman considers what this means for the Charles River and Massachusetts:

The appointment of Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, together with the anti-regulatory stance of the Trump Administration causes us real concern. When asked, most all of us in Massachusetts tout our “green” credentials. In the end, however, in my 27 years at CRWA, it is environmental regulation that actually causes the kind of investment necessary to improve the Charles and our environment. Regionally, EPA recently finalized stormwater regulation to help address polluted stormwater runoff, and provide significant ancillary benefits like increasing flood storage and building resilience to drought. Our concern is that regulation may be pulled back.

Stormwater regulation is part of CRWA’s overall approach to dealing with the vagaries of climate change. The new Administration evidently does not “believe” in human-caused climate change. If true, our efforts to use regulation and engineering design to prepare the Charles and the region for climate change while mitigating the severity of its impacts by reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions will become far more difficult. It is our intent to persevere nevertheless.

Read additional reactions to the appointment in the MetroWest Daily News. 

Paths forward for environmental advocacy

bird.jpgWondering how to advance environment and clean energy policies during the new administration? Attend our Annual Meeting on March 22nd to hear from Bob Perciasepe on possible paths forward. Perciasepe’s experiences as an environmental policy leader, including as former U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator, state agency head, and city planner, inform his approach to advancing smart energy and environmental policies. Learn more and RSVP.

Charles River Watershed Association's mission is to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. For more information about CRWA and our current programs, please visit