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River Current

Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at 



Work at Charles River Watershed Association this summer


Looking for a summer job? CRWA seeks an energetic outdoors enthusiast to serve as the part-time, seasonal volunteer coordinator for CRWA's invasive plant removal program, Canoeing for Clean Water. The volunteer coordinator will lead teams of volunteers as they pull invasive water chestnut plants from the Charles River. Apply today!

Congratulations, Sarah Slaughter

Sarah Slaughter, a member of CRWA's Board of Directors since 2011 and founder of the Built Environment Coalition, was recently elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering for her work developing technology to enhance the resiliency and sustainability of critical infrastructure systems. Congratulations, Sarah! Read more

Remembering friends of the Charles River

Last month, longtime CRWA friend and supporter Peggy Clowes passed away at the age of 102. A lifelong advocate for access to education, social justice, women's rights and the environment, she will be missed. View her obituary

We are also remembering Ansel Chaplin who passed away on January 27. A staunch advocate of conservation and the environment and a friend to the Charles River, he represented CRWA and the Charles River in court several times during the 1990's. View his obituary


State orders full environmental review for Sawins Pond


Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton recently ruled that the remediation proposed for Sawins Pond in Watertown, a site that is contaminated with PCBs, metals and petroleum, requires full environmental impact review. The owner wants to dredge 8,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the pond and dispose of them on the adjacent Williams Pond parcel, capping the contamination with a parking lot. Agreeing with CRWA, the EEA Secretary in a strongly worded certificate found that the project violates anti-segmentation provisions of the MA Environmental Policy Act because the owner failed to provide information on how the two parcels would be redeveloped. He also found that the analysis of project alternatives submitted was inadequate. Read the Secretary’s certificate with CRWA’s attached comments.  

Clean Water Act lawsuit argued in federal court 


Federal District Court Judge Richard Stearns heard argument on February 3rd in Conservation Law Foundation and CRWA’s suit against U.S. EPA challenging the agency’s failure to require improved stormwater management by owners of industrial, commercial, institutional and high density residential properties with large impervious surfaces in the Charles River Watershed. 

Although EPA (and MassDEP) acknowledge that these currently unregulated land uses contribute bacteria, other pathogens, and almost 50% of the phosphorus load discharged to the river through stormwater runoff—a major impediment to restoring the health of the Charles—EPA maintained that it has no obligation to reduce this water pollution. Excessive phosphorus loading also contributes to the increasing toxic cyanobacteria outbreaks in the Lower Basin, which threaten public health and the environment. The Court took EPA’s motion to dismiss the suit under advisement. Our thanks to CLF’s Chris Kilian, who persuasively argued that EPA failed to perform its nondiscretionary duty in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Charles River legislators support drought bill 


Thank you to all of the Massachusetts legislators who co-sponsored an act relative to drought management including Charles River legislators Dykema, Gentile, Ryan, Connolly, Brownsberger, Timilty and DiDomenico, Provost and Ross. This bill, introduced by Representative Dykema and Senator Eldridge, would improve the state’s drought management response and give the secretary of energy and environmental affairs the authority to require water conservation uniformly in drought regions. Most of the state is still experiencing moderate or severe drought.


Volunteer at the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup!

Cleanup volunteers

Registration is now open for the popular Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. Join over 3,000 volunteers on Saturday, April 29th to pick up trash at sites along the Charles River while enjoying a spring morning. Spots fill up quickly, so sign up now to reserve yours! CRWA's 18th Charles River Cleanup is a perfect opportunity to celebrate Earth Month and give back to your community. Sign up individually or organize a team to volunteer at one of 100 sites throughout the region. 

CRWA's Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup
Saturday, April 29, 2017
9:00am -12:00pm



Massachusetts has the opportunity to become a leader in clean energy. A bill proposed in the state legislature targets  a 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2050. MassLive reported this week that a new study show's that New England’s need for natural gas is declining and the proposed Access Northeast pipeline is not needed. A Baker administration plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions might possibly increase carbon emissions slightly in neighboring states in the short term, but will ultimately strengthen the market for clean renewable energy as reported by the Boston Globe.


Thank you to CRWA's 2016 Leadership Society Donors



Imagining Franklin Park
Thursday, February 16, 2017
More info

CRWA's 51st Annual Meeting
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
More info

2017 Muddy River Symposium
Thursday, April 13, 2017
More info

Run of the Charles
Sunday, April 30, 2017
More info

View additional events


"Saving the Charles River since 1965"

Our 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


We depend on you to help us continue our important programs and to continue the work we began a half-century ago. Please consider a gift today.