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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 



Stay safe this summer with current water quality information

Water quality sampling

As summer heats up, CRWA kicks off our Annual Water Quality Notification Program. Starting this week and continuing throughout the summer, you can view current water quality forecasts on our website. The website uses data from CRWA's weather station and other sources to generate water quality forecasts throughout the day and to indicate whether the Charles River is safe for boating at each of ten boat houses on the Charles River between Watertown Square and Boston Harbor. A special thanks to Benjamen Wetherill of ACASAK Technologies for helping develop and maintain this sophisticated system. 

Blue, yellow and red flags inform the public of current water quality conditions via our website, email list, and flags flown by partnering boat houses. Each week, CRWA staff and interns collect river samples that are tested for bacteria to verify the forecast. 

View Daily Flag Colors


Give to CRWA today and your donation will go twice as far 

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At the Jack Johnson 2017 Summer Tour concert held on June 9, 2017 in Mansfield, MA, CRWA joined a community of other local non-profits on the Village Green of the concert grounds.  As part of the All At Once campaign to engage others in environmental projects, CRWA was given the opportunity to meet with fans and talk about how individuals can make a change through environmental action. Suzanne Carleo of CRWA met with Jack Johnson and concertgoers and spoke about how an urban river, such as the Charles River in Boston, is impacted by our choices. 

Jack Johnson’s charity is matching donations contributed to us through September 1st, up to a total of $2,500. Make a contribution today and your money will be doubled by the Johnson Ohana Foundation! 

Double Your Gift

Add some adventure to your commute while you support CRWA with Paddle To Work Day!


Bring a little bit of adventure to your daily commute! Please join Charles River Canoe and Kayak on Friday, July 28 from 9am-12pm for Paddle to Work Day to celebrate and support a healthy Charles River Watershed. Paddle to Work Day is a 4.5 mile paddle down the Charles River beginning at Paddle Boston’s Allston/Brighton location and ending at their Cambridge location just past the Longfellow Bridge. Paddle to work day is a great opportunity to celebrate and support a healthy Charles River Watershed as all proceeds will benefit Charles River Watershed Association. Generously sponsored by Charles River Canoe and Kayak. We look forward to seeing you on the River. Sign up today!



This summer volunteers are hard at work protecting the Charles River


Last Saturday, 12 citizen scientist volunteers gathered at CRWA's office to learn how to collect benthic macroinvertebrates, the insects, mollusks, and other small organisms that live on the bottom of streams and rivers. After lunch, volunteers headed to Cheesecake Brook to get wet and practice their new skills. During the summer, each volunteer will collect macroinvertebrates at two assigned streams. It's fun to catch critters, but this work actually serves an important scientific purpose. The types of organisms found will help CRWA determine how clean the rivers and streams are. In September, volunteers will identify the organisms they found to determine the water quality of each site. Find more information about the program or check out these cool photos of macroinvertebrates.  

Restoring Wetlands at Magazine Beach 


Last week, volunteers removed invasive Phragmites plants at Magazine Beach in Cambridge in an effort to restore stormwater treatment wetlands in the park. This volunteer work day was part of the Magazine Beach Restoration ProjectA big thank you to participating students from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for all their hard work. We are now one step closer to restoring wetlands in the parks. 


EPA proposes rule to rescind Clean Water Rule 


Yesterday, the EPA proposed to repeal the 2015 “waters of the United States" regulation, also known as the Clean Water Rule. The Clean Water Rule clarified protections for headwaters, seasonal streams and wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act. The rule protects the streams that feed drinking water supplies for more than 117 million Americans and the wetlands that provide flood storage and wildlife habitat. If the rule is repealed, federal protections for these water bodies will be weakened and communities and aquatic habitats will be at risk. EPA's repeal proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register shortly and the public will have 30 days to submit comments. This is a first step in the Administration’s efforts to rollback Clean Water Act protections.  Read more about ths in an article in The HillCRWA will keep you posted and let you know what you can do to help defeat this very misguided rollback.


Canoeing for Clean Water Volunteer Event
Saturday, June 28, 2017
More info

City Splash 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
More info

Canoeing for Clean Water Volunteer Event
Saturday, July 8, 2017
More info

Champions of the Charles
Thursday, November 2, 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.