News - Charles River Watershed Association

Charles River Watershed Association Announces its "Campaign for the Charles"



Madison Wolters
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Communications Manager

CRWA Announces $10M “Campaign for the Charles”

1 Sculler CROP_LHWESTON, MA [October 2, 2019]– Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) announced today the creation of the Campaign for the Charles River, an endowment fund to secure long-term support for its work protecting and restoring the Charles River and its watershed.  During the initial, quiet phase of the endowment campaign, CRWA raised over $5 million in gifts and pledges, and an additional $1.2 million in bequests, bringing the total commitment of $6.3 million. This financial support includes leadership gifts from Bob and Lee Sproull, Linda and Andy McLane, and the Eaglemere Foundation.

“The cleanup of the Charles River is one of the great environmental success stories of the country, if not the world,” said Linda McLane, President of the CRWA Board of Directors. “CRWA has been an integral part of that cleanup since its founding in 1965. I am proud to support the work of this amazing organization.”

“I first started rowing on the Charles as an undergrad in the 1960s,” said Bob Sproull, founding Chair of the Campaign for the Charles River. “Back then I was struck by how beautiful it was, though it wasn’t very clean. Later on in the 1990s I joined the CRWA Board, and learned how challenging it can be to raise money for science. I was eager to co-found and lead the Campaign in order to ensure CRWA has the resources it needs to protect the Charles for decades to come.”

“CRWA is a lean, experienced organization using science, engineering, and innovation to overcome watershed challenges,” said Dan Sarles, Executive Director of Eaglemere Foundation. “Because its record of success makes CRWA an influential leader for river conservation organizations, both locally and nationally, every dollar donated to CRWA does good far beyond the Charles.” 

The Campaign consists of three parts: the Action Fund, Project Fund, and the Endowment Fund. The Action Fund and Project Fund support CRWA’s innovative science-based projects, while the Endowment safeguards a strong future for CRWA by providing unrestricted funds each year.

The Campaign has enabled CRWA to successfully advocate for a better I-90 Allston Interchange Improvement Project design, monitor the river for cyanobacteria, 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, and more. It has empowered CRWA with three strengths—stability, boldness, and nimbleness—to ensure the Charles thrives for years to come.


Charles River Watershed Association uses science, advocacy, urban design and education to promote resilient communities and a healthy river ecosystem. CRWA was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles River. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts that have dramatically improved the health of the Charles.

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