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Off and Running for the Run of the Charles
We’re in the thick of the first week of the Run of the Charles Paddle Race and so far it’s smooth sailing/rowing/paddling! As temperatures warm up, vaccinations surge, and daily life begins to return to something resembling normal, we’re thrilled to see so many folks enjoying all the sights and sounds of the Charles.

As you may know, this year's paddle race grants individual paddlers and teams the option of four different routes, some taking you to areas of the Charles where you may have never paddled before! During the registration process, you and/or your team have the option to register for one, two, three, or four races - or a team relay! 

Registration is open all month! We want to see as many of you on and around the river as possible. Sign up today and start the beginning of the end of COVID-19 off right.
For more information, contact Meg Rivett, Race Coordinator at or (508) 498-8020.
News at a Glance
  • Ever wish you could double your money? Well for the next week you can double your donation as part of CRWA’s Matching Gift Initiative! Between today and May 4, our Board of Directors will be matching EVERY GIFT in support of our work, dollar for dollar! Make your gift today and double your impact on the Charles River watershed that we all know and love. Note: This doubling applies to electronic donations as well as those made via check and donor advised fund.

  • During what’s normally the wettest time of year, Massachusetts officials declared that much of the commonwealth is in the midst of a drought that could spell even drier conditions later this summer. While we await additional information from next week’s meeting of the Drought Task Force, now is a great time to contact your state Senator or Representative and ask them to co-sponsor “An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management” (S.530, sponsored by Jamie Eldridge and H.898, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Dykema)—or thank them if they already have!

  • CRWA joined with 35 other organizations in asking the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental affairs to commit to a robust and transparent stakeholder process for evaluating the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s functions and opportunities for improvement. CRWA works with DCR on a wide range of issues, from invasive species management to dam removal to public access to the river. You can read the full letter here.

  • Congress has reinstated the practice of legislative earmarks, which allows members of Congress to direct funds to projects in their districts. We have submitted project ideas from our watershed communities (along with requests for funding for CRWA) to Rep. Jake Auchincloss and Rep. Katherine Clark. We also learned that Norfolk County was allocated $100 million to distribute, and have partnered with Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA) to suggest project ideas to a Norfolk County Commissioner. Overall we requested several million dollars and while we know we likely won't get all of that, even a fraction would be welcome.

  • Our team has been hard at work revamping the Climate Resilience Toolkit that provides local elected officials with a hub of sample policies, bylaws, and procedures for building climate resilience at the municipal level. We encourage you to share the page with your local officials.

  • The Town of Natick is considering options for the aging Charles River Dam located South Natick. Potential paths forward include repairing the dam, or breaching it and returning the river to its natural state. Natick is gathering input from the local community and will be hosting 3 informational sessions starting on May 17. Visit this page to learn more about the project and register for the meetings.

  • Late last month, CRWA submitted comments on potential Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) regulatory updates as well as the MEPA Interim Protocols on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency and Environmental Justice Outreach. You can read both letters on the Recent Comment Letters section of our website’s Advocacy page.

  • Work is currently underway to roll out the recently-enacted sewage notification law! This law, which CRWA & our partners worked hard to help pass, will ensure the public knows when sewage spills into our rivers so Bay Staters know when it's unsafe to be in and on the water. 

  • Last week, MassDEP announced that CRWA and a team of water monitoring partners would receive a grant of $54,526 for monitoring equipment, allowing us to monitor more water bodies and parameters, including more effectively detecting toxic cyanobacteria blooms in our waterways. We, along with our partners (detailed in this press release) are incredibly grateful for this generous contribution to our shared work.

  • Last Saturday, CRWA wrapped up a week of community beautification with the end of the 2021 Earth Day Charles River Cleanup! With the generous support of corporate sponsors and the old fashioned elbow grease of a small army of volunteers, we turned our COVID-hampered circumstances into a rousing success for Mother Nature. A few highlights include …

Over 680 volunteers
More than 100 miles of cleanup coverage
Over 1000 bags of trash collected

Help us extend a great big Earth-sized thank you to our dedicated sponsors!

Eversource: Cleanup Champion
Beam Therapeutics: Cleanup Supporter
Ameresco: Cleanup Friend
CTA Construction Managers: Cleanup Friend
Spero Therapeutics: Cleanup Friend
American Society of Civil Engineers - Younger Member Group: Cleanup Friend
Spotlights and Shoutouts
  • The Boston Planning and Development Agency is proposing to increase groundwater protections in the city by expanding the city’s groundwater conservation overlay district. Additional changes would require increased precipitation infiltration and demonstration that projects will not have negative impacts on groundwater levels, and broaden the application of the overlay district’s requirements.

  • Shout out to our friends Alex Papali of the Center for Economic Democracy and Rebecca Herst of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston for their recent op-ed in the Boston Globe on the importance of centering environmental equity in community-based climate resilience. 

  • This month, CRWA said goodbye to three of our awesome student interns. Their work was a tremendous asset to the organization and we’re sad to see them go, but we wish them all the best in their assuredly bright futures. Join us in bidding farewell to Racheal Rodman, Jackson Eckenrode, and Nik Johnson.
Racheal Rodman (Data Communications Intern)
“I enjoyed learning about water quality monitoring and the threats posed to the Charles River by climate change. It was so informative and important to learn about these issues that are affecting my local community. I especially appreciated learning about Cyanobacteria in the Charles River and in New England watersheds more generally. I feel like this is an important issue in the realm of water quality science that I’m definitely interested in doing more research on or working on more in the future. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to create educational materials about the Charles River that many people can access and utilize. The idea that I helped to create something that will inspire more people in the general public to care about the Charles and about climate change, pollution, or other water quality issues is really amazing.”
Jackson Eckenrode (Development and Communications Intern)
“My favorite part of this internship were the multimedia aspects that I created/ worked on.Not only did I get to hone the skills that I had, but researching the best trails around Boston was really fun for me because it gave me ideas and places that I can visit over the summer. I also loved working with Audrey, she was a great mentor and I learned a lot about communications from her.”
Nik Johnson (Watershed Science Intern)
“I enjoyed exploring the CRW landscape with satellite and drone imagery and working with CRWA staff to practically apply my academic knowledge to real world situations. Working with a non-profit organization to help remediate ecosystems and ultimately prevent flood damage to surrounding communities provided meaning and purpose to my stay at CRWA.”
Get Involved
  • The 2021 Invasive Cleanup season will kick off Friday, May 14, and will be available for group registration every Friday 9 am - 12 pm until Friday, October 15. We will also be hosting two community pulls! Our Invasive Removal volunteer activities are a great opportunity to build team camaraderie with your office or social club, as well as a great family outing. You can visit our website for our calendar of events and email Amy Walker, Terracorps Member and our invasive removal volunteer coordinator at to register your group.

  • Stock up on bandanas, t-shirts, tank tops and other warm weather CRWA Apparel and head into the spring and summer in style!
Upcoming Events
  • In August of 2020, while the whole world was closed, local freelance director Cameron Salvatore had an idea to traverse the entire Charles River by kayak as fast as he possibly could. And that's exactly what he did. Join us on June 3 as Cam shares his journey of human endurance, of creeping urbanization, of environmental threats and drought, and of parts of our beloved Charles that few have ever seen. RSVP today!
Charles River Watershed Association |
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