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CRWA Unveils New Watershed Modeling Tool
On June 23 we officially unveiled the Charles River Flood Model (CRFM), a computer model that maps where and when flooding (riverine and stormwater) is likely to occur under future climate conditions. We know that more intense rainfall is in our future, and unless we plan for it, that will mean dangerous, even life-threatening flooding. The model also allows us to see the impacts of various actions we can take to mitigate or prevent it, such as conserving land, restoring wetlands, reducing paved surfaces and more. It’s like a “Choose Your Adventure” story, but with real life consequences!

We are excited about helping local leaders make better decisions to protect people and property as we face a changing climate. We are grateful to the Baker Administration MVP program for funding, as well as our project partners  Weston & Sampson, CREW, and the fifteen watershed communities that have contributed time, funding and data to make this project possible. 

For more details watch the June 23 webinar and/or contact CRWA Deputy Director Julie Wood (jwood@crwa.org).
News at a Glance
  • The Town of Wrentham, consultant ESS and CRWA have released the results of the Eagle Dam Removal Feasibility Study, which found that dam removal is feasible and would likely cost less than repairing it. CRWA is hopeful about future opportunities to restore Eagle Brook for native fish species and reduce flooding hazards to downstream communities in the face of climate change.


  • This week, CRWA weighed in on MassDEP’s 2018/2020 Integrated List of Waters, a bi-annual report mandated under the Clean Water Act that provides a critical assessment of the overall health of the Charles River watershed and forms the basis for future pollution reduction efforts. Review our comments here.

  • The Mass. The Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) organized a series of focus group sessions to help shape an Environmental Justice (EJ) strategy that will apply to all EEA agencies and offices. We participated in several Zoom meetings and submitted these followup comments.

  • Mass DCR is leading a master planning process for Herter Park in Allston. CRWA provided initial feedback on the plan, highlighting opportunities to improve stormwater management, remove invasive species while preserving mature trees and native vegetation, and improve visitor experience through educational signage. 

  • Update on the DCR Special Commission: CRWA, along with a large coalition of allies led by our partners at Charles River Conservancy, shared recommendations with the Commission aimed at more equitable, effective, and efficient management of the state’s natural resources. You can review the letter here.

  • Good news from the State House: the Public Lands Preservation Act (S.524/H.851) has been reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA) and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, an encouraging sign at this early stage of the legislative session. CRWA had testified before ENRA in support of the Act, highlighting the importance of public lands and open space to public health, recreation, air and water quality, protection of ecosystems and watersheds, and our ability to adapt to climate change. 

  • Earlier this month, local freelance director and all around adventure-seeker Cam Salvatore took over our Virtual Events Series to share the story of his 80 mile journey along the entire length of the Charles River in the summer of 2020. If you were unable to join us in real-time or if you had to leave early, you can now access the full recording on YouTube. Keep an eye on future River Currents for more events with Cam. (Will others try to replicate his navigation project in the spring of 2022? We hope so!)
Gratitude
  • With nearly 70 hours of paddling, walking, jogging, and biking along the Charles, Ipswich, and Mystic Rivers, Matthew Santoso won the first-ever 3 Rivers Challenge. Charles River Watershed Association, Mystic River Watershed Association, and the Ipswich River Watershed Association are grateful to all that participated and hope you enjoyed getting outside and taking advantage of our three beloved rivers. We hope you will encourage friends and family to join you next year!

  • We'd like to extend our thanks to the Bilezikian Family Foundation, which has generously gifted $24,000 in support of CRWA's Volunteer Monthly Monitoring Program. Thanks to gift, our team of volunteers will continue to take the water quality samples along the Charles River that inform so much of the work we do to preserve and protect the river.

  • We’d like to thank Rev. Betsy Sowers, Holly White and fellow congregants of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church for allowing us to join them in a guided walk along the Charles River as part of their theme series, “More Than Human,” which encourages people to notice the more-than-human in daily life like trees, waterways, wildlife and more as inspiration to grieve for the environmental devastation that’s already occurred and spur motivation for collective stewardship.
More Than Human walk along the Charles
Volunteer Opportunities
The 2021 Invasive Plant Removal season has launched and registrations are coming in quickly! Our Invasive Plant Removal volunteer activities are a great opportunity to build team camaraderie with your office or social club, as well as a great family outing. Volunteer opportunities will be available for group registration every Friday 9 am - 12 pm until Friday, October 15. Make sure to get your name in fast because registration is first come first serve. We will also be hosting two community pulls! You can visit our website for our calendar of events and email Amy Walker, Terracorps Member and our invasive removal volunteer coordinator at awalker@crwa.org to register your group.
Charles River Watershed Association | www.crwa.org
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