Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at .  
Around the Watershed
When Climate Change Comes Home
Check out this 3-minute video by our friend Fred Hewett! It beautifully captures what is at stake in our fight against climate change: our beloved Charles River, and so much more. As Fred eloquently states, “What we have is precious, and it’s also vulnerable.”
Improving Drought Management
The severe drought in summer 2016 demonstrated the inadequacy of the state’s Drought Management Plan (DMP) in identifying drought early and instituting timely and effective responses. We convinced the state to revise the DMP. The result: a far better plan with improved metrics for identifying drought severity, renaming of drought levels to increase public awareness, improved state agency response coordination, and recommendations for curtailing nonessential water use, primarily for lawns, during drought. Click here to read CRWA’s comments on the new DMP.

Because there are critical gaps in state law for dealing with drought, An act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management was filed in this legislative session by Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Carolyn Dykema and co-sponsored by over 70 legislators. View the bill .
Why is Julie out Looking at CSOs?
It’s not a fun job, but someone has to do it. CRWA’s Director of Projects, Julie Wood, was out checking on Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) with WBUR reporters this month. Combined sewer systems carry sanitary wastewater (i.e. what you flush) and stormwater runoff in the same pipe to a wastewater treatment plant. The issue with these old style systems occurs in heavy rains as they become overloaded, because in order to prevent sewer backups into homes or roads, the systems have built-in overflows that release untreated sewage into nearby waterways--such as the Charles River.

Yes, this still happens! In 2017, more than 28 million gallons of untreated or partially treated combined sewage overflowed into the Charles. Overflows degrade water quality and threaten river users. Overflows will be more frequent as climate change brings increases in total precipitation and extreme precipitation events. In fact, locally, since 1958, the amount of precipitation that falls during heavy storms (the largest 1% of storms) has increased by over 70%; this increase is almost double the increases observed elsewhere in the United States . CRWA is working hard to avoid these kinds of overflows. WBUR recently highlighted the effects of CSOs on the Charles and Mystic Rivers and the need for a public notification bill. You can view the piece here .
Lobby for Rivers Day 2019!
Join CRWA’s team for Mass Rivers Alliance’s Lobby for the Rivers Day on March 28! This is an annual advocacy event that takes place at the start of every legislative session and provides an opportunity for you to meet with your local elected officials and urge them to support legislation to protect the Charles River. This is the year to make your voice heard: register now and name us as your affiliated organization!
Join the Fight: Local Environmental Action
For the past 32 years, Toxics Action Center has brought together hundreds of community leaders and activists for a day to learn, share skills, and build our movement. This is the biggest gathering of environmental and public health activists in our region. Register here to participate in Local Environmental Action on Saturday, April 27, where you’ll receive training and become ready to resist against environmental threats and fight for the future you want to see. Note this is the same day as our 20th Annual Charles River Cleanup, so you have a couple great options for Earth Day action!
Supporting the Green Budget Launch
CRWA was excited to participate in the FY20 “Green Budget” Launch, sponsored by Environmental Committee Chairs Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Senator Anne Gobi, in partnership with Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the Nature Conservancy and the Green Budget Coalition. The purpose of the event was to call for more funding for environmental agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Department of Environmental Protection, which have seen significant cuts to their staff and programs, resulting in fewer enforcement actions. In the early 2000s, 1% of the state budget supported our environmental agencies, now it’s about 0.57%.
A Green New Deal
Last month, executive director Emily Norton stood with U.S. Senator Ed Markey at Greentown Labs in Somerville for his local announcement of the Green New Deal resolution , alongside numerous state legislators and environmental allies. The Green New Deal is a bold set of principles that focuses on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while ensuring that the benefits of a new clean energy economy are distributed equitably.
GreenWorks: Coming to a Town Near You
Last week, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced his GreenWorks initiative to spend $1 billion over the next 10 years to help cities and towns with funding for climate resiliency projects like increasing renewable energy, reducing greenhouse emissions, and strengthening infrastructure. He hopes that Legislature will take up the measure this year; the grants would be administered by the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Vote for Us!
The Boston Globe’s Globe Readers And Non-profits Together (GRANT) program allows its subscribers to support New England’s nonprofit organizations by choosing which ones receive free advertising space in its newspaper. The organization with the most votes wins a free ad; the rest will be given vouchers for varying amounts of GRANT dollars. Log on and vote for your favorite nonprofit: CRWA !
Congrats, Lisa!
CRWA is proud to announce its next aquatic scientist: Lisa Kumpf ! She served as the Rita Barron Fellow from June 2018 to February 2019. During her fellowship, she coordinated CRWA's Volunteer Monthly Monitoring Program and provided support to the River Science programs. As the Aquatic Scientist, Lisa will work as project coordinator for CRWA's River Science programs such as Volunteer Monthly Monitoring, Flagging, and Canoeing for Clean Water. We are very excited to welcome her as a permanent member of our team!
We're Hiring!
Rita Barron Fellowship
The Rita Barron Fellowship is named in honor of Rita Barron, CRWA’s  first Executive Director, who worked for fifteen years as a pioneering leader in river and watershed protection. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for a qualified candidate to work in an exciting and dynamic organization under the direction of some of the country’s leading water resources scientists. The Fellow will work closely with the science and advocacy staff of CRWA on a variety of ongoing projects and programs. Apply by March 10. Learn More .
Development Manager
CRWA has an opening for an experienced Development Manager who can build an annual cycle of communications, fundraising, and community outreach to support the work of this nationally influential environmental organization. Apply by March 19. Learn more .
We also accept internship applications on a rolling basis. Want to be a CRWA Intern or know an exceptional candidate? Learn more.
Upcoming Events
53 rd Annual Meeting , THURSDAY, MARCH 28
Annual Meeting: This year’s Annual Meeting will honor Stephanie Pollack, Secretary and CEO of MassDot, with its Anne M. Blackburn Award. Other honorees include: Frances Gershwin, Matt Shuman, Diane Hall, Robert Sproull, and Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation’s Green Team. Registration is open now, please buy your tickets by March 19 .

20 th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup , SATURDAY, APRIL 27
50 tons of litter were collected and disposed of in 2018, thanks to over 3,000 volunteers who spent a combined 12,800 hours at last year’s cleanup! CRWA knows it’s watershed can do even better than that this year--help us make the 20th Annual Cleanup one for the record books! Register here .

37 th Annual Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race , SUNDAY, APRIL 28
Kick off the paddling season on April 28, 2019 with the 37th Run of the Charles: Boston's Premier Paddling Race. As CRWA's signature event, the Run of the Charles is the largest flat-bottomed boat race in New England and a major event in Greater Boston, where it draws 1,500 racers and spectators each year! Sign up here .

2 nd Annual Charles River Party (On the Docks) , THURSDAY, JULY 25
Celebrate the cleanup of our city's Dirty Water under a brilliant sunset with Charles River Watershed Association's Friends of the Charles River! Join us on Thursday, July 25 at 7 pm on the docks of Community Boating along the Esplanade to enjoy a beautiful mid-summer night. Learn more about the event and how you can get involved .
Charles River Watershed Association |