Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at .  
Working Towards a Cleaner Charles
On Saturday, April 27, 2,500 volunteers participated in our 20th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. Volunteers braved the wind, cold and rain to pick up 45 tons of trash along the banks of the Charles! This year’s Cleanup received recognition from Governor Baker for its contribution to keeping the Charles River clean. Trash consisted of bottles, bags, tires, styrofoam, a shopping cart, and more. Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help remove litter and invasive species! 
Kicking off the Paddling Season
On Sunday, April 28, we hosted our 37th Annual Run of the Charles, Boston’s Premier Paddling Race, which finished with a lively Riverfest celebration at DCR’s Artesani/Herter Park and drew over 800 racers and spectators. Paddlers endured the high waters of the Charles to compete against local and international participants in newly designed courses, which include a 14-mile relay and 12-,6-, and 3-mile races. Many of our corporate participants used the event as a team building exercise please contact us if you are interested in having your workplace participate next year. The Riverfest celebration included food from Amigos Locos food trucks, a Sam Adams beer garden, yard games with New England Revolution, a hands-on science demonstration by CRWA, a raffle, and more.

If you are a new or former Run of the Charles participant, we’d love your feedback! Complete a survey here.
Collaborating with the Allston Community and City of Boston
CRWA was awarded a grant from the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund for its project proposing improvements to Herter Park. CRWA is partnering with the Friends of Herter Park and local schools in North Allston to conduct volunteer based restoration events and educational field trips. The grant will enable CRWA to engage local residents in restoring Herter Park as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation takes on a Master Planning effort for the Park.
Around the Watershed
Putting Ourselves at Risk: Recent U.N. Report
A forthcoming report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that one million species are at risk of extinction due to human activities. It is the first report of its kind to include indigenous and local knowledge as well as scientific studies. The major factors cited are deforestation, overfishing, bushmeat hunting and poaching, climate change, pollution, and invasive species. There are many terrifying implications about what this loss of biodiversity would mean for our planet and ecosystems, but the loss of one million species goes beyond that. It will force change upon our sources of food, water, and energy and put our health and economies at risk. CRWA’s work protecting and improving ecosystems in the Charles River Watershed will mitigate these increasing threats to our environment.
Testifying for the Public Lands Preservation Act
On April 23, CRWA Executive Director, Emily Norton, testified with Dot McClincy, o f the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, and Ben Pignatelli, of Sierra Club, on Beacon Hill in favor of the Public Lands Preservation Act. This bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Ruth Balser, would offer stronger protection for parkland from development pressures, including along the banks of the Charles River.
Congratulating new EEA Secretary Katie Theoharides
Secretary of Energy and Environment Matthew Beaton left his post for a job in the private sector, and Undersecretary for Climate Katie Theoharides was named the new Secretary. As we stated in this Boston Globe article , we are very pleased with this announcement! We have worked with Theoharides especially in her work leading the Baker Administration’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program and have been impressed with her expertise, commitment and collaborative style. We look forward to continued partnership and engagement with “Climate Katie” as she is known on Twitter .
Reaching the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders
Last week, Director of Blue Cities Pallavi Mande and Aquatic Scientist Lisa Kumpf worked with school groups at DCR’s Herter Park to help youth better understand the urban water systems around them and how to become stewards of their local parklands. After a presentation, Lisa and Pallavi walked with a class of 5th and 6th graders from the German International School of Boston (GISB) to demonstrate what they had learned.

Later in the week, Lisa and Pallavi hosted a cleanup with the students of Boston Arts Academy (BAA) as a part of their city-wide service day, removing the invasive garlic mustard plant, which is an incredibly destructive species. It can inhibit the growth of important soil fungi, release chemicals from its leaves that kill butterfly larvae, and its explosive growth rate often overtakes the site and significantly reduces biodiversity, an important aspect of any ecosystem. With help from the work of young leaders like the GISB and BAA students, we hope to see more responsible interactions between communities and their environments in the future.
Speaking at the 2019 March for Science
Our Rita Barron Fellow, Delilah Bethel, spoke for CRWA at the March for Science on the Cambridge Common on Saturday, May 4.

"I went into science because it seemed like uncharted territory to me,” she said. “While all of my friends had aspirations of becoming a lawyer, a doctor, and a professional football player, I was wondering why no one was interested in what was surrounding us. To me science is what keeps us all connected. Science doesn’t see the surface characteristics that as a culture we at times focus on. I am passionate about what I do, because I see a direct connection between the science we do, and the outcome I want to see in the world, a healthier planet."
Meet Our New Team Members
Audrey Wallace has joined CRWA as our new Development Manager, focusing on fundraising initiatives through annual appeals, events, and community outreach to promote resilient communities and a healthy river ecosystem. Prior to CRWA, she worked for Buckingham Browne & Nichols School within their Office of External Affairs. With a love of the outdoors, Audrey can be found hiking, boating, skiing, paddle boarding, camping, and more on the weekends. She often will bring her side kick, Sophie (black lab), along for the adventure!  Read more.
Delilah Bethel recently joined CRWA's team through the distinguished Rita Barron Fellowship. She graduates this May with a Masters in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Most recently, she spearheaded and organized presentations and interviews as the Assistant Producer Apprentice and Social Media Graduate Fellow for PRI's Living on Earth podcast. Delilah is looking forward to connecting communities to their local waterways and hopes to bridge the gaps between residents and their environment. Read more .
Julie Wood has been promoted to Deputy Director, after the retirement of Margaret Van Deusen. Julie will continue to manage CRWA’s science program while taking on additional management duties. Julie is looking forward to working closely with Executive Director Emily Norton and the staff to continue the great work CRWA does and to take on the many issues the river and watershed residents face from climate change. Julie has been with CRWA for almost 12 years, joining as a Rita Barron Fellow and advancing over the years. Julie is an area thought leader when it comes to nature-based solutions to improving water quality and climate resilience, and this new role will amplify her voice further.
Intern Spotlight
It’s that time of year again where we have to say farewell to interns who have helped CRWA run smoothly! We’re sad to see them go, but wish them all the best in their future pursuits and hope to see them again in the future.
“Working closely with staff members who are involved in the operations of different watershed projects has given me the tools and knowledge that will later be useful experiences when learning more about the topic in graduate school and also when applying for jobs in this industry.“

As our Watershed Science Intern, Cameron Bechmann played a vital role in our volunteer monthly monitor program. He provided support with scouting new sites, prepping sampling kits, formatting data, investigating stormwater outfall sites, and researched cyanobacteria bloom events in the Charles, among many other tasks. Cameron graduates from Brandeis this spring and looks forward to working full-time with Black Earth Compost to explore waste management.
“This internship taught me how influential an organization can be and the changes that it can have on its community by reaching out to public officials and standing up for the ideas that you believe in.”

Dalanna Newton spearheaded many organizational and communication responsibilities for CRWA’s 20th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup as our Cleanup Coordination Intern this year. She championed sponsorship media relations, solicited restaurants for picnic donations, coordinated with DCR and the Cambridge Conservation Commission, designed and curated content for materials, and more, which all resulted in another successful year of our annual cleanup! Dalanna graduates this spring from Lasell College and will return to Vermont, seeking to further her career at an impactful nonprofit organization.
“I most enjoyed visiting schools and teaching students the importance of environmental stewardship and sharing the history behind CRWA and the Charles.”

Michaela Fusaro provided support for our science team as the Geographic Informations Systems (GIS) Intern this spring. She managed the GIS Milford project, assisted recording data from monthly monitoring water samples, and connected with students and families in our watershed community through outreach and educational programs. She is looking forward to working full-time as a naturalist and camp counselor at Drumlin Farm this summer.

Want to be a CRWA Intern or know an exceptional candidate? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.
Upcoming Events
Haslam Pond Invasives Cleanup | Saturday, May 18 from 9:00 - 12:00
Give back to your community while enjoying a spring morning near beautiful Haslam Pond in Westwood! Join CRWA to help out clear invasive bittersweet from the banks of Haslam Pond to restore the health of local conservation land. Learn more.

Waltham In-River Cleanup | Saturday, May 18 from 9:30 - 2:00
Have a kayak, canoe, dingy, dory, skiff, scow, yacht, or ship? Help clean up the Charles River in Waltham! Don’t have a water craft? Paddle Boston will be supplying canoes & rowboats to help with the effort. Learn more .

Healthy Living Day | Saturday, June 1 from 10:00 - 2:00
The Healthy Living Day community fair on Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10am until 2pm at the David Ellis Elementary School located at 304 Walnut Avenue, Boston, MA 02119 in partnership with the Boston Conservation Corp and LEAH Mentoring program. Learn more.

2nd Annual Free Fun Friday | Friday, July 12 from 10:00 - 4:00
Join us this year on July 12 at DCR's Herter Park for a day filled with family fun! CRWA hosted its first Riverfest in partnership with Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday summer program in 2018. Over 900 participants enjoyed free canoeing and kayaking on the Charles with music, food, fishing lessons, story time, guided nature walks, and hands-on science demonstrations by CRWA’s scientists. Educating citizens of all ages about our environment is key to creating new advocates for a healthy Charles River. Interested in volunteering? Contact Audrey Wallace at

Charles River Party (On the Docks) | Thursday, July 25 from 7:00 - 10:00
Celebrate the cleanup of our city's Dirty Water under the stars with Charles River Watershed Association's Friends of the Charles River! Join us on the docks of Community Boating at the Esplanade to enjoy a beautiful midsummer night. Our Charles River Party is a great opportunity to meet young professionals from the area while supporting a local environmental nonprofit. Learn more.

Charles River Watershed Association |