Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at .  
Around the Watershed
Dancing on the Docks of the Charles
Want to help do some good for the environment? It’s as easy as coming to the Charles River Party (On the Docks) this July 25! Buy your ticket here .

Join CRWA on the Esplanade at the docks of Community Boating for a beautiful mid-summer night with a live band, Moose & the Mops , an open bar, and catering by Loco Taqueria. The Charles River Party is a night of celebrating the success we've seen so far and raising awareness on issues that face us today, such as combined sewer overflows and stormwater pollution.

This event is sponsored by M&T Bank, KEEL Vodka, Aperol Spritz, Espolon Tequila, Citizen Cider, Sam Adams, and Sasaki.
Awarding Climate Action Grants
The Baker-Polito Administration continues to lead the region in climate action with its recent bestowment of $12 million to municipalities for climate change adaptation. CRWA is excited to partner with the Town of Wrentham on its Eagle Dam removal project, which received funding from a Baker-Polito Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program grant! This project will investigate the feasibility of removing this dam which, like many dams built in previous centuries, is no longer serving its intended function and presents a potential vulnerability. 

Is your town one of the 71% of Massachusetts communities enrolled in the MVP Program? Find out here !
Eradicating Invasive Water Chestnuts
Our Canoeing for Clean Water Program has removed a total of 2,730 lbs of the invasive water chestnut plant from the Charles River Lakes District so far this year. TripAdvisor’s volunteer group removed 1,596 lbs this week, setting this year’s record!

"The water chestnut season started a bit late this year, likely due to a cold and rainy spring, but our volunteers have been busy at work," said Catie Colliton, CRWA water chestnut removal program volunteer coordinator. "So far, we have had nearly 150 enthusiastic volunteers pick over 130 baskets of invasive water chestnut near Newton and Waltham. Though we've seen a great decline in water chestnuts in this area thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, Charles River Canoe and Kayak, and the members of CANOE, we still have a lot of work to do."

Eliminating this invasive species takes commitment and time, and we're grateful for the help from the Massachusetts DCR-funded harvest machines, which they have deployed for the last 12 summers! Last year's postseason survey showed water chestnut infestation is the lowest it has been in that 12 year time. Water chestnut seeds can live dormant in the soil for 10 years (or more) so continuing to monitor and pull water chestnuts is just as critical as ever to prevent a resurgence of the weed. 

Learn more about the threat water chestnuts pose to ecosystems and how our program eradicates the plant and restores native habitat.
Practicing Water-Smart Landscaping
CRWA partnered with the Town of Norfolk and BSB Landscape and Garden to host a Water Smart Landscaping seminar on June 20! The seminar showcased water friendly gardening techniques that also provide healthy ecological habitats which can be applied on yards both large and small. You can find more tips and information on our project resources page , or watch the Smart Water Landscaping presentation online. 

As we head into the hottest part of the year remember these tips to reducing your summertime water footprint:

  • Water deeply: Water plants slowly at the base where water will go into the soil and be accessible to the roots. Deep, infrequent watering helps encourage a strong and robust root system. 
  • Don’t spray: Sprinklers cause high evaporative loss and can encourage plant disease, they should only be used for establishing new lawns in the spring.
  • Choose your time wisely: A high percentage of water will be lost to evaporation if you water during the middle of the day when it is hot and sunny, only water before 9 am or after 5 pm.
  • Consider a rain barrel: A rain barrel is a medium or large plastic drum connected to a gutter downspout allowing it to collect and store water from rainfall.
  • Go green by going brown: Let your lawn go brown during the hottest months of the year, this is a natural part of the life cycle for most common grass species used locally. It will turn green again in the fall.
Alarming Water Levels
Thank you to everyone who contacted us with reports of remarkably low water levels in the Dedham to Waltham stretch of the Charles! 

Based on data from the USGS gauges at the Mother Brook diversion, flow levels in Mother Brook, which allows water to flow from the Charles River into the Neponset, had been much higher than normal for this time of year. Flow levels into Mother Brook were lowered on July 2 and July 7 to reduce the volume of water leaving the Charles River in Dedham.  

Mother Brook was built to power mills on the Neponset in the mid-1600s. It is still used today for flood control. CRWA speculates that DCR was allowing a higher than normal volume of water into the Mother Brook because of the rainy winter and spring; the gauge was readjusted recently to help keep more water in the Charles. Our Aquatic Scientist Lisa Kumpf is following up with DCR about the incident. 
Educating the Next Environmentalists
CRWA’s Program Associate, Nishaila Porter, engaged 3rd - 5th graders about the history of the Charles River and showed them present-day threats and water quality issues through our hands-on demonstration, Watershed in a Box!

These budding environment scientists give us a lot of hope for the future! Thanks to the Museum of Science for including us in this fun and educational summer program.
Happy 4th!
We hope you were able to enjoy a beautiful summer night out watching Boston’s fireworks display on the Charles Esplanade! Happy Fourth from all of us at CRWA. Missed the fireworks? Watch them here !
Observing Water Quality on the Charles
It’s that time of year again—our Water Quality Notification Flagging Program is up and running! This program lets boaters know when there are water quality issues in the Lower Charles due to elevated bacteria levels or a cyanobacteria (a.k.a. blue green algae) bloom. Lower Charles water quality is impacted by both stormwater and c ombined sewer overflows (CSOs), which discharge raw or partially treated sewage into the river during heavy precipitation events.

To stay updated on the safety level of boating recreation on the Charles, you can sign up to receive water quality alerts or check our webpage for updates. For more information on CSOs visit MWRA .
CRWA Volunteer Pens Thoughtful Letter to Editor
“The report on the decline in the water quality of the Charles River (‘ Charles River water quality grade dips from A- to B ,’ published June 24) is a reminder that stewardship of critical environmental assets requires persistent efforts. The Charles has made enormous strides since the mid-1990s, but holding on to those gains may not be easy.” - Fred Hewett

Thanks to our proponent and volunteer, Frederick Hewett, for his letter to the editor on the recent EPA Grade of the Charles River water quality. We could not agree more with this sentiment. Amazing gains have been achieved in the quality of the Charles, however we cannot take these for granted as we phase incredible challenges ahead. The river is still regularly degraded by stormwater runoff as evidenced in last year’s grade and climate change threatens to reverse much of our progress.  You can read it here !
Paying it Forward with Citizen Cider
Can’t make it to the Charles River Party (On the Docks)? No problem! You can still support a clean Charles by drinking Citizen Cider’s For Shore! A portion of the proceeds of cans bought in MA will go to CRWA, who will continue to fight against dirty water and improve conditions for the communities around it.

Cheers! Find a store with For Shore near you.
Upcoming Events
2nd Annual Free Fun Friday | Friday, July 12 from 10:00 - 4:00
Come over on July 12 to DCR's Herter Park for a day filled with family fun! CRWA, in partnership with Highland Street Foundation, is hosting Free Fun Friday on the Charles, where participants will be able to kayak, take acting lessons, listen to storytime, learn from hands-on science demonstrations, and more! 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 .

Charles River Party (On the Docks) | Thursday, July 25 from 7:00 - 10:00
Do you love a Clean Charles? Come to the Charles River Party on July 25 at Community Boating Inc! You can to eat, drink, and dance all while supporting the group founded to restore and protect the river, Charles River Watershed Association! Learn more.

Quiz of Dunshire | Thursday, August 1 from 7:00 - 10:00
Calling all Pawnee Goddesses: are you ready to earn your Trivia Champion Badge? Join us on Thursday, August 1st at 7pm at Wit’s End in Cambridge for a round of Parks and Rec themed trivia that Gameplay Magazine called “punishingly intricate.” Costumes are, as always, extremely encouraged (your hosts will be in costume, of course). Please register your team of up to 6 players (registration is free and does not guarantee you a table: please arrive early!). The cost to play is $5 per person. All proceeds from entry fees and any other sales will go to the Charles River Watershed Association, a local organization whose mission both Ron and Leslie would approve of. Learn more .

Champions of the Charles Gala | Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 pm
Save the Date! Please join us for a memorable night under the Washburn Pavilion tent at the Museum of Science to advance our mission of protecting and restoring the Charles River while honoring those who have helped us in doing so. Learn more .

Charles River Watershed Association |