Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at .  
'Tis the Season of Giving
Double Your Gift to CRWA With Patagonia!
Thank you to all who have made CRWA a philanthropic priority this holiday season. Year-end giving is a fundamental part of CRWA's operating expenses for the year. We hope everyone will consider making a significant gift to CRWA -- and we have exciting news on how you can DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!

Patagonia is MATCHING EVERY GIFT made through our Patagonia Action Works page until Tuesday, December 31, 2019 up to $10,000. We have received just over $3,000 so far -- we hope you will help us bring in the last $7,000 needed to receive the full $10,000 match from Patagonia!

Around the Watershed
MassDOT is gearing up to replace the Allston viaduct, which carries the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) from the Allston Interchange to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. This $1B project entails straightening the Mass Pike, which will enable improvements to the Paul Dudley White Path and Charles River Parkland as well increased public transit in the form of a new “West Station” commuter rail stop. We support these aspects of the project. What we do NOT support is MassDOT’s stated plan to relocate Soldiers Field Road and the Paul Dudley White path into the Charles River (on fill, a bridge, or both) during project construction, which is anticipated to last 8-10 years. Environmental impacts to the river would include disruption of sediment contaminated with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; increased stormwater runoff leading to more toxic algae blooms; and harm to the aquatic ecosystem including fish, birds, and wildlife. (Read this op-ed by river advocates.)

Thank you to everyone who submitted a public comment on behalf of a healthy, clean Charles River. We did not clean up Boston’s Dirty Water in order to have a road built into it for 8+ years! You can read more about CRWA’s stance on the issue in our comment letter .

Boston Wetlands Ordinance Passes
On Wednesday, December 11th, by a unanimous vote, the Boston City Council approved a local Wetlands Ordinance! The Ordinance will boost protection of natural resources and climate resilience in the City of Boston. Boston City Councilor, and Champion of the Charles, Michelle Wu, and her fellow Councilor Matt O'Malley were strong leaders on this issue and we thank them for their efforts. Local wetland ordinances or bylaws are great tools local communities can use to enhance and customize the protections of statewide environmental laws.
Regional Action on Climate Change
This week we announced the launch of the Charles River Climate Compact. This initiative, made up of representatives from most of the 35 cities and towns in the Charles River watershed, will allow CRWA to better empower and support municipal staff to work together to tackle shared challenges and develop regional climate adaptation solutions. We are grateful to the Barr Foundation for supporting this work.
River Restoration: Opportunity in Natick
Many of us know and love the scenic South Natick Dam. The Town of Natick, concerned about wear and tear at the site, which was constructed in the 1930s, and the impacts of climate change, recently proposed a substantial rehabilitation of the dam and surrounding concrete walls. This work will require removal of all the mature trees growing atop the earthen dam (the piece of land that borders the spillway to the south. The “spillway” is what many of us think of as the actual “dam”). Many residents have expressed concern over the proposed plan, as well as the decision to move forward with dam repair, without at least considering dam removal. CRWA agrees and strongly supports consideration of dam removal before undertaking rehabilitation work at the site. ( See our letter to the Conservation Commission here. ) The Town is listening to these concerns and is open to considering other options. While any change to the appearance of this beloved spot along the river will be difficult, some action will need to be taken in the coming years to protect downstream residents, and we believe it is important to consider all options. CRWA is currently working in both Watertown and Wrentham to investigate the possibility of removing other dams along the river and tributaries.
Bringing Couples Together
CRWA was recently featured in to show how mission-driven organizations like CRWA can bring couples together through volunteerism, action, and philanthropy! 

Helping out a CRWA event can be a wonderful date activity for philanthropic couples because it inspires team spirit in the great outdoors.”

Coming Soon. . . . . A New Website for CRWA!
We can’t wait to share our new, modern, and easy to navigate website with you later this month. We’re still working hard on the finishing touches, so no peeking yet, but we will be inviting you to check it out soon.

Intern Spotlight

It’s that time of year again when we have to say farewell to the watershed science interns who have helped CRWA run smoothly! We’re sad to see them go, but wish them all the best in their future pursuits.
“I came into this internship hoping it would help me figure out if this was a field I was really interested in enough to study for the next four years. Coming to the close of it, I definitely feel it has done this.”

A recent graduate of Arlington High School, Alex Colety (photographed middle) worked extensively on collecting samples, analyzing data, and writing a report for our Cyanobacteria Program. He also managed water quality data, researched the history of Cheesecake Brook in Newton, and helped with our Climate Resilience 101 trainings. Alex will be attending the University of Edinburgh in Scotland next fall to study ecological and environmental sciences.

“This internship was everything I could’ve asked for and more. I got to learn and experience more things than I was anticipating and I’m really grateful for this opportunity.”

Jackie Schneider (photographed left) spearheaded work on CRWA’s Flagging Program this fall by collecting water quality samples, updating the public on current water quality conditions, and reporting on the program’s success. She also worked alongside our Director of Watershed Resilience, Pallavi Mande, to develop a handout about the environmental impacts of a temporary structure in the Charles River during construction of the I-90 project . Jackie looks forward to her last semester at Emmanuel College and graduating in the spring with a B.S. in Biology Health Sciences.

“What I enjoyed the most about this internship was getting to go into the field to collect samples. I love when I am able to get away from the desk and get outside to do my work!”

During her time at CRWA, Julie Sinatra (photographed right) worked closely with our Rita Barron Fellow, Delilah Bethel, on our Volunteer Monthly Monitoring and Biological Monitoring programs. She also helped with water sampling, maintaining field equipment, and creating GIS maps for our Climate Compact . Julie has accepted a position with the Walt Disney World Company’s College Program and will be moving to Florida in February.

Want to be a CRWA Intern or know an exceptional candidate? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This summer we are looking for Watershed Science Interns, GIS Interns, and a new Legal Intern! Learn more .
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Mapping Nature Based Solutions Tool for the Charles River Watershed Association, AND BEYOND! | Tuesday December 17 at 1:00pm.
Please Join CRWA for a Live Webinar on the Charles River Watershed Nature Based Solutions Mapping Tool

What: This tool was developed by CRWA and The Nature Conservancy to help town planners and conservation professionals identify both priority conservation and restoration opportunities that have high habitat value, protect threatened water resources, and help mitigate expected flooding impacts of climate change. This tool which is serving as a prototype for a tool being developed statewide can help communities get more “bank for their buck” when identifying either conservation or restoration projects. In this webinar, CRWA will present information on what data went into the tool as well as a brief overview of how to use the simple online interface.

When: December 17th; 1-2:30pm

Interested participants can register here .

If you have any questions please contact Julie Wood:

Green Newton "Meetless and Greet" Potluck Dinner | Thursday January 16th 6:00pm

Did you know that eating less meat is not only a way for individuals to add healthy ingredients to their diet, but also a way to fight climate change? Green Newton invites you to join us for a vegetarian potluck dinner. Enjoy a casual meatless dinner, and meet other Newton residents interested in solving the climate crisis, collect new recipes, and learn about current environmental activities. Feel free to bring friends.
Register for Thursday, January 16 at 6-8:30pm by emailing . You will receive the host’s location when you register. Registration is limited to 25. Bring a vegetarian dish and a copy of the recipe. Stop by briefly or stay the whole time.

Charles River Watershed Association |