Monthly e-news from Charles River Watershed Association, an internationally-recognized leader in sustainable river management. Learn more at .  
Around the Watershed
Breaking: Charles River Earns B Grade
The Charles River received a B grade from U.S. EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro o n June 12. This is down from the A- earned for 2017. The grade is determined by EPA from bacteria counts in water samples of the lower basin collected by CRWA. This decrease in water quality is largely due to higher rainfall in 2018 ; more rain carries more stormwater pollution. In 2018 in dry weather, 94% of the samples met the state’s bacterial water quality standards for boating, and 66% met the criteria for swimming. In wet weather, the percentage for boating dropped to 91%, and for swimming to a much lower 47%. While we have made great progress since grading began in 1995 with a D, our work is far from over. We expect the threat of stormwater pollution to worsen with the increased precipitation the Northeast is experiencing due to climate change. We are working closely with our watershed communities to advance nature-based solutions to address these challenges. Read more .
Developing Smart Water Practices in Norfolk
CRWA is working with the Town of Norfolk to reduce potable water demand and increase groundwater recharge to protect the community’s drinking water supply, local streams, and rivers. In partnership with the planning department, we are identifying opportunities to infiltrate stormwater runoff, which will reduce pollution to local waterways and recharge groundwater supplies. CRWA is also working with local landscaper Ben Bornstein of BSB Landscape and Garden to present a workshop on water-friendly landscaping techniques . If you’re in the area, join us Thursday, June 20 from 6:30-8:30 at Norfolk Town Hall. Contact Delilah Bethel for more information. This project is funded by the MassDEP Water Management Act Grant Program.
Testifying for Invasive Species Management
CRWA Aquatic Scientist Lisa Kumpf testified on June 4 in favor of State Senator Pat Jehlen’s bill to provide statewide oversight to manage invasive species not only within the Charles River but throughout the commonwealth. She spoke on a panel organized by Gabby Queenan of the Mass Rivers Alliance with allies Patrick Herron of Mystic River Watershed Association, Alison Field-Juma and Allen Fierce of OARS, and Kristin O'Brien of Sudbury Valley Trustees. Aquatic invasive plants continue to thrive due to increased stormwater pollution, and we will continue to address this issue through proactive measures.
Speaking at Dedham Green New Deal Town Hall
On June 12 CRWA Executive Director Emily Norton was a panelist at a Green New Deal Town Hall in Dedham. She spoke alongside Craig Altemose from Better Future Project, Vick Mohanka with Clean Water Action, John Burkhardt from Extinction Rebellion Boston, Virginia LeClair with the Town of Dedham, and Dr. Alex Rabin, Pulmonologist with Tufts Medical Center. Emily noted that today environmental leadership is coming from local and state governments and encouraged attendees to reach out to their elected leaders to advocate for stronger policies to protect our air, water, and lands.
Leading a Stormwater Walk with Watertown Middle School
CRWA, the Town of Watertown, Mass Sierra Club, and Watertown’s stormwater advisory committee joined a Watertown Middle School 7th grade class on a stormwater walk along the Charles River. The walk also included viewing the bioswales and tree trenches on Edenfield Avenue, a CRWA Blue Cities project that was completed last summer. CRWA is working hard to keep communities and ecosystems safe by providing more nature-based solutions to the biggest threat to rivers: stormwater pollution. Learn more .
Getting Involved with Dover Unplugged
Executive Director Emily Norton and Rita Barron Fellow Delilah Bethel were delighted to participate in Dover Unplugged last Friday night along with many other local community and conservation groups. Delilah demonstrated how permeable pavement works, and we learned from Dover Selectman John Jeffries that the town is already planning to install permeable pavement in at least two locations. Dover Unplugged is a seasonal event series that brings together the Dover community for free activities and connections.
Making Your Yard More Water-Friendly: Tips for the summer!
Summer is near! As the days grow longer and hotter, it can be hard to conserve water. Luckily, there are many ways you can do so on your own lawn. CRWA will continue to share these tips through social media and will go into more detail on garden and lawn care in upcoming River Current newsletters. For now, as we transition from spring to summer, setting up these practices can preemptively conserve water:

  • Build a rain barrel: Set up a large container to collect rainwater. Typically, these containers have a spout at the bottom to fill watering cans.
  • Direct downspouts: Utilize your gutters and direct them either to fill a rain barrel or to drain to an area with high water needs.
  • One inch rule: Established plants and lawns typically only need one inch of water per week. Use a rain gauge to evaluate whether or not supplemental watering is needed.
  • Mow less: Keep your lawns a little shaggy! They’ll stay greener longer, because longer grass locks moisture in the soil more effectively, resulting in lower watering needs and greener grass.
Connecting Communities with our Climate Compact Webinar
CRWA is inviting all communities that are fully or partially within the Charles River watershed to join its Charles River Climate Compact to work on climate adaptation by sharing information and experiences and taking a watershed view of adaptation strategies.

Miss the webinar on June 4? Access it here , or reach out to Nishaila Porter with any questions on membership or trainings.
Partnering with Citizen Cider
Keeping the Charles River clean is a cool way to spend your summer. So is drinking a refreshing hard cider.

This year, you can do both with a single sip! We’re excited to announce our partnership with Citizen Cider : a portion of the proceeds from its For Shore sales in Massachusetts will go to CRWA this summer.

Cheers! Find a store with For Shore by you.
Intern Spotlight
Meet our GIS and Watershed Science Summer Interns!
From left to right in the first photo: Glauco Cavina, James Fernandes, Rose Determan.
“I am looking forward to supporting a science driven organization in the fight against environmental pollution. I hope to broaden my understanding of the river system and launch my career in environmental science by fine-tuning my research and investigation skills.”

Glauco Cavina comes to CRWA with work experience as a Project Assistant at CESVI in Italy, where he supported the project development and international policy team of two international NGOs. His work and studies include climate resilience, environmental protection, and sustainable use of natural resources.

“As an intern at CRWA, I am looking forward to applying what I've learned in the classroom to real-world situations by integrating both science and policy considerations. I am completing my senior capstone project on nutrient pollution in the Charles River, so I am also looking forward to utilizing what I learn in this position to my research.” 

Rose Determan is currently a junior student at Framingham State University, where she is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with minors in GIS and Communication Arts. She joins our team with the experience of being NASA’s Universe of Learning Intern.

“I am excited for the flagging program and the chance to apply the skills I have learned throughout college. Specifically, I am looking forward to taking samples of the Charles River and then analyzing these samples to inform us about the state of the Charles River.”

James Fernandes comes to CRWA as a student at Boston College, expected to receive his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science in 2020. He brings the skills and leadership of a 826 Boston Tutor and Volunteer, where he helped traditionally underserved students further develop their education and skills.

Want to be a CRWA Intern or know an exceptional candidate? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more.
Upcoming Events
Healthy Living Day | Saturday, June 15 from 10:00 - 2:00
Join CRWA for our Healthy Living Day Fair! Learn about all aspects of healthy living, including steps to creating indoor and outdoor healthy environments, healthy food habits, and mental health support. You might even win a giveaway! This event is 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
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.

Charles River Watershed Association |