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Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Kate Bowditch

Kate is responsible for CRWA's many science, research and modeling projects, including the Upper Charles River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project, water quality testing programs, and streamflow modeling efforts. She created CRWA’s Blue Cities Initiative, which has expanded to include Blue Cities National and CRWA’s river twinning project with partners in the Dominican Republic as the winner of the 2011 International Riverprize. A recognized expert on hydrology, stormwater, green infrastructure and low impact development, her work with Conservation Law Foundation led to U.S. EPA New England’s decision to expand stormwater regulation and successful suit against MA Highway Department for stormwater violations. Kate has been at CRWA since 1994, and serves on many environmental committees and boards, including the Brookline Conservation Commission (Chair) and Boston's Complete Street Advisory Committee, which recently issued Boston’s Complete Streets Guidelines. A hydrologist by training, she graduated cum laude from Cornell University and received her MA in Geography/Water Resources Management from Boston University. Kate enjoys skiing, sailing and traveling.
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Recent Posts

3 Ways CRWA is Preparing the Charles River for Climate Change

Posted by Kate Bowditch

5/22/14 2:00 PM

Natural-Valley-Storage-AreaOn Tuesday, May 6, 2014, the White House released a new report, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, as part of President Obama’s second-term objective to demand immediate action on climate change, and prepare the nation for rising temperatures and increased cataclysmic storms. According to the report, the impacts of climate change in the Northeast will culminate in “heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge” (Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, 2014).


The topic of climate change has received significant press following the release of the report, including articles in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.


Most New Englanders over the age of 20 can tell that climate change is already happening here, even given the region’s notoriously variable weather. Compared to what was “normal” 20 years ago, spring now arrives earlier, we get less snow in winter, and average temperatures, especially at night, are warmer in all seasons. These trends stand out, even when historic variability is accounted for. Scientific models and predictions indicate that we have significantly more change ahead of us, and we will need to adapt to a different climate in the future, even if we do reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and try to mitigate climate change impacts.


A changing climate will of course have major implications for Boston as a coastal city. For the Charles River, there are obvious impacts we will need to prepare for. Here are three of the most important:

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About Charles River Watershed Association:

One of the country's oldest watershed organizations, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last fifty years have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management.