Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Charles River Watershed Association Restores Habitat to Magazine Beach

Posted by Nishaila Porter

8/10/16 5:33 PM

False Indigo

Cut false indigo at Magazine Beach

This year, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) will restore wildlife habitat and improve water quality in the Charles River. This project is funded by a competitive grant CRWA received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through their Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. The two-year grant was awarded for enhancements to DCR’s Magazine Beach in Cambridgeport and will fund CRWA’s work to restore existing wetlands, add and maintain rain gardens, and remove invasive weeds at the park.


CRWA’s work integrates with an improvement project planned by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). CRWA’s project will restore wildlife habitat along the river, while DCR’s work focuses on improved access for pedestrians, cyclists and kayakers.

CRWA will work with 200 community volunteers including members of Riverside Boat Club and Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association to remove invasive plants along the bank of the Charles River including purple-loosestrife, phragmites and blue false indigo. Removing these weeds will provide room for native plants to flourish. Volunteers will also work with CRWA and the City of Cambridge to restore and replant a wetland located along the river, thus preventing pollution from entering the Charles River. In further efforts to reduce pollution, CRWA will design and install a rain garden to collect and filter runoff collecting from the parking area.                                                                                                                                                                        

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CRWA will also work with the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative of Cambridge Public Schools and Mass Audubon to develop on-site educational programming for elementary and middle school students. Students will learn about native wildlife and habitat. Through hands-on restoration projects the students will gain an understanding of green infrastructure and appreciation for the natural environment.


“We are honored to work with DCR, Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, City of Cambridge, Mass Audubon, Riverside Boat Club and Cambridge Public Schools on this exciting project. We appreciate the opportunity provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to leverage the work of these groups to enhance a community asset while protecting the environment,” said CRWA’s Aquatic Scientist Elisabeth Cianciola who will manage the restoration.  


Topics: Fish and Wildlife, Charles River, Volunteer, Pollution, Recreation

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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.