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Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

2016 Charles River water quality report indicates room for improvement

Posted by Katie Friedman

4/24/17 4:37 PM

Looking_upriver_at_the_Cochrane_Dam_by_Nick_King-177017-edited.jpg

Dry riverbed, Charles River downstream of Cochrane Dam, Natick. Photo by Nick King

CRWA’s Volunteer Monthly Monitoring (VMM) program provides data that can be used to better understand the health of the Charles River and its tributaries. In addition to providing the public with an easily-accessible picture of the health of the Charles through EPA's annual Charles River Report Card, the data collected also enable CRWA to identify problem areas so that remediation efforts can be focused more efficiently.

 

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The Year in Review- Highlights from 2016

Posted by Alexandra Ash

12/14/16 9:59 AM

2016 marked important milestones for the restoration of the Charles River and its watershed: the elimination of heat pollution from the Kendall Power Plant, the daylighting of the Muddy River, and the removal of the hazardous sandbar near Brighton. 2016 also saw the worst drought since the 1960's, persistent stormwater pollution, another cyanobacteria bloom in the Charles River Lower Basin, and the nomination of a new US EPA Administrator who questions climate change. Through it all, CRWA passionately continued our work throughout the watershed developing smart, green water infrastructure, promoting restorative ways to reduce stormwater pollution and flooding, and advocating for strong and effective water policy and regulations. We couldn't have done this work without you—thank you! 

Below are just a few of the highlights from 2016. 

 

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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.

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2015 Charles River Water Quality

Posted by Alexandra Ash

7/27/16 2:52 PM

Today, the U.S. EPA announced that the lower Charles River scored a B+ for its water quality in 2015. The annual Charles River Report Card focuses on the section of the Charles River downstream of the Watertown Dam and rates its cleanliness based on measured bacteria levels. EPA uses data collected year-round by Charles River Watershed Association's citizen scientist volunteers to assign the water quality grade each year.

CRWA's volunteer monthly monitoring program collects data at 37 sites up and down the river. In addition to bacteria, volunteers monitor water temperature, river depth and other indicators of water quality once a month during every month of the year. Our 2015 Year-End Report details our findings. Below, find some of the key takeaways. 

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The Year in Review- Highlights from 2015

Posted by Alexandra Ash

12/17/15 12:44 PM

2015 was an exciting year for Charles River Watershed Association. In addition to celebrating our 50th Anniversary, in 2015 CRWA designed and implemented several projects that demonstrate our Blue Cities strategies, continued our field science program to better understand the Charles River, and advocated for policies to protect the Charles River. This was all made possible by support from friends just like you.

Below are just a few of the highlights from 2015. 

 

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Fish Kill in Lower Charles River Basin

Posted by Elisabeth Cianciola

8/18/15 4:20 PM

While conducting routine water sampling on Wednesday, July 29th, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) spotted six dead fish between the North Beacon Street bridge in Watertown/Brighton and the Larz Anderson bridge in Cambridge. Since that initial observation, CRWA has received many reports of additional fish kill sightings via our website and social media. We estimate that between 61 and 103 dead fish, reported pimarily as carp and large-mouth bass, have been observed between the Galen Street bridge in Watertown and the Longfellow Bridge in Cambridge/Boston.

 

Fish Kill Map

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CRWA Releases 2014 Charles River Water Quality Report

Posted by Elisabeth Cianciola

4/8/15 5:40 PM

4 Ways Volunteers Will Make an Impact for the Charles River this Earth Day

Posted by Alexandra Ash

4/25/14 3:28 PM

On April 26, 2014, come rain or shine, over 4,000 volunteers will help beautify the Charles River in honor of Earth Day. Celebrating its 15th year, Charles River Watershed Association’s (CRWA) Earth Day Charles River Cleanup brings together volunteers from over 150 teams, who participate at multiple locations along the 80-mile Charles River.

Here are a few ways volunteers will make a huge difference at the event:Charles River Cleanup

  1. After the long winter, trash previously covered by snow and ice is now visible and free to blow into waterways. Participating volunteer teams pick up this litter and prevent it from entering the Charles. In 2012, volunteers removed a shopping cart, computer and several tires from the river!

  2. In addition to picking up litter from riverbank, volunteers will venture onto the river in canoes. This year, volunteers with Leinenkugel’s Canoes for a Cause will paddle past Brighton to reach trash that has drifted far from the shore, while volunteers from Big Heart, Little Feet will fish out litter from Populatic Pond. Volunteers in Newton will collect trash from canoes generously loaned by local residents.

  3. In addition to picking up trash, volunteers in Waltham will remove invasive weeds, including includingCharles River Cleanup garlic mustard and Japanese knotweed, from the banks of the Charles. Invasive species destroy aquatic habitat, crowd out native wildlife, and can negatively impact water quality. Removing invasive species is hard work, and these volunteers will certainly be a big help with this ongoing effort!

  4. The Earth Day Charles River Cleanup inspires volunteers to continue environmental stewardship beyond this day of service. Cleanup volunteers work year round to protect the Charles River. They remove invasive water chestnuts in the Charles River during the summer, collect water quality data monthly, and advocate for good environmental policies.
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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.