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Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

The Wonderful Story of the Charles River

Posted by Kate Bowditch

6/26/18 5:45 PM

kateThursday, June 21st was the summer solstice and CRWA celebrated with about 120 people on the docks at Community Boating along the Charles River in Boston. What a marvelous night we had! As the sun set, we toasted the longest day of the year, dancing, eating and laughing the night away.

Boats on the docks of Community Boating

Boats on the docks of Community Boating by Carolyn Ross.  

It was a bittersweet evening for me, as this is my last week working at CRWA after nearly 25 years. It’s hard to imagine how much the Charles has changed since I started! I remember collecting samples from the river that had bacteria levels as high as sewage; paddling my canoe over the eddies and pillows of water as the Combined Sewer Overflow at Cottage Farm activated; and pulling tires and shopping carts out of the river by the dozen.

But this summer solstice, the river was sparkling, beautiful, and absolutely packed with people. There were stand-up-paddleboarders, kayaks, canoes, war canoes, winsdsurfers, and sailboats of all sizes. Tourist boats and pleasure boats of all sizes made their way up and down the river. Thousands of people picnicked and strolled along the river, rode bikes and skates and scooters, and took about a million selfies.

The Charles River has changed, and it has changed Boston. I’m proud to have been part of CRWA during that transformation, and wish CRWA and all my colleagues here the best as they work to solve the great challenges of climate change and urban river flooding and pollution. We are so lucky to have the Charles River, and to have CRWA!

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CRWA Summer Solstice Dock Party on the Charles River by Carolyn Ross.  

Carry on!

Topics: Recreation, Charles River

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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.