Charles River Watershed Association    

Social Impact Profile ™

CRWA's mission is to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. 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 four decades have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management.


    Charles River, CRWA Win World's Top Prize for Environmental Excellence

    In September, the Charles River won the International Riverprize awarded by the International RiverFoundation (IRF) in Brisbane, Australia. On March 22 at the Charles River Riverprize Celebration Peter Krause, IRF Board member, was on hand to present awards to over 25 CRWA partners in the cleanup of the Charles. Once famous in song as “that dirty water” (the Standells, 1966), the Charles began its turnaround in the 1990s with major efforts to stop sewage from flowing into the river. In those days, especially after heavy rain, the river was too dirty to meet state standards for boating – not to mention for swimming. Read More


    American Shad Return to Charles

    CRWA is happy to report that in June 2011 returning adult American shad were seen in the Charles River for the first time since the program started. Testing confirmed that these adult fish had been released as juveniles as part of the American Shad Restoration Project. 2011 is the first year that returning shad have been observed in the Charles River. This exciting discovery confirms that the hard work to clean up the Charles River is paying off. We are hopeful that increasing numbers of shad will return to spawn as the program continues and more of the released fish mature and return to spawn. Read More