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In full transparency, the following press release & photo were submitted to SOURCE media for publication.


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NATICK – Charles River Watershed Association is pleased to announce the organization is accelerating work to restore the Charles River watershed, thanks in part to a recent $1million anonymous grant.

“This is a game changer for the Charles River. We will be able to move much more quickly to remove defunct dams that are harming native fish, restore streams and tributaries in urban areas, and tackle invasive plants that crowd out native species,” says Executive Director Emily Norton. “Over time, these actions will reconnect miles of stream, improve water quality, and restore aquatic habitat for fish, insects, and wildlife.”

For more than 400 years, the Charles River has been culverted, dammed, and buried in order to power progress and support the development of cities and towns. As a result, the Charles River suffers impaired water quality from stormwater runoff, impeded fish passage by aging, defunct dams, invasive species growth, harmful cyanobacteria blooms, and biodiversity loss. Climate change is amplifying these impacts, as these interventions have diminished the river’s natural resilience to increased precipitation, stronger storms, drought, and extreme heat. 

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“This grant is an unparalleled opportunity to restore a clean, free-flowing, and abundant Charles River ecosystem for generations to come,” said River Science and Restoration Program Manager Lisa Kumpf. “Our efforts will steward the transformation of our watershed to again be a welcoming place for migratory fish, wildlife, plants, and people alike.”

The outcomes will be the creation of a comprehensive restoration plan for the watershed, a study to accelerate the removal of defunct dams that serve no purpose, advancement of three priority stream daylighting and naturalization projects, surveys of road-stream crossings for wildlife passage, and expansion of the community-led invasive species removal volunteer program.

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“Deadbeat dams and aging, undersized culverts are like blocked arteries harming the health of our rivers and exacerbating flooding. We are excited to continue to strengthen partnerships with cities and towns by helping them gather information to prioritize restoration projects that are a win-win-win for public safety, stream and wildlife health, and climate resilience,” said Climate Resilience Specialist Robert Kearns.

Charles River Watershed Association’s mission is to protect, restore and enhance the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy, and the law. CRWA develops science-based strategies to increase resilience, protect public health, and promote environmental equity as we confront a changing climate.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.