Charles River Watershed Association, Inc.

Boston, MA   |  https://www.crwa.org/

Mission

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.

Ruling year info

1992

Executive Director

Ms. Emily Norton

Main address

41 West St Suite 800

Boston, MA 02111 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-6136989

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Citizen Participation (W24)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Across the US, rivers are stressed, water supplies are running dry, and water infrastructure is crumbling. A changing climate means these problems loom even larger. Conventional solutions are expensive and often solve one problem while creating another. Climate science offers dire predictions for the Northeast in coming months and years from climate change: increases in total precipitation; extreme precipitation events; recurrent flooding; more heat-related deaths; greater evacuated and displaced populations; and all of these impacts are exacerbated by our aging infrastructure including water, sewer, stormwater, and transportation. Climate impacts disproportionately impact vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, chronically ill, and low-income residents, not only in the long term but also in the immediate aftermath of severe weather events.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

River Science

Regularly monitoring water quality is key to improving conditions in our complex and dynamic urban watershed. With this solid background knowledge, CRWA is able to properly address the issues threatening the Charles River. CRWA has been measuring change in the Charles River since 1995, and our River Science program serves as a model for watershed science programs across the country. We are the only organization that maintains a robust, year-round sampling program spanning the full extent of the Charles River. Our program includes monitoring water chemistry, pollutant levels, cyanobacteria algal blooms, streamflows, invertebrate species, and invasive plants. The Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection rely on our sampling results to develop and enforce water quality standards. CRWA scientists continuously analyze our robust dataset to identify spatial and temporal trends that allow us to better understand the river system as a whole.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Blue Cities incorporates the design of natural green corridors and infrastructure to help treat stormwater runoff – all while enhancing neighborhoods and connecting existing open spaces. Using historic maps as a starting point to understand how rainwater once functioned before urbanization, Blue Cities analysis evaluates opportunities for restoration that work with, rather than against, natural hydrology. CRWA evaluates soil types, historic groundwater flow, and historic versus constructed drainage patterns. This information forms the basis for retrofitting buildings, streets, and parking lots to capture and treat runoff, connect isolated greenspace, and create greenways—in effect, mimicking historic natural conditions. CRWA’s work includes partnering with others to build and monitor our demonstration projects, modeling the potential impacts of large-scale Blue Cities designs, and training other environmental advocates, local residents, and municipal officials.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CRWA is working with our communities and residents to implement “nature-based” solutions that employ natural processes to build resilience into our landscape. These are often the most cost-effective way to build climate resilience, and they bring numerous co-benefits in terms of improving air and water quality, decreasing local temperatures, and adding green space. Many cities and towns across the watershed are taking proactive leadership roles in adapting to climate change.

There are challenges that individual towns cannot address on their own, however, and are more appropriately addressed at a regional or watershed scale. Additionally, communities cannot act in a vacuum as the actions of one community will have impacts on neighboring or downstream communities. CRWA is bringing together communities in the Charles River watershed to work on climate adaptation issues such as flooding, heat impacts, tree health, dam removal, and regional collaboration.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CRWA advocates for a healthy, vibrant, and climate-resilient Charles River watershed for all.
When major decisions are made affecting the Charles River, CRWA is there advocating for the river and those who value it. Working in close partnership with watershed communities and allied organizations, we are committed to protecting the ecological integrity of the Charles and building the entire watershed’s resilience to climate change. Whether we are weighing in on permits and development proposals; testifying before conservation commissions, planning boards, environmental agencies, and legislative committees; or filing legal challenges, our advocacy work is grounded in science and innovative solutions to watershed protection.

Over the past five decades, CRWA has pushed for the cleanup of contaminated sites along the Charles, fought to reduce pollution, protect critically important resources like wetlands, and develop sustainable solutions to our biggest environmental challenges.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Thiess International Riverprize 2011

International River Foundation

Environmental Merit Award 2014

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Green Star Award 2010

Environmental League of Massachusetts

The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration 2016

Environmental Business Council of New England

Affiliations & memberships

River Network 1995

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CRWA’s goals are to protect, restore, and enhance the health, beauty, and accessibility of the Charles River and its watershed communities through science, advocacy, and the law.

CRWA has developed several key, interconnected programs to explore, test, and implement change. Focused on seemingly diverse elements such as educating local elected officials on nature-based solutions to stormwater runoff, collaborating on a Charles River Flood Model, creating a Climate Resilience Toolkit for watershed municipalities, regularly monitoring water quality, and more, CRWA’s programs work together to create real change. CRWA builds on a long legacy of advocating for the river. For over fifty years CRWA has been a fierce advocate for laws, policies, regulations, and enforcement actions that protect and restore the Charles River. With the vital assistance of over 80 Volunteer Monthly Monitors, CRWA has established one of the most extensive water quality data sets of any river in the nation since 1995. The Charles River watershed is also rich in diversity, both ecological and human. We are committed to centering equity, inclusion, and justice in all that we do. When we invest in climate resilience and water quality improvements, we help all our residents but particularly those who are disproportionately harmed such as BIPOC, low-income, elderly, or disabled community members.

CRWA is marshaling expertise, experience, and knowledge gained from our long and documented history of improving environmental conditions to address our climate challenge. Many of the strategies we have employed for environmental restoration over the past five decades—such as strong community engagement, developing partnerships, and a focus on restoring nature—are the exact same tools that can help our watershed adapt to climate change.

CRWA has been measuring change in the Charles River since 1995, and our River Science program serves as a model for watershed science programs across the country. We are the only organization that maintains a robust, year-round sampling program spanning the full extent of the Charles River. Our program includes monitoring water chemistry, pollutant levels, cyanobacteria algal blooms, streamflows, invertebrate species, and invasive plants. The Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection rely on our sampling results to develop and enforce water quality standards.

CRWA scientists continuously analyze our robust dataset to identify spatial and temporal trends that allow us to better understand the river system as a whole, and to identify problem areas. Our River Science program goes one step further and puts observations into action through river restoration projects like dam removals, invasive plant removal, stream naturalization, and fish stocking.

Our River Science program engages watershed residents as volunteer community scientists who help collect samples and restoration volunteers who participate in on-the-ground projects. This training and hands-on experience gives volunteers of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn about watershed management challenges and solutions. Equipped with this experience and knowledge, our volunteers are some of the strongest advocates for the Charles River.

CRWA has over 50 years of progress protecting and preserving the Charles River. To read more about our projects, past, and present, please visit our website, www.crwa.org, or read through our Annual Reports at www.crwa.org/financial-information!

Financials

Charles River Watershed Association, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Charles River Watershed Association, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Linda McLane


Board co-chair

Mr. Lance Campbell

Boston Planning and Development Agency

Term: 2019 - 2022

James Healy

Boston Duck Tours

Edward Englander

Englander, Leggett, & Chicoine

Ralph Abele

Resident of Newton, MA

Laurie Doyle

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Diane Hall

Resident of Wellesley, MA

Larry Yu

Bridgespan Group

Peter Fernandez

Google

Jennifer Hillenmeyer

Ernst & Young

Toni Hicks

Boston University School of Law

Stephanie Hsia

Reed Hilderbrand

Matthew Jasmin

Howard Stein Hudson

Patricia King

Resident of Newton, MA

Ihssane Leckey

Federal Reserve

Aditya Perakath

Gunderson Dettmer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data