Charles River Watershed Association (Weston, MA)


  • Name:Kate Bowditch
  • Title:Director of Projects

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Charles River Watershed Association
  • Address:190 Park Rd.
    Weston, MA 02493
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:781-788-0007
  • Main fax:781-788-0057

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • To use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed.

  • Overview:
  • Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) combines local experience with national partnerships and collaborations to advance urban river restoration. Our interdisciplinary approach combines watershed science, hydrology, engineering, urban planning and environmental law to develop replicable, cost-effective and sustainable solutions for restoring the health of an urban watershed. Using the Charles River as a laboratory, CRWA works to make the urban landscape function like a natural landscape. Our work is innovative and diverse, including technical research, field work and data collection, policy development, advocacy, education and support of our large volunteer network. While CRWA’s mission focuses on the Charles River, the implications and applicability of our science-based work go far beyond the watershed’s boundaries.

    CRWA’s strength and effectiveness lie in our unique, cutting edge work: we use our scientific knowledge of the Charles to develop innovative, workable solutions to watershed problems that are broadly applicable. This knowledge allows CRWA to advocate persuasively for outcomes in our own watershed, and to partner with government agencies to protect the natural environment and promote sustainable water management policies and practices across the country.

  • History:
  • One of the country's oldest watershed organizations, 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 cleanup 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.

    Once heralded in song for “that dirty water” (The Standells, 1966), the Charles River is now considered the cleanest urban river in the United States. CRWA has been directly involved in all of the major milestones of the cleanup, including:

    • Creation of the Natural Valley Storage Area, an area of nearly 9000 acres of preserved wetlands in the middle- and upper-watershed that protects greater Boston from floods and provides vital habitat, recreation and water quality improvements

    • Agreement from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Charles River as part of the cleanup of Boston Harbor (to date, overflows into the Charles have been reduced by 98% since 1988)

    • Removal of hundreds of gallons of sewage discharged to the river from illegal “cross connections” from municipal sewers to the Charles River

    • The establishment in 1995, of a long-term monthly water quality monitoring program which relies on 80 plus dedicated volunteers to collect water samples based on scientifically rigorous protocols and provides the only continuous water quality dataset of the entire Charles River

    • Introduction of over 8 million American shad fry to the Charles River, which is once again clean enough to support this anadromous fishery, once so vital in New England

    • The targeted harvesting of invasive water chestnuts in the lakes district, begun in 2006 and based on successful partnerships between CRWA, community members and local businesses, and hundreds of volunteer hand pullers

    CRWA also brings people together to celebrate and protect the Charles River with several region-wide events each year, including the annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup that engages over 4,000 volunteers; the Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race which brings over 1,400 paddlers out onto the river each spring; and, in partnership with other advocates, the Charles River Swim each summer.

    In 2011, CRWA won the prestigious International River Foundation’s Theiss International Riverprize for our work in the past half-century on the restoration of the Charles River. The strength of our organization lies in the continued development of long-term science, advocacy and community involvement at the local level combined with communication of our successful strategies at the national and international stage.

  • Year established:1965
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:17
  • Advisory board size:18
  • Staff size:9


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:04-6136989

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:046136989
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:190 PARK RD
  • Organization City:WESTON
  • Organization State:MA
  • Organization Zip:02493-2256
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:March, 1992
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:16
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization that normally receives no more than one third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes. 509(a)(2)
  • Activity Code(s):350
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Preservation of natural resources (conservation)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:September, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:September
  • NTEE Code:C013
  • Asset Amount:$1,651,742
  • Asset Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$2,674,412
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$2,575,986
  • Last Updated:3/21/2018 7:07:17 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.