website search
upcoming events

May 3
Committee Meeting, 7-9PM
Tufts University, Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Rabb Room, 10 Upper Campus Road, Medford
Guest speaker: Herring Alliance

May 7
Earth Day Clean-ups
various locations

May 9
Friends of the Malden River meeting, 6:30-8PM Cambridge Health Alliance, 195 Canal Street, Malden

May 15
Herring Run & Paddle
32 Shore Dr., Somerville, MA

June 14
Flatbread Pizza Dough Raiser
45 Day St., Somerville, MA


Enjoy Pizza and Bowling for a Cause!

On Tuesday, June 14th head to Flatbread Pizza at Sacco's Bowl Haven in Davis Square for a Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) fundraiser. That’s right, the more flatbread you eat the more money will be raised to support the Mystic River Watershed Association and our efforts to protect and restore the Mystic River Watershed!

Eat at or get take-out from Flatbread Pizza, 45 Day Street, Somerville, between 5pm and 11pm on June 14th and a portion of your flatbread cost will automatically be donated to MyRWA.

Reservations are accepted for groups of 10 or more.


Rain barrels and compost bins offered by City of Medford

Medford is selling compost bins & rain barrels all month, for pickup in May:      
  • The Orbis Earth Machine retails at hardware stores for $110.  Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Medford will again be able to offer these bins for $40 for a limited time.
  • Order compost bins by May 10th for pickup on Wednesday, May 25 from 5 to 7pm at City Hall.  Ordering instructions at

DCR Public Meeting on MacDonald Park Improvements 

Announcement courtesy of Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

Please mark your calendars for a DCR Public Meeting on Torbert MacDonald Park Improvements.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

River’s Edge, Great Lawn Room (First Floor)

200 River’s Edge Drive, Medford, MA 02155

At this public meeting, DCR will present an introduction to, and obtain feedback on, concept designs for potential improvements to MacDonald Park in the Mystic River Reservation, including new park seating areas, signage, and recreational amenities.  DCR will also provide information on some planned improvements that, subject to permitting, would commence soon, including removal of invasive species in the water and on the land and reconstruction of deteriorated walkways. 

The presentation will be viewable after the meeting on DCR’s website at  The public is invited to submit comments after the meeting either online at or by U.S. mail addressed to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA.  Comments must be received by DCR by the close-of-business on Thursday, May 26.   

If you have questions or would like to be added to an email list to receive DCR general or project-specific announcement, please email or call 617-626-4973.



River Herring Management

River herring. Photo by Patrick Herron.Curious about how river herring are managed at sea? On May 3rd we’ll be joined by Katharine Deuel of The Herring Alliance to discuss the current state of affairs regarding river herring, the New England Fishery Management Council and NOAA. 

This presentation is part of the Mystic River Watershed Association’s monthly Committee Meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at Tufts University, Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Rabb Room, 10 Upper Campus Road, Medford. Free and open to the public!


ACTION ALERT: Aquatic Invasive Species Control

Action Alert: Contact your representative today to continue the eradication of water chestnut from the Mystic River

Amendment #932 puts $350,000 into the DCR budget for Aquatic Invasive Species Control. The amendment is sponsored by Representative Khan of Newton, Stanley of Waltham, Lawn of Watertown, Provost of Somerville and Baker of Newton.

What you can do to help support this amendment?

A)  Contact your local representative to request that they cosponsor Amendment #932 to put $350,000 in the budget for invasive species control. Talk about how this funding has been critical during the past few years to eliminate water chestnut in the Mystic and Charles Rivers.
State Representative Paul J. Donato
(617) 722-2180

State Representative Christine Barber
(617) 722-2430

State Representative Sean Garballey
(617) 722-2090

B)   Contact the Speaker of the House and the House Ways and Means Chair to express your support for Amendment #932.

Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo
(617) 722-2500

House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey
(617) 722-2990


The Mystic River will thank you!

Local Organizations Team Up for Seventh Annual Mystic Community Earth Day

Several organizations are joining together for the seventh consecutive year to coordinate numerous events for Earth Day in the Mystic River Watershed in Arlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Somerville and Winchester.  Comprising “Mystic Community Earth Day,” events will take place on Saturday, April 23rd, April 30th, and May 7th in honor of Earth Day (April 22nd) and focus on improving areas along the Mystic River, Aberjona River and Chelsea Creek, while drawing attention to the needs of the watershed as a whole. All events are free and open to the public. Volunteers needed!

The Mystic River Watershed is the most urbanized, densely populated watershed in Massachusetts, with over half a million people living in its 76 square miles. Due to its long industrial history and aging sewer systems, the water quality of the river is severely degraded and access to the riverfront is limited. Despite these challenges, residents, community groups, and organizations are working to improve the Mystic River, its tributaries, and surrounding communities. 

This year marks the 46th Earth Day, which was first hosted on April 22, 1970, and featured rallies, protests, and cleanups across the country with a strong college student presence. That day is often considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Earth Day 2016 will be observed nationwide on April 22nd and marked by many of the same activities as the original event 46 years ago.   

Mystic Community Earth Day will include river and park cleanups, plantings, and trail clearings. For more information about any of the Mystic Community Earth Day events, please contact the respective coordinator from each organization (see below). Events include the following: 



Friends of Alewife Reservation invites you to our annual Earth Day/DCR Park Serve Day at the Alewife Reservation in Cambridge, MA.  Students, companies, families, and individuals are all welcome to join on April 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will work together to remove trash from the Reservation, maintain trails and improve the health of the ecosystem in this flood-plain region. All tools and supplies as well as water will be provided. Volunteers should meet across the street from the Alewife MBTA station pickup area.
Contact:, (617)-415-1884, or  



The Chelsea Collaborative is holding their annual Chelsea Earth Day Celebration: Clean Up! on Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers should meet at Chelsea City Hall Parking Lot, 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA.
Contact: or Maria Belén Power at or 617-889-6080 X115 



Bike to the Sea, Inc. and Friends of the Malden River are partnering with the Cities of Malden and Everett for an Earth Day Cleanup. Volunteers will cut back brush along the trail, remove branches, pick up trash, sweep off the trail and generally clean up the paved section of trail from its start in Everett to the Revere town line. We will gather at the map kiosk across from Cambridge Health Alliance at 195 Canal Street then spread out along the bike trail. Join us on Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Contact: Karen at or



Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) will host a river and park cleanup to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 30th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. We will be removing litter and invasive plants, and a community art project - Hermione the Trash Herring – will be part of the mix. Volunteers should meet at the DCR Torbert MacDonald Park parking lot off of Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16 in Medford. The event is also accessible by the MBTA Wellington Station on the Orange Line. All supplies will be provided. Rain or shine.
Contact: Beth at or 781-316-3438

Friends of the Mystic River will host its 21st annual Mystic River Spring Cleanup on Saturday, May 7th, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., meeting at the Condon Band Shell parking lot, 2501 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford.  Volunteers are invited to collect trash and debris in the Condon Shell Park/Route 16 area, or at any other location of their choosing between the Lower Mystic Lake and Torbert MacDonald Park. Cleanup supplies will be provided along with morning and lunchtime refreshments. In the event of heavy rain on May 7th, the cleanup will take place on Sunday, May 8th.
Contact:, 781-391-2604 or

Medford Community Coalition (MCC) is hosting a cleanup of Medford Square on Saturday, April 30th from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Volunteers will meet at the Burying Ground Plaza, at the corner of Salem & River Street, and split into teams to give the square a good cleaning. DPW will provide bags and tools, and we'll get right into picking up trash and making the Square as beautiful as it can be.
Contact: Laura at

Friends of the Fellsand Mass DCR are hosting a cleanup, trail restoration and invasive plant removal on Saturday, April 30th. Meet at Flynn Rink (300 Elm Street, Medford, at corner of Woodland Road) between 9:00 and 11:00 am to register and arrange your work assignment. Please bring water, snacks, sunscreen and/or bug spray to suit your needs. Any required tools will be provided. Lightning cancels, otherwise please dress for the weather.
Contact: Lindsay at 413-237-4747 or email



Groundwork Somerville is hosting Comcast Cares Day with the City of Somerville on Saturday, April 30th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, and 11 other sites around the City including South Street Farm, the Community Path and Union Square. See the full list of locations at Pick a site and come out to get ready for spring! Events will be followed by a BBQ at 12:00 p.m. at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse on Shore Drive.
Contact: Chris Mancini,



The Winchester Conservation Commission is sponsoring its annual Aberjona River Cleanup on Saturday, May 7th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet at Town Hall Parking Lot, 71 Mt. Vernon Street, Winchester. Plastic bags and gloves will be provided.  Please come with clothing to cover your feet and arms.
Contact: Elaine Vreeland at (781) 721-7152 or




Finally! New Stormwater Management Plan

The EPA released the new Massachusetts Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit on 4/13. This permit is extremely important for making improvements on stormwater within the watershed - MyRWA played a key role in advocating for and providing guidance to the development of the permit.

Read the EPA press release.



River herring presentation 4/12


Globe subscribers: Help us earn a free ad 

Are you a Boston Globe subscriber? If so, we have a favor to ask. Help us earn a free ad in the Globe just by showing your support. Simply go to and enter your subscriber information and the name and location of our organization before April 30, 2106. It only takes a minute, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Your support will be converted into GRANT advertising dollars, which we can redeem for ad space in the Globe. The more dollars raised, the larger the ad — which means more exposure for the Mystic River Watershed Association and the important work we do.

Thank you in advance for your support. We appreciate it more than you know.


Volunteer Photographer and/or Videographer needed!

Are you looking to expand your portfolio? The Mystic River Watershed Association may have just the event for you! On Sunday, May 15th MyRWA will host the 20th annual Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle at the Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, 32 Shore Drive, Somerville, MA. The event includes a 5K road race, bicycle tour, and 3 paddling races, as well as kid’s activities. It’s a full day of action shots, portraits, video opportunities and more!

For more information please contact



Seeking volunteers to assist with design & marketing!

Volunteer Opportunity: Graphic Design

Help clean-up the Mystic River with your design skills!

The Mystic River Watershed Association’s Clean Water Campaign Committee is seeking a volunteer with graphic design expertise. The Committee aims to increase awareness of the Mystic River and its sources of pollution, connect people to this natural resource and inspire both stewardship and environmental advocacy. The Committee is working on a series of outreach materials and is looking to engage a graphic designer in this work. Products may include brochures, posters and flyers. The Committee meets at Tufts University once per month (typically first Tues. of the month, 7-9pm). Estimated time commitment = 5-10 hours/month.

Email Beth to get involved & learn more!


Volunteer Opportunity: Marketing and Communications

The Mystic River Watershed Association’s Clean Water Campaign Committee is seeking a volunteer with marketing expertise. The Committee aims to increase awareness of the Mystic River and its sources of pollution, connect people to this natural resource and inspire both stewardship and environmental advocacy. The Committee is working on a series of outreach materials and is looking for a professional in marketing and communications to assist in the development and implementation of a marking strategy. The Committee meets at Tufts University once per month (typically first Tues. of the month, 7-9pm). Estimated time commitment = 5-10 hours/month.

Email Beth to get involved & learn more!


Lead in Our Water: Lessons from Flint to Massachusetts

Please join MyRWA and Tufts University for this special event!

7:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 12th
Pearson Chemical Lab, 62 Talbot Ave, Somerville, MA 02144, USA

Media coverage on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has made us all aware of the devastation faced by residents of the area. This event brings together experts to discuss the events that have been occurring, not as a crisis for just Flint residents, but as a window into water issues in America and Massachusetts. What lessons can be learned from the Flint water crisis?

Event is FREE and open to the public.


  • Veronica Eady, Conservation Law Foundation
  • Jeffery Griffiths, Tufts University
  • Steve Estes- Smargiassi, Mass. Water Resources Authority
  • Yvette DePieza, Mass. DEP

Co-sponsored by the Mystic River Watershed Association


We're Hiring! 

The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is seeking a full-time Director of Development! MyRWA has need of an energetic and dedicated development professional to build on our current success and to develop sustainable funding for our growing organization. To date, MyRWA has had success in securing broad, diversified support from members, corporate partners, private foundations and government grants. Since 2008, revenues have increased five-fold and our programs continue to expand. The Director of Development will be called upon to create and execute an effective and systematic approach to fundraising while cultivating deeper relationships with existing and potential funders. This new position represents a unique opportunity for an experienced professional to leverage their skills in development, strategic planning and relationship-building to take our organization to the next level of impact and visibility.

Learn more.


Taking a closer look at Citizen Science Programs & River Herring

Photo by David MussinaCitizen science programs, like MyRWA's River Herring Monitoring Program, provide valuable information for scientific studies. These programs also have the potential to inspire environmental awareness and behavior. Meghna Marjadi, a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (and former MyRWA intern!), considered the educational aspect of citizen science programs in a 2015 study of MyRWA’s Herring Monitoring Program. Meghna will present the results of this study as well as new findings about reproductive success in alewives – the results of which will be used in population modelling to develop better management plans for the species.

This presentation is part of the Mystic River Watershed Association’s monthly Committee Meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on April 5, 2016 at Tufts University, Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Rabb Room, 10 Upper Campus Road, Medford. Free and open to the public!


MyRWA Weighs in on Wynn Casino Permit

As part of the March 8, 2016 press conference held by Wynn Resorts, MyRWA's Executive Director EkOngKar Singh (EK) Khalsa offered the following comments:

The Mystic River is a great river, a river of history and the Mystic has reached an important turning point. Thirty years ago if you fell into the Mystic you would come out covered in oil and probably need a tetanus shot. Since then our organization and many other advocates have made a difference and the river now enjoys much improved water quality and abundant wildlife including one of the largest river herring migrations in the Commonwealth. This important natural resource is shared by more than one half million people in 22 Mystic River towns and cities all of whom will benefit from increased access to the river and healthier open space on its banks.

The Mystic River Watershed Association has, since 2013, closely followed Wynn Resorts proposal to build a billion dollar resort casino on the banks of the Mystic River. As an environmental organization attuned to the way proposed development projects will impact existing environmental conditions, MyRWA has provided comment letters, public testimony and specific site plan recommendations to the proponents and public officials.

Conditions of the Wynn Resort’s Chapter 91 License, as approved by MA DEP, provides significant public benefit including the remediation of an abandoned and contaminated industrial site, the creation of new waterfront park space, construction of a living shoreline through tidelands and salt marsh restoration and development of a new Harbor Walk that will provide connection to offsite park spaces and pedestrian and bicycle pathways.    

In addition to work to which they have already committed, the Wynn Resorts group has given every indication they intend to provide ongoing leadership and support for further restoration of the Mystic River’s tidelands, riverfront and open spaces.

As a result of our participation in what was a robust permitting process and after our review of the permit as issued, the Mystic River Watershed Association supports the conclusions drawn by the Department of Environmental Protection in its Written Determination and its intention to issue a Chapter 91 permit for the Wynn project with appropriate and proportionate conditions.

The resort casino proposed by Wynn Everett has the potential to transform the former Monsanto Chemical property from a forlorn and forgotten hazardous waste site to more productive use and will bring a variety of public benefits to residents of densely developed Mystic River communities.

MyRWA Executive Director EkOngKar Singh Khalsa addresses the crowd at the press conference hosted by Wynn on March 8, 2016.


Does your office need to get some sun?

Volunteers remove water chestnuts from the Mystic River in Somerville.Come tackle the invasive water chestnut with MyRWA!

MyRWA has Community and Corporate Event opportunities for groups of up to 100 people this summer! Volunteers hand-pull water chestnut from canoes during this fun and rewarding stewardship event.  A four hour event has tremendous impact, visibly clearing the river of the invasive weed. By sponsoring a corporate event, your company will participate in a major green initiative while providing a great team-building opportunity on the river for your employees. We have worked with many organizations and companies over the past six years, and supply all the materials and expertise necessary.

Are you interested in hosting a corporate water chestnut event? Please contact Veronique at or 781-316-3438.

Read more about the Water Chestnut Removal Project.



Go Green & Earn $ for you and MyRWA!

MyRWA has partnered with Viridian Energy to offer our friends 50% green energy at a 5% savings while automatically supporting the Association. We also have a special offer that ends March 7th!  Enroll as a customer or associate by Monday, March 7th.  As an Associate you can earn monthly residual income and weekly bonus like $400 if you sign up by 3/7 and get 3 customers. You get rewarded and so does MyRWA, mankind and the earth!

To learn more contact Doug Turner anytime 781-820-7467



Friends of Alewife Reservation special event

Friends of Alewife Reservation will host their Board Meeting with a special Guest Speaker: Nancy Hammett, MA Rivers Alliance Staff (former Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association & former member of Watertown's Conservation Commission and Stormwater Advisory Committee.) Nancy Hammett will discuss the expanded US-EPA federal regulations concerning storm water, and what we might consider at Alewife to improve Little River's EPA issued "D- " Water Quality Report Card. Call 617-415-1884 for more information.

Thursday, March 10, 7-8pm: Speaker- Nancy Hammett, MA Rivers Alliance

Lesley University Room 2-026 (Second floor by information desk, glass room)

Free and open to the public!


Celebrate Earth Day with the Mystic River Watershed Association

Calling all volunteers!

Join together with Mystic River communities in the celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd) by cleaning up litter and removing invasive plants in Medford's Torbert MacDonald Park, part of the Mystic River Reservation. This event is also part of DCR Park Serve Day - MassParks annual statewide day of volunteer service during Earth Week.

WHO: Community volunteers - please RSVP

WHAT: Earth Day River Clean Up to improve DCR's Torbert MacDonald Park sponsored by the Mystic River Watershed Association

WHERE: DCR Torbert MacDonald Park, Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA
*Meet in the parking lot by the Medford State Police barracks

WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 9:00AM-12:00PM



Addressing stormwater to cleanup our rivers

In response to the Boston Globe's 2/22/2016 article, EPA forcing towns to clean up Charles River, By David Abel, MyRWA's Executive Director, EkOngKar Singh Khalsa offers the following response:

Stormwater pollution is a real problem for rivers, lakes and streams throughout the Commonwealth. 

​The Mystic River Watershed Association applauds US EPA's determination to address these problems in the Charles River. This​ represents an important step to eliminate ​a significant impairment​ to the local natural environment. 

​I​n the Mystic River, as in other urban rivers throughout the country, water quality is significantly impacted by untreated runoff from city streets and municipal stormwater systems. 

As the negative impacts of this runoff become more evident​,​ the need for a more effective and sophisticated approach to stormwater management become​s​ more apparent. ​

Maintaining healthy, clear and free flowing waterways is ​well ​worth the costs.