Join the Movement

Author: Patrick Herron, MyRWA Executive Director

From a 3-legged stool to an octopus: water quality is here to stay. Join the movement and give a gift to for baseline water quality monitoring.


When I started at the Mystic River Watershed Association in 2009, my role was to lead the water quality monitoring program. At that time, we were a three-legged stool with water quality, policy and outreach being our core programs. Now nine years later, saying we are a three-legged stool seems out-of-date. With eight core programs, we are now an….octopus?

Though we have many more legs now--water quality is still a strong and important program. This is why for #GivingTuesday we are asking you to support our baseline water quality program. That is because data has the power to improve the water quality in the Mystic. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s look at the facts.

Through our baseline monitoring program volunteers go out every month and collect data on water quality. This data is then used by the Mystic River Watershed Association and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish the annual report card outlining what grade the rivers, lakes and tributaries earned that year.

This report card then makes headlines. As a matter of fact for two years in a row, it made headlines in the Boston Globe who called out a local town for its poor water quality grades. The result of these headlines: a consent agreement in one community with the US EPA to improve their aging infrastructure, as well as discussions with other municipalities. This means less pollutants discharged, including raw sewage, into the Mystic River watershed. Through our baseline water quality program, we documented and published the water-quality problems in the three tributaries of the Mystic that helped bring about this change. This would not have happened without 40 plus dedicated water quality volunteers who collect samples every month.

Please join the movement with a gift to our baseline water quality monitoring program for #GivingTuesday. Our goal is to raise $4,540.92 to fund water quality testing at 3 of our 15 sites for a full year. This includes purchasing water testing kits, paying for lab services, as well as analyzing and publishing the results.

For the first time ever all gifts will be matched 1:1 up to $2,500--between now and #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Please give a gift today so we can keep making headlines and making change!