­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Water Quality

Is it safe to swim? Is it safe to boat on the Mystic? Assessing water quality conditions is the foundation of our work – we strive to answer these questions and more. We accomplish this work through several comprehensive and long-term water quality monitoring programs.


MyRWA monitors trends in water quality at 15 sites throughout the watershed with the help of a dedicated corps of volunteers.


The Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program monitors cyanobacteria levels throughout the watershed.

Stormwater collaborative

We're helping municipalities reduce stormwater pollution by creating engaging educational materials.


boating advisory

The watershed wide flagging system alerts recreational users to safe or unsafe water quality conditions.


Mystic Greenways

The Mystic Greenways Initiative will connect 25 miles of paths, improve hundreds of acres of parkland and engage thousands of community members from the Mystic Lakes to Boston Harbor. 




Our education programs help students of all ages in a variety of settings to learn and understand how people and other organisms live within natural systems using the Mystic River as a living laboratory. 


Climate Resilience

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The Mystic River watershed is facing growing climate-related challenges including flooding, drought and heat.  One of the most developed watersheds in New England, the Mystic is home to a half-million residents, including many who are disproportionately vulnerable to extreme weather due to low incomes, health concerns and/or language barriers.  We partner with government, business and community stakeholders throughout the watershed to help its people and places not only survive but thrive in the face of climate challenges.


Invasive Plant Management

With the help of more than 1,500 volunteers each year, MyRWA works to remove the invasive weed, water chestnut, from the Mystic River and Arlington Reservoir and Oriential bittersweet from waterfront parks.  We partner with local businesses and community groups to offer fun and rewarding community stewardship events.

River Herring

The Mystic River Watershed has one of the most remarkable ecological success stories in New England with the rebounding of river herring thanks to expanded spawning ground. Citizen scientists are part of this success story and now students are too.



Working through the volunteer Policy and Outreach Committees, as well as in collaboration with partnering organizations, MyRWA addresses the issues and needs of the communities and natural resources of the 22 community watershed. The Policy and Outreach Committees meet monthly to review permits, develop comment letters, plan community outreach events, develop educational handouts, and initiate letter writing campaigns about environmental issues.