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Charles River Watershed Association, Inc.

 190 Park Road
 Weston, MA 02493
[P] (781) 788-0007
[F] (781) 788-0057
Nishaila Porter
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-6136989

LAST UPDATED: 12/20/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

"Protecting, preserving and enhancing the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy and the law." 

Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) focuses on a unique mix of science, advocacy, and law to guide our approach to restoring the Charles River. Our strong science and engineering research and advocacy promote smart environmental policies while informing CRWA's green infrastructure and urban design projects. Combined, CRWA's work promotes resilient communities and healthy river ecosystem. 

Mission Statement

"Protecting, preserving and enhancing the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy and the law." 

Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) focuses on a unique mix of science, advocacy, and law to guide our approach to restoring the Charles River. Our strong science and engineering research and advocacy promote smart environmental policies while informing CRWA's green infrastructure and urban design projects. Combined, CRWA's work promotes resilient communities and healthy river ecosystem. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2017 to Sept 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,240,400.00
Projected Expense $1,240,400.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Blue Cities Initiative
  • Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Community Involvement, Education and Outreach
  • Field Science
  • Law, Advocacy and Policy

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

"Protecting, preserving and enhancing the Charles River and its watershed through science, advocacy and the law." 

Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) focuses on a unique mix of science, advocacy, and law to guide our approach to restoring the Charles River. Our strong science and engineering research and advocacy promote smart environmental policies while informing CRWA's green infrastructure and urban design projects. Combined, CRWA's work promotes resilient communities and healthy river ecosystem. 

Background Statement

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 been the catalyst for major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last five decades have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management. 

Now in our fifth decade of environmental advocacy, CRWA continues its role as the catalyst for the restoration of the Charles River. CRWA is a national leader in the science of river restoration, from monitoring and data collection, to computer modeling and the construction of projects that improve river health. As a result of CRWA’s work, the Charles River has transformed from one of the most polluted rivers in the country to the cleanest urban river in the United States according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Impact Statement

The impacts of CRWA’s work over the past year include:
Water quality sampling: CRWA scientists and volunteers continue to collect monthly samples at 35 locations on the river, monitored cyanobacteria blooms throughout the summer, and survey the benthic macroinvertebrate community in the river and its tributaries annually to monitor changes in water quality over time.
Blue Cities Projects: CRWA designed and implemented a green street along Edenfield Ave. in Watertown, MA to collect, cool and filter stormwater runoff the street and sidewalks. CRWA also publish green infrastructure recommendations and guidance documents for the City of Cambridge. 
Education and Outreach:  CRWA partnered with Boston Public Schools, Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Horsley Witten Group, and education experts to design and install green infrastructure (GI) at five Boston public school yards and develop a supporting seventh-grade science curriculum using the GI systems as living laboratories. 
Major goals for the current year include:
Organizational Planning: Development of a new strategic plan under CRWA's first new executive director in nearly 30 years. Initiation of a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative.
Blue Cities: Development of a subwatershed restoration plan for Milford, MA with 1-3 projects identified for implementation. Design and construction of a green street along Coolidge Road in Allston, MA. 
Advocacy and Law: Implementation of a strong, effective, science-based stormwater general permit (a.k.a. MS4 permit) for our watershed communities.  
Climate Adaptation: Working with state and community officials to design and implement nature-based and regional solutions to address climate impacts from increased rain and drought conditions and rising temperatures.  

Needs Statement

CRWA investigates and develops science-based solutions for the most pressing challenges facing the Charles River and its watershed. CRWA is working to build resilience to climate change into our landscape and communities, using tools and techniques adapted from the natural world. CRWA is seeking unrestricted gifts of all kinds, restricted gifts and grants to support specific programs as described on the Programs tab, and to build our membership to reach a broader community within the Charles River watershed and beyond.


CEO Statement

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. Much of CRWA’s work leads the field, and therein lies our unique strength and effectiveness: we use our scientific knowledge of the Charles to develop innovative, workable solutions to watershed problems which are also broadly applicable. This knowledge allows CRWA not only to advocate persuasively for outcomes, but also to partner with government agencies and other environmental groups to protect the natural environment and to promote sustainable ecosystem policies and practices. (Note that CRWA's long-time Executive Director retired on June 30, 2018; this statement will be updated when the new director, Emily Norton, begins her role in September 2018.)

Board Chair Statement

Fifty years of hard work by CRWA has transformed the “Dirty Water” of the past to the People’s River, a river once again worth treasuring. We celebrate that hard-won victory while also acknowledging the threat of losing all these gains in a changing climate. The river we all cherish, that has become the beloved gem of Boston, Cambridge and the entire region, depends on the constant vigilance and innovative thinking of the dedicated staff and volunteers that make up the Charles River Watershed Association. I am honored to be a part of this community and to support this river I have grown to love.  


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
CRWA works primarily within the 35 cities and towns located within the Charles River watershed. CRWA also works throughout the New England region to collaborate with sister organizations to contribute to the development of federal and/or state policy and regulation. Several of CRWA’s key projects, namely Blue Cities Initiative and Twinning, have a national and international focus, and we’ve implemented projects in Kentucky, Michigan and the Dominican Republic. While CRWA’s work focuses primarily on the Charles River, the applications of our science-based work go far beyond the watershed’s boundaries and, in many cases, can be implemented in any urban watershed.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation & Management
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Citizen Participation
  3. Environment - Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Blue Cities Initiative

CRWA's Blue Cities Initiative creates resilient cities that mimic the natural water cycle and reduce the risks of flooding while supporting healthy rivers and an improved quality of life. CRWA’s demonstration projects incorporate green infrastructure such as rain gardens that recharge groundwater levels and clean polluted runoff naturally.
Blue Cities empowers and equips communities, including environmental justice communities, with strategies and tools necessary to address pollution, improve access to open space, and advocate for “greener” neighborhoods. By involving local youth and residents in the planning and design process, Blue Cities encourages communities to connect back to their neglected waterways, while building resiliency to deal with the effects of climate change.
Budget  $233,310.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Sustainable Design
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  CRWA develops designs for stormwater treatment practices in a way that leads to public realm enhancement and improved access to green space. These designs are evaluated based on their stormwater treatment efficacy, costs, and overall impacts and benefits.

One of the ways CRWA achieves short term success on our Blue Cities projects is by designing and implementing green infrastructure projects that enable the community to meet the requirements of the nutrient (Total Maximum Daily Load) TMDL at the least cost and with maximum environmental benefit. CRWA conducts site visits and tours of our demonstration projects in order to communicate with the community about the importance of controlling polluted stormwater runoff, and the benefits of recharging stormwater into the ground to replenish local groundwater supplies.
Program Long-Term Success 

The goal of Blue Cities is to reengineer urban landscapes to function more naturally by restoring the natural hydrologic function in cities. By widely incorporating green infrastructure through Blue Cities designs, cities will become more resilient to inland flooding, extreme weather conditions and other effects of climate change. Through the use of soil and plant based infrastructure that helps with filtration and infiltration into the ground, Blue Cities designs will ultimately lead to more healthy waterbodies and an improved quality of life for our urban communities. 

Program Success Monitored By 

CRWA measures the results of our Blue Cities demonstration projects through water quality data and community feedback. CRWA's scientists take water samples and measure flow data before and after a project is implemented to understand how well the newly installed green infrastructure prevents pollution from entering the Charles River. In addition, staff use the comprehensive data collected as part of CRWA's volunteer monthly monitoring program to determine how our approach is effecting the river over the longer term. 

CRWA collects comments and suggestions from the community and project partners to measure how well a project met community needs.
Examples of Program Success 

Since 2005, CRWA has undertaken a variety of projects that incorporate green infrastructure in underserved urban communities in and around Boston. Blue Cities has not only implemented a number of demonstration projects in environmental justice communities, but has also empowered communities with strategies and tools to address pollution in their waterways, improve access to open space and advocate for green infrastructure in their neighborhoods. By involving local residents, youth groups and schools with building community gardens and outdoor classrooms, Blue Cities is providing communities a way to come together and connect back to their neglected waterways. In addition, green infrastructure reduces the urban heat island effect and improve air quality, while building resiliency to deal with the effects of climate change that are resulting in more frequent and intense weather events.

Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

CRWA is committed to reducing the impacts of climate change and supporting restorative climate adaptation. We work every day across all program areas to create river, and therefore, watershed resiliency to increasing temperatures, more intense precipitation events and more frequent summertime droughts. We do this through CRWA’s water-energy nexus work (a.k.a. Urban Smart Sewering project); participation in municipal and state climate planning initiatives; watershed- and subwatershed-scale planning; stream, wetland and floodplain restoration; and dam removal.  

CRWA’s Urban Smart Sewering project reimagines and redesignes the conventional water management system to support sustainable urban growth and environmental restoration. With major water infrastructure investments and upgrades needed across the nation in the coming decades, CRWA recognizes the importance of finding innovative and integrated ways to manage water and energy systems to help make cities more sustainable and resilient. CRWA proposes that communities treat wastewater in distributed Community Water and Energy Resource Centers (CWERCs). A CWERC is a small scale enclosed wastewater treatment facility. At the facility water is cleaned for re-use and energy is generated by anaerobic digestion. Thermal energy in the water is captured for use heating and cooling surrounding buildings. 
Budget  $158,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Sustainable Design
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

CRWA is working with watershed communities to develop nature based solutions that will help communities solve existing water resource management challenges, such as polluted runoff and flooding, and help communities adapt to our changing climate.  

CRWA is working with the community of Littleton, MA to design a small scale CWERC for the Town's commercial and industrial centers, the CWERC is a wastewater treatment facility that recycles the wastewater into renewable energy and re-use water. A pilot facility will allow us to demonstrate the efficacy of this project. 
To expand the concept throughout Massachusetts, CRWA will present our vision to residents, policy makers, municipal officials and others. 
Program Long-Term Success 

CRWA is identifying, developing and advancing climate mitigation and adaptation measures that are environmentally restorative. Resiliency planning that focuses on individual parcels or areas, but does not acknowledge potential "upstream" or "downstream" impacts has the potential to do more harm than good. CRWA is bringing their decades of experience in taking the watershed view into the climate planning and resilience realm. 

The ultimate goal of CRWA’s Urban Smart Sewering project is to move to distributed wastewater treatment and energy generation across the watershed. CRWA seeks to develop a prototype and implementation plan for how eastern Massachusetts communities can transition from centralized wastewater treatment to distributed wastewater treatment. Through the distributed system, communities will also have the ability to capture wastewater resources to help generate renewable, thermal energy at multiple nodes across the region. This will help communities meet the future energy, water and resiliency needs of our vibrant region while protecting and restoring our valuable environmental resources. CWERCs will help to fully restore the Charles River by putting more water back into our rivers, ensuring healthy flow levels, reducing air pollution, and improving water quality.
Program Success Monitored By  The short term success of this project will be measured by whether the technical work is able to address the concerns and meet the needs of residents, water professional, and project partners. It will also be measured by whether we are able to convince lawmakers, municipal officials, residents and other decision makers of the importance of replacing traditional wastewater infrastructure with technology that is resilient and flexible in the face of climate change.
Examples of Program Success 

CRWA conducted extensive research and modeling to bring our vision from an idea to a reality. We have carefully examined the benefits of CWERCs and associated green infrastructure districts. We have found that a CWERC sized to treat 3 million gallons of wasterwater per day can fit on a 2.5 acre of land and produce 5,300 megawatt-hours of electricity and 421,926 million BTUs of thermal energy per year. Our research shows that CWERCs are a feasible system for treating wastewater. 

Community Involvement, Education and Outreach

CRWA educates the public about the Charles River and hosts volunteer activities that improve the Charles while engaging the community.

Projects and events include:
  • Twinning: CRWA works with project partners in the Dominican Republic to restore an urban river.
  • Green infrastructure workshops: CRWA teaches homeowners and municipal employees how to use rain gardens and other strategies to reduce pollution while beautifying communities. 
  • Classroom education: CRWA staff engage youth in taking care of our environment and the planet.
  • Canoeing for Clean Water: CRWA works with community members and volunteers to eradicate the invasive water chestnut in the Charles River in Newton and Waltham.
  • Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup: CRWA engages over 2,000 volunteers to improve the health and beauty of the river by removing litter and debris.
  • Run of the Charles: Boston's Premier Paddling Race: The largest flat-bottomed boat race in New England, this event draws an average of 1,500 racers each year.
Budget  $178,240.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

After attending one of our classroom education sessions, students will have a clear understanding of the challenges facing the Charles River. After completing a workshop about green infrastructure participants will have the skills needed to incorporate these techniques into their yards or development projects. 

Program Long-Term Success  Through our community involvement, education and outreach projects the general public including homeowners, students and decision makers will become educated about the importance of a healthy Charles River and how to achieve it. They will support CRWA's mission by advocating for projects and  policies and by taking personal actions such as building a rain garden that promote the health of the Charles River. As attitudes and behaviors continue to change, the Charles River will continue to improve. 
Program Success Monitored By 

CRWA assesses our workshops and training sessions through participant surveys. We measure the success of our volunteer programs through number of hours donated, number of participants engaged, and pounds of trash collected or invasive plants removed.

CRWA measures the overall success of our outreach and educational programs by tracking newspaper and journal articles covering our work, the number of talks and presentations we deliver, number of people attending our site tours and public forum, and website traffic.
Examples of Program Success 

The Charles River Cleanup has engaged thousands of volunteers since 2000 and removed a cumulative 350 tons of trash from the banks of the Charles River and surrounding park lands. The event is enjoyed by student, community and corporate groups to build camaraderie while giving back to the community. 

Through volunteer efforts with the Canoeing for Clean Water program, the threat to the Lakes District of the Charles River from invasive water chestnuts has begun to decrease. Volunteers increased the visibility of the issue and helped leverage funding from the State for mechanical harvesting of the invasive weed. . 

Field Science

CRWA’s ability to collect and analyze data enables us to direct our advocacy and implementation work persuasively and effectively. The cornerstone of this effort is CRWA’s Volunteer Monthly Monitoring Program where a dedicated team of 80 trained volunteers travel to 35 sites along the Charles every month to collect water samples, measure depth and temperature, and record river conditions. As a result of this program, CRWA has collected one of the most comprehensive water quality data sets of any river in the nation.
In 2014, CRWA expanded this effort with the launch of a biological monitoring program, which provides a broad picture of the general health of a stream. Each summer, CRWA also  provides a daily public notification of water quality forecasts in the Charles River using an online, real-time notification system.
CRWA science staff monitor the results of our Blue Cities demonstration projects to determine the impact on the health of the Charles River.  
Budget  $68,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Water Pollution Control
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

The data collected through each field science program is absolutely critical to CRWA’s work, as it directly informs, and helps staff report on the success of, programs and demonstration projects in the watershed. CRWA’s ongoing, monthly collection of water quality data from our established monitoring sites remains the watershed’s most fundamental and core water quality monitoring program. As a result, 35 sites along the entire 80-mile Charles River are monitored monthly to provide the broadest and most comprehensive picture of the river’s health. 

Program Long-Term Success 

The Charles River has experienced tremendous improvements in water quality over the last 30 years, and the data obtained through CRWA’s Field Science Program documents this monumental achievement. The data highlights significant improvements made in wastewater collection and treatment, and the elimination of many point sources of pollution in the Charles.

Using CRWA’s data, the U.S. EPA awards the annual Charles River Report Card to measure improvements in water quality in the Charles River Lower Basin.  According to CRWA’s data, the Charles was safe for boating 91 percent of the time and safe for swimming 65 percent of the time in 2017, resulting in an "A-" grade. The  grade demonstrates not only how far the Charles has come since 1995, when the river received a "D" grade, but also how much work remains to achieve a swimmable river. 

Program Success Monitored By  CRWA scientists communicate regularly with volunteers, analyze data on a monthly basis, and post water quality results on our website to make them available for the public. This long-term program has been a proven success for many years, and with a committed cadre of volunteers, we are encouraged by our ability to effectively monitor water quality at 35 locations along the entire 80-mile Charles River.
Examples of Program Success 

CRWA’s field science program is a cornerstone of our education, design and advocacy work. Volunteer water quality monitoring is one of our most effective forms of community involvement. CRWA’s water quality monitoring volunteers are some of the watershed’s most determined and passionate advocates because they understand the river and are personally invested in its improvement. Many of CRWA’s monitoring volunteers have been with the program for over 15 years, demonstrating their commitment to the mission. Their work is also widely respected and valued by state and federal agencies, and they contribute to an extremely cost efficient and effective program.

Law, Advocacy and Policy

CRWA is involved in every major decision affecting the health of the Charles River. Our law and policy team comments on scores of permits and development and re-development projects each year, and appears before local conservation commissions, planning boards, environmental agencies and legislative committees. CRWA’s science and innovative solutions to watershed problems informs our advocacy and makes it persuasive and compelling. 
Whether advocating for the cleanup of contaminated sites along the Charles, building resilience to climate change, fighting for pollution reductions in stormwater runoff, or working to make projects and permitting decisions environmentally sustainable, CRWA seeks sustainable, cost-effective and economically viable solutions as we advocate for a healthy and vibrant Charles River watershed.
Budget  $88,300.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Sustainable Design
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

Development projects that our advocacy team comments on will, as a whole, include more green infrastructure, gardens and public amenities than these projects would without our input. CRWA's involvement in regulatory and policy decisions helps ensure that issues including climate change adaption, flood control and pollution reduction are taken seriously at all levels of government. 

Program Long-Term Success 

Our advocacy, law and policy work will result in projects and permits that improve river health, increase public access and recreation and restore wildlife habitat. In addition our work will encourage lawmakers and regulators on the local, state and federal levels to institute smart policies that will protect the Charles River and our natural resources.

Program Success Monitored By  CRWA monitors the success of our advocacy, policy and law programs by tracking the projects and policies that we comment on and the final outcomes. The data collected through CRWA's field science program helps assess the effect of policies and regulations on the Charles River over time. 
Examples of Program Success 
The new Medfield Charles River Gateway demonstrates the impact of advocacy by CRWA on the health of the Charles River. The original plan for the site of a 100-year dump at the former Medfield State Hospital would have only capped the hazardous waste dump leaving most of the debris in place. CRWA, partner organizations and citizen activists advocated for a full restoration of the site. This work along ultimately resulted in a plan for a comprehensive cleanup. The new Medfield Charles River Gateway, created as a result of the cleanup, protects drinking water, provides new parkland, recreational trails, and a canoe launch, and controls stormwater runoff. This project is the largest environmental restoration project in the Charles River Watershed and serves as a model for future river cleanups.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Based on two decades of in-depth analysis of the Charles, CRWA has developed programs and projects that will almost fully restore the river, while also protecting us against the vagaries of climate change (i.e.: flooding, drought, sustainability, renewable energy).  Pursuing these ends through our programs and projects has become increasingly difficult, however, as funding for environmental work and water resource management has shrunk significantly.  CRWA remains committed, and though the going is slow, we are making headway.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Emily Norton
CEO Term Start Sept 2018
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Emily Norton brings widespread experience in both politics and environmental advocacy to CRWA. Prior to joining CRWA, Emily held roles at the Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and the US EPA ENERGY STAR Program. Emily is also an elected City Councilor in Newton and spent several years as a fundraiser for the Democratic Leadership Council in Washington, D.C. and as Finance Director for a Congressional campaign on Cape Cod. Emily is working to make the association a resource for the 35 Greater Boston communities in the watershed. She works with CRWA staff and partners to advance innovations that champion green infrastructure and mitigate climate change. She also works with other area watershed associations to lobby Beacon Hill on environmental issues and to raise the profile and expertise of the organization on state-level policy issues.

At the Sierra Club, where she was Massachusetts chapter director prior to joining CRWA, Emily led lobbying efforts for stronger policies and laws on clean energy, electrification of transportation, reducing plastic pollution, protecting water quality and reducing toxic substances. Under her leadership the Massachusetts membership grew 24% and the budget more than doubled as the chapter played a leadership role in fighting gas pipelines and promoting legislation to reduce barriers to solar energy and to increase offshore wind and electric vehicles. The Sierra Club has run trainings for hundreds of volunteers all over the state to become more effective advocates, and is now launching a similar training program specifically for local elected officials.

As a City Councilor in her hometown of Newton, Emily serves on the Finance Committee and the Public Facilities Committee. Some of her local victories include the introduction of Newton Power Choice, a citywide ban on plastic bags, restricting the use of polluting leaf blowers, creating more affordable housing by making it easier to build accessory apartments, ensuring firefighters and police carry Narcan, changing the name from the outdated term “Alderman” to “City Councilor”, and drawing more attention to Newton’s $1B unfunded liabilities. She also serves on the Mass. Municipal Association Environmental Policy Committee.

Emily holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Vermont and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Robert Zimmerman Dec 1990 June 2018
Ms. Rita Barron Jan 1973 Jan 1988

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Suzanne Carleo Comptroller
Suzanne manages CRWA's finances and is responsible for grant financial administration and daily operations. She prepares CRWA’s budget and financial statements, and also serves as CRWA’s human resources director.
Suzanne came to CRWA in 2004 after working at RBC Wealth Management as part of the Credit Risk Management group and as Senior Auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. 
Ms. Pallavi Kalia Mande Director of Blue Cities

Pallavi directs CRWA’s Blue Cities Initiative to restore natural hydrology in Charles' urban watershed and beyond. She joined CRWA in 2005 as an Urban Restoration Specialist to develop organizational capacity and expertise in planning, design and implementation of green infrastructure retrofit projects. She now leads CRWA's urban resiliency work in the lower basin in partnership with municipal agencies, institutions, environmental advocacy and parkland groups.

Pallavi performs major development project reviews, environmental assessments and directs CRWA’s research in the field of blue-green infrastructure in the national and international contexts. Over the past decade, she has organized numerous public forums on urban restoration bringing together public agencies, institutions, developers, businesses and residents. She has led CRWA’s review and advocacy on Harvard University’s expansion into Boston along with numerous other large advocacy projects in the watershed while working closely with local community groups.

Pallavi has more than 18 years of experience in urban design and environmental planning and has worked on inner city neighborhood revitalization in cities all over the U.S. Prior to joining CRWA she worked as an urban designer and planner at Stull and Lee Inc. and for the Cecil Group, two Boston-based planning and design firms. Pallavi received her Bachelors in Architecture from New Delhi, India, a Masters in Philosophy, Environment and Development from University of Cambridge, U.K., and a MA in Architecture and Urban Design from Washington University.

Pallavi has served on the Brookline Conservation Commission since 2015 and currently Co-Chairs the Brookline Open Space Planning Committee. She recently completed a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Ms. Margaret Van Deusen Deputy Director and General Counsel Margaret directs CRWA's Law, Adovacy & Policy work, focusing on water resource sustainability, instream flow, water quality, aquatic habitat and climate change issues. She leads CRWA’s multi-year campaign to reform water resource law, policy and practice in MA. She brought the series of precedent-setting cases challenging MassDEP’s implementation of the Water Management Act, governing large water withdrawals, and also provides legal support to other environmental organizations.

A member of the Massachusetts Bar, U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, she serves on numerous committees including MassDEP’s Water Resources Management Committee, the state’s Sustainable Water Management Initiative Advisory Committee, and the Longfellow Bridge Task Force.

Margaret graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke College and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law. Prior to joining CRWA in 2000, she served as a public defender in Boston, an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts A.G.’s Environmental Protection Division, and as a partner at Rubin and Rudman.
Ms. Julie Dyer Wood Director of Projects

Julie manages CRWA’s science program, and serves as project manager for CRWA's Smart Sewering, Twinning and Climate Change Adaptation projects. Julie provides support for CRWA’s advocacy work, analyzing CRWA’s research and data to inform organizational focus and reviewing project or permit applications. Julie often presents CRWA’s work at conferences, with local officials or committees, and at public events.

Julie managed CRWA's Field Science program from 2008 to 2014. Prior to joining CRWA, Julie was an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources where she participated in water quality monitoring, and stream surveying and restoration. She also worked as a Program Educator for the New England Aquarium.

Julie has a B.A. in Mathematics from Boston College and an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.


Award Awarding Organization Year
The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration Environmental Business Council of New England 2016
Winner Judges' Choice and Popular Choice Energy-Water Nexus Contest MIT Climate CoLab 2016
Environmental Merit Award U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2014
Thiess International Riverprize International River Foundation 2011
Green Star Award Environmental League of Massachusetts 2010


Affiliation Year
River Network 1995
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association MA Massachusetts

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Alternatives for Community and Environment
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing 
American Rivers
The Charles River Conservancy
Chelsea Collaborative
Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation / Talbot Norfolk Triangle EcoInnovation District 
Conservation Law Foundation
The Emerald Necklace Conservancy
Environmental League of Massachusetts
The Esplanade Association
International River Foundation
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
Mystic River Watershed Association
The National Environmental School, Dominican Republic
The Nature Conservancy
Neponset River Watershed Association
River Network
Chelsea GreenRoots 
Allston Brighton Cummunity Development Corporation 
Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 8
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 3,000
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 67%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 9
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 7
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Linda McLane
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term Oct 2017 - Oct 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ralph W. Abele Community Volunteer Voting
David Bryant MACDC Voting
Lance Campbell Boston Planning and Redevelopment Authority Voting
Laurie Doyle U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management Voting
Eric Ekman Berkeley Investments Inc. Voting
Edward Englander Englander & Chicoine P.C. Voting
Diane Hall Community Volunteer Voting
James Healy Boston Duck Tours Voting
Shawn Konary NRG Voting
Linda McLane Community Volunteer Voting
Greta Meszoely Natural Numerix Voting
Bryan Natale Burns and Levinson Voting
Patricia King Powers Community Volunteer Voting
Sarah Slaughter Built Environment Coalition Voting
Grant Thomas-Lepore GrabCAD Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Jeffrey Bilezikian -- Voting
Ms. Lee P. Breckenridge -- Voting
Mr. Gordon Burnes -- Voting
Ms. Caroline Dixwell Cabot -- Voting
Mr. Eugene Clapp -- Voting
Mr. John Clark -- Voting
Mr. John DeVillars -- Voting
Ms. Maureen Febiger -- Voting
Mr. Richard Forte -- Voting
Mr. Kim Goslant -- Voting
Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson Community Volunteer NonVoting
Ms. Beedee Ladd -- Voting
Ms. Virginia M. Lawrence -- Voting
Mr. George Lewis -- Voting
Ms. Sharon Malt -- Voting
Mr. Kelly McClintock -- Voting
Dr. Greta Meszoely -- Voting
Ms. Louisa Paige Miller -- Voting
Mr. Jerry Murphy -- Voting
Ms. Beatrice Nessen -- Voting
Ms. Jeryl Oristaglio -- Voting
Ms. Margot Pyle -- Voting
Mr. Robert F. Sproull Retired --
Mr. John Thomas -- Voting
Mr. Edward Watts III -- Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 70%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Public Policy/Advocacy

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CRWA’s Board of Directors and Executive Director work together to ensure appropriate oversight and accountability. CRWA’s financial reports are audited annually.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $2,575,986 $1,011,329 $1,112,834
Total Expenses $1,317,621 $1,149,130 $1,155,667

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $202,576 $112,821 $227,992
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $202,576 $112,821 $227,992
Individual Contributions $2,317,666 $795,826 $764,342
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $374 $-1,946 $870
Investment Income, Net of Losses $271 $-1,066 $340
Membership Dues $40,480 $50,416 $120,452
Special Events $-870 $54,078 $-1,867
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $15,489 $1,200 $705

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $751,945 $800,370 $851,303
Administration Expense $236,521 $201,067 $159,082
Fundraising Expense $329,155 $147,693 $145,282
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.96 0.88 0.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses 57% 70% 74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 15% 15%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $1,651,742 $481,068 $574,791
Current Assets $1,624,368 $452,364 $556,643
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $112,693 $192,898 $148,820
Total Net Assets $1,539,049 $288,170 $425,971

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 14.41 2.35 3.74

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

CRWA's budget has grown from about $100,000 annually in 1990 to between $1.2 million and $1.7 million annually over the past decade. Each annual budget is a function of funding from foundations, the federal and state governments, and individual contributions. Despite the challenges CRWA budgeting presents, the organization has remained remarkably stable over the past two decades.  For the future, the Board and staff are working to build reserve funds, continue a capital campaign, and extend individual giving to provide CRWA with a more predictable annual income stream.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?