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North and South Rivers Watershed Association Inc.

 PO Box 43
 Norwell, MA 02061
[P] (781) 659-8168
[F] (781) 659-7915
Samantha Woods
Samantha Woods
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 23-7181992

LAST UPDATED: 09/24/2018
Organization DBA NSRWA; North and South Rivers Watershed Association
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association is to preserve, restore, maintain and conserve in their natural state, the waters and related natural resources within the North and South Rivers watershed. We seek to protect our local waters.

Mission Statement

The mission of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association is to preserve, restore, maintain and conserve in their natural state, the waters and related natural resources within the North and South Rivers watershed. We seek to protect our local waters.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $513,000.00
Projected Expense $523,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Estuary Explorers

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

The mission of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association is to preserve, restore, maintain and conserve in their natural state, the waters and related natural resources within the North and South Rivers watershed. We seek to protect our local waters.

Background Statement

The North and South Rivers Watershed Association is a Norwell-based 501 (c) 3 non-profit environmental organization founded in 1970 to serve the environmental needs of the 12 communities of the watershed—which include Norwell, Marshfield, Hanover, and Scituate, among others. Our mission is to preserve, restore, maintain and conserve in their natural state, the waters and related natural resources within the watershed. We seek to inspire a community of stewards dedicated to a healthy and vibrant watershed. Among our greatest achievements, in the 1970s we succeeded in passing the North River Scenic Protective Order which has kept overdevelopment at bay; in the 1980s and 1990s, we succeeded in getting the Scituate Treatment Plant into compliance and greatly improved our rivers’ water quality; in the 2000s, we helped pass the Community Preservation Act, leading to the protection of nearly 395 acres on the North and South Rivers and some 1,800 acres throughout the South Shore. Since 2010 we have educated nearly 20,000 children about water conservation and our watershed. In the last year alone we have increased our reach significantly. Over the last two years our organization has grown significantly. Today, our constituents include 1,400 members and nearly 5,000 online subscribers, comprised of individuals, families, businesses, and other environmentally-concerned organizations. We reach about 30,000 people annually through our website, social media, events and programs.

Impact Statement

In 2016, our top accomplishments based on our three foundational pillars Education, Engagement, and Healthy Rivers are:
1) Reopened 8.4 miles of the Third Herring Brook in Norwell and Hanover, which reconnected natural habitats that support migrating fish populations. The NSRWA lead a group of 16 partners including municipal, state, federal, and private entities over many years, raising the funds and securing the permits needed to remove the Tack Factory Dam, and we are now overseeing the restoration of the stream riparian corridor.
2) Educated 4,000 youth and adults thru our Water All Around you Program which teaches kids where their water comes and about water conservation with hands-on activities and a field trip, our winter lecture series, conferences, workshops, and community events.
3) Engaged 1,500 adults and children thru volunteer opportunities (including citizen scientists who help counting herring, monitoring water quality, and surveying horseshoe crabs), our Estuary Explorers program which takes kids onto the North River to do estuarine science; and river tours that highlight marshes, birding, or history.
In 2017, we
1) Worked with our partners on river restoration efforts to assess the removal of the next dam upstream on the Third Herring Brook. We are currently in conversations with the landowner. We also worked on water conservation efforts by working with town governments and town committees of our watershed towns, specially with Scituate and Norwell;
2) Increased our impact by expanding the number of adults and youth we educated through our main programs and print and online communication. Our main educational programs were Waterwatch lecture series (from January through March) and pontoon boat guided tours. Ouir print and online communication included: Print bi-annual newsletter (Spring and Fall issues mailed to 2,500 households each), bi-weekly e-news (sent to 2,500 subscribers); Our youth programs include Water All Around You program delivered to some 2,500 elementary students in schools throughout our service area; Estuary Explorers Program that brings nearly 180 youth onto the North River for guided scientific explorations of the salt marsh and estuary. 
3) Broadened participation in our outdoor activities by nearly 15% above 2016 numbers (to 1,725 or more) thru volunteer opportunities, events (our first fishing tournament, 4th Wampanoag Extreme Challenge Paddle, 26th Great River Race, and Fall Harvest Moon Feast), and small house parties hosted by current members; and
4) Propelled our impact thru a greater online presence thru social media, e-newsletter, and website traffic (we had 30,000 unique visitors to our website in 2017). 

Needs Statement

Water is an important and increasingly scarce resource on Massachusetts’ South Shore that requires vigilance and action to ensure its protection. One of the most pressing problems we face in protecting local waters is people’s disconnection to it. People often take water for granted—you turn on the faucet and water comes out. Water-related issues seldom make headlines until it is almost too late—when there is a severe draught or pollution that threatens public health. These issues will only be exacerbated by changing precipitation patterns due to climate change, which is already leaving wildlife and people vulnerable to drought, floods, and pollution.

Our organization's top 5 most pressing needs are to:
1) Engage people to increase their understanding of and interest in protecting local waters
2) Empower residents to protect waters in their communities and the region by giving them the tools they need to effect change
3) Connect people with the outdoors to inspire them to become better stewards
4) Educate youth about water conservation and water pollution
5) Expand our impact throughout the south shore by working closely with our partners, inspiring people to support our work, and reaching more people with our message to protect local waters 

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

NSRWA serves Massachusetts' South Shore communities, primarily the 12 communities within our watershed, namely: Abington, Duxbury, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham. Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth, and Whitman. Additionally, we work with partners in Cohassett, Kingston, Plymouth, and Plympton. A total of 11 of the communities we serve are identified in The Boston Foundation's catchment area.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation & Management
  2. Environment - Environmental Education
  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)



Estuary Explorers

NSRWA’s Estuary Explorers program brings school-aged youth to the North River estuary to engage in guided scientific explorations through hands-on activities. Now in its third year, this program complements the science education provided by local schools through their STEM curriculum by facilitating environmental education outdoors with hands-on activities that are both meaningful and fun. From May thru October, participants learn about estuarine science while on our pontoon boat on the North River and on land at “the Spit”. Participants collect data on water quality, salinity, oxygen levels, and sediments using scientific equipment, and they conduct water sampling and plankton tows. They also explore the salt marshes and collect everything from green crabs and Asian shore crabs, to sea stars and tunicates. It is a hands-on program where kids get wet, traverse the marshes, and experience the estuary. NSRWA educators are the instructors for this program working closely with our summer interns and with the camp counselors and school teachers from partner organizations. Our instructors have extensive experience as educators, working with children, and are knowledgeable about science and the natural history of this area.

Our Estuary Explorers learn first-hand about science, nature, and teamwork while participating in this outdoors education program. For many participants, this is their first time on the North River—the only scenic protected river in the state. NSRWA seeks to provide this fully-subsidized program to youth who could not otherwise afford this type of program or enroll in a marine science camp. To accomplish this, we partner with other local non-profit organizations to offer the Estuary Explorers program to children enrolled in their camps or clubs. Since 2016, nearly 280 youth have passed through the program and 32 counselors, teachers, and interns have learned about and received training for the program.

Budget  $19,500.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  By the end of 2018, at least 180 youth will have gone through the program. We will have worked closely with 10 partners or more.
Program Long-Term Success  The program’s success will be measured by the number of children, organizational partners, and towns served by the program, Additionally, we will look at the number of teachers, interns, and counselors trained to deliver it. For 2018, we seek to establish 10 partnerships with local organizations, carry out 15 excursions serving 180 children from area communities, and train or engage 20 teachers, counselors, and/or interns. Additionally, we will request feedback from participants and from our partner organizations and incorporate that feedback into the curriculum to help us better serve the needs of those served by this program
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Since the pilot program kicked-off in 2016, we have seen participants benefit from the program in a variety of ways including the awe many of the kids experience while on the boat and at the Spit as well as all the things they learn about the natural environment and working together. We receive many cards with big thank yous from the children and their counselors. Looking to the future, research suggests that as our connection to nature increases so does our interest in conserving it. By experiencing the river and the surrounding natural environments, we hope to inspire girls and boys to become better stewards of our local natural treasures.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Samantha Woods
CEO Term Start Sept 2002
CEO Email
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We collaborate with individuals, businesses, schools, other non-profits, municipalities, and state and federal partners. Our collaborations range from specific projects to programs and events.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 550
Number of Contract Staff 11
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 7
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

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 Bi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Ms. Sally Caverly
Board Chair Company Affiliation Art dealer (self-employed)
Board Chair Term Nov 2016 - Nov 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Tad Beagley Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith Voting
Mrs. Barbara Carney Retired--Legislative Assistant Voting
Mr. Kevin Cassidy Attorney with EarthRise Law Center (formerly with DOJ) Voting
Ms. Sally Caverly Owner, Hawkfield Gallery, Folk and Fine Arts. Voting
Mr. Caleb Estabrooks Mechanical Engineer Voting
Mrs. Janet Fairbanks Mooring business owner Voting
Dr. Peter Hainer Professor at Curry College Voting
Mrs. Craig Hannafin Retired--Financial Services Voting
Ms Lindsey Jevne The Jevne Team (real estate) Voting
Mr. Peter Kelly-Detwiler Energy Consultant (former senior VP Constellation Energy) Voting
Ms. Debbie Lenahan Retired--Accounting and GIS specialist Voting
Mr. Rick Mayfield Retired partner--Ernst & Young Voting
Ms. Sandra Moll Marketing Consultant (former VP Liberty Mutual) Voting
Mr. Brendan Murray attorney Voting
Mrs. Margery Parker owner Cahoon Care Associates: Home Elder Care and Senior Care Voting
Mrs. Martha Twigg Retired--former Executive Director of South Shore Natural Science Center Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 16
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 9
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

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

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $513,000.00
Projected Expense $523,000.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

Audit Documents

2016 Reviewed Financial Statement

2015 Reviewed Financial Statement

2014 Reviewed Financial Statement

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $373,940 $396,825 $345,115
Total Expenses $391,828 $320,192 $340,921

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $141,468 $127,615 $141,847
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $141,468 $127,615 $141,847
Individual Contributions $79,458 $105,007 $46,934
Indirect Public Support -- $0 $0
Earned Revenue $36,519 $45,631 $25,133
Investment Income, Net of Losses $4,801 $5,312 $3,544
Membership Dues $106,074 $107,246 $115,480
Special Events $5,620 $6,014 $12,177
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- $0 $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $272,696 $216,654 $247,765
Administration Expense $72,876 $72,195 $62,156
Fundraising Expense $46,256 $31,343 $31,000
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.95 1.24 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 70% 68% 73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 20% 13% 15%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $643,659 $655,773 $590,295
Current Assets $327,721 $370,226 $311,403
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $11,696 $13,810 $20,978
Total Net Assets $631,963 $641,963 $569,317

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 No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose to grow the organization to more effectively address the needs of our region to protect local waters. Our strategic plan identifies three focus areas:
Educate + Engage = Healthy Rivers
Our Campaign for Growth supports this vision by providing the financial strength to expand our capacity in technology, staffing,
marketing and communications.Our goal is to educate and engage twice as many people as we do today. That is,
engage 6,000 people and double our reach to 80,000 by 2020. Our plan is to focus on attracting younger audiences, leveraging partnerships, and expanding our outreach efforts.
Campaign Goal $600,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates June 2017 - Dec 2020
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $289,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 28.02 26.81 14.84

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 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?

NSRWA's goal is to protect local waters across our watershed communities and the South Shore.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We seek to educate and engage the public for healthy waters. Our main strategy for educating youth and adults is through programs and online and print communications. Namely, WaterWatch Lecture Series, Water All Around You, and Estuary Explorers We engage the public through our main events (Great River Race, South Shore Striper Tournament, and Harvest Moon Feast) and through volunteer opportunities (that is citizen science--herring counters, water quality monitoring, and horseshoe crab surveys; and our new Ambassadors program--who give talks on NSRWA efforts and tabling at events). Lastly, we advocate for healthy rivers through online appeals to raise local voices on specific issues, through demonstration projects, and working with our many partners on river restoration efforts. 

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

Our combined staff has extensive experience in environmental education, water conservation, fundraising, advocacy, and science. NSRWA was founded in 1970 and since then it has become a leader in water conservation on the South Shore. Through our many programs and partnerships, the NSRWA is recognized by our peers and the public as the go-to organization to protect our local waters. We educate youth and adults on water-related issues, engage local residents in the outdoors, and implement projects that restore our rivers and natural areas. Our Board of Director brings solid experiences in areas from education, business, environment, community service, marketing, public engagement, and volunteerism. They range in age from 30plus to 70 plus and many of them have young children or grandchildren. These personal characteristics are important as they provide first-hand accounts as we seek to engage the public, from youth to seniors in our work. Our Board is passionate about the environment and protecting our local waters and support the NSRWA financially as well as through their volunteer service.

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


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