Thanks to You, 2019 is Starting off Strong!

In the waning hours of of December 31 we beat our challenge grant goal of  $15,000 in new or increased donations. In fact, we overshot a bit, raising just over $18,000 in qualifying gifts and pledges.

That means we’ll have a total of $33,000 to expand education and technical assistance programs aimed at ending polluted stormwater runoff across the 14 cities and towns of the Neponset Watershed!

Thank you to all the new members who supported the river for the first time, and all the longtime supporters who increased their gifts to take advantage of this very special opportunity.

The strength of the Neponset Community is truly humbling and inspiring. We’re looking forward to getting started on this important work and making 2019 one for the history books!

NepRWA’s Stormwater Strategy

Fixing stormwater problems falls mainly to our local cities and towns and NepRWA has long been an innovator in helping our communities “step up their game” on stormwater.

The centerpiece of our stormwater strategy is the innovative Neponset Stormwater Partnership, which brings together 10 Neponset communities (so far) to share best practices and work together regionally on implementation tasks.

We plan to work with our cities and towns to:

  • Roll out a first of its kind, regional public education campaign to get the word out to more than 100,000 households and students in every community.
  • Update local stormwater bylaws and zoning codes to reflect best practices and new precipitation realities.
  • Create tools to locate, evaluate and prioritize upgrades to inadequate stormwater infrastructure, and help communities seek grants and other funding sources to build them.
  • Locate remaining sewer leaks and water pollution hotspots and get them repaired.
  • Get the state to revise its outdated stormwater requirements (still based on 1960’s era rainfall data), and recognize that these rules are the Commonwealth’s most important climate adaptation tools for inland flooding, streamflow, and water supply sustainability.
  • Help communities develop new funding mechanisms for stormwater improvements.

Implementing this ambitious plan will call on the skills of our Environmental Scientist, Water Resources Engineer, Advocacy Director and Outreach Director.

The Stormwater Problem

Stormwater is one of the river’s biggest challenges – for pollution, flooding, drought and climate adaptation.

Parking lots, rooftops and other “impervious surfaces” are major contributors to one of the Neponset’s biggest problems: “stormwater.”

When rain hits pavement and other man-made surfaces, it runs off into storm drains, carrying oil, sand, fertilizer and dog poop right to the river without treatment.

That water runs off very fast, which causes flooding problems. Because it runs off instead of soaking into the ground naturally, it no longer replenishes the underground water reserves that feed the river in the dry summer months and feed our drinking water sources year round.

All these problems come under the banner of “stormwater” and all of them are becoming more serious as climate change causes more intense rainstorms, higher temperatures, and more frequent droughts.

Help Prevent Stormwater

  • Take Action at Home: Make sure you are properly managing pet waste, fall leaves and lawn fertilizers, and consider adding a raingarden to your property. Learn more at
  • Advocate for Stormwater in Your City or Town: Become an advocate for smart stormwater investments and policies with your town meeting or city council. Municipal leadership is critical. Consider volunteering with NepRWA as a municipal liaison.
  • Advocate for Stormwater, and Climate Change at the State and Federal Level: While the work gets implemented in cities and towns, your state and federal officials set the ground rules. Tell your state and federal legislators to support increased investment in upgrading our stormwater infrastructure, and take steps to prevent and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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