What We Do at TRWA

Voice For The Watershed

TRWA works to protect and restore water quality in the watershed. A team of trained volunteers conduct monthly water quality monitoring at 20 sites in the watershed from April to October. Results are tested at the Veolia Water Treatment Plant in Taunton. We hope to expand the number of test sites in the future. Data collected in this program strengthens our ability to provide comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on draft discharge permits for wastewater treatment plants to insure that harmful levels of nitrogen and other pollutants in the river and its tributaries will be reduced.

TRWA works to protect and restore streamflow in the watershed. We monitor applications for increases in groundwater withdrawals that may lead to dried-up streams, and we promote water conservation and recharge in local communities. We participated in a project to assess barriers to aquatic passage (such as blocked culverts) throughout the watershed, and we served as consultant to Mass Audubon to research and write a report summarizing the project’s findings. We advocate for and support communities’ efforts to repair or replace failing crossing structures.

TRWA works to protect and restore wetlands, floodplains and wildlife habitat in the watershed. We review and comment on new construction that has potential impacts to wetlands and wildlife habitat, especially to habitat of rare species. We advocate for avoidance of impacts where possible, and adequate mitigation where impacts cannot be avoided. We also work with local boards to adopt zoning rules and guidelines that include land conservation requirements in permits for new development, and to raise awareness that protection of wetlands, floodplains and buffer zones provides critical resilience to flooding and storm damage that is expected to worsen with sea level rise and more intense rainfall caused by climate change. We also work in partnership with Mass Wildlife and Bristol County Agricultural High School, to assess the population of the threatened Diamondback Terrapins in the watershed, as well as conduct valuable nest protection.

Help People Connect To The River And The Watershed’s Natural Resources.

TRWA sponsors outdoor trips and other events that provide opportunities for residents and visitors to experience and enjoy the outstanding and irreplaceable natural resources in southeastern Massachusetts. Events include:

Guided Walks: We offer guided walks on trails throughout the watershed from late spring to fall.  These easy to medium walks enable participants to explore trails while learning about vegetation, wildlife and watershed history.  Check the calendar for details.

Canoe/Kayak Trips: We offer canoe/kayak trips on varying rivers. There will be some challenging rivers and some lazy rivers so everyone can enjoy a trip or two over the season. Check the calendar for details.

Angler Education/Family Fishing Day: Generally held in July. This family event enables participants to learn more about the river and how to enjoy its many benefits. Mass Wildlife provides instruction in fishing techniques and the day includes seining in the river to identify its inhabitants.

Provide Information To The Public About The Values Of The River And Watershed.

TRWA is committed to being an integral resource for environmental education by offering educational programs, workshops and other events throughout the year to share valuable information with the public, such as:

Annual Meeting: TRWA conducts its Annual Meeting open to the public each November. The meeting includes reports on the year’s activities and issues of concern as well as opportunities for public involvement. Check the calendar for details. In addition, TRWA uses its website and Facebook to increase interaction with TRWA members and the public to share information about watershed news and ongoing events.

Bruce Spooner Education Center: TRWA offers a variety of monthly educational programs for both children and adults through the Bruce Spooner Education Center. Program topics have included native plants, pollinator gardens, river herring, advocacy training, dam removal, mosquito control and biology of macroinvertebrates (water bugs!) to name a few. Check the calendar for details.

Community Outreach: TRWA hosts the free annual Taunton River Festival the 2nd Sunday in June, held at the Weir Village Riverfront Park in Taunton, to celebrate the Wild & Scenic Taunton River with the community at large. Educational resources are shared by TRWA and non-profits partners throughout the day. We also participate in informational community fairs and other events, such as the Bristol County Agricultural High School Spring Expo and the Middleborough Herring Run Festival at Oliver Mill State park in April.

Taunton River Tidal Calendar: Photographs of the watershed’s special natural areas and resources shared by the public throughout the year are featured in the Annual Taunton River Tidal Calendar, along with daily tide information. Calendars are available for purchase at our Annual Meeting, as well as online.

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