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Neponset River Watershed Association

Zoo New England's Quarters for Conservation Program has supported the work of the Neponset River Watershed Association. Stretching across a 120-square mile area that drains into the Neponset River, the watershed serves as a drinking water source to 120,000 people. The Neponset River Watershed Association partners with volunteers to keep the watershed clean and healthy, educate the public about water conservation, and reestablish previously polluted habitats for fish and wildlife. The program focuses on four key elements: Water Quality, Water Quantity, Habitat Restoration and Access to the River.

Water Quality

Volunteers help to record and monitor water pollution in each town, while staff work alongside town governments and planning committees to prevent runoff from roads, which are polluted with oil or chemicals. The program has helped to focus efforts on reducing “stormwater pollution,” which makes up a large portion of the pollution in the watershed.

Water Quantity

Because so many households get their water from the Neponset River, the program also places emphasis on conserving the amount of water that comes out of the river by educating both children and adults on the importance of water-efficiency.

Habitat Restoration

The watershed serves as home to wildlife throughout the region, and pollution has taken a toll on their habitats as well. Overall reduction in pollution helps provide cleaner and healthier habitats, but specifically, the Association focuses on restoring the depleted habitats of herring and shad, as well as controlling the number of invasive species that take over the watershed. Volunteers also contribute to surveys of the river’s dams, not all of which are healthy for the river and watershed.

Access to the River

The watershed provides more than just drinking water for locals. The river provides access to swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and hosts the Quincy RiverWalk, a two mile long path along the river. Association staff and volunteers are committed to making the river accessible for any individual to enjoy.

Video: What is a watershed?