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Wondering What's Up in the Watershed?

Check out the most recent issue of the
WRWA Newsletter (December, 2017) [pdf]!

Upcoming Events

Thu, Mar 8 - Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Sat, Mar 24 - 2018 River Symposium
Sat, Apr 21 - Spring River Cleanup
Sun, May 20 - Fish Ladder Open House
Sat, Jun 16 - Westfield River Canoe Cruise
Sat, Sep 15 - Fly-Fishing Clinic
Sat, Sep 29 - Source-to-Sea River Cleanup

The Westfield River drains the eastern slopes of the Berkshire Hills of southwestern Massachusetts, then joins the Connecticut River in Agawam. WRWA was established in 1953 to protect and improve the natural resources of the Watershed, as well as to expand recreational and other land use opportunities for people's enjoyment and for sound ecology. WRWA is a tax-exempt non-profit organization funded largely by membership dues and some grants. WRWA is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected each spring at the organization's annual meeting. If you share our goals, please join us by volunteering some time or becoming a member!


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, AND the 25th anniversary of the initial designation of portions of the Westfield River as "wild and scenic", WRWA and the Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee are sponsoring a festival of thirteen short documentary films with themes related to rivers and the environment. The first screening will be held in Dever Auditorium at Westfield State University on Thursday, March 8 from 6:30-10:00 p.m. Brief descriptions and trailers for the films that will be shown can be viewed
here! This event is free and open to the public, though donations to help support the cost of the festival are gladly accepted (suggested donation of $10, $5 for students). The Wild and Scenic website has information on four additional screenings that will be held at other locations throughout western Massachusetts this spring.

Water Quality Data
Site Locator Map

There are two ways to look at this map:
  1. Within this webpage (click on the map above)
  2. Click on this link for a bigger map on a new page
If you visit the larger map, the legend may or may not be visible. To see the map legend click on the Legend button in the upper left hand corner. Legend explanation. The colored dots (not stickpins) along the river are the sites where WRWA collected samples. By clicking on a dot you will see the latitude, longitude and sample name designation. Water quality data is presented in this order: Temp, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, E. coli, Na (sodium), K (potassium), Ca (calcium), the date of sample collection, volumetric flowrate. Not all data will show at once; to see more, use the scrollbar (small map) or arrow in the upper right of the window (large map).
Help Save North Pond
(Congamond Lakes, Southwick)

The Franklin Land Trust is working with the town of Southwick and the Mass Dept. of Fish and Game to preserve 147 acres of waterfront land in Southwick. This is the last undeveloped shoreline on the northern end of the Congamond Lakes, and is located adjacent to the 267-acre Southwick Wildlife Management Area and an additional 251 acres of conserved grasslands in Connecticut. Adding to those areas would make this one of the largest protected grasslands in New England, good habitat for several threatened bird species, including kestrel, woodcock, bobolink, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, and the upland sandpiper. The property also sits above an aquifer that provides drinking water for residents in Westfield, West Springfield, and Southwick. WRWA's Board of Directors voted to make a $10,000 donation for this project in the spring of 2017. To learn more about the project and/or to contribute funds to help purchase the property (deadline for the campaign is Fall 2017), visit Save North Pond.

Stormwater Management and
Storm Drain Labeling

Wondering what those labels on the curb are all about? (We've placed nearly 5000 of them in Westfield, Russell, Huntington, Chester, Worthington and Southwick over the past five years!) They're a reminder that the storm drain system isn't connected to the wastewater treatment plant - what goes down those storm drains goes straight into our local rivers and ponds (or, in some cases, into the ground). Here are links to a new (2014) informational brochure on stormwater and wastewater management, from the City of Westfield:

Stormwater (English) (Spanish) (Russian) (Nepalese)

Westfield River Watershed
Invasive Species Project

Want to help combat the spread of invasive species in your community? WISP is a partnership of environmental organizations and local residents in the Westfield River watershed, promoting cooperative efforts to protect native habitats and manage invasive species through education, early detection, eradication, and management. Is there a special place in your town that is being overrun with invasive plants? Do you want to learn to identify new invasive species that may be coming into the area? Visit the WISP webpage or contact them at wrwisp@gmail.com

Please forward any suggestions or corrections to Mike Young at myoung@westfield.ma.edu