Whitman River entering the North Nashua River near the Steamline Trail - Photo by Martha Morgan

What Does the NRWA Do?

The Big Picture

The Nashua River Watershed Association protects our water, our land, and our communities. Our geographic area of work is defined by the boundaries of the Nashua River watershed—all land that drains into the Nashua River and its tributaries—an area that involves 32 communities in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. And the term “watershed” also defines our approach to our work, addressing natural resource protection through both water and land protection programs. We have the dual advantage of being regional, with the ability to cross state and municipal boundaries, and local, with a professional staff that understands the local landscape. Our goal is to protect the Nashua River watershed now and for the future.

The Close-up

The NRWA works to protect both water and land resources, one of the only organizations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that has this dual focus. We work to protect drinking water supplies, monitor river water quality and quantity, and create riverside greenways. We participate in collaborative projects to protect forests and farm lands, encourage land stewardship, and help our communities use sustainable land-use tools in their planning processes.

NRWA Eco-adventure - Photo by Nancy OhringerEnvironmental education is a key strategy we use in our work to protect our natural resources. We provide educational opportunities for all ages because well informed citizens make better decisions, and today’s children are tomorrow’s stewards. Our signature River Classroom® program takes groups of youth out on the river for a full day of hands-on science adventure. Our Scientist in Residence and Schoolyard/Classroom programs are tailored to the individual needs of each class, and the Massachusetts and New Hampshire standards for science and technology. We also offer Eco-Adventures, outdoor science-based programs for families and youth, including vacation programs and weekend workshops. We encourage youth to connect with nature, a relationship we hope will last a lifetime. We seek to expand the reach of our education programs by educating the educators and other community leaders and professionals, through seminars for teachers, land-use planners, and foresters.

Other strategies to achieve our goal include advocacy for resource stewardship, resource-based community planning, and working together for co-operative watershed management.

As a result of our work, our region is home to beautiful rivers and streams, an abundant diversity of flora and fauna, and an extensive array of recreational opportunities. The Nashua River watershed is a wonderful place to live, work, and play!

We invite you to join us and become an active part of the NRWA story of restoration, protection, and a sustainable future for our region.