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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ipswich River Watershed Association Inc

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Protect wildlife, keep the Ipswich River flowing and provide clean, safe water

Results: This year we will help residents in 9 towns to Greenscape - to have beautiful landscapes that protect our water, saving time and money. For the last few years we have spent a lot of time speaking for the river at meetings to shape sustainable water management for decades to come. We are leading a new partnership to restore the Ipswich, Parker and Essex Rivers and the Great Marsh; we will accomplish more by working together. We recently put in a new canoe dock at our headquarters, expanding public access to what many people say is the most beautiful part of the river. Members can use our canoes for free!

Target demographics: The 330,000 people who get their water from the Ipswich River and its surrounding watershed, as well as all the people who enjoy walking or paddling along the river.

Programs: Our major programs include: Cleaning up polluted stormwater runoff, Education and Outreach, Fish and Habitat Restoration, Greenscapes, Policy and Advocacy, River Restoration, Science and Monitoring, Stream Teams and Water Conservation.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

As a volunteer, donor and beneficiary of the efforts put fourth by the Ipswich River Watershed Association, I have witnessed the amazing impact this organization has had on our watershed. These folks have the ability to bring together a diverse set of organizations that benefit and impact the river. Their competent, enthusiastic and expert staff deftly coordinate a myriad of activities from education, to monitoring, to encouraging the wise use and enjoyment of the river. IRWA has achieved significant results in saving the river from the brink. Their mission is far from over and they continue to impact improvements in environmental restoration, reduction in withdrawal and water conservation education.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kerry Mackin and the Ipswich River Watershed Association have done a remarkable job over the past decade of raising awareness of the plight of depleted rivers and streams in Massachusetts. They have kept pressure on the MA Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to do a better job of protecting rivers and streams. Their leadership has inspired and supported those working in other watersheds.

The Ipswich River today is flowing better thanks to IRWA's efforts.

Comments ( 1 )


IRWAINFO 06/25/2013

Wayne Castonguay, our current Executive Director, continues to keep the pressure on and build momentum for positive change.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Ipswich River Watershed Association is the gold standard of watershed associations. The Association's advocacy work has resulted in tangible improvements in the Ipswich River and has initiated a state-wide discussion on river health that has the potential to dramatically improve ecological conditions for rivers and streams in Massachusetts from the North Shore to the Berkshires. Staff at the Association are experts in their field and bring a genuine enthusiasm for watershed protection that is infectious.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Kerry Mackin is a (if not the) leading voice speaking up for the need to reduce the adverse impact of human activities that alter streamflow patterns and volumes, not only in the Ipswich River system (which has unfortunately served as the "poster child" example of dry streambeds and dead fish) but elsewhere in the Commonwealth where these problems occur. Fortunately, largely due to Kerry and IRWA's efforts, streamflow conditions in the Ipswich and its tributaries are being restored to levels more closely resembling natural conditions, and the fish and other aquatic and water-dependent organisms are benefiting as a result.

Comments ( 1 )


IRWAINFO 03/27/2013

Kerry retired recently but Wayne Castonguay is a dream come true. We couldn't have found a better leader.