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.
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.
Wayne Castonguay, our current Executive Director, continues to keep the pressure on and build momentum for positive change.
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.
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.
Kerry retired recently but Wayne Castonguay is a dream come true. We couldn't have found a better leader.