The Watershed Action Alliance of southeastern Massachusetts (WAA) is an environmental advocacy and education coalition formed in 2002 to address the pressing ecological issues in our part of the state, most of them resulting from rapid population growth, which continue to impact all watersheds in our region. WAA membership is made up of ten watershed and two pond associations, spanning 65 communities in southeastern Massachusetts.
An overarching goal of the Alliance is to promote the sustainable use of water and the implementation of smart growth policies to protect the natural environment and keep water local. If water is returned to the ground near its source, we can provide sufficient water to meet the human needs of a growing population and still have enough in our streams and rivers to sustain the native fish, plants, and other aquatic life unique to southeastern Massachusetts.
Another goal of the Alliance is to restore the many fish runs that traditionally brought millions of shad, herring and other migrating fish into our rivers, streams and ponds to spawn (deposit eggs) in the springtime. These fish live in the ocean but must release their eggs in fresh water. Because of dams and other obstructions that stop their path (and for other reasons), populations of these anadromous fish have plummeted. Most Alliance members are at some stage of trying to get one or more dams removed in their watershed.
We focus the following efforts to achieve our goals:
* Implementing common sense water conservation measures to prevent our surface and ground waters from going dry due to wasteful water use;
* Restoring free-flowing rivers by removing dams in order to bring back our ancient herring and shad runs, reduce risks to human health and safety, and enhance boating and recreation in healthy aquatic habitats.
* Reducing water pollution to make our drinking water safe and our waterways “fishable and swimmable” as mandated by the federal Clean Water Act.