We strive to make a difference, and you can too.
A Brief History
In 1976 a small group of concerned citizens came together to respond to a proposed sewage lagoon for the East Branch of the Westport River. They called themselves the Westport River Defense Fund. Their research, protest and advocacy actions led to the abandonment of that plan. They quickly launched efforts to become a non-profit agency that is dedicated to long term water quality monitoring, education and collaboration with town decision makers to promote sound environmental practices.
Since its inception in 1976, WRWA has grown from 15 members to over 1,500 members. Numerous projects have been developed over the years that promote education for all ages, perform scientific research and advocacy for environmental issues, and celebrate the watershed. Currently, WRWA’s major programs are: the Watershed Education Program in local schools, water quality monitoring, River News, and education programs. WRWA has
established itself as a leader in the environmental grassroots movement in New England, and is considered a role model for other communities.
WRWA’s mission is: Working together to protect and preserve the Westport River Watershed now and for future generations.
Our vision is: A healthy watershed where people, wildlife and the River thrive.
What We Do
WRWA has been working for over 40 years to educate watershed residents about sound environmental practices to protect
our natural resources. Our education programs reach over 2,000 public school students during each academic year through
in-class lessons and field studies. Our outdoor summer programs and outreach activities enrich the lives of more than 100
Through our scientific efforts, we continue multiple collaborative programs of measuring water quality. We analyze,
document, and communicate the results about the condition of the River and watershed to residents. WRWA has instituted
numerous local scientific research efforts which currently include a Salt Marsh Degradation Study and the Cockeast Pond
Studies. We advocate for responsible solutions and best management practices with local, state and federal regulators who
are making critical decisions for our environment. WRWA staff and volunteers assist and serve on relevant town boards and
Our Guiding Principles
A healthy watershed with its natural beauty is an asset for the entire community.
Recreational and commercial use of the River is part of our heritage and culture.
Human activity has a major impact on River health.
A clean River and clean drinking water are linked.
Science guides our actions and advocacy for the watershed.
Building collaborative relationships with government and community groups helps to achieve shared goals.
Educating our youth ensures the continuation of responsible stewardship.