Science & Advocacy
About Our Science & Advocacy
WRWA has been working since 1976 to educate people in sound ecological ways of co-existing with nature and to educate watershed residents about what they can do to protect these natural resources. We advocate for environmental solutions with the local, state and federal regulators who make critical decisions about our environment. And finally, we assess water quality parameters that document the condition of the river and watershed.
WRWA’s goal is to keep people informed about topics regarding the health of the Westport River and its watershed. Many of these topics are interrelated and complex, yet addressing them is valuable in order to raise awareness and understanding of the concerns facing the Westport River and its environment.
WRWA and the Town of Westport have invested significant time and money to understand the reasons for the long-term decline in water quality and healthy habitat of the Westport River. The conclusion from decades of water testing and many scientific studies is that the Town needs to act on its watershed based plan to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the river.
We have learned that our homes, businesses and farms are the main sources of too much nitrogen. This has been confirmed by the Massachusetts Estuary Program (MEP) Report (2013), Bread and Cheese Brook Report (2014), and the Final Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report (2017). The TMDL Report sets targets on the limits of nitrogen the river can receive to restore it to a healthy and productive estuary.
Reducing the long term effects of septic systems and cesspools to surface waters and aquifers calls for a watershed approach to planning. Simply put, the current wastewater management systems used in our homes, businesses, and traditional agricultural practices do little to reduce the excessive nitrogen and bacteria entering the river. In more densely populated neighborhoods with smaller lots, septic systems and wells are located so close together that drinking water quality can be compromised. The Town's Targeted Integrated Water Management Plan is in progress and looks beyond current approaches to manage wastewater