Massachusetts Watershed Coalition

Billion Gallons per Year (BGY) Partners

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Pollution solutions

Nashua River Present DayForty years ago, the Nashua River was a public health menace and putrid eyesore. People would gag at the smell of the multi-colored water and riverfront land was worthless. There was no fishing, boating, swimming or other enjoyment - raw sewage kept people away. Today, the River has turned around - it looks and smells good. More and more people enjoy the Nashua for delightful outdoor experiences.

The ongoing transformation of the Nashua from "awful" to "awesome" is similar to success stories for the Millers River, Blackstone River, Connecticut River, Charles River and other New England waters. Dedicated efforts by grassroots groups, environmental agencies and community leaders are making a huge difference in the quality of our environment. These clean-ups also contribute to the economy - creating new opportunities for clean water to attract visitors and businesses.

Watershed organizations worked closely with all community members to halt the discharges from sewage pipes, also known as point sources of pollution. The benefits are tremendous. But the gains from new wastewater facilities are threatened by the storm runoff from buildings, streets, parking lots and other hard surfaces. Federal, state and private agencies have cited this runoff as the leading cause for damages to local waters. These runoff problems, known as non-point pollution, hurt small brooks and ponds as well as large rivers.

Nashua River in the 1960'sIn the past, people could see and smell sewage in the rivers. Today, it's hard to see vanished stream life or higher bacteria levels or other damages. But more streams are unfit for fishing, more ponds are weed-clogged, and communities have more costs from stormwater pollution.

People made the difference in halting pollution from sewage pipes. People can make the difference with stormwater pollution. Safe clean water is what we all cherish and enjoy. And many small actions can ensure our children and their children will reap the benefits of clean water.

The Billion Gallons a Year (BGY) campaign offers help and guidance to keep water clean. Everyone can learn how small changes are the solution to stormwater pollution.

BGY Partner Organizations

Many watershed associations and community groups work to improve the health of streams, ponds and lakes. A list of organizations that are helping people to prevent and fix runoff problems is provided below. The websites of these organizations offer practical guidance and examples of effective solutions.

Please visit the website of a BGY organization working in your community. Consider becoming a member of the organization and volunteering to help clean up stormwater from your property or neighborhood. BGY partner groups will share examples of successful projects to help people reduce runoff problems. Some examples will be featured on these webpages and in monthly newsletters.

Worcester Youth Center Rain Garden - Blackstone River CoalitionYou can subscribe to the BGY electronic newsletter by contacting a BGY partner or contacting the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 978-534-0379). Notices about useful workshops will be posted on these BGY webpages and the newsletter. We can also help arrange design services for rain gardens and other runoff remedies, as well as identify contractors who know how to install stormwater improvements.

If your organization would like to be part of the BGY campaign, please let us know. We can supply guides and examples to share with your members. For information on how your business, church, school, rotary club or civic association can be involved in keeping water clean, please call 978-534-0379 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


North central Worcester County Nashua River Watershed Association
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South central Worcester County

Blackstone River Coalition
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Berkshire County Housatonic Valley Association
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Worcester & Middlesex Counties Organization for the Assabet, Sudbury & Concord Rivers
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Suffolk & Middlesex Counties Mystic River Watershed Association
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Worcester & Franklin Counties Millers River Watershed Council
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Franklin, Hamden & Hampshire Counties Connecticut River Watershed Council
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Central Massachusetts Massachusetts Congress of Lakes & Ponds Associations
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City of Worcester Tatnuck Brook Watershed Association
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Statewide Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
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Statewide Massachusetts Watershed Coalition
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