Protecting land: Outcropping along Gulf Brook

NRWA’s Watershed Approach: Protecting Water and Land

The NRWA uses a watershed approach to protect our natural resources because we understand the connection between water and land. We know that what we do on the land impacts water quality and quantity, and the quality and quantity of our water impacts the quality of life in our communities. Our watershed is made up of 32 cities and towns connected by water, and a diversity of natural ecosystems that are impacted by human actions. The NRWA’s 2020 Plan provides an overarching vision for our work, while the Sub-basin Plan for the watershed provides an assessment of the natural resources and challenges facing each of our sub-basins and communities.

Protecting water – Photo by Kim KingOur water monitoring program has been collecting and analyzing data on water quality and stream conditions for two decades. This scientific information is provided to appropriate agencies in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and is used to identify areas of concern and to define suitable actions. We also work on site-specific projects to track sources of bacterial contamination, work on issues of low flow in local streams, reduce the spread of invasive plants, and improve fish and wildlife habitat through stream restoration.

Our vision to create a riverside greenway along both banks of the entire Nashua River and its major tributaries is intended to provide a first line of protection to our waterways, acting as a buffer zone between water and the activities on the adjoining land. Many times, greenways can also provide the public with recreational access to our rivers and streams. Working to protect forestlands also serves to protect our water. Clean water is one of the most important by-products of our extensive woodlands. And working with landowners to encourage land stewardship helps them to plan and manage their properties in the way that protects natural resources and preserves wildlife habitat in harmony with their working farm or forest property.

Protecting and stewarding our land protects our water, and protecting our water protects life.