The Boston Foundation announces $100,000 in grants to water quality, access for Mystic River

February 4, 2014

Four grants made from Mystic River Watershed Environmental Fund

BostonThe Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, today announced that its Board of Directors recently approved $100,000 in grants from the Mystic River Watershed Environmental Fund, which is housed at and administered by the Boston Foundation.

The MRWEF, which was established by the Conservation Law Foundation (“CLF”) to hold the funds generated by the settlement of CLF lawsuits against companies polluting the Mystic River watershed, supports environmental 501(c)(3) organizations whose projects and programs will be based or working in the 22 cities and towns that make up the Mystic River Watershed. The goal of the Fund is to improve water quality and access to the river while developing strong environmental stewardship, advocacy and leadership in the watershed communities, especially among new immigrants and the next generation of residents.

The grants were awarded through a competitive grant process overseen by the Boston Foundation and the MRWEF’s Advisory Committee comprised of persons with direct knowledge of environmental and watershed issues in the communities that encompass the Mystic River Watershed.

The four grants recommended by the Advisory Committee and approved by the Boston Foundation Board include:

Chelsea Collaborative
$25,000 to support the implementation of a gravel salt marsh along Mill Creek in Chelsea

Mystic River Watershed Association, Inc.
$25,000 to support the Restoring Mystic River Water Quality program

Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc.
$25,000 to support the Stories of Change Project in East Boston

Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc.
$25,000 to support a campaign to Restore the Malden River

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million.  Founded in 1915, the Foundation is approaching its 100th Anniversary.  In 2013, the Foundation and its donors made nearly $98 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $130 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.

The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. Through its consulting and field-advancing efforts, TPI has influenced billions of dollars in giving worldwide.  For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.


Conservation Law Foundation, through its Environmental Enforcement Project, is fighting to protect inland and coastal waters across New England by forcing polluters to comply with the 1972 Clean Water Act. Many industrial facilities discharge harmful pollutants into public waters. Very often, these facilities lack the permits that the Clean Water Act requires, which means that the discharges are both illegal and unregulated. The pollutants coming from these facilities—metals, nutrients, and dangerous chemicals among them—are some of the most toxic and damaging to our waterways, many of which are already severely compromised from industrial pollution and contamination.

To date, CLF has initiated more than 40 citizen enforcement actions against unregulated industrial facilities.  Industrial facilities must abide by the Clean Water Act to protect both public health and the environment, and CLF will continue to hold these facilities accountable for their actions. The cases filed by the Enforcement Project have generated more than $300,000 in supplemental environmental project (“SEP”) payments to support more than a dozen environmental protection, restoration, and research projects, from Massachusetts to the Long Island Sound. For more information, contact: Christopher Kilian, CLF’s VP and Director of the Clean Water and Healthy Forests Program, or Zak Griefen, CLF’s Environmental Enforcement Litigator.