Policy & Advocacy

Meghan and Rio stand in the river next to the 3-mile stretch of riverbank in Peabody that would have been cleared forever by a pipeline. Together we participated in 38 public hearings, generated over 500 comment letters, donated over $35,000 and STOPPED the pipeline.

The Ipswich River Watershed Association is an organization of citizens like you. Together, we are the voice of the river!

We are River Watchdogs. We keep an eye on the river and fight for safe, fair, sustainable use of our water.

Every year, government officials make decisions about water use, wastewater treatment, environmental law enforcement, and other matters. In Massachusetts, municipal officials have a particularly strong role in protecting the river. Collectively, federal, state and town officials literally have the fate of the River in their hands!

Our policy and advocacy efforts focus on ensuring that federal, state and local water policies, water withdrawal permits, and regulatory decisions are protective of ecosystem health and include prudent water conservation measures. We also comment on proposed development projects that have a significant potential to impact the Ipswich River.

We strive to work collaboratively with the watershed communities and state and federal agencies to restore and protect the river through proactive river restoration efforts.

Get to know the Issues of the Ipswich River:

For more information about our policy and advocacy work, please contact Wayne Castonguay.

Sustainable Management Management Initiative

“Swimmie” is the nickname for the state’s “Sustainable Water Management Initiative” (SWMI).   This is a major four-year long effort by the state environmental agencies to develop a better way to allocate and protect the state’s water which culminated in 2014.  The overall goal, from our perspective, is to have enough clean water for both people and the environment today and into the future.  To learn more about the latest developments with the regulations, click here.

Find your state legislator by city/town.

State Agency Officials

There are many state agencies and commissions whose responsibilities and authorities touch the Ipswich River:

Town Government

Town bodies — Boards of Selectmen/City Councils, Planning Boards, Zoning Boards of Appeals,  Conservation Commissions,  Departments of Public Works and others — make decisions every day that affect the river and its water. Here are the websites for cities and towns that are located within the Ipswich River Watershed and/or use the Ipswich River for water supplies: