HooRWA is dedicated and very active in the protection of the Hoosic Watershed.


What HooRWA does.
Besides riverbank cleanups, HooRWA identifies other areas of concern along the river. We do not fund or conduct large-scale remediation ourselves, but can help landowners and townships seek technical assistance or funding.

What you can do.
Bring unknown dump sites to our attention.
Volunteer on river cleanup days.


“Non-point-source” or NPS pollution is pollution that cannot be traced to a single-source outfall such as a factory pipe discharging into the river. Examples of non-point-source pollution include stormwater runoff from lawns, roads, parking lots, building sites, and agricultural fields. This runoff can contain petroleum products, salt, animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides, heavy loads of sand and silt, or other contaminants. Failing septic systems or other contamination of groundwater can also contribute to NPS pollution.


Since the Clean Water Act went into effect, most point-sources of pollution have been identified and regulated. Their contribution to river pollution has decreased dramatically. NPS pollution is a much harder problem to solve, because the solution depends on individuals deciding to change the way they do things.

storm_drainWhat you can do:

  1. Spare your local storm drain!

What goes into a storm drain may straight into a river, or may enter a river via a sewage treatment plant. EITHER WAY, most pollutants are not removed! To reduce the strain on storm drains…

    • Avoid dumping soaps, oils, solvents, etc. in the driveway.
    • Reduce or skip the use of herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the lawn, especially before rain.
    • Scoop your dog’s waste from the street or hard surfaces.

Let gutter outflow soak into the ground, or collect it in rain barrels.

  1. Keep the septic tank in good working order
  2. Fence pastures so that livestock don’t wade in the river.
  3. Allow a buffer zone of vegetation to grow up between an open field and the river’s edge.

This discourages geese from loitering, too.

For more information on non-point-source pollution, contact us.


Here are a few essentials for good habitat:

Flood control with poor habitat and poor riverfront

Flood control with poor habitat and poor riverfront

What HooRWA does.
HooRWA advocates land management and development practices that maintain or restore good habitat. HooRWA also advocates landscaping practices that can accommodate floodwater without extreme damage to habitat or property.

In the upper Hoosic, this is a challenging goal. The hilly terrain dumps rainstorms downhill quickly, sometimes flooding the built-up bottomlands. This is why flood protection chutes were built in Adams and North Adams, MA, in the mid-twentieth century. In the process, habitat was destroyed and the towns lost ready access to the river.

We believe that today, new engineering approaches could maintain flood protection while restoring habitat and attractive riverfront. HooRWA is one of the organizations committed to working toward this goal.

Flood control with better habitat and good riverfront

Flood control with better habitat and good riverfront

What you can do.
Speak up to town and state officials about funding river restoration and flood chute modifications.





A day of paddling, fishing, or hiking brings home a river’s value better than all the data in the world. HooRWA has a long history of improving river access points and hiking trails for low-impact recreational uses–because the river speaks to those who visit it.

What you can do.


Because the Hoosic Valley is still relatively undeveloped, we still have a chance to guide development wisely — and protect what should be protected before it is gone. It’s up to the residents of the watershed to be proactive in guarding the health and beauty of their region.


What you can do.