The underlying tenet of DER’s work is the belief that by protecting rivers, streams and adjacent lands, we also protect the unique character and livability of our communities. Healthy waterways translate to more livable and desirable communities. Protected and restored rivers and streams  attract visitors to Massachusetts and provide exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities close to home. Protecting our natural water resources requires the efforts of not only local, state and federal governments but also community groups and residents who know and care about their local rivers and streams.

As a local advocate, learning how to be a good river and stream steward  and get involved can be daunting. The Division of Ecological Restoration’s Riverways Program has a long tradition of assisting citizens, communities  and local organizations  become effective and informed river stewards. DER staff  are there to help people sort out the roles of state and federal agencies, identify pertinent regulations, provide useful information and much more. Identifying where to start or knowing the most efficient route to achieve a goal can be intimidating for someone interested in helping a local waterway but new to the world of river stewardship. DER Riverways staff is here to help and available to assist with a range of topics, technical assistance and training needs.