Julia Blatt has been protecting rivers since 1987, when, as a congressional aide, she helped gain federal Wild and Scenic River status for the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. She has worked as a planner for the state, and served as the Executive Director of the Organization for the Assabet River (now OARS) for eight years. During her tenure at OAR, she convinced Intel Massachusetts to establish a $1.5M recharge fund for the Assabet watershed. The group’s efforts also resulted in phosphorus limits for the river’s four wastewater treatment facilities that set a precedent in New England.
Since, 2009, Julia has served as the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. Mass Rivers works to improve river protection across the Commonwealth and to strengthen and connect its 72 member groups. Their current highest priorities are protecting stream flow, cleaning up stormwater, and increasing investment in greener water infrastructure, some of the thorniest challenges facing rivers in Massachusetts. The group’s recent successes include a multi-plaintiff lawsuit that led to the implementation of a statewide stormwater permit; a significant increase in state budgets for three state agencies that protect rivers; and twice defeating the Governor’s legislation to move water pollution control from the federal government to the state.
Julia has been recognized for her contributions to river protection in Massachusetts with awards from the National Park Service, Mass Audubon, the Ipswich River Watershed Association, the Charles River Watershed Association, and Trout Unlimited. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Brown and a master’s in Urban and Environmental policy from Tufts and currently serves on the board of River Network. She and her husband live in the Mystic River Watershed.