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. During her eight-year tenure leading the Organization for the Assabet River, the group’s efforts resulted in precedent-setting phosphorus limits for the river’s four wastewater treatment facilities; their work with Intel Massachusetts, a major corporate water user, resulted in a $1.5M recharge fund for the watershed.
Since, 2009, Julia has served as the founding executive director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. Mass Rivers’ mission is to improve the health of rivers across the state and to strengthen and connect its 80 member groups. Beginning in 2018, they have won big increases in the state’s water agency budgets. Other notable accomplishments include a multi-plaintiff lawsuit that forced the EPA to implement stormwater controls in Massachusetts, and passage of a sewage public notification law. Mass Rivers’ priorities include improving water quality, streamflow, habitat protection, climate resilience, and environmental justice.
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 currently serves on several state advisory committees as well as on the board of River Network, a national river protection organization based in Colorado. She holds a history degree from Brown and a master’s in urban and environmental policy from Tufts.