The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) just published a position statement, “Artificial Turf: A Threat to Our Watershed.” CRWA opposes the installation of artificial turf as contrary to its core mission of promoting the health of the Charles River and its watershed.

“CRWA recognizes the heavy demand for recreational facilities and the desirability of a low-maintenance, affordable natural turf alternative. However, available scientific studies indicate that artificial turf may not be cost-effective in the long term and that it may have significant deleterious human health effects. Crucially, artificial turf does not provide the same environmental benefits as grass athletic fields. Unlike natural grass fields, artificial turf constitutes an impervious surface, generating additional stormwater runoff which contributes to flooding and aquatic contamination. Studies show that artificial turf also exacerbates heat island effects. Artificial turf provides none of the air or water quality benefits of natural turf, nor does it provide potential habitat or ecosystem benefits.” [Read the full statement.]

CRWA joins Sierra Club Massachusetts and Green Newton in opposing the installation of artificial turf fields.