Working together to restore the native habitats of the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord River Watershed


The SuAsCo CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area) is a partnership of organizations that intend to manage and control invasive species defined by the geography of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord (SuAsCo) watershed. Thirty-six towns are part of the SuAsCo Watershed, and we are all connected by the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord river system. The watershed covers approximately 377 square miles and includes a variety of upland habitats, wetland habitats, historic sites, scenic sites and recreational areas. The towns, state and federal government agencies, and environmental organizations that hold land in the watershed all share an interest in the work of the CISMA.

Cisma Map

What are Invasive Species?

  • Any plant or animal that is not native to an area.
  • Able to reproduce without any natural checks on population growth and can out-compete native organisms.
  • Invasive species begin to fill the ecological roles of native species and in short order can entirely replace native species.

Wild and Scenic

In April 1999 Congress designated 29 miles of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers as Wild and Scenic for their outstanding ecology, history, scenery, recreation values, and place in American literature. The designated reach includes: the 14.9-mile segment of the Sudbury River beginning at the Danforth Street Bridge in Framingham, downstream to the Route 2 bridge in Concord, and the 1.7-mile segment of the Sudbury River from the Route 2 bridge downstream to its confluence with the Assabet River at Egg Rock; the 4.4-mile segment of the Assabet River beginning 1,000 feet downstream from the Damonmill Dam in West Concord, to its confluence with the Sudbury River at Egg Rock in Concord; and the 8-mile segment of the Concord River from Egg Rock at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers downstream to the Route 3 bridge in Billerica.  

Designating a river as “wild and scenic” does not halt use of a river; instead, the goal is to preserve the character of a river. Uses compatible with the management goals of a particular river are allowed; change is expected to happen. However, development must ensure the river’s free flow and protect its “outstandingly remarkable resources.” The intent of Congress was to create a national system of protected rivers that co-existed with use and appropriate development. Each river designation is different, and each management plan is unique. Over 156 rivers in the U.S. have been given the Wild and Scenic designation.

To learn more about Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the SuAsCo Watershed, please visit The Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild & Scenic River Stewardship Council.





The Steering Committee of the SuAsCo CISMA has received $3,500 from the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord Wild & Scenic River Stewardship Council (RSC) to fund one or more invasive species control projects. The Steering Committee is seeking proposals from CISMA Partner organizations for projects that would directly benefit the rivers by either eradicating/managing applicable priority species or by supporting educational outreach efforts. The watershed-wide priority species are listed in Table 1. Projects must occur within the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsCo) watershed. The RSC works to protect the resource values of these three rivers, including ecology, scenery, recreation, history and literature. Please describe how your project will help to meet the RSC’s objectives. For more information about the SuAsCo Wild and Scenic River or the RSC, visit We encourage proposals to include collaboration among multiple landowners, and/or recruiting and training a group of volunteers (or making use of existing volunteers), but these aspects are not required.

Proposals should include details on project objectives and methods, discussion of how the project relates to the RSC goals, a project timeline, and a detailed budget. Proposals must include a process for evaluating effectiveness of the control effort and demonstrate a capacity for long-term monitoring and follow-up. Proposals should be no more than two pages plus supporting materials such as maps and letters of support.

To apply, email proposals to Kristin O’Brien at with the subject “SuAsCo CISMA Grant Application”, or mail to 208 South Great Road Lincoln, MA 01773. Application deadline is 5:00 pm, Monday December 31st, 2018. Grant recipients will be asked to submit a final report by Wednesday July 31st, 2019. Recipients may request an extension if their allocated funds have not been used by July 31st, 2019. Please identify the potential need for an extension in the proposal.


Watershed-Wide Priority Species 


Watershed-wide early detection species


Watershed-wide species of ongoing concern

Amur cork tree
Brazilian water weed
Callery pear
Creeping buttercup
European alder
Rusty Willow
Fig Buttercup
Giant hogweed
Japanese stiltgrass
Mile-a-minute vine
Narrow-leaf bittercress
Broad-leaved pepperweed
Wall lettuce
Wild Chervil


Autumn olive
Black swallowwort
Burning bush
Bush honeysuckle
Common reed
Eurasian watermilfoil
Garlic mustard
Glossy Buckthorn
Japanese barberry
Japanese knotweed
Multiflora rose
Oriental bittersweet
Purple loosestrife
Spotted knapweed
Water chestnut


All applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the SuAsCo CISMA Steering Committee and announced shortly after the December 14th deadline. The Steering Committee will strive to allocate funding by consensus. However, if a vote is required, Steering Committee members whose organizations have applied for funding will not be able to participate in discussions and decisions regarding allocation of funds. 



Upcoming Events

Recent News

Wild and Scenic River Community Grants

February 24, 2018

The Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council announces the availability of Wild and Scenic River Community Grants. The grants are intended to advance projects supporting and… Read more

New invasive added to Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) listings

May 11, 2016

Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) has added a new invasive species to their listings. MIPAG has designated hardy kiwi, Actinidia arguta, as Likely Invasive (PDF) Read more

Wall Street Journal article on dogs sniffing out invasive plants

July 16, 2015

“Forget Drugs, These Dogs Sniff Out a Different Kind of Evil Weed” Read more

Sudbury: Beetles released into wetlands devour nuisance weed

July 14, 2015

Article from the Metrowest Daily News on use of beetles to control purple loosestrife. Read more

PHOTOS: Audubon pulling water chestnuts in Sudbury

June 30, 2015

An article from the Metrowest Daily News. View Photos and Article Read more