For half a century, the polluted waters of the Charles River have been accepted as fact in Boston. A 1966 rock and roll love letter to the city put them at the center of the city's mythology. (The chorus? "Well I love that dirty water. Boston you're my home"). That Beantown anthem is the Red Sox victory song in Fenway Park.
In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency began giving an annual report card for the Charles. It's first grade? A D.