July 11 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM
"Horseshoe Crab Research at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary".
There are four horseshoe crab research projects ongoing currently and the organizations involved include the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Geological Survey, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Massachusetts Environmental Trust. Researcher Mike Long
will give an overview on the status of horseshoe crabs in the area and share some early results from his sonic
studies. An Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology graduate from the University of Rhode Island, he is currently in a Master's program for Environmental Conservation
at the University of Massachusetts.
July 18 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM
The Marsh Birds of Wellfleet's Herring River
Sora, photo by Steve Broker
Stephen P. Broker
is a field naturalist and retired science educator and university administrator. It is largely through his work that the Herring River has increasingly become recognized as one of the most significant breeding localities for marsh birds on Cape Cod and along the Massachusetts coast. This presentation discusses the life history strategies of Herring River marsh birds, with emphasis on breeding success.
In 2011 (the final year of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas) and through the four years since completion of the Atlas, Broker has taken more than 200 canoe trips and made land-based observations in the Spartina salt marshes and freshwater cat-tail marshes of Wellfleet's Herring River. He has confirmed the breeding of Least Bittern, Virginia Rail, Clapper Rail, Marsh Wren, and Saltmarsh Sparrow and at least migratory use of the Herring River by American Bittern and Sora. The Massachusetts List of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species includes American Bittern (endangered) and Least Bittern (endangered), and Clapper Rail (at its northernmost breeding range in Massachusetts). A Flickr photo-sharing site has been set up by the presenter to focus on Herring River ecology and its marsh birds:
July 25 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Herring River Tidal Restoration Effects: Current and planned monitoring projects
American Box Turtles are part of a current study
, Ecologist, National Park Service, and a member of the Herring River Restoration Committee, will give an overview of the current monitoring programs as well as future plans to monitor the restoration, the response of the estuary and its biota. He will address common concerns (and hypotheses) about sediment transport, nutrient loading, carbon sequestration, fecal bacteria, and invasive plants.
August 1 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Salt Meets Fresh: Tidal seawater, fresh groundwater, and the Herring River restoration
Winter at the Gut - Lisbeth Wiley Chapman
We hear much on the Cape about our "fragile freshwater aquifer". How fragile is our groundwater system, and how might the planned restoration of tidal saltwater in Wellfleet's Herring River marshes affect the balance between salty surface water and the fresh groundwater on which we depend. Retired National Seashore Ecologist John Portnoy will address these questions with a synthesis of the many hydrological assessments conducted over the years by the US Geological Survey, National Park Service and cooperating universities.
August 8 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Tidal Water: A History of Wellfleet's Herring River - Lecture and Book Signing
Friends of Herring River Board members, John Portnoy, Alice Iacuessa, and Barbara Brennessel have collaborated on a new book that describes the history of the Herring River in Wellfleet. They will be available to sign your copies. The book covers post-glacial formation of the Herring River valley to modern initiatives to restore tidal flow to this important estuary. The talk will feature some of the important ecology, people, and events that frame the history of this important waterway, which flows from Wellfleet's famous kettle ponds and Truro uplands into Wellfleet Harbor.
Share the history, share the journey, share the momentous advent of the restoration of our Herring River.