WRWA River News for March, 2017
River News - April, 2017

Membership Message From Deborah
 
Dear Members & Friends,
 
I hope that you have already received our Member renewal letter, and I send my thanks to those of you who have already renewed. Our membership is a vital way that we connect with our stakeholders, keep open lines of communication, and support the work we do to restore, protect, celebrate and educate.

I wanted to share a reflection from Julia Blatt, Director of the MA Rivers Alliance, who visited with me last summer and got a kayak tour of the East Branch: "The Westport River Watershed Alliance's unusually large membership is a testament to the fact that this group has done an extraordinarily good job of connecting with its community - and keeping people involved in its work. I wish all our watershed groups enjoyed such robust support!"
We hope you can give generously this year in our membership drive, and many thanks for being a vital and valued part of our community.

 
New Board Members Welcomed at WRWA Annual Meeting

The Westport River Watershed Alliance welcomed four new board members at its Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 26. Retiring from the board are Ingrid Davidge, Bill Pardee, Sally Ann Ledbetter, and Gretchen Whipple. Newly elected directors are David Forney, Chris Killenberg, Rich Castenson and Dale Weber. Melissa Parker, Kindergarten teacher at the Macomber school, is this year's Educator of the Year.  The Volunteer Award was presented to Dale Weber.
This year's guest speaker was GEORGE HEUFELDER, Director of the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center at Barnstable County's Department of Health and Environment. A video of his presentation can be viewed through this link.

 
 Sarah Lavalley and WRWA invite you to a free showing of the film HOMETOWN HABITAT - Stories of Bringing Nature Home
 
Thursday, May 4 ♦ 6:30 pm ♦ Westport Public Library ♦ FREE

Native plants, once established, do not require the use of herbicides and pesticides to maintain their beauty.  And our native pollinators and birds prefer our native plants for nectar and seed.  View this inspiring film by producer/director Catherine Zimmerman, who traveled the country to visit hometown "habitat heroes."  These success stories and works-in-progress will energize you to help make natural landscaping the new norm.
 
Sarah has devoted her career to sustainable horticulture.  She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, specializing in native plantings, meadows, insectaries and food gardens.  She is also a beekeeper.
 
WRWA supports practices that limit the amount of nitrogen and other pollutants that make their way into our river ecosystem through storm water runoff and ground water.
 
For more information about this event, call us at 508-636-3016

 

 

 



 Thank You to Lees Market for Support

WRWA is grateful for the generosity of Lees Market and their support of our programs.   Recently, Lees donated t-shirts for our 5th Grade dune planting activities, and also sent volunteers to assist in the annual coastal environment curriculum at the Cherry & Webb Conservation Area.
 
Lees also provides support through the Community Partners receipt program.  Lees owner Tracy Anthony expressed, "We enjoyed being a part of the 5 th  grade beach grass
planting.  It is wonderful when the community is able to come together in support of anything, but most importantly education."
 
Lees Market staff with fifth grade students with new Beachcomber T-shirts.


Volunteer Baywatchers Needed for the Westport River 
by Roberta Carvalho

Every year we work with the Buzzards Bay Coaltion to test the Westport River's ecological health. This is done with the Baywatchers, who are local residents that love the water and want to do their part to protect it. These "citizen scientists" go out one morning per week in summer to test key aspects of the water's health. Since the program began in 1992, hundreds of local residents have volunteered as Baywatchers, testing the waters of Buzzards Bay.  

Please contact Roberta Carvalho (water@wrwa.com) if you would like to help with testing. Training is on May 10th, and testing starts at the end of the month and runs through the summer. We need help testing at Westport Point, Cummings Lane and Charlton's Wharf. Once properly trained the Baywatcher will then monitor one site once a week for about 40 minutes, sometime between 6:00-9:00 A.M. from May through September. The site will be monitored for basic parameters such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, and water clarity.
 
All data collection and analysis is conducted in accordance with a Quality Assurance Project Plan approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. For more information visit the Buzzards Bay Coalition's website: http://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/about-us/programs-workshops/baywatchers/ 
 


 2018 Calendar Photo Contest
Deadline for image submission: May 1

Time is running out on the traditional photo contest for the 2018 calendar. We are looking for landscape and nature photos that show the unique beauty and diversity of the Westport River watershed in all four seasons (i.e. the river, streams, wildlife, plants, etc.), limit 5 photos per person. To submit an image, send photos to Steve at outreach@wrwa.com.
Certain image criteria must be met for the image to be used :  

♦ Pictures should be submitted as JPGs. 
♦ Image size should be 
no smaller than 10 x 8 inches (pixel dimension 3000 x 2400).
♦ Image resolution should be 
300 dpi or greater, file size 1MB or greater.
♦ Each image should be given a title, with image title matching file name.  Artist name should be included for calendar credits.

Image criteria is also listed on our website: 
www.westportwatershed.org. Questions about criteria and image submissions can be emailed to Steve Connors at outreach@wrwa.com or call 508-636-3016. By sending in your pictures you are allowing WRWA to use your pictures to inspire the appreciation and celebration of Westport's natural resources. Independent judges will select the 13 best photos (one for the cover!) Send us your best Watershed photos!


Registration is Open for WRWA's Summer Coastal Ecology Program  


River Rats-Ages 3-6   (accompanied by an adult)
Each session will feature an hour at the beach during which 
participants will listen for shore birds, use nets to catch fish and crabs and explore the sand for hidden creatures. Hands-on
investigations, activities, games and crafts will help participants learn about animals at the beach.

Cost: $10 members/ $12 non-members
Time: 10AM to 11AM  
Dates:   Wednesdays (at Gooseberry Island)    8/16
Thursdays (at Cherry and Webb Beach, parking pass required) -  7/6  ♦  8/17

Coastal Explorers Ages 7-9

Discover the wildlife in our coastal waters in this hands-on, science day program. We'll use a seine net to catch critters, complete
scavenger hunts, hike through the dunes, play some nature
games on the beach, and create crafts from natural objects.
Cost: $170 members/$210 non-members
Time: Monday through Friday,  9am to 1pm
Dates:    7/10 - 7/14  ♦  7/24- 7/28

River Edventurers   Ages 9-11

Head out on WRWA's Skiff Water watcher to explore the Westport River by boat. We will tow a plankton net, pull up crab pots and observe osprey nests. Participant will also have the chance to look inside a skate to learn how they survive this marine habitat.
Cost: $190 members and $230 non-members.
Time: Monday through Friday 9am to 1pm
Dates:             7/17-7/21     ♦   7/31-8/4

Watershed Explorers Ages 12-16

Your child will explore the Westport River watershed and beyond in this program specially designed for the young outdoor enthusiasts. Through hikes on land and kayaking on the water, we will see many sections of our local rivers. We will spend 3 days
kayaking with Osprey
Sea Kayak Adventures.
Cost:  $360 members $400 non-members
Time:  Monday through Friday  9am-2pm 
Date:         8/7-8/11

Register online at:
www.westportwatershed.org/education/summer-programs/  or call 508-636-3016
Summer Internships at WRWA
 
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is seeking two qualified candidates to fill our seasonal, summer internship positions. The positions are 30 hrs/week at a rate of $11 hr, from June until the middle of August (exact starting and ending dates flexible). The
intern will work under the supervision of the Education Director, assisting with various projects.

WRWA received a generous grant from BayCoast Bank to fund this position with understanding that applicants be enrolled as students at
BCC or UMass Dartmouth .
For complete list of responsibilities and desired qualifications, please visit our Facebook page.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume and 3 references to:
Shelli Costa, Education Director
Westport River Watershed Alliance ♦ PO Box 3427 ♦ Westport, MA
or email materials to: wep@wrwa.com.

 
Chris Smither and Dar Williams 
  2017 Summer Concert * July 15

Tickets on Sale Now from WRWA and Narrows Center for the Arts

Get your tickets now for our annual summer concert at the Westport Rivers Vineyard. Dar Williams and Chris Smither will be performing on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 6 p.m. These well-known and profoundly talented singer-songwriters will be on-stage on the beautiful Westport Rivers landscape for an outdoor evening concert to benefit the Watershed Alliance.

Like last summer's very successful Tom Rush show, this year's concert is co-presented with The Narrows Center for the Arts and sponsored in part by Westport Rivers and Buzzards Bay Brewing.

Tickets are $40 for WRWA members, $50 for non-members, and will be $60 the day of the show. Don't wait too long-last year's show was a sell out, with over 600 guests enjoying the great music and pastoral setting on a beautiful summer evening.

Get tickets on the Narrows website at
www.narrowscenter.org , and at the WRWA office & website www.westportwatershed.org ,
or by phone 508-636-3016.


Salt Marsh Deterioration
Video can be viewed on-line

Professor Mark Bertness of Brown University delivered a very interesting lecture on Salt Marsh Degradation on March 2nd. A complete video of the 90-minute talk can be viewed on-line at https://youtu.be/fWiKEwjp1cw .

Salt marshes on the Westport River are deteriorating. 
The Purple Marsh Crab might have something to do with it.





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