A healthy watershed where people, wildlife and the River thrive
Dear Alliance Members and Friends: 
Deborah Weaver, Executive Director
It is time for our annual membership drive, when we count on our supporters new and old to pitch in and help WRWA with a new or renewed membership. This support at the most fundamental level provides the funds we need as we strive to fulfill our mission- to protect our most precious resource, the Westport River and its watershed.

This year, we are bringing important issues to our community, with our salt marsh degradation study with regional universities, our River Center renovation project at the Head of Westport, and ongoing water quality monitoring and stellar education programs.

None of this is possible without your generosity! We so appreciate our loyal members, and ask that you support us this year with your membership in the Watershed Alliance. Basic membership begins at $50, and you can also become a sustaining member by going on line to make a monthly gift. Please visit our web page at www.westportwatershed.org , or send your donation to PO Box 3427, Westport, MA 02790.

Best wishes,

You are the foundation of our work to protect the River, and we are grateful for your generous support.  We need your help to get us moved into the new River Center.

Working together to protect and
preserve the Westport River Watershed
now and for future generations

Donations can also be mailed to:
WRWA ∙ PO Box 3427 ∙ Westport, MA  02790

River Center Construction 
Moving Right Along

Despite a lot of rainy weather, workers are keeping on schedule with the River Center construction project.  The roof is shingled, insulation panels are installed on the second and third floors, and the new windows are being put into place.  The second and third floors are all framed now, awaiting the electricians and HVAC contractor.

The concrete floor will be poured in the coming days.  Then, the stairways can be built and the first floor can be framed and remaining windows and doors will be installed.  Workers will also be shingling the exterior, which will give the building a much more finished appearance.

It's all happening rather quickly, and before you know it, summer will be here and we will be looking at a beautiful finished River Center.  We look forward to moving in, and to our fall Open House, when we will invite you all to come and view the new facility.

Some funding for the River Center has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. We have also received Westport Community Preservation funds, as well as significant funding from BayCoast Bank, and many individuals. 
Lees Market & Westport 5th Graders
Help With Dune Grass Planting

Every year Shelli Costa, our director of education, brings the Westport fifth graders down for a day on the beach and into the dunes to replant grass that will continue to stabilize the dunes at the Cherry & Webb conservation area.  Lees Market staff assist during the day and has special t-shirts made for the students.

Salt Marsh Study Report by Scientists
Can Be Viewed On-line

WRWA held its Annual Meeting for 2019 on Sunday, March 17 at Bittersweet Restaurant, 
with guest speakers Patrick Ewanchuk, PhD, and Catherine Matassa, PhD., the two environmental scientists currently conducting our study on Salt Marsh Degradation in the  Westport River.

Patrick Ewanchuk is Associate Professor of Biology at Provi dence College. Catherine Matassa is Assistant Professor of Marine Science s at the University of Connecticut. They and their team have been making observations and conducting experiments in the River over the last year to help us determine why we are witnessing the accelerating collapse of salt marshes, particularly in the West Branch and Harbor areas.

The experiments and measurements have been designed to help determine why marsh loss is greater in the lower river near the harbor than found further up river, especially in the East Branch. They focused on how variables such as nitrogen, water currents, marsh compaction and sedimentation affect the root structure and growth of the spartina grass that holds the peat material of the marsh together.

A summary of their report and a video of their presentation of preliminary observations and findings are available for  viewing by clicking the link on our web page: http://westportwatershed.org/whats-being-done/projects/ 

Catherine Matassa, WRWA Science Director Roberta Carvalho, and Patrick Ewanchuk

Electronics Recycling Day Bring s in Tons of Old Equipment

"Jacks" oversees the activities

Local residents disposed of nearly 4,000 pounds of old electronic equipment at our recent Electronics Recycling Day.  Outdated TV's, computers, audio equipment, air conditioners and mini fridges piled up high in IndieCycles' trucks.

Thank you to our volunteers who helped manage the very busy activities of the morning. We are planning another recycling day for October.

Registration is Open for WRWA's 
Summer Coastal Ecology Program

Our summer programs offer children the opportunity to learn science, make friends, and build
self-confidence, all while having fun in a relaxed, safe environment.

The Coastal Explorers Ages 7-9. 
*Monday- Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
*Weeks of July 8-12 & July 22-26
Children discover wildlife in our coastal waters, create eco-crafts, learn about coastal habitats, hike the dunes, and enjoy games on the beach. The program fee is
$180 for WRWA members, $220 for non-members.

River Edventures - Ages 9-11.
*Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
*Weeks of July 15-19 and August 5-9.
Head out on WRWA's Skiff Water Watcher to explore the Westport River by boat, tow a plankton net, pull up crab posts and observe osprey nests. The cost is
$200 for members and $240 for non-members.  

Watershed Explorers - Ages 12-16. 
*Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*Week of July 29 - August 2. 
Participants learn about the ecology of the Westport River, visit coastal habitats and spend three days paddling on the Westport River,
led by certified instructors from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures. The fee is  $370 for members and $410 for non-members and includes all equipment and instruction.  

River Rats - Ages 3 - 6 (accompanied by 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, games and crafts will help children learn about animals at the beach.
*August 13-15, August 20-22
$10 members, $12 Non-members.

Register online at: www.westportwatershed.org/education/summer-programs/   or call 508-636-3016.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE through the Gay Gillespie Summer Scholarship Fund  -
contact Shelli - wep@wrwa.com

See the full brochure on our web page.
Changes in River Day Plan this Year
Making Plans for Fall Open House Instead
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is not going to hold the traditional River Day in June 2019. Due to the ongoing construction of both the River Center and the new school on Old County Road, and as WRWA prepares to relocate to our new office at the Head of Westport in the summer, it was determined that this year energies should be put into a Fall Open House instead, to introduce the community to the newly restored River Center.

The transformation of the historic Head Garage to the WRWA River Center is well underway, with completion expected in early summer.

The fall Open House, planned for September 14th, will integrate some of the River Day Activities for children while providing the public a chance to experience the new headquarters. There will be live music and tours of the building, with refreshments and activities for children.
River Day will resume in June 2020, when the Alliance has fully relocated.

We will be publishing a commemorative booklet for the event, featuring the history and chronology of the renovation of the old Head Garage into WRWA's new River Center.  Businesses or individuals interested in purchasing an ad or listing for the booklet can get information by sending an email to outreach@wrwa.com, or calling 508-636-3016.

Join WRWA for Annual Spring Beach Clean-Up


 2020 WRWA Calendar Photo Contest
Deadline for Entries is May 1
WRWA will be accepting photos for the 2020 calendar for just another few days. Thank you to all the photographers who have sent us some great photos of our beautiful River environment!

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 .

Photos can be jpeg's or png files, 300 dpi at 8x10 size. As a guide, any file larger than 1 Megabyte should be large enough for printing in the calendar.

To submit images, send photos to Steve at outreach@wrwa.com.   

Your contributions support our
science and education programs
and help us to fulfill our mission:

Working together to protect and
preserve the Westport River Watershed
now and for future generations
Please save us your Lees receipts

WRWA is happy to be a Lees Market Community Partner member. Please save us your Lees receipts! You can drop them off at our office at 1151 Main Road , or mail to:
Westport River Watershed Alliance
PO Box 3427
Westport, MA   02790.

Thank you, Lees Market!  

Thank you to our 2019 Corporate Sponsors

Please note that each of the logos for our generous corporate sponsors is an active link to their web page.
Corporate Sponsors

Westport River Watershed Alliance | 508-636-3016 | http://westportwatershed.org

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