2018 Summer Gala
A Lively Celebration of our Beautiful Westport River
|A small sampling of photos from the Summer Gala: Event Co-Chair Barbara Watterson with her husband Jim; WRWA Executive Director Deborah Weaver with Peter Rosenfeld and board member Katharine Rosenfeld; Group shot: Fanny Whitman, Gay Gillespie, Ward Mooney, Debbie Moore, Lucy Mooney, Grant Moore; volunteer Jim Gorman behind the wheel of the donated cart from Golf Car Solutions; James and Annie Kinsey; Joe Mulholland Trio featuring Stan Strickland.
Our annual Summer Gala was a big success this year, with 500 guests attending the celebration at the Frog Hollow Farm on Drift Road. Our thanks to those who came and supported our most important fundraiser.
Special thanks to Sam Mundel and Andy Paige, the owners of Frog Hollow Farm, who graciously invited us to use their beautiful riverfront property for our annual Gala. Also thanks to the many volunteers who planned and helped set up the event, and our many benefactors, patrons, and sponsors. Thanks also to all those who donated to our silent auction, which had 120 offerings, including goods and services, trips and experiences, and beautiful works of art.
Delightful food donations came from The Back Eddy, Formaggio's Kitchen, Wicked Kickin' Cheesecakes, Westport Rivers Vineyard, the Daily Grind, Walkers Roadside Stand, Weatherlow Farms, Wishing Stone Farm, Ten Cousins Restaurant, and Gaspar's Chourico.
And there is one more auction item....
Our generous donor has offered another week at his house on Playa Panama on the Bay in Costa Rica!
One week stay at a private home in Costa Rica in Playa Panama on the Bay of Papagyo, Guanancaste (the northwest coast). The house has two bedrooms, plus private den with a sleep sofa, 3-1/2 baths, a private swimming pool and lap pool on the premises, and a Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. It is 30 minutes from the new Liberia International Airport. Views of the Pacific Ocean, 5 minute drive to the beaches.
A $3,000 value -- Available from mid-April 2019 - mid December 2019.
Call the WRWA office at 508-636-3016 for details.
Results From Summer Water Quality Monitoring
Roberta Carvalho, Science Director
The Westport River Watershed Alliance has been sampling water quality at 19 sites along the Westport River and its tributaries for 27 years, to evaluate the health of the river. Our program monitors the river every week from the beginning of June to the end of August. We monitor for fecal coliform bacteria, which can assess swimming and shellfishing standards, each of which have specific concentrations of bacteria that are considered safe for human contact. This year the fecal coliform levels were low with the exception of one date when sampling happened after 0.98 inches of rain.
Over the years bacteria counts have diminished in the river due to Title V septic improvements, better manure management and farming practices, and improved treatment and minimization of stormwater runoff - all of which the WRWA has advocated for, using our data to make the case for reducing pollution sources.
Thank you to the volunteers who helped with this program this year.
Call For Volunteers for Coastsweep
Beach Clean-Up September 22
WRWA will be hosting the annual COASTSWEEP beach clean- up on Saturday, September 22. Volunteers are needed to help identify and remove trash and debris from the Westport oceanfront from 10 a.m. to noon.
Each September and October, thousands of volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out for COASTSWEEP-the statewide coastal cleanup sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). COASTSWEEP is part of the
International Coastal Cleanup
organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Volunteers from all over the world collect marine debris-trash, fishing line, and any other human-made items-and record what they find. This information is then analyzed and used to identify sources of marine debris and develop education and policy initiatives to help reduce it.
Volunteers are invited to meet at the Town Beach parking lot on Cherry and Webb Lane at 10 o'clock.
Gloves, trash bags and other materials will be provided. In addition to removing the debris from the beach, important data will be collected and returned to the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.
The problems associated with marine debris extend well beyond aesthetics. Sea birds, seals, and other animals can be choked, starved, or poisoned when they mistake debris for food. A particular problem is when sea turtles die after swallowing clear plastic bags when they mistake them for jellyfish. Animals can also become entangled in nets, bags, ropes, and other trash, often resulting in drowning, suffocation, loss of mobility, or starvation. Beachgoers may injure themselves on items such as pieces of glass, wood, or metal while swimming or walking on the sand. Marine debris also poses a threat to navigation as propellers can become jammed with fishing line and boats can be damaged by colliding with large pieces of debris - and plastic can clog cooling intakes.
For more information, and to sign up, call us
at 508-636-3016 or email
The Westport River Watershed Alliance hosted our 21st year of our popular summer program, teaching young students about the importance of preserving the Westport River. Participants learned all about the plants and creatures that call the River home.
Participants Had a Blast at WRWA's
Summer Science Programs
Shelli Costa, Education Director
This year most program weeks were full, reaching close to 100 participants aged 3-16. Youngsters learned about marine debris, local crabs, puffer fish, flounder and more throughout the eight weeks of sessions. We had a wonderful time sharing what we know about the Westport River Watershed and enjoyed meeting all of our future stewards.
For the second year, the Watershed Alliance partnered with the Westport Cultural Council to offer six full scholarships to Westport students for summer science programs. These students from the Westport Elementary School and the Alice B. Macomber School were selected through an essay contest in which students wrote about what they would like to learn about the Westport River.
This years winners were: Grade 1- Lucas Gifford and Ava Carr; Grade 2-Brianna Soares and Parker Babbitt; and Grade 3- Gracie Garside and Sam Hall. The essay contest scholarship was made possible through generous funding of $750 from the Cultural Council. The Westport Cultural Council works to foster quality cultural programs and activities that bring the community together to create, share, and inspire. With funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust, the Council awards grants to support programs in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.
Thanks also to the Westport Yacht Club for letting the summer programs use their indoor space on rainy days and to Osprey Sea Kayak for leading our kayaking/paddle boarding programs. Thank you to BayCoast Bank for sponsoring our summer interns Page Veazie and Bailey Sweet, and to our leaders in training Sam Corey, Anya St. Martin and Gwen Parylack. Hope to see everyone next summer!
Electronics Recycling Day October 3rd
How quickly our devices become outdated! Wondering what to do with your old computers, printers, monitors and other obsolete electronic gear? Over the past few years, we have collected over twenty-five thousand pounds of old electronics on our Electronics Recycling days, and once again we are partnering with
for this valuable community service.
Join us on WEDNESDAY, OCT 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Westport Town Hall parking lot. All the materials are handled by certified recyclers, who remove valuable metals and plastics to be used in new manufacturing.
Items accepted at no charge: Computers, laptops, PDA's, cellphones, mice, keyboards, toner cartridges, CD/DVD players, radios, network equipment, wires, stereo equipment,
telephones, microwaves, small household appliances, and acid lead batteries including auto/marine and back-ups. Anything with a wire!
$10 DISPOSAL FEE for all printers, TV's & monitors, mini-fridges, air conditioners, dehumidifiers and any other appliances containing chemical coolants.
Not accepted: light bulbs, single use batteries, and hazardous materials such as paint or broken TV tubes.
WRWA has been working with scientists from University of Connecticut, Providence College and Brown University on a study to determine the causes of salt marsh loss in the Westport River. The marshes have been deteriorating at an accelerated pace over the past fifteen years.
Click here for a description of the project. We will keep you updated on the status of the study and publish the scientists' results and recommendations when completed.
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is Seeking One Qualified
Candidate to Fill Part-time Commonwealth Corps Positions
The Westport River Watershed Alliance has been chosen to be one of 17 Commonwealth Corps Host Site Partners again this year. Administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), the Commonwealth Corps engages Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in service and capacity building to strengthen communities, address unmet community needs, and increase volunteerism.
WRWA is seeking one more part-time Commonwealth Corps service members as Environmental Educator, to deliver Watershed Education Programs to children in grades PreK-12, and to launch additional outreach programs. Commonwealth Corps members with the Westport River Watershed Alliance will serve 10.5 months serving 18-20 hours per week, and receive a bi-weekly stipend. The applicants should be a Massachusetts resident and have a desire to put their talents and ideas to use in the service of their community and the Commonwealth.
For the past three years Commonwealth Corps members have helped WRWA strengthen and expand its Watershed Education Program. The program teaches more than 2,000 local students about the importance of keeping the Westport River clean, and the healthy interrelationship of our waters, soils, plants, animals, and people. Service members also recruit high school volunteers and encourage family involvement in outreach programs.
Since its inception, more than 950 Commonwealth Corps members have served in the program throughout the state, providing over 600,000 hours of service in areas such as community development, health services, benefits screenings, afterschool or summer programs, and volunteer recruitment and management, and directly benefiting more than 595,000 students, families, and other clients.
The Commonwealth Corps members will serve for 10.5 months in a part-time capacity from August 15, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), established in 1991, is a private nonprofit that serves as the state commission on community service and volunteerism, and supports programs like AmeriCorps and Commonwealth Corps that incorporate service and volunteerism as effective strategies to address the pressing needs in the Commonwealth.
2019 WRWA Photo Calendar Has Arrived!
The Westport River Watershed Alliance's new 2019 photo calendar is available now, featuring local tide graphs and photos of Westport scenes. This year's photos are the winners chosen from over 75 entries in WRWA's photo contest held this past spring. An independent group of volunteer judges viewed the photos and selected the winners in May.
The photographs, donated by area photographers, represent the most beautiful of Westport landscapes throughout the seasons, along with some remarkable wildlife shots.
"We had so many photos of beautiful scenes that are uniquely Westport, and some distinctive native wildlife shots for our photo contest," says Deborah Weaver, WRWA Executive Director. "This is one of the best collections of pictures yet for our 2019 calendar. Our thanks to all the talented photographers!"
The winning photos were provided by local photographers Tim Agnew, Rich Castenson, Lucy Chase, Rich Couse, Rick Eustis, Mark Goulding, Joanne Humphrey, Brianna McAvoy, Leslie Scanlon, and Greg Stone.
The calendars are on sale now at the WRWA headquarters at 1151 Main Road, online at
, and locally at Lees Market, Partners Village Store and the Dedee Shattuck Gallery.
Submissions for the 2020 calendar will be sought in spring, 2019.
|Cover of the 2019 WRWA Photo Calendar, "West Branch Serenity" by Rich Castenson.
Save Us Your Lees Receipts
WRWA is pleased to be a recipient of Lees Market Community Partners program. 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 corporate sponsors
We are grateful to our corporate sponsors for their annual support of WRWA. Please take a moment to view our list of sponsors below, and note that each logo is an active link to their individual websites.