December 2019
Highlights from Charleston, SC
Nate Higbie, President
I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA) conference in Charleston, S.C. The week-long conference drew over 200 attendees including NOAA staff, reserve staff and friends from around the country including Puerto Rico.  Laurie Tompkins, Waquoit’s Volunteer Coordinator and I attended the two-day Friends and Foundations session, which also included joint sessions with Reserve Managers and the Education Coordinators. Highlights from the conference included sessions on resiliency and how the Friends can help during a disaster, communications and outreach and a joint session with the education coordinators on diversity and inclusion programs. 
The joint manager’s session highlighted three Reserve’s that received a grant from the national Friends group, NERRA. The grants provided groups with in-kind services including strategic planning, graphic design and informational products. As a result, we plan to request a grant in the spring to have NERRA help us with a new brochure and other fundraising materials. 
It was a great opportunity to meet with many Friends from other Reserves. It is always a delight to be around so many dedicated and enthusiastic people. I hope some of you may have the opportunity to attend one of these conferences in the future.
Landscaping Plans Take Root

Board member Linda Karmen has gotten the ball rolling with exploratory meetings with Reserve staff and a Master Gardener to review and come up with a plan for the fall and spring to spruce up the Visitor Center entrance and surrounding gardens. The Friends will be contributing funds for the project and additional volunteers will be needed for planting and maintenance this spring. Stay tuned for upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Ongoing Efforts
Summer Science School planning in underway for the 2020 summer season; Reserve staff and Friends are working on setting dates, hiring teachers and preparing for next summer. We are looking for a volunteer to help out with organizational tasks, email follow and registration materials after the new year.
If you would like to learn more please contact:
Laurie Tompkins at laurie.tompkins@mass.gov or 508-4570-495 x108.
Gift Shop - inventory is low! It's a perfect time to talk about redesign. We will be looking for ideas for a new T-shirt design! Are you artistic or have ideas about what the new T-shirt design could be? Let us know.
Thank you for your support this year!

Best Wishes for a happy, healthy new year!