WRWA River News for February, 2017
River News - February, 2017

Oars and Paddles Winter Art Show
February 25 - March 4 at the Shattuck Gallery
Our fourth annual Winter Art Show will take place during the week of February 25 - March 4 at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport. This year, our contributing artists decided to try something new: instead of painting and decorating lobster buoys, to transform old oars and paddles into works of art. Over 40 old oars were donated.

This event is a fun distraction from the winter doldrums, and takes place in the warm and bright space of the Dedee Shattuck Gallery at 1 Partners Way, Westport.  The silent auction will take place on Saturday, March 4, 1 to 5 p.m., with the reception from 5 to 7.
Volunteers are welcome for two-hour time slots during the week of the show, greeting guests and managing the gallery show. For a preview of the silent auction, go to our web page:

Learn how to paint this iconic Westport Scene by Barbara Healy
Brushes and Brews February 25
Enjoy some beer from Buzzards Bay Brewing, and take an art lesson from local artists Pam Clarkson and Barbara Healy at the Shattuck Gallery on February 25,
5 to 7 p.m. The fee is $35, or become a new WRWA member for $50 and get in for no additional charge. Fee covers the cost of all materials, food and refreshments.
Space is limited to 15.
For info, to sign up, email Steve at
outreach@wrwa.com .  Last year's participants had a blast.  We hope to see you soon!

 Mark Bertness will present
"How will salt marsh die-off and
sea level rise get along?"

Professor Mark Bertness from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University will give a talk on the subject of our already deteriorating salt marshes, and what the consequences of sea level rise might be on them.   It will take place on Thursday, March 2 at 7 pm in the Manton Room the Westport Public Library. Admission is free.

Much of Professor Bertness' studies has been on salt marshes, particularly from Cape Cod to Long Island Sound. His findings have found a correlation between depletion of
predator species like blue crabs and the prevalence of excess numbers of purple marsh crab, which feed on the roots of the cord grass that hold the salt marshes together.

The marshes in the Westport River, particularly along the West Branch, have
experienced serious degradation over the past decade and many theories as to
why it is happening have been considered. Bertness will present his findings
that may help explain part of the problem.

Town of Westport receives $249,00 Grant
for Head of Westport Landing Improvements
The Town of Westport has received of grant support from the Seaport Economic Council in the amount of $249,000 to pay for improvements to the Head Landing on Old County Rd. This proposal will fulfill the improvements to the area, as outlined in the comprehensive site plan created by the Westport River Watershed Alliance, and approved by the town Planning Board in the fall of 2015. This proposal was prepared by Jim Hartnett and Lucy Tabit of the Westport Planning Board and is supported by the Westport Landing Commission and the Westport Board of Selectmen.

The project vision is to restore and support an active Town Landing by restoring historic features, and improving public amenities including access to Landing property and the East Branch of the Westport River, handicap accessibility, parking, lighting and seating. These improvements along with parking and stormwater management will support educational and water-based recreational opportunities for the community and the local tourism economy.

From Left: Westport Town Planner Jim Hartnett, Landing Commission Chairman Carl Tripp, Town Administrator Tim King, Planning Board Chairman Jim Whitin, Member of Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council Sam Mundel, Assistant Town Planner Lucy Tabit, WRWA Executive Director Deborah Weaver, State Representative Paul Schmid, WRWA Board President Tom Schmitt.
The Head Landing is an area of town that has undergone an economic revival, with 2 thriving businesses and the pending addition of WRWA's planned River Center. A key component of sustaining the local economy is closely associated with the river: recreational boating and enjoyment of the outdoors. Improvements to the Head Landing will rehabilitate a blighted area, mitigate storm water run-off, improve the health of the river and provide enhanced facilities and attractive visitor areas for both the town and visitors from other communities.
About the Seaport Economic Council:

As part of the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to promote prosperity in communities of all sizes as well as to cultivate job and economic growth in the maritime economic sector, the Seaport Advisory Council has been revitalized
under Executive Order 564 and is now known as the Seaport Economic Council. 
The Seaport Economic Council, chaired by the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth and administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development with support from the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs,
will challenge the 78 coastal communities of Massachusetts to leverage their unique geographic advantages in order to grow jobs and the economy as well as prepare for the future as we confront the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms.
What the Seaport Grant will accomplish:

Restore an historic town Landing which has fallen into
Regrade the site to improve storm water management
   Improve constructed wetlands & increase runoff mitigation
Improve River access
Create safer driving and parking p atterns to enhance
   public safety
Provide ADA accessibility to the River
Enhance opportunities for water-based recreational
Increase public education and awareness of watershed
   and river protection
Beautify and make entire sit e more visitor friendly

Merit Scholarship Funds
Available for Local Students

The Westport River Watershed Alliance is pleased to offer a $1,000 scholarship opportunity for graduating high school seniors in the Westport River watershed: Fall River, Dartmouth, Freetown, Westport, Little Compton, and Tiverton. The award was made possible by the generosity of the late Margot C. Boote and Bill Heath, in memory of his parents Ruth and Bill Heath.

The Watershed Alliance is seeking applicants with an interest in pursuing the
environmental sciences, but high achieving students with other academic interests will be considered.

The merit award applications are available on the WRWA website: http://westportwatershed.org/news-events/2012-merit-scholarship/ or by calling the WRWA office at 508-636-3016.  Guidance departments in local high schools have applications on file. All applications are due in the office no later than April 1, 2017. The Alliance has a proud record of environmental stewardship. This merit award offers an opportunity to honor students who have demonstrated interest in protecting the environment.
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.

Registration is Open for WRWA's Summer Coastal Ecology Program  

Registration is Open for WRWA's Summer Coastal Ecology Program    

The Westport River Watershed Alliance is again offering a variety of fun, hands-on summer science program for kids ages 3-16.

The Coastal Explorers  -Ages 7-9.  
*Monday- Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
*Weeks of July 11-15 & July 25-29. 
Children discover marine life, create eco-crafts, learn about coastal habitats and enjoy games on the beach. The program fee is $160 for WRWA members, $200 for non-members.

River Edventures  - Ages 9-11.
*Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
*Weeks of July 18-22 and August 8-12.
This program delves deeper into understanding our environment by learning about food chains and the creatures that make up our watershed ecosystem.  Participants will head out on WRWA's skiff to explore the Westport River. The cost is $180 for members and $220 for non-members.  

Watershed Explorers - Ages 12-16. 
*Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*Week of August 1-5. 
Participants learn about the ecology of the Westport River, visit coastal
habitats and spend three days paddling on the Westport River.  The kayaking/paddle
boarding portion of the program is led by certified instructors from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures, and includes all equipment and instruction.  The fee is $360 for members and $400 for non-members. Register online at:
www.westportwatershed.org/education/summer-programs/  or call 508-636-3016

Save Us Your Lees Receipts

Lees Market has generously continued their support of local non-profit agencies by
donating a percentage of sales back to the community.  The Watershed Alliance has received over $50,000 from this program since 1989. Please save up your market
receipts and drop them off at
1151 Main Road, or mail to
Westport River Watershed Alliance
PO Box 3427 * Westport, MA   02790.           Thank you, Lees Market! 

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

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