The Herring Run
News and Information about the
 December 2019
In this edition:
Wellfleet shellfish stakeholders voice support for Restoration Project
Barbara Brennessel to speak on shellfishing history in Wellfleet Harbor
Message from Friends of Herring River

A busy scene working Field Point Oyster Farm at Indian Neck  
Photo courtesy of Katie Murphy 
Wellfleet shellfish stakeholders  
explain importance of the  
Herring River Restoration Project
The Wellfleet Shellfish Advisory Board recently voted unanimously to convey its continued support of the Herring River Restoration Project.  In its letter the Board wrote: 
"We still believe that restoring controlled tidal flow in line with current science, and closer to a flow rate that existed before installation of the Chequessett Neck Road tide gate will benefit those in the shellfishing community, the residents of Wellfleet, and those species of anadromous fish that use the Herring River estuary to spawn each year. Ever since the original structure was installed over 100 years ago, shellfishing has suffered in the area adjacent to the tide gate due to high levels of fecal coliform present resulting from restricted tidal flushing. Improving the amount of water flowing upstream and downstream of the new dike will surely be of great service towards improving water quality to provide for the needs of the shellfish, anadromous fish and wildlife native to the area."  The Board's full letter is available here. 
The Cape Cod Times recently published an article written by shellfishers, shellfish grant holders, scientists and long-time Wellfleet residents, Katie Murphy, John Portnoy, Jake Puffer and Robert Wallace explaining why they strongly support the Herring River Restoration Project. The article states:
"The diking and drainage of Wellfleet's Herring River over 100 years ago set in motion a series of profound ecological and water-chemistry changes that have seriously diminished and degraded shellfish habitat and impaired other vital benefits," they wrote.   
"The return of tides and seawater, and the reconnection of the Herring River estuary with the marine environment, will restore the ecosystem services that originally attracted Native Americans and Europeans to settle here - services on which the shellfishing community in particular depends. This recovery is well supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies of marsh restoration throughout the world. Twice-daily flooding of the wetland surface with seawater will eliminate acidity and promote the re-establishment of salt-marsh grasses and their export of organic matter to feed downstream shellfish beds. Restored flushing will improve summertime dissolved oxygen concentrations, benefiting not only shellfish but finfish including the river's namesake river herring, whose population crashed after the river was diked."   
Katie Murphy is a natural resource specialist, shellfish grant-holder and member of the Friends of Herring River Board of Directors. Robert Wallace is a former Wellfleet shellfish constable and long-time shellfish grant holder. John Portnoy is a wetland ecologist, Wellfleet resident and Friends of Herring River board member. Jake Puffer and his family work one of the largest shellfish grants in Wellfleet Harbor.
You can read their entire article here.
Save the Date!!
Sunday, January 19th, 2 pm,  
at Wellfleet Public Library
Dr. Barbara Brennessel will speak about her book,
Good Tidings: The History and Ecology of Shellfishing and Aquaculture in Wellfleet Harbor.

Shellfish Grants are a common sight in Wellfleet Harbor today but this was not always the case. This talk will provide a historical background to the "wild" shellfish industry in Welllfeet and explain the basics of shellfish aquaculture from its earliest practices to modern shellfish farming. Part industry guide, part biology lesson, part cultural and Town history, this event will highlight iconic Wellfleet shellfish from their birth and growth on the flats to the dinner plate.
Copies of "Good Tidings" will be available and signed by the author for the special rate of $5/copy with all proceeds donated to Friends of Herring River.
Message from Friends of Herring River
Our river needs your help!
You can make a difference on the Outer Cape by supporting Friends of Herring River, the leading advocate for the Herring River restoration project in Wellfleet and Truro and for promoting the recreational enjoyment of the revived river.
Please join us. Your contribution in any amount is welcome. Become a Family Friend of Herring River by making an annual donation of $250.00.
Ways of Giving:
Credit Card: Network for Good will process your online credit card donation immediately.
Check: Make your check payable to Friends of Herring River. Our post office address is listed below.
Securities: The stock market has experienced gains recently. Make your gift with appreciated stock and you obtain a charitable deduction for the current value of your stock gift, while you avoid capital gains tax that you would pay if you sold the stock.
Call our office for simple instructions.
IRA: If you are over 70 ½ and take required minimum distributions from your IRA, direct your IRA custodian to issue a charitable distribution to Friends of Herring River. Your IRA charitable distribution counts toward your required minimum distribution for the year, but it is excluded from your taxable income. Call us for more information.
Friends of Herring River
P.O. Box 565
South Wellfleet, MA 02663
Phone: 508-214-0656
Follow us on  and visit our website to stay up-to-date on the project. Also, stop by our office to say hello and learn more about our efforts. We are located at 1580 Route 6 in South Wellfleet at the corner of Route 6 and Old County Road.
Friends of Herring River is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
For more information visit our website

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