Westport River Watershed Alliance
News Brief July 2, 2020
Cockeast Pond
Dear Members and Friends,

Here we are in the first week of July, and we at the Watershed Alliance are doing our best to maintain our important work as Massachusetts slowly "re-opens," with the coronavirus pandemic continuing nationally and globally. Our education staff is planning and conducting scaled back programs for children and families. River water quality monitoring is going on as usual, and we are creating more videos to inform and entertain our viewers with the Wonders of the Watershed series. We have made every effort to reopen our site and programs in the most thoughtful and careful ways. 

Click here for the most recent results on water quality in the Westport River.

Our big pivot for this summer was to change all of our Summer Children’s Program to family-based learning workshops for up to six people from the same family. There are four workshops offered, and they will be scheduled at your convenience. The pressure on children to maintain social distance and to wear masks seemed to leach the fun out of the week-long programs; so we decided to wait until next summer. The Gay Gillespie Scholarships awarded this year will be honored then.  You will find more information in the flyer below.
River Center Open Saturday Hours  are coming up soon, and will require pre-registration. Please email Bailey directly if you would like to schedule a visit to our amazing Resource Room. You might want to bring something special to see on our projection microscope!

Dates for Summer Open Hours are:       
July 11 & 25       August dates will be announced later.

Read an article in South Coast Today about WRWA's Saturday Open Hours and our new pollinator garden here.
You can find a wonderful video of life in the river here , made by our interns Bailey and Malia. Many thanks to them for sharing this one-of-a-kind view of the interesting variety of life they discovered while seining in the Westport River!
Your membership is more important than ever as we all strive to emerge intact from the terrible disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please contribute to our membership drive , and if you have already renewed your membership, a BIG thank-you from all of us at the Watershed Alliance.


Water Quality Monitoring Results Every Week
Throughout the Summer
Click here for water quality monitoring test results from various locations all along the River. We publish this data weekly on our web page, so you will know where it is safe to swim and engage in other activities.
Solar Panel Array Now Providing Power
to the River Center
The Westport River Watershed Alliance’s River Center is now hooked up to the grid and is producing clean electricity with its recently installed array of solar panels. As the sun reaches its highest point in the sky at the summer solstice, the sixteen panels are at maximum efficiency, yielding 5.2 kilowatts of power for the River Center.

The Alliance installed the solar panels as part of the creation of an environmentally friendly building for their new headquarters and public educational center. Funded by a grant from BayCoast Bank, the solar system will provide up to 90% of the building’s energy needs. This is in keeping with BayCoast’s mission to encourage non-fossil fuel energy.

The building was completed last fall and the solar electrical installation by New England Clean Energy Company of Hudson, MA, took place earlier this year. Now, the regional electric company Eversource has installed the new electric meter to make it fully functional. 

“Our commitment to the protecting the environment is evident not only in our continued support of the important work done by the Westport Watershed Alliance, but also in our investment in solar arrays at our headquarters in Swansea, MA. Partnering with WRWA on the implementation of solar panels on their newly constructed center was a natural extension of that commitment,” explained Nicholas M. Christ President and CEO BayCoast Bank.

“We are so grateful to BayCoast for all that they have done to support the Watershed Alliance, the River Center and the communities they serve,” said Deborah Weaver, WRWA Executive Director.

Many environmentally friendly features were incorporated into the construction of the River Center, including composting toilets, efficient LED lighting and building insulation to minimize energy use for heating and cooling.
Westport Summer Passport
WRWA has joined the Westport Summer Passport program this year as a fun way to get our community outside this summer. This self-guided family quest showcases Westport’s amazing heritage and environment. Visit six awesome places featured in the free booklet, look around, and answer some fun questions.

For more information, contact Shelli Costa at wep@wrwa.com.
Commonwealth Corps Positions Open at WRWA
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is seeking two full time Commonwealth Corps volunteers to serve as Environmental Educators. The Commonwealth Corps volunteers will deliver WRWA’s Watershed Education Programs to children in grades PreK-12, launch outreach programs and citizen science projects. Commonwealth Corps volunteers with the Westport River Watershed Alliance will serve 10.5 months in a full-time capacity. Applicants should be Massachusetts residents and have a desire to put their talents and ideas to use in the service of their communities and the Commonwealth.

The mission of the Commonwealth Corps is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in service to strengthen communities, address unmet community needs, and increase volunteerism. Members will serve in a stipended full-time capacity from August 2020 through June 2021. Benefits include a focus on member training and development, as well as a bi-weekly stipend, a completion award, an inspiring network of fellow members, and other supports.

Those interested in applying for the position should email a cover letter, resume and three references to Shelli Costa, wep@wrwa.com.  For a full position description please visit our website: www.westportwatershed.org.
Your membership is vital to WRWA's continuing mission,
"Working together to protect and preserve the Westport River Watershed now and for future generations."

Please consider renewing your membership or becoming a new member. Visit www.westportwatershed.org to make a donation.
Or send your check to
PO Box 3427
Westport, MA 02790

Thank you!

Thank You to our 2020 Corporate Sponsors