Westport River Watershed Alliance
April, 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
We would like to thank all of you who have renewed your membership to WRWA this spring! If you haven't had the chance to send in your membership, we hope that you will contribute to help us reach our goal. You can use this link to easily renew online.

Our Art Show and Auction, entitled “Celebrate WOW –The Wonders of the Watershed” - Finding Solace in Art and Nature, is nearly coming to a close. It will run daily until Saturday, May 1. The auction is hosted by 32auctions.com, and viewers can use this link to view the show. To check on open hours at the River Center email outreach@wrwa.com, or call 508-636-3016.

The traditional River Day celebration will not take place this year, due to health guidelines about large gatherings. But, in celebration of National Rivers Month, we are encouraging our supporters to get outside and get active with a month-long program called "Experience WOW! The Wonders of the Watershed.” We have an update about this exciting series of June events in this issue of River News below.
We are pleased to present our latest video, about some early spring activities among birds at Gooseberry, recorded with local birding expert Paul Champlin. Please take the time to watch by clicking here. All of our educational and entertaining videos can be viewed by visiting our web page at: www.westportwatershed.org.

Save Money and Help the Westport River
With These Yard Care Tips
Roberta Carvalho, Science Director

Everyone wants a nice looking yard and pleasant landscaping. Did you know that you can save money and minimize impacts to surface waters, wetlands, groundwater, and the environment at the same time? Stop using store bought fertilizers and pesticides in your yard. Let’s start with some hard facts.

FACT: The poisons you put on your lawn to kill bugs and weeds can get into the water we drink. Pesticides and herbicides travel from your lawns and gardens and contaminate our water with chemicals that are toxic to both humans and animals. These chemicals can travel into water sources as surface runoff or by leaching into the groundwater.

FACT: Lawn fertilizers do not stay on your lawn. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers travel great distances and end up in the groundwater we drink and in waterbodies like streams and the Westport River. Nitrogen and phosphorus are very harmful to our water.

FACT: Fertilizers that reach the water can kill fish, shellfish and aquatic vegetation. Once the nutrients from fertilizer enter a water body, they dramatically increase the growth of algae. Algae blocks sunlight from entering the water and leads to the death of other important aquatic vegetation. Decaying algae decreases the oxygen available to fish. Eventually the fish die. Decaying algae also kills shellfish and other bottom dwelling species because it settles on the bottom and suffocates whatever lives there.
Here’s what to do to help.

WRWA Art Show - Celebrate WOW!
The Wonders of the Watershed
"Finding Solace in Art & Nature" Just a few more days!

Our annual Art Show runs through Saturday, May 1.

Our live, in-person show is open daily at the River Center.

The show and auction are on-line at 32auctions.com/WRWA2021ART

Please call our office or email outreach@wrwa.com to arrange a time to see the show in person. The bidding is all taking place online.
WRWA Planning
Annual Spring Beach
Clean-Up on May 8

The Watershed Alliance is seeking volunteers to help with the annual spring beach cleanup at the Cherry & Webb conservation area. This year’s activity will take place on Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.

All participants are asked to register in advance, to allow WRWA to manage the number of volunteers. Masks are required for all participants, and working groups should maintain suggested social distancing. Despite the restrictions, the beach cleanup activities will be enjoyable and productive.

Volunteers will gather at the Town Beach parking area on Cherry and Webb Lane. All ages are welcome, and gloves and bags will be provided.

Those interested in helping out can sign up by calling WRWA at 508-636-3016, or email outreach@wrwa.com.
WRWA Partners with
Public Town Clean Up Event May 22

Volunteers to meet at 9 a.m. at the
Westport High School
Bags and pickers will be provided,
Volunteers will be assigned a neighborhood
Three years ago, Martin Costa, owner of the Westport Campground, organized a town-wide cleanup of Westport streets. Fifty people came out on a spring day and collected litter. In April, 2021, WRWA agreed to partner with COW (Clean Our Westport) so that generous donors could offer financial support for this event. The lead sponsor is BayCoast Bank, who have been a substantial contributor to WRWA.
More than 150 people have signed up for this event so far. To sign up, contact Martin Costa at martincosta@charter.net.

READ MORE HERE for excerpts from a conversation with Martin Costa and WRWA Executive Director Deborah Weaver:
Nine Westport Elementary School Students
Win WRWA Summer Scholarship Contest

The Westport River Watershed Alliance hosted its annual essay contest for students in the Westport community schools, grades 1st- 4th. Students were asked to write about the things in the Westport River that they were excited to learn about. Students who had exemplary essays were given a free week to attend WRWA’s summer science programs, sponsored by the generous donations to the Gay Gillespie Summer Scholarship Fund.  

Students wrote in their essays that they wanted to learn more about birds, fish and the shells at the beach. Some students were even curious about how salt gets into the ocean and how you can remove the salt so that you could drink water. All of the students, teachers and their families should be very proud of their creative work.

Forty students submitted essays and the winners of this year’s essay contest are:
Grade 1: Emily Ouellette
Grade 2: Aiden Page and Autymn Pereira
Grade 3: Evelise Goncalves, Andrew Ward and Maya Egbe
Grade 4: Lachlan Babbitt, Sophia Nickelson and Ella Pereira 
Call for Photo Entries - 2022 WRWA Calendar Contest
Deadline Extended to June 1

The Watershed Alliance is calling for entries for the annual photo contest for the 2022 calendar. We are looking for landscape and nature photos that show the unique beauty and diversity of the Westport River watershed (i.e. the river, streams, wildlife, plants, etc.). Photos from all seasons are being sought, limit 5 photos per person.

  • Pictures should be submitted as JPG's.   
  • Image size should be no smaller than 10 x 8 inches (pixel dimensions 3000 x 2400).
  • Image resolution should be 300 dpi or greater, file size 1MB or greater.
  • Deadline for image submission is May 1, 2021. 

Each image should be given a title by the artist and the name of the image file should match the image title.  The artist should also include their name, so that they can be credited in the calendar. Image submissions can be emailed to outreach@wrwa.com.

By sending in your pictures you are allowing WRWA to use your pictures to inspire the appreciation and celebration of Westport’s beautiful estuary. WRWA is grateful for the talents of local photographers who share their wonderful photographs annually for the popular calendar, which also features charts of the tides throughout the year.

Our members will choose the winners on-line, as we did so successfully last year.
Experience WOW -- The Wonders of the Watershed
A Month of Outdoor Activities for June
Guided and unguided activities
Prizes awarded in 4 categories

June is National Rivers Month, and WRWA is celebrating with a series of outdoor activities designed to help you get out and enjoy our beautiful Westport River and its watershed. Throughout the month, you can enroll in any of our guided activities, including bird watching, Plein Air painting, a hike to the headwaters, and a paddle in the upper East Branch.

Participants can also enjoy Oyster Tasting at Westport Sea Farms, compete in a striped bass fishing contest, and enjoy a 20% discount at Osprey Sea and Surf kayak shop all month.

Awards will be given for the most activities done by a family, the largest striped bass caught and released, most activities done by an individual, and the best selfie photo taken while having fun exploring the watershed!

WRWA will be providing a booklet with details on how to participate in the WOW events.

For more information, contact outreach@wrwa.com. More to come in our May River News.
High School students volunteered during spring vacation week to help with some environmental projects with WRWA.
Please save us your Lees Receipts!
The Watershed Alliance is pleased to be a Lees Community Partner. Please save up your market receipts and either drop them off at
493 Old County Road, or mail to PO Box 3427, Westport, MA 02790
Thank you!
Thank You to our 2021 Corporate Sponsors