Westport River Watershed Alliance
May, 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
As we all emerge from the trying year of the pandemic, WRWA is pleased to announce that we have many public events and programs planned for this summer!

New this June, is Experience WOW - The Wonders of the Watershed, a series of events and outdoor activities to celebrate National Rivers Month. The events are part of a series highlighting the natural beauty and recreational enjoyment the Westport River Watershed provides. Please see the article with more details in this River News.

We are also very excited to announce that we will be presenting both our annual Summer Concert July 10 at Westport Rivers Vineyard in July, and our popular Summer Gala on August 14. Tickets for both events are now available!
We would like to thank all the talented artists who contributed to our successful annual art show and auction last month. While it was different not having it at the beautiful Dedee Shattuck Gallery and conducting all of the bidding online, it was very worthwhile and the artwork was extraordinary.

Finally, a big thank you to 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.

Sincerely,
Deborah
Experience WOW -- The Wonders of the Watershed
A Month of Outdoor Activities for June
Guided and unguided activities
Prizes awarded in 4 categories

The Westport River Watershed Alliance will be holding several events and outdoor activities to celebrate National Rivers Month during June. The events are part of WRWA’s ongoing “Experience WOW - The Wonders of the Watershed” series, encouraging everyone to get outdoors and get active!
 
Those interested can call or email WRWA to receive a booklet with all the events, and view the booklet here, with the information for signing up and taking part in the programs. Detailed information is also listed on the website at www.westportwatershed.org.
 
The events are as follows:
 
June 5: 
Birdwatching with birding expert Paul Champlin at Gooseberry at 7 a.m. ($10);
Biking the West Branch with Deborah Weaver at 10 a.m. ($10). Meet in Adamsville.
Brushes and Bubbles, guided plein air painting class with Barbara Healy at Westport Rivers Vineyard at 4 p.m. ($50 – all materials and refreshments provided).
 
June 12:
Hike to the Headwaters with Everett Castro with local naturalist and historian
Everett Castro of Green Futures at 9 a.m. ($10)
 
June 19:
Dune Hike at Cherry & Webb Conservation Area at 8 a.m. ($10). Town Beach parking permit required.
 
June 26:
Paddle the Upper East Branch with Osprey Sea & Surf Adventures – 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. start time. ($50 for members, $65 for non-members)
 
All month
Catch & Release Striped Bass Fishing Competition, with prizes from Westport Bait & Tackle and more ($50 entry fee, $25 for under 16);
Oyster Tasting at Westport Sea Farms at Westport Point ($10). 

And WRWA members can receive a 20% discount all month at Osprey Sea & Surf Adventures.
 
Other unguided activities and prizes are described in the free booklet available from WRWA. Those interested are asked to contact WRWA at 508-636-3016, or email outreach@wrwa.com, or visit the webpage for more details.

Awards will be given for :
  • Most activities completed by an individual
  • Most activities completed by a family
  • Largest bass caught in the River
  • Most unusual fish caught in the River
  • Best Selfie
For Sale Now - Our new
WRWA Dry Bag - $25
Join WRWA as our
2021-22 TerraCorps Member

This year we are looking for one  TerraCorps member to join the WRWA team! As a member you will be part of the 2021-2022 TerraCorps program and join up to 80 other members serving with nonprofit partner organizations across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. As a TerraCorps member serving with WRWA, your focus will be on teaching the Watershed Education program to over 2,000 local students.

Members serve in full-time (38 hour/week) position from August 30th, 2021- July 29th, 2022. These 1,700-hour AmeriCorps positions receive a living allowance and are eligible for health insurance coverage, childcare assistance, education award, federal loan forbearance, and additional AmeriCorps benefits. Application specifics, position descriptions, and additional information about how to apply can be found at https://terracorps.org/apply-to-serve-with-terracorps/.

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. Interviews begin mid-May, and we aim to fill all positions by mid to late July.
 
AmeriCorps programs provide equal service opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons for all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive community. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and varying experiences, including people with disabilities, people of color, and LGBTQIA individuals. We will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and services upon request. TerraCorps is a grant program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. 
WRWA Art Show - Celebrate WOW!
The Wonders of the Watershed
"Finding Solace in Art & Nature"

Our annual Art Show took place at the River Center during April. We want to thank all the artists who donated their works for the show and auction.

While it was different from previous years' shows at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, it worked out quite well.
Hundreds of people visited the online auction and many came to visit the show in person at the River Center. We did not quite make our goal; but everyone is pleased with what was raised by our generous bidders who took home lovely and unique works of art.

At right: Board member Joop Nagtegaal poses with his winnings, a folk-art style Cape Cod lighthouse on an oar.
More than 60 volunteers
Helped WRWA With
Annual Spring Beach
Clean-Up

More than sixty people came out for our annual spring beach clean up event on May 8. The weather was ideal, and intrepid volunteers scoured the beaches and pathways to fill many bags with trash.

At right: Ward and Lucy Mooney pause for a photo while walking Horseneck in search of trash.
Below: Girl Scouts from three local troops came out for a morning of community service.
WRWA Partners with
CLEAN OUR WESTPORT (C.O.W.)
Public Town Clean Up Event on May 22

Congratulations and Thank You to
Martin Costa for organizing this town-wide event with over 200 Volunteers
Last Call for Photo Entries - 2022 WRWA Calendar Contest
Deadline is June 1

The Watershed Alliance is calling for entries for the annual photo contest for the 2022 calendar. We are accepting 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.
Creature Feature

Channeled Whelks
Busycotypus canaliculatus

Whelks are common sea snails that can be found throughout the shores of Massachusetts. There are two types of sea snails that dwell in these waters, the knobbed whelk and the channeled whelk. The knobbed whelk is migratory and found in deep and shallow waters, whereas the channeled whelk solely inhabits shallow waters.

Whelk shells are often confused with conch shells. They are similar in shape, yet the conch is an inhabitant of tropical climates and maintains a vegetarian diet, unlike the channeled whelk. The channeled whelk is a predatory sea snail that feeds on bivalve shellfish like blue mussels and clams. It feeds on these creatures by either prying open their shells with the lip of its shell, or it is able to essentially drill a hole through the shell to insert its mouth.  

The channeled whelk can be found in shallow waters of the ocean or estuaries, specifically in subtidal and intertidal zones. It is most often dextral, meaning the whelk’s shell opens on the right side, although they can be left handed, or sinistral, it is quite rare. The whelk can grow its shell by secreting calcium carbonate as it grows. It forms a whorl, a complete turn around the central axis of the shell as it grows. This is what produces the spiral shape of the shell. It can grow to be up to about 5- 8 inches in length. Part of their shell is called the operculum, a plate that acts like a trap door to keep them safe from predators, one of which is the blue crab. Female whelks are typically larger in size than the males. They have the ability to lay egg casing that are up to three feet long and can contain anywhere from 20-100 eggs. 

Channeled whelks are an important predator of bivalves, like mussels and clams, and therefore play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of their habitat. It is important for us all to keep our watershed clean to help provide a healthy and sustainable habitat for these whelks. 
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