Westport River Watershed Alliance
River News - November, 2014
Executive Director Search
Tom Schmitt, President, WRWA Board of Directors

To preempt a possible leadership void, the WRWA board voted in August to commence an executive director search.  We appointed board member and WRWA secretary, Tom Robinson, to chair a search committee that also includes Marilyn Packard-Luther, Jim Whitin, Charley Appleton and Curt Freese.  In early September the committee began an active search that has yielded a large number of exceptionally qualified candidates.  Now in the final phases of the selection process, the committee expects to recommend executive director candidates for board consideration within the next few weeks.  I will let you know when that appointment is made.


 Here's the background.  In July the WRWA executive committee and board evaluated leadership preparedness to take on the Head of Westport initiative.  At that time board member Curt Freese was ably serving as interim executive director, but only until October 31.  Executive director Matt Patrick was campaigning for the Massachusetts Senate.  It became apparent that were Matt's campaign to succeed, the WRWA would need immediately to appoint another interim executive director and commence searching for a new executive director-at a critical planning stage for both our Head of Westport project and ongoing WRWA operations. Hence the reason for acting two and a half months ago.  Prior to beginning the search, we informed Matt of our decision.


As Curt left the interim executive director position on October 31, the board appointed Roberta Carvalho, WRWA Science Director and 13-year staff member, to succeed him until we name an ongoing executive director.  We thank Roberta for her willingness to take on this important role.  Curt Freese remains an active WRWA board member, but not for long.  He and his spouse, Heather Bentz will soon move to Colorado.  For his inspired, wise and illuminating leadership over the past few months we shall be forever grateful.  We also thank and offer best wishes to Matt Patrick for his three years of WRWA leadership.  Our exciting agenda is due in large part to Matt's imagination and encouragement.

Grateful for You - Our Supporters 


We need your help. Each year we have two fundraising campaigns - a membership drive in the spring and an Annual Fund Drive in the fall. Please consider an Annual Fund gift to WRWA, above and beyond your membership support. All donations are tax-deductible. To make your donation online visit the link below.




WRWA was founded in 1976 with the community's desire to protect and improve Westport River. Since then, WRWA has grown as a community organization committed to the health and future of the River, and to educating current and future generations of River stewards. More people than ever before are able to swim, fish, sail, and enjoy the waters of the Westport River. This is only possible due to the support of our members who all want the same thing - a clean and healthy Westport River.

Please Join Us - Volunteer Thank You Party



Join us in good spirit and cheer as we toast our many wonderful volunteers. Come celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with WRWA at our Holiday Open House and Volunteer Party.


Wednesday, December 10th

4-6 p.m.

WRWA's office

1151 Main Road,

Westport, MA


RSVP to info@wrwa.com or 508-636-3016

License Plates Fund Westport River Watershed Alliance
Roberta Carvalho, Interim Executive Director

In July, WRWA received a financial boost with a $15,000 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (the Trust). These funds will help us to identify sources of pollution in the West Branch of the Westport River. Since 2009 high bacteria levels have triggered extended shellfish bed closures in the upper West Branch. We will track bacterial sources by: taking extra water samples in the West Branch and contributing streams, counting bird population densities, and producing a brochure to encourage the community to pick up after their pets.

According to Trust Program Director Bill Hinkley, the Trust will provide roughly $429,000 in grants to thirteen organizations this year, thanks to motorists who choose to purchase one of the Trust's specialty license plates. "Trust plates, including our signature Whale Plate, are the only specialty plates that exclusively fund environmental initiatives," said Hinkley. "When you purchase a specialty plate from the Registry of Motor Vehicles the $40 specialty plate fee is donated to the Trust to fund water-focused environmental programs."

Grant funds from Trust have provided a valuable opportunity for our community and the Westport River. WRWA applied for its first Trust grant in 1995, and since then we have been successful in getting close to $125,000 to fund environmental programs and projects that benefit the Westport River! WRWA works in partnership with the Town of Westport to control pollution and protect the River. By working together, we can all do our part to help the Westport River have safe, clean water now and for future generations. Supporting the environmental programs funded by the Trust in your community is easy: choose one of three environmental plates-the Right Whale and Roseate Tern, the Leaping Brook Trout, or the Blackstone Valley Mill-when you purchase a new car or renew your registration in Massachusetts.

The standard registration fee for a Massachusetts plate is $60. The special plate fee is an additional $40 ($28 is tax-deductible; $12 is to manufacture the plate). The total first time cost of an Environmental Specialty Plate is $100. Visit your local Registry of Motor Vehicles or order a plate online at www.massrmv.com or log onto www.mass.gov/eea/met where you can learn more about the Trust, the programs it supports, and the specialty license plate offerings.

Residents Needed for Online Survey
Westport MA Open Space Committee

The Town of Westport, Open Space Committee

requests your helping by filling out the Open Space Survey for 2014.


Copies of the survey are available on the Town's website: westport­ma.com (the direct link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/westport_OS ) as well as Town Hall, Council on Aging and Library. Surveys may be dropped off at the same locations in drop boxes provided. We appreciate your help and support.  


Any questions, please feel free to call the Westport Conservation Commission office at 508­636­1019.

Many Thanks to Our Corporate Supporters



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Lees Oil


(508) 636-8866  















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