Westport River Watershed Alliance
River News - February, 2015
WRWA Receives $450,000 Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Grant for
New Headquarters - Science and Education Center at the Head of Westport

On Friday Feb 13th, the Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) learned it is the recipient of a $450,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF). Together with other WRWA resources, that grant will be used for a major project to restore and adapt the WRWA's Head of Westport garage, a building dating from the early 1700s that is located on the Town Landing at the intersection of Old County and Drift Roads.


The WRWA's project goal: to restore and adapt the Head of Westport structure as an environmental showcase for science and education, as well as WRWA offices. Said WRWA president Tom Schmitt: "We're delighted to receive the $450,000 CFF grant. It represents a significant part of the resources that will enable us to create an exciting facility, one that will enable us not only to continue and expand activities that preserve and restore the Westport River estuary, but also to establish a resource center the neighborhood and the entire Town of Westport will be proud of."


"This is a great day for the entire WRWA family," said WRWA executive director Deborah Weaver. "This is a highly competitive grant- receiving the award not only recognizes the work of staff and board members who wrote an exceptionally strong grant application; it also validates nearly four decades of work by hundreds of members and volunteers in support of the Westport River watershed."

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The Massachusetts Legislature created the Cultural Facilities Fund in July 2006, appropriating an initial $13 million as part of an omnibus economic stimulus bill. CFF grants support Massachusetts non-profit organizations with building projects that increase tourism, create new jobs, leverage private funding and expand activities in communities across the state. The latest round of CFF grants was made possible by an appropriation by the Legislature as part of a FY2016 budget. Upon hearing about the award, state representative Paul Schmid commented, "Three cheers for the Watershed Alliance. The WRWA facility will be one of the jewels of Westport and the center of a developing neighborhood of great cultural and civic importance."


Volunteers and Vendors Wanted for River Day Fun 

Who: Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA)

What: River Day 2015 - This year's theme is "River Habitats"

When: Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 10 AM to 3 PM

Where: Head of Westport Landing (kids activities, education, exhibitors, vendors, music, food, fun) Hix Bridge Landing for the "River Paddle" Kick-off

  • Please join us as an Exhibitor/Vendor, again or for the first time!
  • More specific details and registration form will follow soon.
  • Questions? Contact: Dale Weber ([email protected])

River Day is publicized in regular press releases, on posters designed by school children and distributed throughout the watershed. Our Business sponsors are listed on the poster and on tee shirts specifically designed for the event

Check out our website for more information about WRWA. http://westportwatershed.org/news-events/river-day/
Buoys @ the Brewery               
Gay Gillespie. Development Director


Mark your calendar today! You won't want to miss "Buoys @ the Brewery" on Saturday March 7 at Buzzards Bay Brewing, 98 Horseneck Road, Westport. Over 50 area artists have decorated buoys in different mediums and will be silent auctioned at the event. The show opens at 11am Sat. morning and the auction closes at 6:30 pm.

A preview of the buoys can be viewed at: http://westportwatershed.org/2015/01/buoys-at-the-brewery/ . If you are unable to attend the show and would like to place a bid, you can leave your bid with Gay at [email protected] or leave a message at 508-636-3016.

This event is a wonderful opportunity to see friends and beat the winter doldrums.

Dune Walk March 7
Join WRWA Director Deborah Weaver for a vigorous dune walk before the Buoys @ the Brewery event on Sat March 7th. Meet at Cherry & Webb Beach at 11 am for a walk through the dunes and back along the beach, and then join the festivities at the Brewery on Horseneck Road.
We might get lucky and see a snowy owl! Please wear sturdy footwear and warm clothes. No fee required but please pre-register by March 5 at 508-636-3016. 
Scholarship Funds Available for Local Students
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is pleased to offer two scholarship opportunities for graduating seniors in the Westport River watershed: Fall River, Dartmouth, Freetown, Westport, Little Compton, and Tiverton. One award, a $500 scholarship, was made possible by the generosity of the late Margot C. Boote who was active in education and the environment. The second award of $500 was initiated by Bill Heath in memory of his parents Ruth and Bill Heath.
The merit award applications are available on the WRWA website: http://westportwatershed.org/news-events/2012-merit-scholarship/ or by calling the WRWA office at 508-636-3016.  Guidance departments in local high schools have applications on file. All applications are due in the office no later than April 1, 2015. The Alliance has a proud record of environmental stewardship. The merit awards offer an opportunity to honor students who have demonstrated their interest in protecting the watershed environment.
WRWA Annual Meeting March 15

Please join us for brunch and short presentation by Bethany Card, Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), Bureau of Water Resources. Beth will speak on watershed assessments and innovative pollution solutions.


$20 for brunch. Reserve your spot online: http://westportwatershed.org/2014/12/wrwa-annual-meeting-3/. The meeting is free.


When: SUNDAY MARCH 15, 2015 - Brunch: 11:30 am - Meeting: 12:45 pm

Where: Bittersweet Farm Restaurant and Tavern - 438 Main Road, Westport, MA 02790


Please Welcome 2015 Board of Directors Nominees

Tim Gillespie                         Ward Mooney

Bill Gollner                             Bill Pardee

Tom Jansen                            Emily Vogler

Lynn Merrow


Annual Volunteer Award Recipient to be honored.

Local College Student Opportunity -
Become a WRWA Summer Intern

WRWA is seeking two qualified candidates to fill a seasonal, summer internship position.  The applicant must be a current UMass Dartmouth or Bristol Community College student to apply for this grant funded internship sponsored by Baycoast Bank


The position is 30 hrs/week with a pay rate of $10 per hour, from early May until the end of August. The summer interns will work with school programs, field studies, and assist our water quality monitoring program on the Westport River.  For a full description click on the internship link: 

Sign Up Now for Our Popular Summer Coastal Ecology Program for Kids
Shelli Costa, Education Director
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is offering a fun, hands on summer science program for ages 3-16.  Children discover marine life, create eco-crafts, learn about coastal habitats and enjoy games on the beach in the Coastal Explorers program.  Coastal Explorers runs Monday through Friday, 9 am - 1 pm and is being offered the weeks of July 6th -10th and July20th -24th .  The program is open to children ages 7-9 and is $160 for members and $200 for non-members. 
River Edventures will delve deeper into understanding our environment by learning about food chains and the creatures that make up our watershed ecosystem.  Participants will head out on WRWA's skiff to explore the Westport River.  The River Edventures program is for ages 9-11 and runs Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm and is being offered July 13th -17th  and August 3rd -7th.  The cost for River Edventures is $180 for members and $220 for non-members.
In the Watershed Explorers program, learn about the ecology of the Westport River, visit coastal habitats and spend three days paddling on the Westport River.  The kayaking/paddle boarding portion of the program is led by certified instructors from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures, and includes all equipment and instruction.  Watershed Explorers runs Monday through Thursday, 9 am - 2 pm and 9 am - 3 pm on Friday.  The program is being offered during the week of July 27th-31st .  Watershed Explorers is open to children ages 12-16 (age 11 with previous kayaking experience) and is $360 for members and $400 for non-members.
Register online at www.westportwatershed.org/education/summer-programs/ or call 508-636-3016 for more information.
More Scholarship Funds Available for Local Students

The Greater New Bedford Garden Club is accepting applications for the $1,000 Rose L. Murphy Scholarship to be awarded to a student enrolled in a full-time college program in 2015-2016. The applicant must be pursuing a degree in horticulture, landscape architecture, conservation, environmental sciences or related fields. The student must have been a legal Massachusetts resident for at least one year prior to June 1st of their high school graduation.


WRWA has received an application from NBGC. If any of our members or volunteers are interested in applying, please feel free to contact Roberta Carvalho at  or 508-636-3016. Applications and required paperwork must be received by NBGC no later than May 1, 2015!

Many Thanks to Our Corporate Supporters



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(508) 636-8866