Westport River Watershed Alliance
River News - July, 2015
WRWA's Summer Gala - A Midsummer Night's Dream
This info is from website 


Get your tickets now for our annual Gala, to be held on Saturday, August 8th, from 5-8 p.m. at Quansett Farm on Horseneck Road, with sweeping views of Allens Pond, Buzzard's Bay and the Elizabeth Islands. This year's theme is A Midsummer Night's Dream, and this setting will surely make dreams come true.

Live music, open bar, silent and live auctions - Tickets $85 in advance, $100 at the door. Don't miss it! Invitations are going out soon - or buy your tickets online, or call WRWA to reserve. This is our most important fund-raiser of the year, and your support helps us will all our important science and education initiatives.  Click this HERE to make your reservation.  

BayCoast Bank Supports WRWA Summer Interns
WRWA Summer Interns,
Joy Smith and Jerelle Jesse

For the fourth year, BayCoast Bank has contributed $8,000 to the Westport River Watershed Alliance to support the organization's summer internship program.WRWA hires students from local colleges to assist with its education and water quality monitoring programs.  BayCoast Bank's investment allows WRWA to bring two interns aboard for the summer. This year we were lucky enough to find two highly qualified students from UMass Dartmouth: Joy Smith and Jerelle Jesse.


Joy, who is preparing for her senior year, studies biology with a focus in marine science. She grew up in New Bedford, attending Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School where she studied early childhood education. Joy found that she had a larger passion for the sciences and specifically wanted to study marine life. Last summer, Joy interned for the School for Marine Science and Technology where she researched fisheries management, but also served as a tour guide for the Trips for Kids organization which allowed her to share her knowledge of fish and invertebrates with children. Being able to work with the Westport River Watershed Alliance allows her to utilize not only her skills with teaching, but expand her knowledge of habitats outside of the water. Joy is eager to educate children about wildlife and also hopes that they will develop an understanding of the importance of nature and how beneficial it is to us.

Jerelle is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a bachelor's degree in marine biology. From a young age, she has had an interest in the ocean and environment. She specifically remembers catching fish in elementary school to keep as class pets, and nature walks with her father. Jerelle has studied abroad with the Sea Education Association, sailing across the Pacific Ocean and studying the marine environment. She has also conducted research with the invasive Asian shore crab and local mud crabs while enrolled at UMass Dartmouth. She loves invertebrates of all kinds, especially jellyfish! Jerelle lives in Marion with her family and enjoys reading at the beach and cookouts in the summer. She is excited to educate younger generations about the importance of science and the environment. Jerelle is very grateful for the position at the WRWA and she hopes to make a career of environmental protection and stewardship in the future.


BayCoast Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Christ said, "The internships offered by the WRWA give students a unique opportunity to forge connections between their academics and the real world. It's an invaluable experience that merges hands-on learning with career exploration. We are proud to once again support the WRWA and its educational programs." WRWA Education Director Shelli Costa thanked BayCoast for its generous contribution and commented, "We couldn't do all of the great educational programs and water monitoring without the hard work of our interns each summer."  

WRWA Welcomes Jennifer Lynch
Jennifer Lynch joins WRWA as Development and Finance Administrator.

The Westport River Watershed Alliance is pleased to announce that Jennifer Lynch has joined the organization as Development and Finance Administrator. Jennifer is well known in Westport for her fourteen years of devoted work with the Westport Land Conservation Trust.


After some time working at Jonathan's Organics, Jennifer returns to Westport, to help manage WRWA's finances and administration during a transformative time. WRWA Executive Director, Deborah Weaver remarks that "The Watershed Alliance is so pleased to have Jennifer join our staff. She is well known and admired for her skills and positive nature - she will help broaden our organizational impact and community support. "  


Jennifer's experience will be appreciated immediately, as WRWA prepares for its annual Gala in August, its annual fund campaign, and a capital campaign for the River Center project. "She will fit right in," says WRWA President Tom Schmitt. "Westport will be happy to have her back!"


Jennifer is a long-time resident of Dartmouth, and spends some of her time volunteering as treasurer for two small, local non-profits. She also enjoys spending time on the water with her family, including one loveable dog.

Cycle with WRWA on a "History Ride" - August 1 

On Saturday, August 1, WRWA will host a fun and entertaining "History Ride," along the East Branch. Riders will meet at WRWA office at 1151 Main Road at 10 am, travel down for a stop at East Beach, then up along the east side of the River to the Head of Westport. Stops will be made along the way to appreciate the beautiful views.

Tony Connors, president of the Westport Historical Society, will present a talk about the history of the Head of Westport, going back to the whaling era. Riders will be given a tour of the head garage, WRWA's future headquarters and River Center.

The ride will continue on down Drift Road, with a stop to view the River at Westport Town Farm, and then back to the WRWA office on Main Road. Total mileage for the ride is about 28 miles.   


This ride is free for WRWA members, with a suggested donation of $20 for non-members. Join WRWA when you register, and the whole family rides for free. Riders should bring water. Lunch can be purchased at the Head of Westport.   


Helmets are required, and space is limited to 20 people.   Please reserve a space by emailing [email protected], or by calling the office at 508-636-3016.  

Understanding the Legal Path to Removing Phragmites
Check out our guide to the local permitting process for those residents who are interested in removing or cutting Phragmites on their property. The resource areas in which Phragmites subsists are protected under the Wetland Protection Act (WPA) and any work being done in them requires the proper authorization from the Westport Conservation Commission. For more information visit our website:  http://westportwatershed.org/wrwa/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/WRWA-Guide-to-Phragmites-Control-Permitting-2015.pdf   
Even more information on invasive species management and ecological landscaping can be found here: http://www.ecolandscaping.org/news-2/  
Clean Enough to Swim? Check Out WRWA's River Testing Results 
How fecal coliform bacteria reach the shorelines of rivers and beaches.

You can visit our website weekly to see our summertime water testing results for the Westport River. Go to this link:   http://westportwatershed.org/river-info/water-resources/    


For results of testing done by the state for local beaches you can visit the state's website:


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