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Westport River Watershed Alliance

RIVER NEWS

Special Year End Edition 2015


                       
A Message from the Executive Director 
  
Deborah Weaver
2015 has been an exciting first year for me as Director of  the WRWA. During this time we have focused on rebuilding our events calendar, strengthening alliances with area non-profits, and guiding us through the complicated process of designing and  permitting the future River Center. We have built our staff capacity by hiring Steve Connors as the Community Engagement Manager, and bringing in Jennifer Lynch to take on our Development and Finance oversight. They bring their own vast experience and networks, which have greatly benefited WRWA. We have also launched a new initiative with  the Commonwealth Corps Program. We have 2 people doing a year of service in our education programs. These delightful young women have greatly enhanced our education programs, volunteer engagement and after-school programs. Looking ahead we are digging into the exciting world of exhibit design as we contemplate how best to showcase the River Center to engage the public, enhance  understanding of watersheds, and galvanize community action for the preservation of our estuary.
We would not have the funds for this repurposing of the "head garage" without the incredible fundraising efforts of Gay Gillespie. 
 
This is an amazing time to jump into leadership of the Alliance. I have so much respect for the mission, the dedication of Board & Staff, and the potential for our relocation to the River Center. Thank you all for being members, volunteers and supporters. We truly would not be here without you. 
Please join us next July 16, 2016,  for a concert celebrating our 40th anniversary. We have come a long way from the Westport River Defense fund in 1976!
 
Happy New Year from the Westport River Watershed Alliance Staff!
WRWA Staff from left back: Steve Connors, Gay Gillespie, Becky Buchanan - Commonwealth Corps service member, middle: Roberta Carvalho, Shelli Costa, Jennifer Lynch; front: Shannon Choquette - Commonwealth Corps service member, Deborah Weaver, Betsy White

 
2015 - Our Year in Review
In 2015, The Watershed Alliance welcomed three new staff members.  Executive Director Deborah Weaver joined in January, with Community Engagement Manager Steve Connors starting in March, and Development and Finance Manager Jennifer Lynch beginning in August. 
We had many successful events during the year.
In February, BUOYS AT THE BREWERY attracted hundreds of guests, who enjoyed the art show in the friendly confines of the Buzzards Bay Brewery.  This was a fun occasion and pleasant distraction during a  bleak winter season.  This year, the BUOY event moves back to the Dedee Shattuck Gallery.

We held three Electronics Recycling drop-off days, and collected over 12,000 pounds of old computers, televisions and other outdated equipment.  The equipment was sent to recyclers who extract reusable materials for new manufacturing.
We hosted three beach and shoreline clean-ups at Town Beach and East Beach.  Over 60 volunteers came out and helped pick up hundreds of pounds of trash.













WRWA joined with the Westport Land Conservation Trust on several occasions for interesting walks and talks around the watershed. These included a nature walk through the Cherry and Webb dunes and a Headwaters walk in the northernmost part of the watershed.
 








 

 

 

 

Our summer interns contributed greatly to our education programs, assisting with our school outreach to 2,000 students, and providing extra effort with our summer science programs. 

Joy Smith and Jerelle Jesse.

 

 










Over 1,000 people came out to our big River Day celebration in June - Music, food, displays and lots of fun activities for kids made it a great day at the Head of Westport!

Water Music - WRWA, WLCT and Mass Audubon Allens Pond hosted three concerts celebrating the Westport Waterfront:  Atwater Donnelly at River Day, Toph and Tom at the Duck Derby, and Jonathan Edwards at Town Farm.
    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water monitoring - every week throughout the season, our Science Director and volunteers take samples from several sites along the East and West Branches of the River.  The results are published regularly, so that people using the River for work and recreation can know where the pollution trouble spots are the most concerning.  This data also helps with developing solutions for the elevated levels of bacteria and nitrogen in the River.

Becky Buchanan and Shannon Choquette
Commonwealth Corps Service Members are providing help and support to our education programs until June of 2016.  

The Summer Gala was one of the best in memory!  Great music, food and fabulous auction items - the best party in Westport!

East Beach Sunset - Winter Solstice, 2014
Thank you for all your support throughout the year - We look forward to another great year in 2016, as we celebrate our 40 -year anniversary!
 WRWA celebrating 40 years protecting the Westport River Watershed
Anniversary Concert with Tom Rush planned for July 16

2016 marks our 40th Anniversary!  The Watershed Alliance was formed in 1976 by a group of concerned Westport residents, addressing pollution in the River.  Over 40 years, the organization has grown and matured, providing valuable scientific data and popular education programs to students in Westport and surrounding areas.
Look for information in the coming months about our 40th Anniversary celebration concert on July 16, with Tom Rush at the Westport Rivers Vineyard, co-presented with the Narrows Center for the Arts.


Please Remember Us in your Annual Giving


As the year comes to a close, we hope that you will remember WRWA in your charitable giving.  2016 will be a very important year for us, and we look forward to beginning the year with the resources that we need to continue our important work.

You can donate at our web page, or have your contribution go a little further by sending a check to WRWA, PO Box 3427, Westport, MA  02790.

Thank You!
 

Still time to get your WRWA 2016 Calendars
 
Here's a last minute gift idea - a beautiful Westport River Watershed Alliance 2016 calendar, to remind friends and loved ones of Westport's natural beauty throughout the year.  Important dates are marked, and calendars are available with daily tides, or without.
You can pick them up at WRWA Headquarters, Westport Apothecary, Lees Market, Partners Village Store, Simmons Country Store and the Country Store at the Head of Westport.  Or you can buy on-line now! 
 
The Westport River Watershed Alliance is located at 1151 Main Road, Westport.
For more information, contact Steve Connors, WRWA Community Engagement Manager, at 508-636-3016, or by email at [email protected].                              
 BUOY the Winter Blues show & Brushes and Brews in February 

Our third annual "BUOY THE WINTER BLUES" art show, to be held February 27 - March 5 at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, is shaping up to be our best yet.
 
This event is a fun distraction from the winter doldrums, and also an important fundraiser for WRWA.  The silent auction will take place on Saturday, March 5, 1 to 5 p.m., with the reception from 5 to 7.

Volunteers are needed for two-hour time slots during the week of the show, greeting guests and giving out information. 
Create your own version of this familiar West Branch scene.

Brushes and Brews

Enjoy some beer from Buzzards Bay Brewing, and take an art lesson from two local artists at the Shattuck Gallery on February 27.
We hope to see you in February! For info, to sign up,
or to volunteer, email Steve at [email protected].
 WRWA and WLCT to host winter lectures
 
 

Join WRWA and the Westport Land Conservation Trust for a series of fun and interesting winter talks to be held evenings at the Westport Library.

 

Thursday, January 7 - Crushing It! - Introduction to wine making with Rob Russell of Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery.  7:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 28 - Losing The Buzz - Learn about the plight of honeybees with Beekeeper Lucy Tabit.

Monday, February 8 - Wings of Westport - Learn about local birds with Mass Audubon Naturalist Lauren Miller Donnelly.

 

Check next month's River News for updates on more events and lectures.  For more information, call Steve at 508-636-3016 or email [email protected].

 

Many Thanks to Our Corporate Supporters



 

 

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