Ebb & Flow
The Division of Ecological Restoration Ebb&Flow #1- September 30, 2009
An electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration
Greetings Ebb&Flow Readers -
This inaugural edition of the Ebb&Flow newsletter, the successor to Riverways NewsNotes and Wetlands Restoration Program Updates, is the first to appear under the banner of the newly-established Division of Ecological Restoration (DER). DER was created by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles and the Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin this past July with the merger of the Riverways and Wetlands Restoration Programs. The Division brings together two award-winning programs under the Department of Fish and Game. Our mission is:
“To restore and protect the health and integrity of the Commonwealth's rivers, wetlands and watersheds for the benefit of people, fish and wildlife.”
The Riverways Program will remain a vital and integrated component of the new Division, and will specifically focus on education, outreach and technical assistance, including the continuation of our popular Adopt-A-Stream Program and River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS). An integrated physical habitat restoration program will enhance the estuarine and freshwater habitat restoration capabilities of the merged Wetlands Restoration and Riverways Programs.
The merger of these two programs means that we can holistically address habitat and flow restoration and apply an integrated watershed perspective to our restoration activities. The Division of Ecological Restoration is helping partners advance over seventy active projects in design, permitting, and construction that are currently leveraging over twelve million dollars in non-state funds. This fall promises to be an active construction season, with multiple dam removals and coastal wetland restoration projects going to bid and construction in Wareham, Plymouth, Hull, Gloucester, Newbury and Rowley. Exciting details about these projects are provided in this first edition of the Ebb&Flow newsletter.
The new Massachusetts DER is a first-in-the-nation state government division dedicated to ecological restoration. Please stay tuned as we roll out a new website and re-brand our publications and support materials to reflect our new mission and focus on ecologically-based protection and restoration.
In closing, it is fitting for us to quote the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s recent remarks about the Stony Brook restoration project in Brewster: “It is vital that we do all we can to preserve our Commonwealth’s natural habitats and protect its wildlife. Completion of the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project will restore natural tidal flow to many acres of salt marshes and ponds crucial to sustaining native water life, and will also create dozens of jobs for our citizens.” The new Division of Ecological Restoration aspires with our many partners to pursue the Senator’s call to restore and protect the Commonwealth’s natural habitats that he loved so dearly.
Tim Purinton, Acting Director
Hunt Durey, Acting Deputy Director
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Patrick Administration Applauds $1.3 million in Federal Stimulus Funds to Complete Stony Brook Restoration Project in Brewster
Taken from the July 20, 2009 EEA Press Release
BOSTON – As part of Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced that the town of Brewster has received a $1.3 million American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant to complete the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project in Brewster. The habitat restoration project is estimated to maintain or create 46 jobs.
“I am pleased that the town of Brewster will receive this federal stimulus funding to work with our Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and other partners to restore these important coastal wetland and fisheries habitats,” Secretary Bowles said. “The town of Brewster continues to demonstrate vision and leadership through its actions to protect and restore the natural habitats that play such a vital role in sustaining the economy and treasured way of life on Cape Cod.”
The grant, which is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will restore natural tidal flow to a 20-acre degraded salt marsh, and enhance fish access to 3,000 feet of coastal stream and 386 acres of ponds used by herring and American eels. The project is a collaborative effort between the town of Brewster, NOAA, DFG’s Division of Ecological Restoration, the Massachusetts Bays Program, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
To achieve the project’s restoration goals, the town will replace an undersized culvert beneath Route 6A with a larger one that will allow the full range of tidal water to once again flow freely into the salt marsh and other wetlands adjacent to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. By enlarging the road culvert, the project will enhance the ability of fish and other organisms to pass beneath route 6A, making their way to important habitats in the upper reaches of the watershed. The project will also improve the Museum’s walking trail that crosses the marsh, keeping it above the new high tide elevation while making it easier for tidal water to flow across the marsh from one side of the trail to the other.
“It is vital that we do we all we can to preserve our Commonwealth’s natural habitats and protect its wildlife. Completion of the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project will restore natural tidal flow to many acres of salt marshes and ponds crucial to sustaining native water life, and will also create dozens of jobs for our citizens,” said Sen. Ted Kennedy.
“This investment is a win-win-win that will restore our state’s most important natural habitats, protect the region from storm surge and flooding, and create or sustain dozens of jobs on the Cape,” said Sen. John Kerry.
“Using federal stimulus dollars to repair our fragile coastal ecosystems will be a huge benefit to the Cape now and for generations to come,” said Senator Robert O’Leary. “Protecting the Cape and the Commonwealth’s natural habitats and waterways is hugely important and I am pleased with the Secretary and the Governor’s decision to invest in the Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project.”
“We on the Cape know better than most the importance of maintaining and rehabilitating degraded salt marshes. This restoration project, coupled with a similar project in Dennis last year demonstrates the commitment the towns, county, state and federal governments and agencies have in these areas. Our quality of life depends on it,” said Representative Cleon H. Turner.
“The town of Brewster is thrilled to receive this NOAA stimulus grant to restore the Stony Brook habitats, and we could not have done it without our key project partners", said Brewster Town Administrator Charles Sumner. "The town would particularly like to thank Governor Patrick and our United Sates and Massachusetts legislative delegations for their letters of support. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the MA Wetlands Restoration Program [now the DFG Division of Ecological Restoration], The Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and the Massachusetts Bays Program for their help in developing the project and co-writing the grant application, as well as the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for their cooperation as the owners of the marsh.”
“The Stony Brook Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project present a win-win situation by restoring a natural system so vital to Brewster and Cape Cod from both an environmental and economic perspective. Not only will the project directly create regional jobs, but the improvements to this popular herring run will likely mean increased tourism into the future.”
DFG’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) provided $54,000 in technical services to help the town develop the project in preparation for federal grant opportunities. Staff also provided significant assistance in writing the NOAA grant application and will play a central role in project implementation through the remaining phases of design, permitting, construction, and monitoring.
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(Note - click on the photos to view larger versions)
Straits Pond Restoration in Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham
Construction begins on the largest tidal restoration project to date in Massachusetts
At the Route 228 intersection with the borders of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham (locally known as West Corner), construction has begun on the Straits Pond estuary restoration project that will rebuild and enlarge a deteriorating, undersized culvert and failing tide gate structure. When complete, this project will restore 94 acres of tidal salt pond habitat and improve tidal flow to a critically impaired estuary, which is part of the Weir River Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
This project poses many unique design and construction challenges. Three towns share ownership of the structure and many of the utilities that service Hull run through the culvert and must be maintained during construction. Maintenance of a tidal connection between the pond and estuary during construction is also necessary to sustain the estuarine ecology of the pond and to release water during storms. The initial project phase – drainage relocation – is nearly complete and will be followed by installation of a cofferdam and tide-water by-pass, and removal of the existing culverts.
Project partners include DER, Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Program, Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), Massachusetts Highway Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Conservation Law Foundation-Restore America's Estuaries Partnership, the towns of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham, and the Straits Pond and Weir River Watershed Associations. U.S. Congressman William Delahunt, State Senator Robert Hedlund, and State Representative Garrett Bradley were instrumental in securing federal and state construction funds. Project monitoring will be provided by the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research and MBP.
During the multi-year design and permitting process, the towns worked with CZM and DER to develop a tide gate management plan utilizing the existing infrastructure to increase tidal exchange. This limited increase in tidal influence has already resulted in a number of environmental improvements, including several seasons without midge infestations, the establishment of estuarine vegetation along the border of the pond, and the return of soft-shell clams and periwinkles. Once construction of the new culvert and tide gates is complete, tidal exchange between the pond and the estuary will be dramatically increased and will expand on these initial ecological improvements.
Red Brook Restoration in Plymouth and Wareham
In the last week of August 2009, partners from DER, the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR), MassWildlife, Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, and A.D. Makepeace came together to remove the last two flumes on Red Brook on the Plymouth/Wareham line. Over five days, the largely volunteer work crew removed two concrete structures and dozens of yards of legacy fill, and placed wood habitat material along a 170-foot reach. The restoration of Red Brook has been a DER Priority Restoration Project since 2005. The brook provides breeding habitat to diadromous fish, including herring, eel, and alewife, and is also home to sea-run brook trout or “salters”. Few salter runs remain in southeastern MA, making Red Brook a high priority for preserving this unique fish. This fall, partners will complete the restoration work and begin implementing the post-restoration monitoring plan to evaluate the results.
Ox Pasture Brook Lower Dam Removal Project, Rowley
Ox Pasture Brook flows through the William Forward Wildlife Management Area (owned by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife) in the Town of Rowley, Massachusetts. This small coastal stream is a tributary to the Mill River, which ultimately drains to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, a small and partially collapsed dam located at the 'head-of-tide' (where freshwater meets the tidal influence of the sea) negatively impacts the stream in a number of ways, including blocking upstream fish migration, degrading water quality, and preventing natural hydrology from shaping and maintaining riverine and wetland habitat.
But things are about to change for the better. Working with a variety of partners (e.g. NOAA, USFWS, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, American Rivers), the Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) will remove the old stone and earthen dam later this fall. The project will restore diadromous fish passage (i.e. rainbow smelt, American eel), enhance fish habitat for resident and diadromous species, improve water quality, restore natural riverine and inter-tidal processes (e.g. flow, sediment movement), and allow the formation of natural brackish areas and tidal and/or freshwater wetland communities. After three years hard work, the engineering designs are complete, permitting is nearing completion, and planning for construction has begun. Construction is scheduled for the last week of November – stay tuned!
Newman Road Salt Marsh Restoration in Newbury
Construction is planned to begin in October on the Newman Road Salt Marsh Restoration in Newbury to restore 33 acres of coastal wetlands in the Great Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Located upstream of Newman Road along a tributary to the Little River, tidal flow to this salt marsh is currently restricted by an undersized, perched, and deteriorating culvert beneath Newman Road. The chronic restriction of tidal flows has eroded the marsh on both sides of the culvert, limited fish access to periods of higher tides, and reduced the extent and frequency of marsh flooding upstream
The Town of Newbury is the lead project partner and will hire a contractor to remove the old road pipe and install a larger 6 by 12-foot box culvert. The new culvert will convey full tidal flows to the upstream marsh, improve fish access, and enhance the overall ability of the marsh to support healthy fish and wildlife habitat. Project funding and assistance was provided by DER, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment – NOAA Habitat Restoration Partnership, NOAA Restoration Center, The Trustees of Reservations, Essex County Greenbelt Association, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership with a services donation by Environmental Resources Management, and the Noyes, Jackman, and Story families of Newbury.
Massachusetts Restoration Projects Receive $237,800 in GOMC-NOAA Partnership Grants
The 2009 Gulf of Maine Council-NOAA Habitat Restoration Partnership recently awarded $237,800 for four habitat restoration projects in Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2002, the partnership has awarded over $2.6 million to 86 habitat restoration efforts throughout the Gulf of Maine, with over $1.5 million for grants in Massachusetts. The four Massachusetts projects funded in the 2009 grant round are listed below.
Curtis Pond Dam (Boston Brook) Removal Feasibility Study, Middleton – Description: Description: Feasibility of this dam’s removal will be assessed, with specific attention to regulatory/environmental issues and public benefit/support. GOMC-NOAA Funding: $34,800.
South Middleton Dam ( Ipswich River ) Removal Feasibility Study, Middleton –Description: Feasibility of this dam’s removal, which if completed, is projected to re-open 56 river miles to diadromous fish runs, will be assessed and conceptual design plans developed. GOMC-NOAA Funding: $21,000.
Damde Meadows Tidal Restoration, Hingham –Description: This project will improve the tidal connection between Damde Meadows and Martin’s Cove at the World’s End Reservation, restoring a high value 15-acre coastal wetland system. GOMC-NOAA Funding: $142,000.
Mayo Creek Tidal Flow Enhancement Feasibility Study, Wellfleet Description: This project intends to study the feasibility of restoring 25-30 acres of salt marsh and improving water quality and shellfish bed health. GOMC-NOAA Funding: $40,000.
DER Receives $40,000 from USFWS to Advance Three Priority Wetland Restoration Projects
In late September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program signed a cooperative agreement with DER to fund permitting and construction activities at the following three designated DER Priority Projects:
Mill River, Gloucester – Project will install a new tide gate to restore tidal flow and diadromous fish access to 44 acres of degraded estuarine habitats. The project will also help alleviate chronic flooding problems within the system.
Sunken Meadow, Eastham – Project will remove a tidal restriction to restore tidal influence to 11 acres of degraded salt marsh.
Cranberry Lane, Chatham –Project will remove a tidal restriction to restore tidal influence to 5 acres of degraded salt marsh.
Coastal America Award to be Presented to Sesuit Creek Restoration Project Team
In early 2009, the federal Coastal America Partnership notified the Sesuit Creek Salt Marsh and Fish Passage Restoration Project team that they would receive a Coastal America Partnership Award “for outstanding efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment.” The project team worked for over 5 years to pull together the funding and technical work needed to replace a severely-undersized 24-inch pipe with twin 10-foot by 12-foot concrete culverts. Completed in 2008, the project restored natural tidal flow to 65 acres of salt marsh and greatly improved migratory fish access to upstream spawning habitat. The Partnership Awards ceremony – which includes presentation of letters signed by President Barak Obama – will be held October 19th in Dennis.
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Resources and Grants
Grant, Prize, Contest, Award and Fundraising Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application/nomination/entry deadline)
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant Program funds student-led service-learning projects throughout the United States and in several Canadian provinces. Specific areas of interest include: natural and societal disasters, driver safety, environmental responsibility, accessing higher education/closing the achievement gap, and financial literacy. Educators who currently teach in a public K-12, charter or a higher education institution are eligible to apply. Nonprofit organizations are also eligible if they are able to demonstrate how they plan to interact with students in public K-12 schools. Grants range from $25,000 to $100,000. Applications must be submitted by October 2, 2009, through the Youth Advisory Board website.
NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) environmental education program promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. The primary delivery of B-WET is through competitive funding that promotes Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs - click here for a detailed definition). Click here for info on B-WET Grants in New England; the application deadline is Friday, October 2. Contact Kathi Rodrigues at (978) 281-9324 or Kathi.Rodrigues@noaa.gov for more info.
YSI, an employee-owned company that supplies instruments, software, and data collection platforms for environmental monitoring and testing, has established the YSI Foundation, which donates a portion of company profits to environmental causes as well as educational and charitable organizations. The YSI Foundation’s 2009 “Who’s Minding the Plant” environmental grant award program will go to a deserving nonprofit involved in coastal and estuarine work that focuses on environmental data synthesis. The $25,000 grant will be awarded at the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF)’s 20th Biennial Conference, Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World, in Portland, Oregon, November 1-5, 2009. The grant award recipient will be notified beforehand so arrangements can be made to accept the award at the Conference. The deadline for on-line applications is Friday, October 9, 2009. Click here or contact Susan Miller, YSI Foundation President at (937) 767-7241 ext. 406 or email@example.com for more info.
Lowe’s Outdoor Classroom Grant Program’s mission is to enhance outdoor, hands-on science education to students in grades K-12 and assist schools in enhancing their core curriculum in all subjects. This school year, the program will award grants up to $2,000 to at least 100 schools. In some cases, grants for up to $20,000 may be awarded to schools or school districts with major outdoor classroom projects. The grants can be used to build a new outdoor classroom or to enhance a current outdoor classroom at the school. Click here for more info on how to apply - the next application deadline is October 16, 2009.
The Massachusetts Environmental Trust’s (MET)’s FY2011 General Grants will provide funding to support programs, research, and other activities that promote the responsible stewardship of the Commonwealth's water resources. MET 's goal is to encourage development of new approaches and ideas and to spur innovation among grantees or partnering organizations. To achieve these outcomes, the Trust seeks proposals that would: improve water quality or quantity; conserve aquatic or marine habitat and species; reduce runoff pollution; mitigate the effects of climate change; promote human health as it relates to water resources; and/or other efforts consistent with the Trust's mission. This grant program is open to any public or §501(c)(3) certified non-profit organizations, including, but not limited to: Municipalities, public or nonprofit educational institutions, including school districts, and Nonprofit Organizations (§501(c)(3) or fiscal partnerships with §501(c)(3) organizations). The deadline for Letters of Inquiry is October 16, 2009 for projects that will begin in July 2010. To access the grant Request For Responses (RFR) directly, go to http://www.comm-pass.com, click on “Search for Solicitations”, and then type EEA 10 MET 01 in the “Keywords” box. Contact Bill Hinkley at (617) 626-1177 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Dara J. Kaufman Fund, administered by KIDS (Kids Involved in Doing Service-Learning) Consortium based in Auburn, ME, offers a mini-grant program for K-12 service-learning projects that strive to solve problems andimprove communities throughout New England. This program, inspired by Dara Kaufman's life, is intended to encourage young people to take action to make their schools and communities caring, supportive, and environmentally sustainable places. K-12 classrooms, after-school programs, and community-based programs are eligible to apply for mini-grants of up to $250. Funded projects must focus on specific themes identified at each grade level. The next application deadline is October 23, 2009. Examples of eligible themes and online application information are available on the KIDS Consortium website.
The Bafflin Foundation's primary mission is to continue the lifetime efforts of Lois Orswell to support art, animals, plants and the earth. Orswell gave funds and effort to environmental causes, and through the Bafflin Foundation she established wildlife sanctuaries. The Foundation’s board generally meets twice a year to review proposals in May and November; grant requests should be received by the end of the prior months (April and October). Send proposals to: Paul A. Silver, Esq., Bafflin Foundation, Suite 1500, 50 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI 02903. Contact Paul at (401) 274-2000 or email@example.com for more info.
An announcement recently went out indicating the availability of FFY 2010 funding for the Open Rivers Initiative (ORI), which seeks to enable environmental and economic renewal in local communities through the removal of dams and other stream barriers that help restore riverine ecosystems, enhance public safety and community resilience, and have clear and identifiable benefits to diadromous fish populations. “Diadromous” fish migrate between freshwater and saltwater during their life cycle. Examples include alewife, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, salmon, shortnose sturgeon and striped bass. NOAA also recognizes the importance ofdam and river barrier removal for the benefit of riverine ecosystems and all life stages of aquatic organisms. Successful applications will be those that (1) are able to achieve a net gain in diadromous fish-accessible stream miles, increase the number of barrier removals within a watershed, and yield measurable long-term ecological and economic outcomes; (2) document community benefits related to increased business opportunities, removal of potential liability, reduced flood impacts, and/or improved opportunities for recreation, park use, or other tangible community benefits; and (3) demonstrate collaboration among entities such as public and nonprofit organizations, citizen and watershed groups, industry, corporations and businesses, youth conservation corps, students, landowners, academia, and local government, state, and federal agencies to cooperatively implement barrier removal projects. Funding of up to $6,000,000 is expected to be available for ORI Project Grants in FY 2010. The NOAA Restoration Center within the Office of Habitat Conservation will administer this grant initiative, and anticipates that typical awards will range from $200,000 to $750,000. Applications must be received and validated by Grants.gov, postmarked, or provided to a delivery service by 11:59 EST on November 16, 2009. Click here or contact Tisa Shostik at Tisa.Shostik@noaa.gov or (301) 713-0174 x184, or Cathy Bozek at Cathy.Bozek@noaa.gov or (301) 713-0174 x150 for more info.
Roots and Shoots’ New England regional office is currently seeking youthful participants for its Drop of Hope Water Photography Project. Young people are asked to take photos and write brief descriptions about bodies of water they have visited, projects they have done with water, or water issues that are of concern to them. They are then asked to submit the photos and descriptions for posting on Roots & Shoots’ on-line photo gallery, enabling visitors to the gallery to learn about and comment on the photos. Some photos may eventually be selected for inclusion in a show at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester. The submission deadline is late fall 2009; call (617) 439-9090 for more info.
The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP)’s New England Regional Network is currently seeking applicants for the 2010 Class of its Fellowship Program for Emerging Leaders. ELP is seeking candidates from non-profits, business, government, indigenous affairs and higher education with approximately three to ten years of experience in the environmental and social change fields (“environmental” is defined broadly to include public health, transportation policy and planning, economic development and broad-based community organizing). ELP will then award 20-25 individuals with the opportunity to join the Fellowship Class of 2010 and receive a years’ worth of top-notch professional development training on topics such as strategic communications, coalition building and public writing. Fellows also participate in discussions on the current state and future of environmental politics and practices; the role of all types of diversity in the environmental field; and the complexities of stimulating public dialogue, negotiating institutional politics and building diverse coalitions. In addition, associates engage in peer-learning sessions on current environmental issues, discussions with established environmental leaders and conversations about leadership. Retreats also provide participants with opportunities for personal reflection and play a critical role in helping Fellows form a collaborative and supportive peer network. The deadline for completed applications is Friday, December 11, 2009. Click here or contact the ELP at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 422-9193 for more info.
Nominate a colleague or friend who has worked tirelessly to conserve, protect, or educate others about the importance of wetlands for a National Wetlands Award. For more than 20 years, these awards have honored individuals who have demonstrated outstanding innovation or dedication in: conservation and restoration; education and outreach; landowner stewardship; science research; state, tribal, and local program development; and wetland community leadership. Click here to read about past recipients and fill out a 2010 nomination form. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2009.
Nickelodeon's Big Green Grants Program provides support to schools and community-based organizations throughout the U.S. for environmentally friendly projects. Green Grants of $2,500 and $5,000 encourage projects that inspire kids to take care of the environment, be active and live healthier, and engage in community service. Applicants must participate in Worldwide Day of Play or host a Big Green Help environmental project. Public and private elementary and middle schools as well as nonprofit community-based after-school organizations are eligible to apply. Applications from urban and rural/suburban areas as well as small and large community-based organizations serving all ethnicities are encouraged to apply. Requests must be submitted by December 31, 2009.
Volvo Adventure, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, presents the Volvo Adventure Award in recognition of youth’s environmental activism. Youth ages 13 to 16 form environmental action teams of two to five members, recruit at least one adult as a supervisor, and devise and implement a plan to improve their school or community environment. The award supports teams in the implementation process of their projects; however, Volvo also offers resources for teams that are in the planning process. Projects may address any local environment issue, including biodiversity, waste, water, energy, and transport. The best projects are selected for an all expenses paid trip to Göteborg, Sweden. The winning project will receive US $10,000; second place, US $6,000; and third place, US $4,000. Teams can register on-line anytime, but the final application deadline is January 31, 2011. Click here for more info.
The New York City-based Open Space Institute (OSI) recently announced the availability of two new conservation funds: Saving New England’s Wildlife will fund 10 to 15 transformative projects that accelerate the conservation of high priority wildlife habitat in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. OSI will award $5 million in capital land protection grants on a competitive basis, with a minimum of $1 million awarded in each state. Projects will be reviewed by a regional advisory committee made up of experts from the environmental, scientific and political arenas that will recommend grants and loans for approval to OSI ’s Board of Trustees. Another $600,000 is also available to support public education efforts to increase and diversify funding for conservation of wildlife habitat. While the deadline for the first round of funding has already passed, OSI anticipates entertaining a second and final round of grant proposals in the fall of 2009 (click here for more info). OSI is also requesting proposals for a separate but related fund focused on protecting the forested landscapes of western Massachusetts. The Western Massachusetts Land Protection Fund will provide matching capital grants to protect landscapes, with a focus on protecting wildlife habitat while also facilitating appropriate human use. Once again, while the first deadline has already passed, another grant round is expected this fall. Click here for more details, or contact Jennifer Melville at (207) 846-9700 or email@example.com for more info on either of these New England-focused OSI grant programs.
The Merck Family Fund has two major funding priorities: protecting the natural environment (via the protection of vital ecosystems in the eastern US, and supporting the shift towards environmentally sustainable economic systems, incentives, and behaviors) and strengthening the urban community (via supporting communities with few resources who are confronting significant social, economic, and environmental challenges). New requests for support to the Merck Family Fund should be made by a letter of inquiry (LOI) rather than with a full proposal or a request for a personal meeting. The LOI should not exceed two pages and should concisely describe the project, its purpose, its likely impact, and the amount being requested. The LOI should also briefly describe the organization and the overall budget. The Fund's staff will review the letter and decide whether to invite a full proposal. Letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time. Send LOIs to: Jenny Russell, Executive Director, Merck Family Fund, 303 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186 -4253.
The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation offers competitive grants to not-for-profit, grassroots organizations which facilitate progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal and environmental problems. The Foundation supports programs and projects that are examples of creative problem solving and that lead to societal, institutional, and/or environmental change, address the root causes of social or environmental problems, and lead to new ways of thinking and acting. Letters of interest may be submitted any time (click here for more details). Grant requests for $1,000 or less will be made on the basis of the letter; requests for larger amounts will be based on invited proposals. Contact the Foundation at (802) 846-1543 ext.7986 for more info.
The Coca-Cola Foundation focuses its giving on those areas where the Company feels it can make a unique and sustainable difference. Through the Water Stewardship focus, Coca-Cola supports access to clean water and sanitation, watershed protection, and other programs, including education and awareness programs that promote water conservation. The Healthy and Active Lifestyles focus supports access to exercise, physical activity, and nutritional education programs. Community Recycling is designed to increase litter abatement efforts, advance recovery and reuse, increase community recycling, and support research and innovation. The Education component supports scholarships, as well as drop-out prevention, access to education, and other initiatives. Interested applicants are invited to apply for support at any time; click here for more info.
The Walgreens Corporate Contribution Program supports nonprofit organizations in local Walgreens communities throughout the United States (click here for store locations). The company provides grants to organizations that focus on the following issues: access to health and wellness in their communities, pharmacy education programs and mentoring initiatives, civic and community outreach, and emergency and disaster relief. On-line applications may be submitted throughout the year – click here for more info.
The Kresge Foundation supports communities by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that serve them. The Foundation's six major areas of interest are health, environment, arts and culture, education, human services, and community development. Kresge’s Capital Challenge Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations that are engaged in comprehensive campaigns designed to support institutional growth through the construction of new facilities as well as the acquisition or renovation of existing facilities, the purchase of real property, and the purchase of major integrated equipment systems. The Foundation accepts online letters of intent for this program throughout the year; click here for more info.
The purpose of the Greenwich, CT-based McKenzie Foundation is to encourage and support non-profit programs primarily in the areas of education, health, human services, and cultural and environmental concerns. The Foundation is particularly interested in creative projects or programs which can serve as catalytic agents in their fields and that can have an impact that will continue after the specific project has been completed. New requests for support to the Foundation should be made by a letter of inquiry (LOI) not exceeding three pages. LOIs may be submitted at any time; click here for more info.
The Westport, CT-based Educational Foundation of America (EFA)’s environmental funding priorities include the protection and restoration of land and water, and projects that focus on renewable energy, energy conservation and sustainable production and consumption. EFA also funds air quality protection, recycling programs, the conservation of parks and trails, ecological conservation, and technical assistance and training for environmental groups, policy-makers, and the public. While there are no specific application deadlines and EFA welcomes letters of inquiry at any time, prospective applicants first need to complete an on-line eligibility quiz. Click here for more info.
Sighted any “giraffes” lately? If so, the Giraffe Heroes Project would like to hear from you. This initiative honors risk-takers: largely unknown people who have the courage to “stick their necks out” for the common good, in the US and around the world. Many Giraffes have been honored for their efforts on behalf of environmental protection and restoration, including six from Massachusetts. Click here to nominate a Giraffe and click here to read inspiring stories about the Project and past Giraffe honorees.
Jenny’s Heroes, an initiative of the Jenny Jones Foundation, is seeking worthy recipients of grants for projects up to $25,000 where the Foundation can purchase, repair, upgrade, provide equipment, or otherwise make improvements to benefit the community. A total of $1 million is available for this initiative. Any legal resident of the United States over the age of 18 can apply to receive a grant. No recipient may keep any of the funds for his or her personal use; all funds must be spent on the approved community project that benefits a number of people. Grant requests will be reviewed within a month of receipt. Applicants who are being considered will be notified within six weeks of receipt. Full proposals will be requested from those whose projects may be funded. Click here for more info and here to fill out a brief on-line application.
The Harry Chapin Foundation’s funding priorities include community education programs that identify community needs and mobilize resources to meet them, agricultural and environmental programs that support the preservation of individually-owned farms, support for citizen organizations that promote equitable food production and distribution, and promote a safe and sustainable environment. Click here or contact Leslie Ramme at ( 631) 423-7558, (631) 423-7596 (fax) or HarryChapinFound@aol.com for more info.
The Boston-based Jenzabar Foundationprovides funding to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations in support of innovative student community service projects and the adoption of new technology . Click here to access a simple application for funding and/or request for more information, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Shared Earth Foundation is committed to the tenet that all creatures have an enduring claim to sustainable space on this planet. It believes that today’s human beings have the responsibility to share Earth’s resources with other creatures and future generations by limiting their adverse impact on the planet, and by enriching and protecting Earth’s wildlife and the places they inhabit. To this end, the Foundation will fund organizations that promote protection and restoration of habitat for the broadest possible biodiversity, which foster respect for other species and individual creatures, which work to limit detrimental human impact on the planet, and which further the inherent right of all creatures to share the Earth. The Foundation looks to fund primarily, though not exclusively, small organizations. It will provide administrative as well as project funds, with possibility for renewal or continuation, in the US and abroad, to groups working in the natural and political worlds. While the Foundation is not accepting unsolicited proposals at this time, it is willing to accept letters of inquiry (click here for details).
Econsciousmarket.com, a “for-benefit” on-line commerce site based in Boulder, Colorado, sells ecologically and socially responsible products and donates up to 10% of every purchase to the non-profit organizationslisted on its website. Customers get to choose which non-profits receive the donations, and non-profits can sign up to be eligible to receive those donations (groups that have already done so include The Nature Conservancy, Riverkeeper and the Waterkeeper Alliance). Click here to shop and here to propose that your group be added to the list of organizations eligible to receive donations. [GoodShop, a service of Goodsearch, also enables a portion of your on-line purchase dollars to be devoted to your favorite charity or school (click here for a list of eligible recipients and here to propose that your nonprofit be added to that list), although, unlike Ecoconsciousmarket.com, no effort is made to screen out non-ecologically conscious or socially-irresponsible retailers and/or products].
Developed by Spitfire Strategies, and the Communications Leadership Institute, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Just Enough Planning Guide™ was developed to help nonprofit organizations looking to create winning policy campaigns, issue campaigns, corporate campaigns or public education campaigns. This unique tool provides organizations and coalitions with “just enough” of a process for planning successful campaigns. The Interactive Just Enough Planning Guide™ provides users with an online, interactive approach to the planning process. As you work your way through the tool, you'll have several opportunities to evaluate your answers and ensure you are making the smartest choices. You can also stop and save your answers at any time, and come back and finish later. This allows you to finish the planning process in your own time — and gives you maximum flexibility so you can get input on your choices from staff, board members or other outside resources as needed. At the end of the process, you will have a fully completed plan that links your organization's objectives to the many strategic decisions necessary for a successful campaign.
The Boston-based, nonprofit Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund provides an easy way for donors to make charitable contributions of cash and other assets (such as real estate and appreciated shares of stock) to environmental organizations and other charitable recipients of their choice, through the mechanism of a donor-advised fund called a Giving Account. §501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations seeking to receive Giving Account donations can click here to learn how and why donors participating in this giving mechanism may increase their financial and other support for your work. Call (toll-free) (800) 262-6039 for more info.
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Third Sector New England’s Nonprofit Capacity Building Training Series includes nine workshops to help nonprofit managers, staff and board members strengthen general management skills, from fundraising, to financial management, to effective supervision. The workshops will be held monthly from September 2009 through May 2010 at the TSNE NonProfit Center, just one block from South Station, Boston ’s public transportation hub. Participants can enroll in one or multiple workshops. Each session is designed to strengthen participants’ management skills while providing field-tested tools and concepts to take back to the office for implementation. The cost ranges from $79/half day to $99/full day. TSNE is also offering a series of free workshops to Help Your Nonprofit Survive the Economic Crisis. Click here or call TSNE at (617) 523-6565 for more info.
Mass. Audubon’s Shaping the Future Outreach and Assistance Program, as a follow-up to its recently released Losing Ground report, is hosting a series of free workshops beginning in Fall 2009, targeting communities in the state’s two sprawl frontiers: the Blackstone River watershed in Central Mass. and the Taunton, Ten Mile, and Narragansett Bay watersheds in Southeastern Mass. The workshops will review land use and development patterns in these communities, and provide guidance for crafting and implementing effective strategies to: update and implement community plans; identify and protect the highest priority lands to protect habitat and water supplies; provide incentives for well-planned growth; develop housing and jobs in a sustainable manner; and establish and apply regulations to minimize the impacts of development. Click here to see the full schedule of workshop times, locations and descriptions, and/or contact Project Director Stephanie Elson at (781) 259-2146 to learn how Audubon can help you to achieve your vision for the future of your town.
The 2009 observance of National Public Lands Day (NPLD), the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy, is scheduled for Saturday, September 26. In 2008, 120,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plants, and planted over 1.6 million trees. Click here for a current listing of NPLD events in Mass. NPLD is sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).
Integrated Ecological Restoration of Rivers and Streams, Including Design of Native Vegetation for Water Quality, in Floodplains, Riparian Zones and Waterways, an Eagle Hill Natural History Field Seminar taught by John Munro, is scheduled to take place from October 4-10 at the Humboldt Field Research Institute in Steuben, Maine. Click here or call (207) 546-2821 for more info.
The Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) is sponsoring a webcast on Stormwater Retrofitting, to take place on Wednesday, October 14 from 12 noon to - 2:00 PM. While stormwater management regulations are typically focused on new development activities, local watershed and stormwater management goals cannot always be met by simply by installing stormwater management practices on new development sites. In many urban and suburban watersheds, the landscape has already been developed without stormwater controls. This can make it difficult to address local watershed and stormwater management goals, such as reducing pollutant loads to meet total maximum daily load (TMDL) regulations. The task at hand for watershed managers in these already developed urban and suburban watersheds is watershed restoration. This webcast will discuss the design and implementation of stormwater retrofit practices featured in CWP ’s Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices manual, which discusses retrofitting existing urban lands, such as parking lots, residential streets, conveyance systems and landscaped areas. The webcast will also provide information about the cost and pollutant removal performance of stormwater retrofits. Click here to register or for more info.
Call for papers: The 7th Annual Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) Conference at UMass/ Amherst, to be held on 4/10/10, will address the needs for water monitoring, assessment, and management of water resources in New England in the face of variability due to changes in climate, land use, population, and other environmental stressors. Researchers, stakeholders, and managers of water resources from academia, government, non-profits, and the private sector are encouraged (until 10/14/09) to submit abstracts in both basic and applied research that address these water resources challenges. Click here to submit an abstract of a platform or poster presentation, or contact the WRRC at email@example.com or (413) 545-2842.
Moving Together 2009, the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Conference, will take place on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at the Courtyard Boston Hotel in Boston. Sessions include “DCR’s Charles River Basin Initiative: Improving Bicycling and Pedestrian Access” and “‘Mass in Motion’ Community Grants: Strengthening Local Resources”. The conference registration fee is $50 ($60 at the door) and includes workshops, conference materials, continental breakfast, and luncheon. Click here or contact the Baystate Roads Program at (413) 545-5403 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more info.
The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance will be holding its Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 22, from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at The Trustees of Reservations’ Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster. Mass. Rivers Alliance staff members Julia Blatt and Sue Beede will share findings from their listening sessions with river activists (and some agency staff) across the state and discussing the action items that have come out of this work – the organization’s river agenda. The meeting will also allow for networking with colleagues, and lunch will be provided. Contact Julia at (617) 850-1747 or email@example.com for more info.
River Network has issued a call for workshop proposals for River Rally 2010. River Network relies on the smarts of the river conservation community to help develop the River Rally agenda. If you are interested in being a presenter at River Rally 2010 (to be held from May 21-24 in Snowbird, UT), you must submit a completed workshop proposal by October 22, 2009. Click here for more info, and here to read Peter Forbes’ inspirational “Power of Story” address from River Rally 2009.
The fifth annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change Conference, presented by the Marion Institute, will take place from October 22-25, 2009 in historic downtown New Bedford, MA . Bioneers by the Bay is an internationally-acclaimed annual gathering of environmental, industry and social justice innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and its inhabitants. Over 2,000 students, teachers, green business innovators, scientists, grassroots leaders and everyday folks from across the East Coast will gather to embrace, share, brainstorm, network, heal, learn, teach, celebrate, recharge and connect for change. We will roll up our sleeves and harvest tangible, practical solutions to the specific challenges we face here in the Northeast and the world at-large. Take part in three days of live keynote presentations, afternoon workshops, an extensive Youth Initiative program, a downlink of the 20th Annual Bioneers Conference in California, an exhibition hall featuring sustainable businesses and organizations, a community action center, films, music, art installations, a farmers’ market and local & organic food. Click here to register, or call (508) 748-0816 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Environmental Concern and the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife are co-sponsoring three workshops for wetlands educators this fall: WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands, Oct. 27, 2009, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury; WOW! Facilitator Workshop, Oct. 28, 2009, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the River Bend Farm Visitors Center in Uxbridge; and POW! The Planning of Wetlands, October 29, 2009, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, also at the River Bend Farm Visitors Center. Pre-registration is required for all of these programs; Contact Pam Landry at (508) 389-6310 or email@example.com to register, or click here for more info.
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) will be holding its 2009 Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at The Bank New York Mellon offices located at 135 Santilli Highway in Everett, MA. Refreshments will be served at 6:00 PM and the membership meeting will start promptly at 7:00 PM. MyRWA’s President of the Board of Directors John Reinhart and Executive Director EkOngKar Singh Khalsa will address the condition of the Mystic River Watershed and MyRWA’s accomplishments over the past year. The featured guest speaker is Kathy Abbott, Executive Vice President of The Trustees of Reservations, the nation’s oldest regional land trust and nonprofit conservation organization. Kathy will address Environmental Advocacy. Click here or call MyRWA at (781) 316-3438 for more info.
The Environmental Institute at the UMass/Amherst and the U.S. EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation have issued (until November 1) a call for abstracts for the International Conference on Green Remediation: Environment ~ Energy ~ Economics, to be held June 15-17, 2010 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The conference will address the full range of environmental, energy and economic aspects of green and sustainable remediation, taking into account the energy requirements of treatment systems, air emissions, water use requirements and impacts on water resources, land and ecosystem use and impacts, energy use and renewables, material consumption, reuse, and waste generation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (413) 545-2842 or go to www.teiconferences.com for more info.
The New England Water Works Association’s Fall Symposium, Water Resiliency: Adapting Water Supply to Changing Climate, Land Use, and Regulation, will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at the Doubletree Hotel in Milford, MA. Water utility managers, planners, public works managers, consulting and regulatory professionals, and watershed association representatives will find this a comprehensive, timely program of interest. Water commissioners and water board members will also find the symposium a valuable source of information as they look to the future and the water resources available for their communities. Click here to register or for more info.
Lesley University and Mass. Audubon are co-sponsoring a Greening the City Conference, scheduled for November 6th-8th, 2009 in Cambridge. Join more than 150 urban environmental leaders from throughout New England to explore key strategies for fostering inspired and innovative urban environmental leadership. Greening the City is geared toward environmental practitioners and thinkers from non-profits, higher education, local community groups, government agencies, and businesses. It will feature prominent environmental thinkers and practitioners from academia and government agencies, as well as from for profit and nonprofit organizations. There will be keynote talks, workshops, and an exhibit area, and other interactive ways to engage with the challenges and solutions arising from our increasingly urban world. The conference is meant to engage in-depth and meaningful dialogue among participants while addressing the difficulties and opportunities faced in cultivating just and sustainable urban communities. Click here or call (617) 349-8648 to register or for more info.
A Water Resources Conference: Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the Hogan Campus Center, Holy Cross College in Worcester. Established as part of the Boston Harbor cleanup, the Trust has infused over $17 million into projects for water quality, aquatic species, environmental education and more. The conference is intended to bring together practitioners engaged in the work of protecting and restoring water quality and the continuity of aquatic systems. Session topics include: Water Quality and Quantity; Restoration and Revitalization of Waterfronts; Sustainable Water Infrastructure; and Where Public and Private Funders Should Invest. The keynote speaker is Robert Glennon (see more info about his new book Unquenchable below). For more information, contact Susan Lanza at 617-626-1068 or email Susan.Lanza@state.ma.us
The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission are co-sponsoring a Special Forum On Zebra Mussels on Thursday, November 12 from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Berkshire Athenaeum (Pittsfield’s public library), 1 Wendell Avenue (at the intersection of East Street) in Pittsfield. The forum is for local decision makers and the public to discuss the impacts of Zebra Mussels on the Housatonic River and tributary waterways, and what can be done to minimize this impact. Presenters will include staff from Mass. DCR’s Lakes and Ponds Program and the ESS Group (an environmental consulting firm). Call the HVA’s office at (413) 394-9796 for more info. [In the meantime, you might want to take advantage of the free boat wash in Stockbridge, recently established by volunteers, to assist boaters in minimizing the risk of spreading zebra mussels and other aquatic invasives from one waterway to another (click here for more details)].
As municipalities and nonprofit community organizations are increasingly called upon to build alliances or coalitions to advocate for their goals, municipal and non-profit staff are challenged to develop new leadership skills to foster successful collaborations with coalition partners. The two-day course Facilitating Powerful Coalitions is designed to provide hands-on experience in facilitating productive meetings, communicating, negotiating and resolving conflicts. Participants will also acquire skills needed to decide if and how to collaborate and to build more effective partnerships. The course takes place at The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)’s Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster on Thursday, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. The registration fee is $70/TTOR members, $80/others. Click here to register on-line, or contact Miriam Scagnetti at (978) 840-4446 ext. 1935 or email@example.com for more info.
The 2009 Northeast Private Well Symposium will be held November 16-17, 2009 at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland, Maine . The purpose of the Symposium is to integrate research, extension and educational efforts in the field of private well protection to reduce the risks associated with groundwater use to private well water users. Click here for the Symposium Agenda and here for registration info.
Last but not least: are you interested in restoring rivers by removing obsolete or unsafe dams? If you want to lead a dam removal project from start to finish, then this two-day practical training is for you. Concepts will be introduced in the classroom and explored further at nearby future and completed dam removal sites. The two dates on which this training will take place are Wednesday, November 18 and Monday, December 7, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at the DCR Wachusett Building, West Boylston, MA. Contact DER's River Restoration Program Manager Beth Lambert at (617) 626-1526 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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While significant progress has been made in protecting and restoring water quality under the Clean Water Act, the nation continues to lose healthy aquatic ecosystems. Preserving healthy watersheds will provide the critical natural infrastructure needed to restore water quality. To advance that objective, the U.S. EPA recently launched a new Healthy Watersheds Initiative that emphasizes protection and conservation of aquatic ecosystems. The Healthy Watersheds Approach addresses the watershed as a system of biota and habitats that are driven by critical processes such as hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and natural disturbance regimes. Programs that protect and restore aquatic ecosystems are most effective when they recognize and integrate these dynamics and manage watersheds as systems. EPA’s Healthy Watersheds website provides tools to help identify and protect healthy watersheds and their components as well as provides critical information for making strategic decisions to both protect and restore our nation's waters. EPA's new initiative is predicated on the simple truth that it is much more cost-effective to protect the many benefits provided by healthy watersheds than it is to restore them once they become impaired. [See an informative article on this program on pp. 3-5 of the June 2009 edition (#87) of the EPA’s Nonpoint Source News-Notes newsletter.]
EPA's Adopt Your Watershed Program challenges you to serve your community by taking part in activities to protect and restore your local watershed. Visit the Adopt Your Watershed database of more than 2,600 watershed groups to learn about opportunities to get involved in activities such as volunteer water monitoring, stream cleanups, and storm drain marking. Once you locate your watershed, simply click on "citizen-based groups at work in this watershed" to find a list of organizations. [NOTE: This info is considerably out of date. River and other environmental organizations active in Massachusetts watersheds should click here to add your group to the EPA’s searchable database, or if you’re already in the database but the info is out of date, click on the “Request Update” button at the bottom of your group’s info page.] If you can't find a group to join or want to organize your own activity, the EPA has put together a Watershed Stewardship Toolkit with eight things you can do to make a difference in your watershed. Adopt Your Watershed is part of the President's UNITED WE SERVE initiative, where you can share your community service success story.
On July 2, 2009, Administrator Lisa Jackson asked Cynthia Giles, the head of the U.S. EPA's enforcement and compliance program (and formerly with MassDEP and the Conservation Law Foundation), to examine our water enforcement program in light of information showing that water quality goals are not being met and that there are too many violations in too many places. Jackson asked Giles to report back in ninety days with recommendations to improve transparency, strengthen clean water enforcement performance, and expand our use of technology to increase efficiency and to provide useful information to the public. The EPA invites the public to share your ideas through an on-line discussion forum set up for this purpose. Your ideas will be considered for recommendations to the EPA Administrator about the future direction for EPA's water enforcement program. In all our discussions, EPA will be mindful of the need to focus on the most important work for protecting water quality and improving compliance with the Clean Water Act, given resource constraints that require the agency to place a premium on innovation and efficiency. Click here to read and participate in this on-line forum.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS)’s new report, Forests, Water and People, indicates that over half the water users in the Northeast rely on surface water sources as their municipal drinking water source. The report identifies those watersheds located in areas important for surface drinking water supplies, are privately owned, and are in need of protection from development pressure. Click here to download the full report and state maps, and here to go directly to a section of the report relating directly to Massachusetts. Contact: Martina Barnes at (212) 637-3863 for more info.
A new interagency guidebook, Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities, is available for planners, local government officials, developers, non-profit groups, and coastal and waterfront residents. The guide that will help coastal and waterfront communities tackle threats from sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, flooding and other challenges, and it includes a description of tools and techniques for applying smart growth guidelines, with case studies illustrating the guidelines in action. The guide was developed by EPA, NOAA, the International City/County Management Association and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program, in consultation with the national Smart Growth Network. Click here for more info.
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Non-government On-line Resources
Alliance for Water Stewardship
Established by The Nature Conservancy and a half dozen other conservation and water resource groups and with the slogan “working together to protect and enhance freshwater resources for people and nature”, the mission of the Alliance is to promote responsible use of fresh water that is both socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable. Environmentally sustainable water use maintains or improves biodiversity and ecological processes at the watershed level. Socially beneficial water use recognizes basic human needs and ensures long-term benefits (including economic benefits) for local people and society at large. One of the Alliance’s chief objectives is to develop a certification program and standards for water suppliers and users that will create opportunities for enhanced community standing and competitive advantage. Click here to express your interest in this initiative.
Center for Ecosystem Restoration (CER)
A non-profit organization, CER’s mission it to revitalize America's communities and ecosystems through the practice of integrated environmental restoration--work which seeks to improve both the built and natural environment. Its goal is to chart a course for sustainable economic development, helping communities to prosper through work that improves the land, water, air, climate and biodiversity on which we all depend. CER doesn't compete with existing organizations; rather it seeks to partner with other organizations--private, non-profit, and governmental; local, state and federal--to advocate and accomplish restoration. Resources at CER’s website include info on the Shawsheen River Project, where CER is working with various partners, including American Rivers, the Town of Andover and DER/Riverways, on an engineering and environmental study to explore the possibility of removing or modifying three dams on the Shawsheen to re-establish a free-flowing river and, with it, a native river ecosystem that provides greater recreational and economic value to the communities of the watershed.
Recently established (and still in beta testing mode) by the Northwest office of Defenders of Wildlife, the Conservation Registry is a smart, accessible database and mapping system that allows users to enter, search, map and track interesting conservation projects. Using a version of Google Maps, users can view conservation projects anywhere in the United States. The registry gathers data from multiple sources, ranging from small organizations and landowners to federal resource agencies, non-profit organizations, tribes and foundations. The purpose of the registry is to help users understand the context, distribution, and effectiveness of our collective efforts to protect and restore ecosystems. If you don’t have an electronic project tracking system or even any GIS experience, this is a great new tool to view, search, update and report on your conservation projects and share that info with current or potential supporters. Contact Gina LaRocco at email@example.com or (503) 697-3222 for more info on how the registry works, how to share your data, etc. [See the Landscope America website (also currently in beta mode), co-launched by NatureServe and the National Geographic Society, for a similar (and somewhat slicker) conservation mapping tool.]
Food and Water Watch (FWW)
The FWW website is replete with content on the topics of Private vs. Public, Funding Clean Water, Bottled Water, Water Conservation, Desalination, Chemical Contaminants, Local Water Facts and much more. Click here to access a copy of Free Your Event from Bottled Water: A Practical Guide to Take Back the Tap at Your Next Event and Avoid the Waste, Expense and Environmental Problems with Bottled Water. Differentiate your event from others by joining the surging nationwide movement to kick the bottled water habit and Take Back the Tap. Instead of buying into the myth of purity in a bottle and littering the landscape with empty water bottles, use this guide to free your event from bottled water. [See also the webpage of the Holliston, MA-based Athletes for a Fit Planet, which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of athletic events.]
A project of the Ford Foundation, GrantCraft creates guides, case studies, and videos that illuminate the challenges and skills of grantmaking. In GrantCraft's latest guide, Communicating for Impact: Strategies for Grantmakers, grantmakers explain how they use communications to advance programmatic goals. Get tips on developing strategy, managing relationships, using new media. In another recent GrantCraft publication, Funding Community Organizing: Social Change through Civic Participation, funders and organizers discuss what makes community organizing unique and uniquely effective; how to manage grantee relationships over time; and the grantmaker’s special role in fostering change.
The goal of this website is to provide free information for people hiking, walking, or snowshoeing in New England. It currently offers over 200 trail reports, written by the Webmaster as well as other outdoor lovers (your contributions are welcome – see the submissions page.). These detailed reports include hike descriptions, trail distances, a difficulty rating, and driving directions; also photos or trail maps are often provided. There’s a “Hike Finder” tool that enables you to search these reports by keywords, difficulty rating, distance, region, state, season, etc. The website also has a Hiking Event Calendar section where any organization or group offering a free hiking activity that’s open to the general public can post info about their event to help generate a bigger turnout. Last but not least, the website has an Articles section which contains stories related to hiking and nature, including some basic safety precautions that are good to follow. [Bicyclists might want to check out Bikekinetix.com, a similar on-line resource for non-extreme mountain biking and other bike trail opportunities in the Northeast.]
Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC)
The MLTC ’s web page has undergone an extensive makeover and is now much more content-laden and user-friendly. Resources include: Find A Massachusetts Land Trust (with a spiffy new map system); a list of service Providers (attorneys, appraisers and other specialists with land protection expertise); and an extensive Resource Library with well-organized topic pages, such as: Landowner Information Library; Conserving Your Land; Advantages of Land Conservation; Taxes and Land Conservation; Conserving Land in Your Community; Planning for Land Conservation in Your Community and Community Action.
The NatureFind website helps millions of people find nature nearby by providing easy to understand information about local places and events where you can have a great experience of nature. NatureFind is the first service to comprehensively track nature events and deliver them to millions of people through the NatureFind Network. NatureFind features over 150,000 events annually at more than 8,000 individually selected places--and it’s growing everyday. Click EventFinder or PlaceFinder to find things to see and do nearby, add your own event or place, or find out more about NatureFind.
North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA)
NANFA is dedicated to the appreciation, study and conservation of the continent's native fishes. The website features a checklist of freshwater fishes native to North America, and a Fish in Focus section with images and brief descriptions. The site also contains information about an award program for breeders, grant programs, related links, and more.
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Publications and Videos, etc.
In Poisoned Waters, a PBS FRONTLINE program that originally aired this past April, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith examines the growing hazards to human health and the ecosystem. Through interviews with scientists, environmental activists, corporate executives and average citizens impacted by the burgeoning pollution problem, Smith reveals startling new evidence that today's growing environmental threat comes not from the giant industrial polluters of old, but from chemicals in consumers' face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners that find their way into sewers, storm drains, and eventually into America's waterways and drinking water. In addition to assessing the scope of America 's polluted-water problem, Poisoned Waters highlights several cases in which grassroots citizens' groups succeeded in effecting environmental change. Click here for more info or to view the program.
Unquenchable, the new book by University of Arizona Law School Professor Robert Glennon (who also wrote the widely-acclaimed book Water Follies in 2002) decries the widespread practice of flushing our waste and watering our lawns with drinking water, bottled water, effects of dams on fisheries, and other examples of what he considers to be wasteful water use and environmentally harmful management practices. Glennon recognizes the intimate connection between water and energy, documenting the often huge amounts of water consumed in making energy (including some forms of renewable energy). On the solutions side, Glennon discusses the water savings and efficiency improvements available through conservation, rainwater harvesting, using reclaimed wastewater, etc. Unquenchable (432 pp., $27.95) may be ordered directly from its publisher, Island Press, by clicking here or by calling (800) 621-2736. [Click here, here and here for reviews of the book, and here to read an excerpt from the book’s introduction.]
All Stormwater is Local, a new report by the Waterkeeper Alliance, pulls together the regulatory history of EPA’s urban stormwater program with a survey of the best of today’s MS4 permits. The report also includes a discussion of the threshold legal requirements crafted by EPA to give advocates for clean water a guided tour about “how to read and understand your stormwater permit.” The goal of this report is to provide comprehensive, useable advice for anyone engaging in the municipal stormwater permitting process. Click here for free download.
Great Outdoors America, a new report by the Outdoor Resources Review Group. The report reviews how people engage with and value the nation's landscapes and outdoor recreation assets, and calls for a comprehensive overhaul of programs and policies to safeguard these resources for future generations. One key proposal is the development of an independent conservation trust, with dedicated and sustained funding reaching $5 billion annually. Click here to download the report or read its accompanying press release, and here to access the background research papers that were drawn upon to prepare this report.
While city parks are “priceless” to many of us, all too often mayors and city councils seem to make hard budget decisions as though they think parks are “worthless”. To address this problem, Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System, recently published by the Trust for Public Land, is the result of a five year effort to develop a protocol for measuring the actual dollars-and-cents value of urban park systems, including tourism, property, environmental, direct use, health and community cohesion factors. Click here to read the full report, complete with methodology, and learn some surprising results from the first five cities studied: Boston, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Sacramento and Philadelphia.
The new TPL report Conservation: An Investment That Pays is intended to help agency personnel and community conservationists make the case for conservation as a long-term economic investment. Too often, we still hear the argument that creating parks and conserving land is too expensive, especially in hard economic times. We hope that the research and many examples cited in the report will help you to promote conservation for its many benefits, including the boost parks and open space can give to a community's bottom line. Click here to download. [Click here to access a Conservation Campaign Toolkit.]
Preserving Community Character: A Citizen's Guide to Saving Place and Halting Urban Sprawl, authored by Fall River, MA-based planner and community activist Alfred Lima, describes how average citizens can take the lead in preserving the character of their communities. It not only describes what to do but how to do it to achieve success. Preserving Community Character (182 pp., $14.95) is available on-line by clicking here.
“Ecotherapy”, or applied ecopsychology, encompasses a broad range of nature-based methods of psychological healing, grounded in the crucial fact that people are inseparable from the rest of nature and nurtured by healthy interaction with the Earth. In Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, a recently-published anthology edited by Linda Buzzell, leaders in the field, including Theodore Roszak, Robert Greenway, and Mary Watkins, contribute essays that take into account the latest scientific understandings and the deepest indigenous wisdom. Other key thinkers, from Bill McKibben to Richard Louv to Joanna Macy, explore the links between ecotherapy, spiritual development, and restoring community. Ecotherapy (312 pp., $16.95) is available from its publisher, Sierra Club Books, by clicking here. [Click here for related info, including Buzzell’s interview on a recent edition of the Boston-based Living on Earth radio program.]
Freshwater Fishes of Massachusetts, a full-color brochure, has been recently published by and is available from the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) . The brochure includes pictures of most of the freshwater fish species found in Massachusetts and is packed with information that will be valuable for any conservationist with an interest in ponds, streams or rivers. Beginning and experienced anglers will appreciate the tips on identification of game and bait fish, fishing ethics and instruction on how to fillet a fish. Other conservationists will find useful information on rare, riverine and migratory fish species as well as notes on statewide fish and aquatic habitat restoration efforts. Freshwater Fishes of Massachusetts may be picked up at MassWildlife District offices, Westborough and Boston offices and MassWildlife hatcheries. To obtain a copy by mail, send a self-addressed, business-sized, 61-cent stamped envelope to: Fish Brochure, MassWildlife Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd, Westborough , MA 01581 .
McDonald & Woodward Publishing is producing four new interactive educational resources for use in identifying and studying common, widespread freshwater invertebrates of North America. These high-quality products will be built upon the proud foundation of J. Reese Voshell’s very popular book A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America, and they will include Flash Cards of Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America (three different sets) and QuickGuide to Major Groups of Freshwater Invertebrates. These products will be, by most measures, the best of their type and subject available, and they will be especially useful to teachers, students, naturalists, resource managers, water quality monitors, and others who study, manage, or simply enjoy freshwater ecosystems. Click here to see the Preview Sale announcement, or contact Trish Newcomb at (800) 233-8787 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Newly updated and expanded, the Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants and their common native look-alikes, by Roberta Hill and Scott Williams, focuses on the eleven invasive aquatic plants currently listed by Maine law as imminent threats to Maine waters. Also featured are many native aquatic plants commonly confused with these eleven invasive species. Photographs, illustrations and narrative descriptions are presented for each of the featured species, along with a variety of cross-reference tools for easy comparison of similar species. This 160-page reference--spiral bound and printed on tear-resistant waterproof paper--is built to hold up well to conditions in the field (including inclement weather and the occasional dunking). The Guide is available for free download by clicking here, or a hard copy may be ordered for $19.95 each plus shipping, handling by clicking here, calling (207) 783-7733 or by e-mailing Jackey Bailey.
Water—in all its splendid forms—is the subject and inspiration behind the alluring artwork and astounding poetry presented in River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. Rivers, lakes, oceans, rain and tears come alive in 96 pages of verse and full-color art. Selected from the annual River of Words Contest entries, here is an exceptional collection of creative work from young people (ages 5-19) across America and around the world. Both children and adults will appreciate and enjoy the creative results of children experiencing and exploring water as part of the environment. River of Words is available for $15.95 (includes shipping and handling) by clicking here, as is River of Words: The Natural World as Viewed by Young People, an anthology of the winning poetry entries from the most recently completed (2009) edition of the annual River Of Words Contest (the upcoming deadline for the next Contest is December 1 – click here for more info).
Tapped, a new, award-winning documentary, is an unflinching examination of the bottled water industry. Director Stephanie Soechtig's debut is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen work of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back a natural resource that never ought to become a commodity: our water. Click here to visit Tapped’s website, where you can view the movie trailer and bonus clips, see a list of screening dates and locations (or learn how to host your own screening), read movie reviews and interviews with the filmmaker, and learn about various ways to take action on this issue.
It may be hard to remember now in the Age of Al Gore and Obama, but once upon a time, everyone in America was not “going Green.” The new documentary film EARTH DAYS looks back to the dawn of the modern environmental movement, from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s and the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration, President Nixon’s unlikely creation of the EPA, and beyond. Directed by acclaimed documentarian Robert Stone, EARTH DAYS is both a poetic meditation on humanity's complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements -- and missed opportunities -- of groundbreaking eco-activism. To watch the trailer and find out where the film is playing near you, go to Earthdaysmovie.com.
The Mass. Watershed Coalition (MWC)’s “mwc-list” listserv is a great source of information on river- and watershed-related funding and job opportunities, upcoming events, recent articles and more. Many of the posted items are time-sensitive and can’t wait until the next edition of NewsNotes. You can access the mwc-list listserv at http://email@example.com, where you can subscribe to receive the posted messages to your e-mail address, or simply read them on-line. Highly recommended!
Support Land & Water Conservation with a "Land & Water" Specialty License Plate
Development near our lakes, ponds, rivers and coasts - and the fertilizer, storm water run-off and other non-point source pollution it brings - is the greatest single threat to Massachusetts waters. In response, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) has launched a new “Land and Water Conservation” license plate initiative that will support the conservation of land critical to the protection of the Commonwealth’s water resources. Similar plates in other states have conserved tens of thousands of acres in recent years. This new tool for land conservation is needed here now more than ever. Proceeds from the new Land and Water Conservation license plate will be segregated in a separate fund dedicated to the acquisition, stewardship and restoration of land affecting 9,000 miles of streams and rivers, 1,100 lakes and ponds and over 1,500 miles of coastline.
NOTE: Due to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)s’ policy regarding specialty license plates, the new MET “Land and Water” plate will not become reality unless and until at least 3,000 people sign up for the plates. You are therefore strongly encouraged to reserve your new plate by sending in a check for $40 payable to Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles along with this form to: Massachusetts Environmental Trust Land & Water Plate, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114. Once 3,000 checks are received, the MET will forward the checks to the RMV, and then you will be contacted to let you know what else is needed to finish the process of getting your new “Land and Water” specialty license plate. Showyour support for Massachusetts land and water conservation by purchasing a Land and Water Plate! Click here or call the MET at (617) 626 -1045 for more info.
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