Ebb & Flow
The Division of Ecological Restoration Ebb&Flow #3- April, 2010
An electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration
DER News and Project Updates
Grant, Prize, Contest, Award and Fundraising Opportunities
Non-Governmental On-line Resources
Greetings Ebb&Flow Readers -
The renewed optimism that Spring invariably stirs has been tempered somewhat by recent flooding and threat of catastrophic dam and culvert failures across the eastern region. Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) staff have been consulted on emergency dam removals and the interest in ongoing dam removal and culvert replacement projects has been greatly renewed (see River Restoration Priority Projects). We will continue to make available our extensive experience in dam removal and culvert replacement to assist our sister agencies and municipalities address their infrastructure needs and restore aquatic habitats.
While the season gives birth to new ideas and watershed protection initiatives, the DER has also taken a look back at 2009 to take stock of our accomplishments. These are captured in our 2009 Annual Report. We are grateful for the amount of volunteer effort and the strength of our partnerships that make this report especially impressive.
As Spring progresses into summer, the lure of getting on the water is strong, so to help satiate this urge the DER is currently preparing our annual Rivers and Wetland Months Calendar. The addition of wetland-focused events is new and corresponds to our Division’s work to not only protect and draw attention to the functions and values of rivers and streams but salt marshes and freshwater wetlands as well. Please let Russ Cohen [(617) 626-1543, firstname.lastname@example.org] know about any river- or wetland-related events taking place between May 1 – July 4 2010 so that we can promote them in our Calendar.
See you on the water soon.
Tim Purinton, Acting Director
Hunt Durey, Acting Deputy Director
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Sustaining Jobs by Investing in our Green and Blue Infrastructure
By Tim Purinton, Acting Director, Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), Mass. Department of Fish and Game
There are a suite of economic studies now available that have examined the job creation potential for a range of economic industries, and the results are surprising. Public funds invested in restoring our natural infrastructure support as many, if not more jobs, than conventional infrastructure projects. Investing in our natural aquatic infrastructure – an interconnected system of rivers, wetlands and floodplains is what DER and our partners do through dam removal, culvert replacement, flow restoration and stream naturalization.
Wetlands and rivers provide vital ecosystem services such as flood mitigation and water purification. To engineer these services from scratch requires reliance on hard engineering and a heavy investment in capital, coupled with a long term-commitment to operation and maintenance. Our projects give nature the opportunity to restore itself, without the need of excessive engineering, manipulation and maintenance.
Groups like The Nature Conservancy have been touting the benefits of the green economy, and cite the research of the Economic Policy Institute. The University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute found that reforestation, land and watershed restoration and sustainable forest management has the highest direct and indirect job creation per million dollar investment, outperforming the repair of roads and bridges and investments in conventional water infrastructure. Jobs created per million dollar invested for forest management and watershed restoration are 17.55 jobs (direct) and 12.95 jobs (indirect), compared to, for example, new roads and bridges that create 8.7 jobs (direct) and 3.94 jobs (indirect).
DER has over 80 restoration projects in development, design and implementation, these project are leveraging over fourteen million dollars in federal and other non-state funding. In 2009 DER and partners removed four dams and restored over 70 acres of tidal wetlands. DER has two dozen dam removal projects underway and fifteen coastal wetland restoration projects, totaling over 500 acres, are slated for construction in 2010. The Eel River restoration project in Plymouth, for example has sustained a half dozen construction and engineering jobs for nearly a one year period.
In 2010 DER also accepted three new flow restoration projects, part of a new statewide effort to restore more natural flow regimes to stressed streams. In short ecological restoration spurs economic development and job creation especially in the engineering and construction sectors.
I will be speaking in May at a national conference on the burgeoning restoration economy, for more information please see http://www.greenjobsconference.org/node/196.
Links to other studies and stories discussing the job creation potential flowing from ecological restoration projects:
http://wilderness.org/content/green-recommendations-could-boost-states-economy http://www.eoearth.org/article/Environmental_protection,_the_economy,_and_jobs http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/15914
Links to River and/or Wetland-related job postings:
Orion Grassroots Network ’s Grassroots Jobsource:
The Job Seeker - Environmental Jobs Service
American Water Resources Association (AWRA)’s Career Center:
River Management Society (RMS) Job Listings:
Environmental Career Opportunities:
The Idealist Guides to Non-Profit Careers :
Winter 2010 edition of the Living Architecture Monitor – the Green Jobs Issue
Green Collar Blog – News and Resources on Green Collar Jobs:
Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife: Help study wildlife!
By Carrie Banks, Stream Team and Westfield River Wild and Scenic Committee Coordinator
Ever wondered what it would be like if our roads and highways were constructed in such a way that bridges were impassable, roads were blocked by large objects, or if you had to dodge pedestrians walking across a four-lane highway? Driving would become a hair-raising experience, and your chances of actually reaching your destination would be greatly reduced.
Now think about what it is like for wildlife to have to cross that four-lane highway, for a fish to swim through a perched culvert with no place to rest inside, for a turtle to have to crawl up and over the road to get to the wetland on the other side.
In response to this concern, the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in partnership with the Mass. Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, and the Vernal Pool Association, recently established an initiative entitled Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife. Anchored by the Linkinglandscapes.info website, this initiative is part of a long-term and multifaceted effort by these programs and others to improve landscape connectivity in Massachusetts by minimizing the impact of the existing road network on rare and non-game wildlife, while improving highway safety. The website’s role in this effort is to serve as a user-friendly interface for gathering and documenting the locations of wildlife road kill hotspots, amphibian road crossings, turtle crossings and other evidence of wildlife movement across the landscape. Data contributed to the website will enable transportation planners, engineers and others to more cost-effectively evaluate state wildlife transportation issues, prioritize wildlife-related transportation mitigation opportunities, integrate wildlife upgrades into transportation infrastructure, improve highway right-of-ways for wildlife, and foster environmental stewardship partnerships with the public. Everyone is encouraged to submit their observations to the website (click here to submit roadkill data) – the more data that’s submitted, the more useful it will be in shaping future decisionmaking.
Many of our Stream Teams have conducted River Continuity Surveys – inventories of under-sized, perched, or otherwise impassable road crossings, where fish and wildlife are impeded as they travel along the stream corridor. Sharing these observations via the Linkinglandscapes.info website is a great way for Stream Teams to compliment these efforts or to kick-start efforts on identifying the most problematic road and stream crossings in their watershed. By reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, you not only improve public safety, but you also improve the ability of these critters to cross our roads safely. A critical strategic component of the program is to gather information on the locations of wildlife roadkill hotspots. This is where your observations come in handy!
The Linking Landscapes effort includes three focus areas:
Starting this Spring, there will be a special focus on identifying turtle roadkill hotspots. Volunteers are needed to monitor turtle roadkill sites and report findings to the Turtle Roadkill Monitoring Project.
- Identify turtle roadkill hotspots and confirm with project coordinators.
- Surveys will be conducted (1) last week of May, (2) second week of June, and (3) last week of June. If possible, a follow-up survey will be conducted the first two weeks of September to estimate hatchling mortality. Record number, species, and age (adult, juvenile, hatchling) of all turtle carcasses.
- Use best judgment in determining whether partial carcasses represent a single turtle.
- Collect all of the turtles found during the survey; photograph them in species groups.
- Notecards should be used to identify species, survey site, and survey date.
- Remove all turtles and shell fragments from the site so they will not be re-counted.
- Report data at http://linkinglandscapes.info by September 30th, 2010.
- Survey between 10 am and 2pm to avoid rush hours.
- Survey in pairs, with one partner watching for on-coming traffic, while the other surveys.
- Walk on the on the outside of guardrail, curb or shoulder, and visually inspect edge of roadway and shoulder for turtle carcasses. When crossing, ensure that no traffic is traveling in either direction prior to crossing the road by looking both ways.
- Surveys should be conducted by Adults ONLY. Wear bright/reflective clothing and/or safety vest.
- Do not select sites on interstate highways.
- Contact the project coordinators at MassDOT/MassWildlife with additional questions.
For help in identifying turtles, visit Turtle Conservation Project or MassWildlife’s Turtle webpage.
Tim Dexter (MassDOT): email@example.com, (617) 973-8306
Mike Jones (NHESP): Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org, (508) 389-6386
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River Restoration Project Updates
By Alex Hackman, Project Manager
Eel River Headwaters Restoration Project (Plymouth) - Construction Continues
An incredible transformation is taking place at the Eel River headwaters in Plymouth . Construction is well underway, with wetland and river restoration work in approximately 40 acres of former cranberry bogs. Almost half of the 17,000 Atlantic white cedar trees are in the ground, marking the beginning of swamp restoration in the upper bog portions. Trout have already been spotted in the new stream channel, and should be taking advantage of the 1000+ pieces of installed woody habitat, backwater areas, and clean, cold water. The site is coming back to life with birds, frogs, snakes, and insects. Downstream, the dam is partially removed, and all of the impounded sediment has been removed. What has been uncovered is a beautiful, rock-strewn natural stream bottom. Work at this restoration job site will continue through this summer. More updates to follow!
|Bog 1 Construction March 2010
||Atlantic white cedar planting in progress
|Sediment removed from former dam impoundment April 2010
Ox Pasture Brook, Lower Dam Removal Project (Rowley) – Update
Since the lower dam was removed on Ox Pasture Brook in late December 2009, Mother Nature has been hard at work. In the past several months, a new stream channel has formed in the former impoundment without any mechanical intervention. Volunteers and project partners performed final site restoration – including plantings and cleanup work – in mid April. Expect things to turn very green soon in the mudflats of the old pond, and keep your eyes open for Rainbow smelt spawning in the new channel…more updates to follow. See also Tim Purinton's posting on Ox Pasture Brook in the Great Outdoors Blog.
|Upstream of the old dam in August 2009
||Upstream of the former dam in early April 2010
New River Restoration Projects getting started:
DER staff has been busy issuing bid requests, working with partners, and selecting contractors to perform engineering design work at new Priority Project Sites. Work is slated to begin in the next few weeks on the following sites: Amethyst Brook (Pelham – see photos below), Thousand Acre Brook (Athol), Wellingsley Brook (Plymouth), and Cotley River (Taunton). Look for updates on these and other river restoration sites in upcoming editions of Ebb&Flow.
|Bartlett Rod Shop Co. Dam, Amethyst Brook (Pelham)
||View of impoundment
Newman Road Salt Marsh Restoration Nears Completion
The Newman Road crossing of a tidal tributary to the Little River in Newbury dates back at least to the 1890’s based on historic maps, and possibly much further to the early days of salt marsh haying. In recent times, flow beneath the crossing was conveyed by a metal pipe too small to pass the full tidal range. This tidal restriction reduced tidal flushing of the 32-acre upstream marsh and caused severe erosion and scouring adjacent to the culvert.
This March, the Town of Newbury seized the opportunity to replace deteriorating infrastructure and improve the condition of this tidal wetland by initiating the Newman Road Salt Marsh Restoration Project. The aging 48-inch metal culvert is being replaced with a much larger 6-foot by 12-foot box culvert that will restore natural tidal range to the upstream marsh, eliminate impounded waters upstream, and reduce channel velocities and marsh erosion during ebb and flood tides. In addition to the significant ecological benefits, the project also addresses the aging infrastructure that has degraded both the upstream marsh and the road’s structural integrity.
Construction of the new culvert and re-opening of the road is expected by early May. Successful implementation of this project is the culmination of a partnership between the Town of Newbury and numerous project contributors, including MA DER, NOAA Restoration Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf of Maine Council, MA Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, The Trustees of Reservations, and Essex County Greenbelt Association. The project also compliments the prior Old Town Hill Restoration Project, completed in 2004, that improved tidal flow across the marsh surface from the Little River to this site.
|Old Metal Culvert
||New Box Culvert
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Resources and Grants
Grant, Prize, Contest, Award and Fundraising Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application/nomination/entry deadline)
From now through April 30, International Rivers is sponsoring a Wild River Dance Contest to celebrate free-flowing rivers. Take a look at the main Wild River Dance video and the Wild River Dance Preview. Some great video responses have already come in. Watch them and then post your own Wild River Dance video response to either of International Rivers’ videos. Winners will receive a cash prize. Click here to enter and for the Official Contest Rules.
The National Wildlife Refuge Friends Group Grant Program, an initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, provides seed grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 to innovative proposals that seek to increase the number and effectiveness of organizations interested in assisting the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System nationwide. The goals of the program are to help Refuge Friends organizations gain experience in developing projects, expand and increase their capacity and skills, meet local refuge challenges, gain community recognition and support for the refuge, and build long-term relationships. Proposals must be submitted by April 30, 2010. Click here or contact Teal Edelen at email@example.com for more info. [Click here for a similar NWR-based funding opportunity.]
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Nominees, who may range in age from 8 to 18 years old, must have been the prime mover of a service activity, and demonstrated positive spirit and high moral purpose in accomplishing their goals. Nominees must be nominated by responsible adults who have solid knowledge of the young person's heroic activities, and who are not related to the nominee. Winners of the Barron Prize receive $2,500 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project, along with many other benefits. The nomination deadline is April 30; click here for more info.
In honor of Earth Day, GuideStar invites environmental and wildlife nonprofits to enter the GuideStar Green Giveaway. Ten organizations that have at least 10 reviews on the GuideStar / GreatNonprofits websites will be drawn at random to win $500 each. (If you don’t already have ten reviews, you can encourage your members and other supporters to submit them – see, e.g. The BEAT News). The results will be announced in the May 2010 Newsletter and feature the winners on our site. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT, April 30, 2010. (Complete the entry form, see the Official Rules, read the other fine print.)
The Dominion Foundation supports nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the economic, physical, and social health of the communities served by Dominion’s energy facilities (which include the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York). The Foundation’s areas of interest include civic and community development and the environment. Prospective applicants can increase their chances of receiving a grant by passing the eligibility quiz and reading the FAQ page. The annual application deadline for this program is September 1; click here or contact Daniel A. Weekley, Contributions Committee, Dominion Millstone Station, Rope Ferry Rd., Waterford, CT 06385 for more info. The company also offers the Dominion Educational Partnership, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to encourage the development of new programs to strengthen math and science education through the study of energy or the environment. The application deadline is May 1, 2010; click here for more info.
The 2010 Thiess Riverprize Award, offered by the Australia-based International River Foundation, is open to individuals, organizations or agencies who can demonstrate outstanding achievements in river management and restoration. The award winner receives A $250,000 plus an additional A$100,000 worth of support to establish a “river twinning” project. The main criterion for judging is to demonstrate outstanding results in river or watershed management and substantial progress towards sustainability. Submissions also need to show evidence of high levels of program delivery, inclusiveness, public accountability and innovation. The deadline to apply is May 14, 2010. Click here to read the Riverprize 2010 entry guidelines, here for a nomination form, here to read the FAQ page, or e-mail Natalie Baker for more info.
The Earth Island Institute's Brower Youth Awards annually recognize six young people in North America for their outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and environmental justice advocacy. The winners of the award receive a $3,000 cash prize, a trip to California for the award ceremony and wilderness camping trip, and access to resources and opportunities to further their work at the Earth Island Institute. Click here for more info and here to request an application (due May 15, 2010). You can also join the Brower Youth Awards Facebook page for a close-up look at the program and its participants.
Foster’s Community Grants, a program of the Foster’s Group, a global company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, provides support to nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada, and Australia for community-building projects. Grants are offered in the following focus areas: wellness, including both physical and mental health; culture, including artistic, sporting, and educational activities; and the environment, including all aspects of the natural environment. On-line applications will be accepted from April 27 until May 31, 2010. Click here to review the program guidelines and selection criteria and submit an on-line application.
The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced that a Request for Responses (RFR) has been issued for its FFY 2011 Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grant Program. Please see the RFR for response guidelines, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, information to include with the application, and a schedule for response submittal. [To access the RFR, go to http://www.comm-pass.com, click on “Search for Solicitations”, enter BRP 2010-03 into the “Keywords” box, click on the “glasses” symbol on the “open” solicitation, and then click on the “Specifications” tab.] All applications must be submitted by 12 noon on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Projects funded under this program must address the prevention, control, and abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS). Implementation projects funded under §319 must be comprehensive projects that result in restoration of beneficial uses or achieving or maintaining state water quality standards. While DEP encourages all types of eligible, competitive proposals from all watersheds, preference may be given to projects that are located in watersheds targeted for implementation funding as part of the Five-Year Basin Cycle that supports the agency’s ongoing basin-wide water quality activities, or that implement FFY 2011 Priority Projects as outlined in the RFR. Targeted basins for 2011 under the Five Year Basin Cycle (Years 3 and 4) are the Deerfield, Millers, Shawsheen, Ipswich, Buzzards Bay, French, Quinebaug, Merrimack, Parker, Boston Harbor, Narragansett/Mt. Hope Bay, Cape Cod and Islands. In particular, DEP encourages proposals that will implement Mass.’ Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) analyses, or that will implement recommendations made in Diagnostic/Feasibility (D/F) or other credible studies for waters that do not meet Water Quality Standards. Project evaluation will substantially favor work that will result in meeting water quality standards and/or restoring beneficial uses (i.e., in removal of the waterbody from categories 4 or 5 of the Final Mass. Year 2008 Integrated List of Waters). Links to the Integrated List and TMDL reports can be found on the Department’s web site at http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/resources/tmdls.htm . Water quality assessments and other resources are at http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/resources/wqassess.htm#wqar. In accordance with state procurement requirements, once the RFR is issued, DEP and other EEA agency staff may no longer provide assistance with proposal development or otherwise discuss program requirements with applicants. Should any administrative questions arise, they may be directed to: Jane Peirce, §319 Nonpoint Source Program Coordinator, DEP, 627 Main St. Worcester, MA 01608, (508) 767-2792, (508) 791-4131 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Envronmental Affairs (EEA)’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) recently announced that its grant round for FY11 is now open. Funding for conservation and parkland acquisition, as well as park development and renovation, is available through the LAND (Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity) and PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant programs. It is strongly recommended that potential applicants attend the grants workshop on May 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM at 100 Cambridge Street, Boston. Contact Celia Riechel at (617) 626-1187 or email@example.com for questions on the LAND grant program or Melissa Cryan at (617) 626-1171 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions on the PARC grant program. The grant deadline is July 15, 2010 at 3:00 PM. Go to www.mass.gov/eea/dcs or http://www.comm-pass.com (click on “Search for Solicitations” and enter DCS info the “Keywords” box, then look for the “open” items) for more information.
The Intermediary Support for Organizing Communities Program, administered by the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC), provides small grants and technical assistance to build the capacity, sustainability, and impact of grassroots organizations that are engaged in important community organizing work in low-income communities. Six to eight grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to groups in Massachusetts and other Northeast states. Applying groups must demonstrate a track-record of successful community organizing within their low-income community or constituency. Priority will be given to organizations with the capacity to effectively partner with networks at the city, state, and/or national levels in efforts to promote broad-based social change movements. The application deadline is May 21, 2010; click here to apply or for more info.
The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, the Bank of America’s signature philanthropic program (see also the B of A’s local grants program), recognizes nonprofit organizations and individuals working to improve their communities. The Initiative's Neighborhood Builders category provides grants of $200,000 each to two nonprofit organizations that are focused on local neighborhood priorities in each of the Bank's 45 markets (including metropolitan Boston and several other locations in New England ). The Local Heroes category provides grants of $5,000 each to nonprofit organizations selected by five recognized individuals in the targeted markets. Applications and nominations must be submitted on-line by June 1, 2010; click here for more info.
The goal of the U.S. EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program is to work in partnership with local communities (governments, nonprofits, and other community-based organizations) to help create a shared vision for brownfields-impacted areas, and to ensure that brownfields assessment and cleanup decisions are informed by the planned reuse for the sites and supporting area-wide revitalization strategies. The agency recently announced the availability of grant funds and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) and solicits proposals from eligible entities to facilitate community involvement inarea-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup and subsequent reuse. EPA assistance for each pilot project will be awarded to successful applicants through a grant of up to $175,000 that will allow successful applicants to facilitate community involvement in their area-wide planning activities. Additionally, the Agency may offer successful applicants contract assistance in lieu of direct funding for activities specified in the proposal and as part of negotiating the scope of work. The grant funding and direct assistance will result in an area-wide plan which will inform the assessment, cleanup and reuse of brownfields properties and promote area-wide revitalization. EPA anticipates selecting approximately 20 pilot projects through this competitive opportunity. The deadline for proposal receipt (postmarked hard copy or via e-mail) is June 1, 2010. Click here to download the Request for Proposals and here to read the FAQ page.
The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presents the Paul L. Busch Award each year at the annual WEFTEC conference. The award carries with it a $100,000 grant and recognizes outstanding individuals or teams who are conducting ground-breaking research that will lead to practical solutions to water quality problems. Nominations are due by June 1, 2010. Click here to see past examples of award-winning projects, and here for application guidelines and related info.
The Grand Prize for the Orvis’ 2010 Fly Fishing Photo Contest: the winning photograph will be on the cover of a future Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog and will win a $1000 Orvis Gift Card or complete Helios Fly Rod Outfit. There’s also the opportunity for you to vote for your favorite fish photo and help preserve rivers and streams in the United States. Orvis has teamed up with American Rivers to help protect and restore America 's rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife, and nature. You can support the American Rivers Campaign by voting for your favorite photo. Each vote requires a donation of $1, and your gift will go directly to American Rivers to fund river preservation efforts. Click here to enter the contest and/or vote for your favorite photo – the contest ends June 1.
The FishAmerica Foundation recently announced the availability of approximately $1 million for local efforts to accomplish meaningful on-the-ground restoration of marine, estuarine and riparian habitats, including but not limited to salt marshes, and freshwater habitats important to anadromous fish species. Approximately $200,000 of the available funding will be dedicated specifically to stream barrier removal projects furthering NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative. Individual grant awards range between $10,000 and $75,000 per project. Projects must result in the implementation of locally-driven habitat restoration projects that emphasize stewardship and yield ecological and socioeconomic benefits. These projects must clearly demonstrate significant benefits to marine, estuarine or anadromous fisheries resources, particularly sportfish, and should involve community participation through an educational or volunteer component tied to the restoration activities. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate the participation of NOAA Restoration Center staff (contact John.Catena@noaa.gov or Eric.Hutchins@noaa.gov at (978) 281-9313) to strengthen the development and implementation of effective restoration projects. Applications and required documentation must be received in FishAmerica’s office by 5:00 PM on
June 7, 2010. Click here to read the RFP, or contact Erica George, Grants Manager, at (703) 519-9691 ext. 247 or email@example.com if you have questions or need additional info.
The U.S. EPA is calling for submissions to the fourth annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest. Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her landmark book, Silent Spring. Entries will be accepted in four categories—poetry, essay, dance, and photography. Submissions are due by June 16.
The Waterfront Center, a non-profit educational organization devoted to helping cities reclaim and celebrate their waterfronts as community assets and amenities, gives out a number of Excellence on the Waterfront Awards which are presentedin conjunction with its Annual Urban Waterfronts Conference (to be held this November in Baltimore, MD). The Clearwater Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an individual or individuals, or by non-profit citizens organizations, working at the grassroots level for the betterment of their community and its waterfront. Citizen river cleanup efforts, educational work by organizations to acquaint citizens with urban waterfront environment or history, enterprising artistic and cultural initiatives, or pioneering citizen planning projects are among the types of voluntary efforts eligible for this award. Click here for more info and here for a nomination form (the submission deadline is June 30, 2010 ).
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Standard Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects that result in long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. While the next application deadline isn’t until July 30, it is strongly recommend that potential applicants contact the grant coordinators (see names below) early in the process for guidance on developing your project and proposal. Click here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more info.
The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program awards grants at the state and regional level for programs that give individuals access to a better life. State Advisory Councils in each state determine how best to distribute State Giving Program funds. The program provides grants of $25,000 and up in four categories: Education grants support programs that address the educational needs of underserved young people, ages 12-30; Job Skills Training grants promote professional training, counseling, and support services to help people improve their work-related skills; Health grants strive to improve access to healthcare and promote healthy lifestyles; and Environmental Sustainability grants support programs that are designed to help people become more sustainable as well as programs that enhance the environment. Applications may be submitted between February 1 and August 20, 2010. Click here to apply (which requires the successful completion of an on-line eligibility questionnaire) or for more info.
Waste Management (WM), Inc.’s Charitable Giving Program is committed to making communities safer, cleaner, and better places to live and work. Support is provided to nonprofit organizations in or near communities where thecompany has operations (WM has lots of operations in Mass. – see map) The program’s Environment category focuses on reducing dependence on fossil fuels and conserving wetlands, wildlife habitats, and green spaces. The Environmental Education category supports middle and high school programs, including environmental and science-related projects, science fairs, and Earth Day projects. Requests may be submitted throughout the year, and are reviewed on a continuous basis (click here for more info).
The Kresge Foundation’s Healthy Environments Program aims to improve the health and well being of vulnerable children from low-income families by making the places they live, learn, and play supportive of overall good health. Funding priorities include clean air; safe and healthy housing and schools; and safe, accessible, and inviting outdoor play spaces. Grants are provided for highly promising, evidence-based regional and statewide efforts that have the potential to achieve broad change through replication or increased scale. Grants range from $100,000 to $750,000 for project periods of up to three years. One-year strategic planning grants are also offered. On-line letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time. Click here, e-mail the Grants Inquiry Coordinator or call (248) 643-9630 for more info.
The Minneapolis-based Carolyn Foundation invites proposals for environmental grants, especially renewable energy programs. All proposals must: address root causes and create systemic and sustainable solutions and change; address global issues with local interventions that address local needs, as well as global needs; develop and implement solutions that can be replicated in other areas; and collaborate effectively with others in the community: government, non-government, foundations and private parties. Annual application deadlines are January 15 and July 15. Click here or contact: Becky Erdahl, Executive Director, Carolyn Foundation, 706 -2nd Avenue South, Suite 760, Minneapolis, MN 55402, (612) 596-3266, firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or for more info.
The Arlington, VA-based ENVIRON Foundation provides financial assistance to endeavors that promote protection of human health and a sustainable global environment, particularly related to the impact of chemicals and the use of the Earth's resources. The Foundation will fund relevant education, training, applied research, and direct initiatives by not-for-profit organizations. The Foundation encourages efforts that result in governmental and business decision making that is informed by scientific principles and by public engagement. The Foundation accepts funding requests once per year, during the first week of October. Click here or contact Stephanie Sprayberry at (703) 516-2300 for more info.
Staff from Alta Planning and Design, a consulting firm active in parks, green spaces, trails and greenways, are available to help community groups and agencies on a pro bono basis, whether it is answering questions or assisting with research. Every year the firm donates hundreds of hours of staff time help community-based groups and programs in a variety of areas (click here for Alta’s Boston-area staff contact info). Alta also offers help to deserving individuals who wish to attend conferences in fields related to bicycles, pedestrians, and trails. This may include plane tickets, other travel costs, and conference costs. Contact Julie McDougal to find out more about this program.
Honest Beverages, the producer of Honest Tea and other organic beverages, extends an open invitation to nonprofit organizations and other groups seeking the company’s support at events through sponsorships or in-kind (i.e., non-cash) donations. Interested parties are invited to click here to fill in the on-line request form. The company asks that requests be submitted at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event. Logistical factors such as product supply and product availability near the event will be taken into consideration.
GSTV Neighborhood offers a free service where non-profit organizations and others can publicize their upcoming events. “Your Neighborhood” is a community-powered Web site and Gas Station TV program that allows anyone to submit info about their community-focused events. The info will then be posted on the GSTV Neighborhood website, on its Facebook and Twitter pages and considered for broadcast on the “Your Neighborhood” show on Gas Station TV. Other people can then search, view and attend these events in their neighborhood. Click here to submit an event.
The Environmental Support Center (ESC)’s offers General Capacity Building Support to help diversify, strengthen and transform the environmental movement by building the internal (organizational) and collaborative capacity of environmental justice groups. ESC is especially interested in helping groups with planning, financial sustainability and technology as well as strengthening their ability to work with a broader range of constituents and allies. Click here for more info on eligibility criteria and how to apply for support.
The New-Land Foundation (no web page) makes grants to smaller environmental organizations working on public policy and lands management in critical ecosystems. The Foundation does not typically award grants for capital campaigns, publications, films, endowment campaigns or conferences. The Foundation’s bi-annual application deadlines are February 1 and August 1. To obtain a grant application form, contact the Foundation at: 1114 Avenue of the Americas, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10036-7798, (212) 479-6162.
The Perkins Charitable Foundation (no web page) makes grants totaling more than $1 million annually to a number of environmental and other organizations. The Foundation may be contacted c/o Marilyn Best, 1030 Hanna Building, 1422 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 621-0465 .
The French Foundation (no web page) makes grants totaling more than $250,000 annually to a number of environmental organizations in New England . The Foundation may be contacted c/o Bank of New York Mellon, P.O. Box 185, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0185, (617) 722-7353.
The Massachusetts-based Island Foundation (no web page) provides funding to a number of environmental and other groups and causes in the state and beyond. For more info, contact: Denise Porché, Executive Director or Sarah Kelley, Program Officer, Island Foundation, 589 Mill Street, Marion, MA 02738-1553, (508) 748-2809.
The Boston-based Grantham Foundation For the Protection of the Environment seeks to bring about a higher level of awareness of urgent environmental issues and to support those individuals and organizations who work to find solutions”. Click on the “Who We Support” button to see a sampling of past Foundation grant recipients. While the Foundation accepts applications for funding by invitation only, it is possible that a letter of inquiry or other contact might result in such an invitation. Contact info: Ramsay Ravenel, General Manager, Grantham Foundation, 40 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, email@example.com, (617) 880-8941.
Last but not least: here’s a compilation of miscellaneous web pages that contain information on various environmental grantmaking foundations and other entities:
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The Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) is hosting a webcast entitled Bioretention Design, Installation, and Maintenance on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. Bioretention has been the darling of the stormwater trade for a decade or more. In the real world of BMP design, installation, and maintenance, there have been as many (or more) poor examples as grand successes. What can we learn from these experiences, and what does the rapidly-expanding corpus of bioretention research have to teach us about enhancing pollutant removal and runoff volume reduction? This webcast will cover practical design, installation, and maintenance issues with bioretention, and will provide updated and essential design tools for the stormwater professional. Click here or write firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)’s annual Park Serve Day will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at more than 60 state park and forest locations throughout the Commonwealth, from the Berkshires to Cape Cod, giving you a wide range of volunteer opportunities to choose from. During this statewide day of volunteer service, we will work together to get parks and beaches across Massachusetts ready for summer by cleaning coastlines, clearing trails, planting flowers, painting picnic tables, and more. Click here to view the extensive listing of volunteer opportunities and here to sign up.
The Mass. Audubon Society’s annual Statewide Volunteer Day, also scheduled this year for Saturday, April 24 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon, provides a great opportunity to have fun while pitching in to help spruce up trails and gardens, put on a fresh coat of paint, and dive into other spring cleaning projects as Mass. Audubon sanctuaries throughout the state. There are plenty of activities for all ages and abilities, whether you are looking for kid-friendly work, like planting native wildflowers or more strenuous activities, such as clearing and hauling brush. Click here for more info.
Hosted by the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the 66th Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference will be talking place from Sunday, April 25 - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at the Marriott in Newton, MA, next to the Charles River. The conference theme is Climate Change and Wildlife Conservation - Adaptation and Mitigation. The intent of this year’s Conferences is to: advance the understanding of global climate change impacts to Northeast ecosystems; develop adaptation strategies for fisheries and wildlife conservation; and respond to the challenges and opportunities offered by mitigation measures. Click here to register or for more info. [See also the Climate Change and Wildlife Alliance - Massachusetts web page.]
Anne Giblin, a Senior Scientist at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory will be giving a free presentation on Marsh Research Highlights at the Plum Island Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Site (PIE-LTER) on Wednesday,
April 28 at 7:00 PM at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge auditorium in Newburyport, MA . Anne will discuss the work scientists are doing examining how sea level changes and dam removals help shape how marshes keep up with sea level, how urbanization and the return of beavers have changed water and nutrient delivery to local rivers, and how to better manage stripped bass by gaining an improved understanding of their winter and summer migration patterns.
Abstracts are being sought (until April 30) for the Northeastern Transportation and Wildlife Conference, which will take place at UMass/Amherst from September 12-15, 2010 . The conference theme is “Sustainability in an Uncertain Landscape.” Conference planners are inviting interested presenters to submit abstracts on any aspects of transportation/wildlife-related research, planning, monitoring, design and/or active conservation, particularly if it has a strong relevance to the Northeast region. Click here or write Sandra.email@example.com for more info.
Volunteers are essential to every non-profit. The recruitment, management and retention of volunteers are challenging tasks. A free workshop entitled Volunteer Management: Getting the Most out of your Volunteers is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM at The Enterprise Center at Salem State College, will help you l earn how to identify and motivate key volunteers while managing the challenges of a volunteer work force. Speakers: Bethany Kendall and Lisa Cawley, ESC of New England. Click here to register or for more info.
The Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program at Tufts University is a certificate program that augments graduate students’ degree programs by providing the interdisciplinary perspectives and tools necessary to manage water-related problems around the world. On May 1, 2010, WSSS will host a symposium on Tufts' Medford campus to highlight interdisciplinary water-related research in the New England area. Click here to register or for more info.
A lunchtime talk entitled Conservation in a World of Limited Resources: A New Method for Setting Priorities will take place on May 5, 2010 from 12 Noon to 2PM at the Lincoln Institute in Cambridge. The earth’s biological legacy is threatened as never before, but the resources available for environmental protection and conservation are insufficient to deal with these threats, especially in the current economic climate. Ecosystem services, native species, and healthy ecosystems are all at risk, making it necessary to prioritize conservation efforts as effectively as possible. This lecture presents a new values-based method for setting conservation priorities, developed by Dan L. Perlman, visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, as part of an effort with the Sonoran Institute. The talk will be richly illustrated with examples drawn from workshops that he has led throughout the American West. The lecture is free, but pre-registration is required. Click here or call (888) 845-8759 to register.
Restoring The Earth – One Stream At A Time will take place on Saturday, May 8 from 9:00 AM – 12 Noon at the Wareham Middle School Auditorium (4 Viking Drive, behind the Town Hall on Rt. 6), sponsored by the Wareham Land Trust. The program highlights the importance of small streams and rivers to the overall health of the Earth. The focus will be on what you can do at the local level to preserve and restore our streams. Presenters include environmental educator Mack Phinney, fisheries biologist Steve Hurley, Tim Purinton, Acting Director, Mass. Division of Ecological Restoration, Warren Winders of Trout Unlimited, Tim Watts, a local stream protection activist, and Brendan Annett of The Coalition for Buzzards Bay . A guided tour of the Red Brook restoration project, at the TTOR Lyman Reserve will be provided in the afternoon for those interested. Click here or contact Mack Phinney at (508) 295-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is (until May 14) seeking presentation and poster abstracts on a wide variety of water resources-related topics for its 2010 Annual Conference, to be held from November 1-4 in Philadelphia. Click here for more info.
The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) and the Mass. DEP are co-sponsoring the 21st Annual Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Conference, which will be held from May 17-19, 2010, at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth, MA . Click here, here or contact conference program manager Clair Whittet at (978) 349-2522 for more info; register before 4/30 to get the “early bird” discount.
The River Management Society (RMS) and the National Association of Recreation Resource Planners (NARRP) are co-sponsoring a Symposium entitled Bridging Conservation and Recreation, to be held from May 18-20, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. The Symposium includes a free Wild and Scenic Rivers Workshop, multiple workshop and poster sessions covering a wide variety of topics, and eleven fabulous field trips featuring restoration, kids and nature, water trails, premier whitewater, trail development and urban recreation. Click here or RMS Northeast Chapter President Liz Lacy at (413) 268-3129 or Liz_Lacy@nps.gov for more info.
River Network is hosting the National River Rally 2010 from May 21-24 in Snowbird, Utah. This year’s Rally focuses on two critical “bridge building” strategies: 1) creating stronger connections to federal agencies (EPA, USGS, NOAA, US Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, USDA, US Forest Service, etc) that can now offer a host of new technical resources, funding and policy/management changes to local groups, and 2) building closer relationships with different constituencies like land groups, environmental justice organizations and others who have a similar stake in clean, abundant water. Click here to download a Rally brochure and here to register.
The Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) and the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition (MWC) are co-sponsoring a workshop/field trip entitled Rain Gardens in Successful Stormwater Management, to be held on Thursday, May 20, 2010 from 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM at The Trustees of Reservations’ Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster. The cost is $20.00 for ELA members and $25 others. The field trip segment will tour the nearby Monoosnoc Brook corridor in Leominster, where 32 rain gardens, tree box filters and bio-retention areas are now helping to cleanse runoff from streets and parking lots. Designs for additional treatment practices, including a constructed stormwater wetland, will be installed and continue to improve Monoosnoc Brook and the North Nashua River. Click here or contact the ELA at email@example.com or (617) 436-5838 to register or for more info.
The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance is hosting a Water Summit on Wednesday,
May 26 beginning at 9:30 AM at The Trustees of Reservations’ Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster. The purpose of the Summit is for environmental groups and advocates to discuss water-related issues and set statewide priorities for action. A delicious lunch will be provided, as well as lots of opportunities for discussion and interaction. The summit is free, but you must register in advance. Contact Julia Blatt at (857) 445-0208 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more info.
Sponsored by the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), the focus of the New England Wildlands and Woodlands Conference, scheduled for Friday, June 4, 2010 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH, is for the region’s forest enthusiasts and ecologists to strategize on how to carry out the recommendations contained in the 2005 Harvard Forest report, Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the Forests of Massachusetts. That vision calls for a long-term conservation effort to retain the majority of New England in forestland, permanently free from development, and capable of supporting people and nature. For more info, click here or contact Bill Labich at (413) 658-5308 (mobile) or email@example.com.
The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (MSGA) is hosting a Great Neighborhoods Summiton June 10, 2010 from 9:00 AM to Noon at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The MSGA will use the event to kick off its new Great Neighborhoods program, which will help residents create communities that are affordable, diverse, walkable, and have a high quality of life. Click here or contact Tracy Hudak at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 451-2770, extension 2018 for more info.
Grow Native Cambridge and six other organizations are co-sponsoring a talk, reception and book-signing featuring Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, on Thursday June 10 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway. The event is free and open to all (although you’re advised to arrive early to get a seat and peruse the info supplied by the sponsoring groups). As Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, Tallamy has done groundbreaking work on the role of insects as intermediaries in the food web, discovering the extent to which exotic plants, even if they are not invasive, host relatively few insects. His work reveals how important it is to restore native plant communities, if we are to reverse the declines in migrating songbirds, butterfly populations, and biodiversity as a whole. Tallamy makes an urgent plea about the importance of native plants to our landscapes, and indeed, to our survival. And he embraces the importance of land stewardship throughout urban and suburban America as critical components of this effort. [Click here to read a related article on this topic.]
The Eagle Hill Foundation/Humboldt Field Research Institute, in Steuben, ME, has posted its 2010 schedule of seminars, courses, and workshops, including: Inventory and Monitoring of Amphibians and Reptiles: Herpetology Techniques, with Bryan Windmiller, from May 30-June 5; Applied Field and Laboratory Identification of Northeast Freshwater Fish, with David Halliwell, from June 20-26; Freshwater Invertebrates and their Ecology, with Steven K. Burian, from June 27-July 3; Ecostructural Design in Ecological Restoration Projects, with John W. Munro, from Sept 19-25; and Integrated Ecological restoration of Rivers and Streams, Including, Design of Native Vegetation for Water Quality, in Floodplains, Riparian Zones and Waterways, with John W. Munro, from Sept. 26-Oct.1. Write/call email@example.com or (207) 546-2821 for more info.
The Environmental Institute at UMass/Amherst, the U.S. EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, EPA New England and the Mass. Dept of Environmental Protection invite you to the International Conference on Green Remediation: Environment ~ Energy ~ Economics, to be held June 15-17, 2010 at UMass/Amherst. 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. Click here for the Conference flyer and here to view the conference program, with 24 technical sessions of platform presentations; abstracts for posters and presentations may be submitted until May 18 (click here to do that).
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACOE) New England District’s office in Concord, MA periodically issues an update report on the ACOE’s ecological restoration and other activities in Massachusetts. Click here to read an on-line version of the most recently-issued report (on 1/31/10 ), and here for more general info on the ACOE’s various authorizations to engage in ecological restoration projects.
The U.S. EPA’s Office of Water has launched two new Facebook pages, Water Is Worth It and EPAWatersense, to provide a public forum to share information, encourage discussion, and raise awareness about the value of our water and water-related resources, and the “whys” and “hows” of water efficiency and conservation. EPA will regularly post information and discussion topics, which Facebook users can have delivered to their virtual door by becoming a "fan" of the page. EPA encourages fans to participate in the discussion and learn about the nation's water and water infrastructure.
The EPA has developed TMDLs at Work, a website that provides a collection of stories to inform and educate stakeholders about the benefits of developing pollution reduction budgets, or total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), to protect and restore the nation’s water quality. The site includes fact sheets that present TMDLs prepared by a variety of states and illustrate how to get involved in identifying and cleaning up polluted waters that do not meet state water quality standards.
As part of the EPA’s efforts to promote smart growth, the agency recently released a first-of-its-kind water quality scorecard that will help communities in rural, suburban and urban settings incorporate green infrastructure practices to protect local water quality and improve both the built and natural environment. The Water Quality Scorecard was developed to help local governments identify opportunities to remove barriers and revise and create codes, ordinances, and incentives to better protect water quality. The scorecard guides municipal staff, stormwater managers, planners, and other stakeholders through a review of relevant local codes and ordinances to ensure that these codes work together to support a green infrastructure approach. The scorecard also provides policy options, resources, and case studies. Click here for more info.
The EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management recently expanded its Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems with the addition of an E-Handbook. The E-Handbook features resource guides containing detailed information on the 13 management program elements featured in the existing management handbook: public education, planning, performance, site evaluation, design, construction/installation, operation/maintenance, inspections/monitoring, residuals management, training/certification, financial assistance, inventory/recordkeeping, and compliance assurance. The E-Handbook focuses on individual and clustered wastewater systems that discharge to the soil, but the information can also be applied to small systems that discharge to surface waters through federal or state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programs.
The EPA’s Enforcement & Compliance History Online (ECHO) webpage enables citizens and others to track facility compliance with and EPA/state enforcement of environmental regulations for approximately 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. The site allows users to find inspection, violation, enforcement action, informal enforcement action, and penalty information about facilities for the past three years. Facilities regulated under the following environmental statutes are included: Clean Air Act ( CAA ) Stationary Source Program, Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES), and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). ECHO reports provide a snapshot of a facility’s environmental record, showing dates and types of violations, as well as the state or federal government’s response. [Click here for related info.]
The EPA recently established an on-line Ecological Revitalization Project Profiles Database to summarize timely information about the use of ecological revitalization at contaminated properties. Ecological revitalization refers to the process of returning land from a contaminated state to one that supports a functioning and sustainable habitat. Although the final decision on how a property is reused is inherently a local decision that often rests with the property owner, EPA actively supports and encourages ecological revitalization, when appropriate, during and after the assessment and cleanup of contaminated properties under its cleanup programs. This Web site contains information about completed and on-going projects where ecological revitalization was involved in solutions to various environmental concerns. These profiles provide information on site history, contaminants of concern and the ecological revitalization approach taken at each site. Technical considerations, long-term stewardship and operation and maintenance requirements are also included in each profile.
The Commonwealth's Office of Geographic and Environmental Information, more commonly referred to as MassGIS, maintains an on-line mapping web page containing a wealth of statewide mapping data that is periodically updated and easily accessible to anyone with a reasonably functional computer and Internet connection. Data layers accessible via this site include scanned USGS quadrangle (aka “topo”) maps, protected open space, parcel boundaries (for some communities), water supply protection areas, access points to the coastline, the BioMap, and many more. While each data set typically starts with a state-wide index map, user-friendly utilities for each map set enables you to navigate around and zoom in to areas of particular interest, and the displayed data often gets more detailed the more you zoom in.
Landscaping with native plants can help coastal property owners prevent storm damage and erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce coastal water pollution—all while improving a property’s visual appeal and natural character. Mass. Coastal Zone Management (CZM)’s new Coastal Landscaping website provides detailed information on the benefits of these landscaping techniques; step-by-step instructions on landscaping a bank, beach, or dune; tips for planting, installation, and maintenance; plant lists and photos; sample landscape plans; information on permitting; suggestions on where to purchase native plants; and links to additional information.
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Non-government On-line Resources
(in rough alphabetical order)
Blackstone River Watershed Interactive Water Quality Map
Produced by Mass. Audubon’s Ecological Extension Service, with water quality data provided by the Blackstone River Coalition, this user-friendly map enables anyone to see an on-going water quality “report card” for the entire Blackstone watershed (MA and RI). The map shows the locations of many spots where water quality is routinely sampled. These data points depict the annual results for the past five years on five different water quality criteria (aesthetics, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, percent saturation and temperature). The data points on the map are color-coded from green (good) to red (poor), helping users to pinpoint river and tributary segments with impaired water quality needing remedial action. Users can also zoom in on the map to see the specific spots where the data was collected.
Recently set up by The Nature Conservancy, ClimateWizard enables technical and non-technical audiences alike to access leading climate change information and visualize the impacts anywhere on Earth. The first generation of this web-based program allows the user to choose a state or country and both assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are predicted to occur in a given area. The ClimateWizard website enables you to: view historic temperature and rainfall maps for anywhere in the world; view state-of-the-art future predictions of temperature and rainfall around the world; and view and download climate change maps in a few easy steps. [Click here for related info.]
Established by the Trust for Public Land (TPL)’s Center for Conservation Finance, Conservation Almanac seeks to document the extent of land area conservation activity across the U. S.. The project grew out of the many requests TPL gets for data to understand the “context” for land conservation. The website is intended to answer questions posed by elected officials, journalists, foundations and others, such as: How much land has been protected in my state? Which state and federal agencies have protected lands in the state? With all the new money being created for land conservation, what kind of impact are we getting? and What policies and programs might help us make progress in reaching our conservation objectives? Specific info on land conservation and conservation financing activity in each state is provided (click here for Massachusetts ). Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or suggestions about the website.
FreeFoto.com is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet (link back and attribution required - see free use rules). The comprehensive, yet easy to navigate site, offers images that are free for on-line use, with higher quality versions available for sale. Non-commercial users may download the web size images for free to use off-line in school and other projects, cards, leaflets, etc.
The GreatNonprofits website is a place to find, review, and talk about great -- and perhaps notso great – nonprofit organizations. If you have direct experience with a nonprofit, share your knowledge and help other people discover trustworthy nonprofits that are making a difference. Non-profit organizations can use this site to promote your worthy cause and activities to potential donors and volunteers, as well as share your “wish lists” and other organizational needs. You can also click here to see what others are saying about your group or others you might be curious about.
Green Map Systems
Established in 1995, the Green Map System enables communities all over the world to map the locations of green living, nature and cultural resources. ( Mass. communities with Green Maps include Cambridge and Quincy.) Green Map recently developed an iPhone App along with a mobile website designed for all internet-enabled cell phones (Simply type GreenMap.org into any phone's internet browser for the mobile website.). Ideal for locals and tourists alike, both feature the beta version of "What's Green Nearby?™", a handy tool for connecting with green resources on the go. Drawing from over 8800 sites contributed to the interactive Open Green Map sustainability mapping platform by local Green Map teams, the app guides users them to farmers markets, green buildings, gardens and heritage sites that help everyone make greener, healthier, low-impact choices. Click here to read a posting on Orion Grassroots Network resources blog about the low-cost method Green Maps used to develop its iPhone app, and how your organization might be able to do it too. [See also http://www.waterprint.net/faqs.html]
Gulf of Maine Times
Put out by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and recently transitioned from a print/web publication (see archives) to an electronic-form-only publication, this magazine continues to feature meaty articles and news items relating to fishery, habitat and other conservation and restoration efforts within the Gulf of Maine and its extensive watershed in the U.S. and maritime Canada. The link above takes you to the March 2010 issue, which includes articles on extreme weather, derelict fishing gear recycling, and ocean acidification.
Recently launched by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), DataCommon is an on-line mapping tool that makes available a wealth of data about cities and towns in Massachusetts . Explore data, print out instant community snapshots or maps, and create your own maps. Two-hour hands-on training sessions are available for those not accustomed to using on-line mapping tools. You might be especially interested in checking out DataCommon’s Mystic River affiliate site, sponsored by the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) which makes available a wide range of geographic data about water quality and other aspects of the Mystic River watershed, as well as a sampling of the data available on an easy-to-use interactive map called The Mystic River Electronic Environmental Atlas.
National Geographic Magazine’s Freshwater website
Replete with all the bells, whistles and solid content you’d expect from National Geographic, this interactive website, the on-line companion to the Magazine’s April 2010 special issue on water, explores the local stories and global trends that define the world's water crisis. Learn about freshwater resources and how they are used to feed, power, and sustain all life. See how the forces of technology, climate, human nature, and policy create challenges and drive solutions for a sustainable planet. One of the featured local stories is the success story of reducing demand on metropolitan Boston’s water supply so that the once seriously-considered idea to expand the supply by pumping water directly from the Connecticut River has proved to be unnecessary.
National River Cleanup™
Since the launch of this annual event by America Outdoors in 1991 (now coordinated by American Rivers), more than 600,000 volunteers have participated in thousands of cleanups across the country, covering more than 100,000 miles of waterways. These cleanups have removed more than 1,000 tons of litter and debris from America 's rivers and streams. Click here to access a “How to Organize a River Cleanup video and toolkit and/or find an already-organized cleanup, or read the FAQ page to learn about the potential benefits to your organization and river from participating in the National River Cleanup™.
Orion Magazine’s “The Place Where You Live”
Orion Magazine is reviving “The Place Where You Live”, a department that ran in the magazine until 2003, and is seeking submissions. This is a space for you to exercise your sixth sense and tell them about your place. What connects you to it? What history does it hold for you? What are your hopes and fears for it? What do you do to protect it, or prepare it for the future, or make it better? Your contribution can take the form of a short essay or story (no more 350 words), photograph, painting, drawing, or hand-made map. All submissions will appear on the Place Where You Live section of the Orion web site, which will launch in May. Once this website is launched, people will also be able to submit items in audio, video, and slideshow formats. A few of the contributions received will appear in the print edition of Orion. Until then, e-mail your submission to email@example.com.
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
PARC is a broad-based membership organization dedicated to the conservation of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians, aka“herps”) and their habitats. Herp populations worldwide have suffered from a broad range of human activities, due in part to the perception that these animals are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. We know now that they are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage. Resources on the PARC web page include fact sheets on the functions, values and threats to wetlands, herp-related news articles, events and job opportunities, and a link to the Northeast PARC web page, where you will find much useful information and resources relating to our region (see also the New England Herpetological Society, the UMass Herp Atlas and the Turtle Conservation Project). Click here to become a PARC member (membership is free), or to join the Announcement or Open Discussion listservs.
Small Flows Magazine
Put out by the National Environmental Service Center at West Virginia University (which also publishes the informative On Tap and Pipeline magazines), Small Flows focuses on issues relating to small-scale wastewater treatment systems. A good article entitled “Make a Splash with Your Communications”, by Eric Eckl of Water Words That Work ran in the Spring-Summer 2009 issue, and one on algae as a potentially beneficial resource appeared in the Fall-Winter 2009 issue. [N.B.: The NESC has also recently launched a Future Water Program, which seeks to utilize social marketing techniques to persuade people to think and act favorably toward water conservation and adopt water-efficient practices.]
The Story of Bottled Water
Released on World Water Day (March 22), The Story of Bottled Water, the latest in Annie Leonard’s series of animated shorts with an environmental message (see, e.g., The Story of Stuff). The film underscores a need to “take back the tap”, not only by making a personal commitment to tap water, but by supporting public investments in clean, available tap water for all.
Vital Signs is a dynamic community of students, educators, professional scientists, and citizen scientists working together to collect, analyze, and share critical environmental information about freshwater, coastal, and upland habitats across Maine. Vital Signs’ primaryresearch focus is on locating invasive species and documenting the native species and habitats vulnerable to invasions. Click here to see how this website was developed.
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Publications and Videos, etc.
Produced by the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Reconnecting Rivers: Natural Channel Design in Dam Removals and Fish Passage documents river restoration and reconnection projects that have helped restore stream health and connectivity. The Introduction provides practitioners and citizens with an overview of the impacts of dams on stream systems such as reservoir sedimentation, channel degradation, water quality, socioeconomic and cultural effects, and blockage of fish migrations. Chapter 1 describes river management approaches such as dam removal, and river restoration in sediment-laden reservoirs; nature-like fishways, including rock ramps or rapids, by-pass fishways and recreational passage are discussed in Chapter 2. Case examples and 43 Project Briefs illustrate the technical and social problems that may be encountered in such projects. A full bibliography is also included. To purchase a hard copy of this book for $25.95, click here or contact Minnesota 's Bookstore at (800) 657-3757.
Communities across the nation are facing increasingly extreme storms that bring damaging floods. These events can strain outdated infrastructure and endanger public safety. Restoring America’s Rivers: Preparing for the Future, a new DVD by American Rivers, tells the story of how community leaders around the country are solving these problems by working with nature, not against it. Dams are being removed and levees are being set back in an effort to restore floodplains and give our rivers room to spread out, while making communities safer and more resilient to weather extremes, and restoring vital habitat for fish and wildlife. Click here to view the trailer and here to obtain your own complimentary copy of the complete DVD, due out the last week of April. [Click here to access the 50+ other videos American Rivers has posted to YouTube.]
Federal, State and local water-resource managers require a variety of data and modeling tools to better understand water resources. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Mass. DEP, has developed a statewide, interactive decision-support tool to meet this need. A recently-released report, entitled The Massachusetts Sustainable-Yield Estimator: A decision-support tool to assess water availability at ungaged stream locations in Massachusetts, explains the use of this tool to provide screening-level estimates of the sustainable yield of a basin, defined as the difference between the unregulated streamflow and some user-specified quantity of water that must remain in the stream to support such functions as recreational activities or aquatic habitat. Click here for more info and here to download a copy of the report.
No one has ever tried to collect everything we know about nature on planet Earth — until now. Compiled by top scientists at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The Atlas of Global Conservation:Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference is an up-to-date and authoritative resource for everyone concerned about the natural world. The Atlas features 79 richly-detailed, full-color maps and other graphics paired with an informative, inviting discussion of major trends across the world's terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. Interspersed throughout, essays by noted international authorities point the way forward in confronting some of our greatest conservation challenges. The book will be supported by a TNC-hosted website. The Atlas is available from its publisher, the University of California Press, beginning on Earth Day (April 22). Click here to get a sneak peak at the Atlas’s contents.
Produced last year by Restore America’s Estuaries, Hope for Coastal Habitats: People, Partnerships & Projects Making A Differencegives an overview of the plight of America's coasts as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, sets out historic trends, and profiles successful and promising restoration projects in a variety of different watershed ecosystems. It also tells compelling human interest stories about individuals and small groups who made a big differences in their own regions despite obstacles in their path, including a retired naval officer who is saving the famed Lynnhaven oysters in Virginia, two idealistic young men who saved a coastal prairie between Chicago and Milwaukee over a 40-year period, and neighborhood activists outside Seattle who restored salmon runs through their neighborhood by replacing a culvert that had blocked migrations for decades. Click here to download a free .pdf copy of the 32-page report.
In Following the Water: a Hydromancer’s Notebook, the southern NH-based writer, naturalist, and artist David M. Carroll illuminates (in words and drawings) the ecology and life histories the tree frogs, hawks, foxes, and the increasingly rare wood and spotted turtles he has been tracking for decades with the precision and passion that won him a 2006 MacArthur ‘genius’ award. A finalist for the 2009 National Book Award, Following the Water is the intensely observed chronicle of Carroll’s annual March-to-November wetlands immersion--from the joy of the first turtle sighting, to the gorgeously described, vibrant trilling of tree frogs ("lichen with eyes") in late May, to the ancient sense of love and loss Carroll experiences each autumn when it is time once again to part with open water. Illustrated with the author’s fine pen-and-ink drawings, Following the Water is a gorgeous evocation of nature, an utterly unique “admission ticket to a secret corner of the world” (Bill McKibben). (Click here to order the book, here to see a video interview with the author and here to read an excerpt from the book.)
Insects and other invertebrates leave behind all sorts of distinctive patterns and mystery objects that pique our curiosity: egg cases, cocoons, galls, leaf mines, burrows, nests, and more. Local naturalists Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney have compiled the answers to hundreds of these riddles in their new book, Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species. This ground-breaking reference offers details for identifying beetles, spiders, flies, ants, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, earwigs, mayflies, crickets, grasshoppers, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions, earthworms, slugs, lacewings, wasps, bees, damselflies, alderflies, crabs, and many other invertebrates from the sign they leave behind. It includes almost 1,000 color photos and some 2,000 species in 18 chapters. Tracks & Sign of Insects, etc. can be purchased directly from the publisher, Stackpole Books. [Click here to read a related story that ran last fall in the Boston Globe.]
Where water crosses boundaries – be they economic, legal, political or cultural – the stage is set for disputes between different users trying to safeguard access to a vital resource, while protecting the natural environment. Without strategies to anticipate, address, and mediate between competing users, intractable water conflicts are likely to become more frequent, more intense, and more disruptive around the world. The new book Managing and Transforming Water Conflicts investigates the dynamics of water conflict and conflict resolution, from the local to the international. The book offers clear applications for those involved in dispute resolution, as well as far-reaching case study analyses, drawn from decades of real-world conflict experience. Click here to order the book or for more info. [A skills-building workbook for students that follows the themes and structure of Managing and Transforming Water Conflicts is available by clicking here].
Edited by Irena Salina, director of the documentary film FLOW – For the Love Of Water, the new book Written in Water: A Message for the Future comprises a collection of essays authored by heroes and leaders in the field of water solutions and innovations—a broad range of people from varied disciplines who have contributed their hearts and minds to bringing awareness to and conserving Earth's freshwater supply. In their own words, authors tell of such tragedies as water slavery, drought, or contamination, as well as their own professional struggles and successes in pursuit of freshwater solutions. Contributors include: Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of marine scientist Jacques Cousteau; Peter Gleick, environmental visionary and winner of a 2003 MacArthur “genius grant”; Bill McKibben; oceanographer Sylvia Earle; and Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the EPA, along with more than a dozen other notable people. Written in Water is available in both print and electronic editions (click here).
When the book was first published (in 1997), Living Downstream, by Sandra Steingraber, an exquisite blend of precise science and engaging narrative, set a new standard for scientific writing. Poet, biologist, and cancer survivor, Steingraber uses all three kinds of experience to investigate the links between cancer and environmental toxins. Updated with new science and recently republished by Da Capo Press, the second edition of Living Downstream strengthens the case for banning poisons now pervasive in our air, our food, and our bodies. Because synthetic chemicals linked to cancer come mostly from petroleum and coal, Steingraber shows that investing in green energy also helps prevent cancer. Saving the planet becomes a matter of saving ourselves and an issue of human rights. A documentary film based on the book has also just been released. Click here and here to see a movie trailer and find out about upcoming screenings and other info about the book, movie and Ms. Steingraber’ background and ongoing advocacy on this issue.
Studies show that significant levels of toxic substances can leach out of commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. How do these toxins make their way inside us and what impact do they have on our health? And more importantly, what can we do about them? In Slow Death By Rubber Duck co-authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, two of Canada 's leading environmental activists, tackle these questions head on by experimenting upon themselves. Over a four-day period, Smith and Lourie used everyday household products suspected of causing harm to our ecosystem and to human health. By revealing the pollution load in their bodies before and after the experiment, Smith and Lourie tell a unique inside story of common toxins and body burden. [Click here to buy the book, here for an interview of the authors that aired on NPR, along with an excerpt of the book., and here to read a review of the book in the Washington Post. Visit the Environmental Health News website for more info on the effects of chemicals on the health of humans, wildlife and ecosystems.]
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 Ebb&Flow. You can access the mwc-list listserv at http://firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can subscribe to receive the posted messages to your e-mail address, or simply read them on-line. Highly recommended!
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