The Division of Ecological Restoration Ebb&Flow #9 - September, 2011
An electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER)
DER News and Project Updates
Grant, Prize, Contest, Award and Fundraising Opportunities
Non-Governmental On-line Resources
Greetings, restoration friends and colleagues,
The slower pace of the dog days of summer stands in sharp contrast to the buzz of activity taking place in the restoration realm. The installation of new tide gates and culverts, review of dozens of engineering designs and reports, finalizing permit applications for dam removals, volunteer trainings and the pressure of meeting grant deadlines are keeping DER staff fully engaged. The fruits of these labors are described in our news and project updates section below.
It was just over two years ago that we met at Jones River Landing in Kingston with the Jones River Watershed Association to celebrate Massachusetts Rivers Month and note a significant grant award from NOAA to support the Wapping Road Dam Removal. The dam will soon be removed after many years of hard work. Read all about it in our feature article.
To assist natural stream flow restoration on stressed rivers across the Commonwealth, DER announces the imminent posting of a flow restoration specialist position to assist in our River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) monitoring and restoration. Click here or go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities (CEO) web page and search under the Dept. of Fish and Game to access the listing.
Finally – DER has entered a new digital ecosystem; Twitter. Following us at @MassEcoRestore will give you unique insights to our work that will appear nowhere else. Read tweets about the start of a new river restoration project or local efforts to protect and preserve unique aquatic habitats. It’s also an environment to learn about ecosystem restoration efforts taking place farther afield, all within a concise 140 character format.
See you on the water.
Tim Purinton, Director
Hunt Durey, Acting Deputy Director
Municipal and NGO staff : Do you expect to be involved in a dam removal project in the next year or two? DER, in partnership with American Rivers, is offering its annual Dam Removal Project Manager Training on September 30th in Plymouth. The training will cover 1) technical issues common to most dam removal projects; 2) the engineering and design process; 3) choosing the right consultant; 4) permitting; 5) community engagement; and 6) funding sources. After the classroom session, we will visit planned and completed dam removal sites along Town Brook. Click here or contact Beth Lambert at (617) 626-1526 or Beth.Lambert@state.ma.us to sign up or for more info.
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[The following article appeared in the Boston Globe’s South Weekly edition on 8/11/11 (click here for the link to the on-line version). We thank reporter Constance Lindner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for her permission to reprint her article in our newsletter.]
Coming down: Kingston dam to be removed as environmentalists set their sights on two others on Jones River
The Jones River at flood stage overtopping the Wapping Road dam in Kingston in March of 2010. Removal of the dam will restore a more natural hydrology to the area. Photo by Nick Wildman
Waters once teeming with fish are almost barren today. But there is growing hope for a comeback of the Jones River in Kingston.
For the past 25 years, advocates for the river have been pushing to remove three dams that have obstructed fish spawning, encouraged invasive plants, and worsened pollution.
Their efforts will bear fruit in the next few weeks, as work will begin on dismantling the dam at Wapping Road. Then attention will shift to the two remaining dams.
“It’s not just about the fish but about why they matter - fishing for recreation and livelihood, fish as a food source for wildlife, for larger fish, for us,’’ said Pine duBois, executive director of the Jones River Watershed Association, whose goal is to restore the 7.5-mile Jones River as an efficient conduit for Silver Lake and Cape Cod Bay.
The history of dams on the Jones River begins in the 1640s, with the first granting of a “privilege’’ to harness water power with a dam. One proviso was the removal each spring of the log structures to allow passage for spawning fish.
But with the Industrial Revolution and the advent of concrete, the rewards of full-time productivity from permanent dams overrode the centuries-old understanding of the importance of a self-replenishing fish population. In the early 1900s, dams at Elm Street, Wapping Road, and Forge Pond were made permanent with poured concrete.
Over the years, there have been attempts to maintain the aquatic population by annual restocking - without success. The last herring count, taken by watershed association volunteers during the latest spawning season at the Elm Street fish ladder, found 363 from April 6 to May 29, translating to 3,011 herring in the entire river, based on state projections, said Alex Mansfield, the association’s ecology program director.
“We should be seeing hundreds of thousands and shouldn’t even be able to count the fish when they’re running,’’ said duBois.
The dams have also harmed the water’s health, with blocked water warming in the sun to the detriment of native fish, while proving a boon to bacteria and invasive plant species. The depleted oxygen levels and warm water temperatures make it unsuitable spawning grounds for those fish that do manage to reach it.
The dams also trap sediment that can contain contaminants from decades of dumping by the mills, such as the Mayflower Worsted Co., which closed at Wapping Road in the 1960s. Pollutants from outside sources, such as fertilizer and road run-off can also settle in the stilled water.
As a stopgap measure, Kingston installed in 2001 a fish ladder - a long ramp with “baffles’’ that create eddies to help fish, including sea lamprey, some sea run trout, and river herring, swim up the ramp. But the dam is still an obstacle for many fish, including shad and rainbow smelt, according to duBois.
Initial steps to remove the Wapping Road dam began in 2007 and 2008, with surveys to assess the potential for the project and evaluate alternatives, such as fish ladders and bypass channels. But the only option that seemed to provide long-term success was full removal of the dam.
But removal is a complicated process, and the 47-foot-wide and 6-foot-high Wapping Road dam required three years of studies, monitoring, permitting, design, outreach, and now removal and river restoration at a cost of $740,000, according to Mansfield.
The bill is being footed by the federal and state government, as well as the town of Kingston, the Sheehan Family Foundation, and Wapping Road property owner Dan Galambos. Water at the dam has eroded the land at the front of his business, Caton Connector Corp., and Galambos has donated money as well as land for the construction crew’s use and later, for a park.
“It’s hard to put a dollars-and-cents value on an environmental resource when you’re considering immediate gains,’’ said Mansfield, referring to installation of concrete dams and present focus on quick fixes. “In the long run, it’s more expensive to solve problems later than address them responsibly in the first place.’’
Once the Wapping Road dam is removed, the site will be monitored for three years. DuBois said she expects to see improved water quality, rebounding species diversity, and miles of upstream and tributary access for fish now impounded between the Wapping Road and Elm Street dams.
If all goes as planned, state money will come through to allow the dismantling of Forge Pond dam about 3 miles upstream. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries project manager Brad Chase leads the Forge Pond dam project, and Mansfield expects the project to proceed later this year.
The process may be helped by a trend toward dam removal after a number of incidents pointed to aging dams as a risk not only to fisheries and water health but public safety.
“Whether it’s global warming or natural variation, we’re seeing more floods in the past few years, and perhaps the most recognized one was in 2005, when Whittenton Pond Dam on the Mill River in Taunton almost failed and caused the evacuation of downtown Taunton,’’ said Eric Hutchins, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine habitat resource specialist.
Though no one knows the number of dams in Massachusetts, there are 2,894 registered dams in the state, and hundreds of thousands that don’t meet the full definition, according to Hutchins, who often finds unmapped dams while hiking or canoeing in the woods.
Removing the old dams - often nothing more than the original wooden structures covered in concrete and never meant to deal with major storms - picked up in the late 1990s, with the first proactive habitat restoration in 2001. There are now more than 50 dams being evaluated, and probably well over 100 being considered for studies, according to Hutchins.
As dams age, they falter. The Wapping Road dam nearly failed in the spring of 2008 when a gate rusted away and blew out, emptying the impoundment and sending water rushing under the building with such force that it was nearly destroyed .
Now, the dam’s removal is considered a “high priority” project by the state’s Division of Ecological Restoration, because it is considered to have the potential of causing fatalities as defined by the US Interagency Committee on Dam Safety.
Failing dams are costly, requiring some landowners to sell them to municipalities for $1, such as the Billington Street dam in Plymouth, where trapped sediment and dam removal ultimately cost about $1 million.
A more felicitous outcome was the removal of the Briggsville Dam in Clarksburg , which kept owner Cascade School Supplies, one the Western Massachusetts town’s largest employers, from closing.
Hutchins is optimistic that funding will come through to tackle Forge Pond dam, bringing the Jones River that much closer to providing unobstructed passage for spawning fish. “There is a bigger issue here than just taking care of fish, and there is a lot of support for this project.’’
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Division of Ecological Restoration News and Project Updates
The Trustees of Reservations Completes Tidal Restoration of Damde Meadows at World’s End, Hingham
View (looking upstream) of Damde Meadows with Phase 2 construction nearing completion and pre-restoration conditions (inset).
In June, The Trustees of Reservations completed construction at Worlds’ End, Hingham, restoring tidal flow to the 18-acre Damde Meadows after more than a 350-year absence. The final phase of a two phase project, the primary goal of the restoration was to restore the tidal connection between Damde Meadows and Martin’s Cove by replacing enclosed, submerged culverts with wider open channels. The restoration of this tidal marsh will provide an important nursery ground for several key species of fish that directly support local commercial and recreational fishing interests. In addition, the restoration will allow the tidal marsh to once again become a significant foraging and resting area for a number of migratory shorebirds. Funding for Phase 2 was provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Estuary Habitat Restoration Program ($190,000) and Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration ($20,000). Project partners included the above and the NOAA Restoration Center , USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.
James Brook Flood Mitigation and Salt Marsh Restoration Project Completed
In July, the James Brook channel reconstruction project in Cohasset was successfully completed. This state-funded project required reconstruction and enlargement of an existing culvert (see above photo) and replacement of flapper-style gates with a larger programmable tide gate, which will allow for greater control of stormwater flows from the brook and tidal flow into the adjacent Jacobs Meadow salt marsh. The old culvert was collapsing into the brook, which increased flooding during storms and reduced flow into the marsh. In the early 1900s, the 14-acre Jacobs Meadow was fragmented from Cohasset Harbor when Border Street and an undersized culvert, which conveyed James Brook, were constructed between the harbor and marsh. Jacobs Meadow was identified as a high priority site for restoration during a 2001 region-wide review of tidal restricted sites on the South Shore and nominated by Cohasset in 2006 as a priority restoration project with the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration. Construction of this project was funded by a $450,000 grant from the Commonwealth through CZM in partnership with DFG. Throughout project planning and implementation, CZM staff (particularly Jason Burtner) worked closely with the town to review engineering design plans and permit applications, develop a tide gate operation plan to balance flood mitigation with ecological restoration needs, tackle construction-related issues as they arose, and serve as liaison between the various municipal, state, and federal agency partners.
Restoration of tidal flow and coastal habitat at Mill River in Gloucester
After 200-plus years of restricted tidal flow, the wait is almost over. This August, construction crews installed a newly configured tide gate system at the Washington Street / Route 127 culvert along the Mill River at Mill Pond in Gloucester .
Initially conceived in 2001, the Mill River Restoration Project was designed in two phases. The first phase, completed in 2004, partially removed restricted tidal flow by opening the existing tide gate at Washington Street. The second phase, now under construction, will substantially increase tidal flow through the culvert by cutting a second opening through the existing massive concrete structure (see the circular concrete saw in the above photo) and retrofitting both openings with a new set of tide gates designed to better regulate tidal flow. Restored tidal flushing and resulting increased salinities will benefit fish and wildlife as well as the local community by improving fish and shellfish access to upstream spawning habitat, reducing conditions conducive to nuisance algal blooms, and reducing invasion and potential fire hazards from non-native Phragmites. [The Upper Mill River Clam Study, coordinated by Salem Sound Coastwatch, has already documented a significant reestablishment of soft shell (aka “steamer”) clams (Mya arenaria) and other marine organisms since modifications were made to enable more tidal flushing of Mill Pond.]
In addition to habitat improvements, this project also improves the City’s ability to manage the system during storm and flood events, improving drainage and reducing the potential for flood damage to properties upstream. Remaining work at the site will include installation of a sidewalk, guard rails, and an improved safety platform for operations and emergency access.
The Mill River Restoration Project was a collaborative effort between the City of Gloucester and the following project partners: NOAA’s Restoration Center , US Fish and Wildlife Service, DER , Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Eight Towns and the Bay Committee, Conservation Law Foundation, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and the Massachusetts Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.
Sunken Meadow, Eastham
On a cold and blustery day in March, project partners were in a cheerful mood watching the first scoop of the excavator on the Sunken Meadow Restoration Project in Eastham. While most coastal restoration projects involve replacing undersized culverts with a larger one, Sunken Meadow is unusual in that the culvert was completely removed and a natural channel was restored in its place (see above photo). Also, 600 feet of former cranberry bog dike was removed to allow for natural tidal flow to the 12 acre marsh upstream. Marsh work was done by mid-March, and it was thrilling to watch the tides sheet across the marsh fully for the first time in nearly 150 years.
The project received the majority of its construction funding through a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service program called the Cape Cod Water Resources Project, which focuses on water quality improvements for shellfish habitat, fish runs, and of course, salt marsh restoration. Funding was also provided by DER, the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. The Eastham Department of Public Works completed the construction with skill and enthusiasm, and the project could not have happened without the steadfast coordination and assistance of the Eastham Conservation Foundation, or the private property owners who graciously allowed us to repeatedly run heavy machinery through their yard to access the project site!
Cranberry Lane, Chatham
Landowners surrounding the upper reach of Bucks Creek can now appreciate the completion of the Cranberry Lane Salt Marsh Restoration in June. An undersized clay pipe in the tidal creek was replaced with a 4 foot wide by 3 foot high box culvert (see above photo), restoring the tides to the 5-acre marsh upstream. The Cranberry Lane salt marsh was a formerly farmed cranberry bog, as the road name suggests, but has been fallow for many years. Funding partners included the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, DER, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership. The Chatham Conservation Foundation, which owns the marsh, the Cranberry Lane Homeowners Association, and the town of Chatham were instrumental to completing the project, and were a pleasure to work with.
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Resources and Grants
Grant, Prize, Fellowship, Contest, Award, Fundraising, etc. Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application/nomination/entry deadline)
The John and Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is awarded for environmental science, environmental health and energy conferring great benefit upon mankind. Prizes are awarded for any one of the following: the protection, maintenance, improvement or understanding of an ecological or an environmental condition anywhere in the world; the discovery, further development, improvement, or understanding of known or new sources of energy; and medical discoveries or achievements with such worldwide implications that they significantly benefit environmental aspects of human health. Living individuals or public or private institutions of any nation are eligible for nomination. The Prize is endowed by gifts from the Alice C. Tyler Charitable Trust and the John C. Tyler Trust and awardees are chosen annually by the Executive Committee. The deadline for all nominations and supporting materials is September 14, 2011 ; click here for more info.
The David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program identifies and supports early-career scientists who will shape the field of applied conservation biology. The Fellowships are available to post-doctoral researchers (of any nationality) affiliated with a United States institution, proposing research that addresses pressing conservation issues for the United States. Smith Fellows receive a two year annual salary of $50,000, research funds of $32,000 and an $8,000 travel budget; targeted professional development workshops and training events; and lifetime membership in the Society for Conservation Biology, including lifetime subscriptions to Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters, and Conservation magazine. All application materials must be received by September 16, 2011 ; click here for more info.
The Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced the availability of funding for the FY 2012 Drinking Water Supply Protection (DWSP) Grant round. The DWSP provides financial assistance to public water systems and municipal water departments for the purchase of land or interests in land for the following purposes: 1) protection of existing DEP-approved public drinking water supplies; 2) protection of planned future public drinking water supply wells or intakes; or 3) groundwater recharge. This is a reimbursement program for up to 50% of the project cost; the maximum grant award is $500,000. Applications are due Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM. While land trusts, watershed associations and other NGOs are not eligible to receive these grant funds directly, they may partner with municipal and/or water supplier applicants on projects. Click here for more info, including the upcoming info sessions for prospective applicants/partners on September 19 and 20, or contact Celia Riechel at (617) 626-1187 or Celia.Riechel@State.MA.US.
The Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation“ seeks to facilitate the development and implementation of holistic environmental curricula that incorporate basic ecological principles and field environmental activities within a primary or secondary school setting…The strongest curricula are founded on basic scientific principles, including hypothesis testing and experimental design. A solid foundation of ecology promotes thoughtful and appropriate analysis and understanding of the natural world…the Foundation supports curricula that empower and encourage students to become involved in solving environmental and social problems as informed decision makers through the emphasis and application of basic ecological principles”. One-page pre-proposals may be submitted any time until September 20, 2011 (click here to access the form). Click here for more info on the Foundation and how to apply for a grant.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides direct technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and managing fish and wildlife habitats on their own lands. While it is a goal of the program to secure at least 50 percent of project costs from non-USFWS sources, this goal applies to the national program as a whole, and does not have to be achieved on a project-by-project basis. Interested applicants must contact USFWS regional coordinator Eric Derleth [(603) 223-2541 ext.14, (603) 223-0104 (fax) or Eric_Derleth@fws.gov] to discuss potential projects before applying. The deadline for applications is September 30.
Applications for the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)’s Greenways and Trails Program’s next round of Recreational Trails Grants are due October 1, 2011. The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to non-profit organizations, municipal, state, and federal land managers to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. RTP grants are 80-20 challenge grants. In other words, 80% of the project costs are reimbursed to grantees, but at least 20% of the total project value must come from other sources (local match). There is a minimum award amount $2,000 and a maximum of $50,000. More money may be available for multi-town, regional projects. The Recreational Trails Program allocates 30% of its funds to motorized use, 30% to non-motorized use, and 40% to diverse use projects. Click here to read about the projects receiving funding in the last grant round, and contact Amanda Lewis at (413) 586-8706 ext. 19 or Amanda.email@example.com for more info.
The D.C.-based H.O. Peet Foundation (no web page) makes a large number of grants (typically in the range of ($1-5,000) to support environmental, educational and arts organizations and institutions in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Groups seeking funds should send a written request before October 1, 2011 along with information about your charitable organization to: Marguerite P. Foster, H.O. Peet Foundation, P.O. Box 25613, Washington. DC 20007. Telephone: (202) 965-3951.
The 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 application deadline is Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 11: 59pm PDT; applications are accepted by online submission only (click here for more info).
The Mass. Office of Coastal Zone Management is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) grant program. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, the CPR program will provide up to $400,000 to municipalities located in the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to assess and remediate stormwater pollution from paved and unpaved surfaces and to design, install, or upgrade boat pumpout facilities. As much as $125,000 may be requested, and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. To view the Request for Responses (RFR), visit the Comm-PASS website and search for solicitation number “ ENV 12 CZM 02”. Proposals are due by October 13.
The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) recently announced that its FY2013 General Grants RFR is now open and accessible online. Letters of inquiry for this round must be receivedby October 14, 2011 for projects that will begin in July 2012. To access the RFR directly, go to www.comm-pass.com, click on “Search for a Solicitation”, then enter EEA 12 MET 01 into the “Keywords” box. If you prefer a copy of the RFR to be e-mailed directly to you, contact Bill Hinkley at (617) 626-1177 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [Click here to read a press release about projects receiving funding in the MET ’s most recently-completed grant round.]
The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Water Sustainability and Climate Grants Program seeks to understand and predict the interactions between the water system and climate change, land use (including agriculture, managed forest, and rangeland systems), the built environment, and ecosystem function and services through place-based research and integrative models. Studies of the water system using models and/or observations at specific sites singly or in combination that allow for spatial and temporal extrapolation to other regions, as well as integration across the different processes in that system are encouraged, especially to the extent that they advance the development of theoretical frameworks and predictive understanding. Eligible applicants include universities and colleges, non-profit, non-academic organizations, for-profit organizations, and other federal agencies and federally funded research and development centers. NSF expects to give out 26 awards. Full proposals are due October 19, 2011; click here for more info.
The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) is seeking proposals for the FY 2012 Research and Planning Grant Program. Up to $125,000 is available for estuarine protection and restoration initiatives located within the 50 coastal communities in the MBP planning area. Eligible projects include applied research, planning, or capacity building initiatives that assist MBP in implementing priority action items identified in its 2009-2012 Strategic Plan. These include protecting and enhancing coastal habitat, reducing and preventing stormwater pollution, protecting and enhancing shellfish resources, managing local land use and growth, managing municipal wastewater, managing marine invasive species, monitoring marine and estuarine waters, and adapting for projected impacts of climate changes. Eligible applicants include cities, towns, and other public entities, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Up to $25,000 may be requested and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. From September 21-29, MBP will host five information sessions to provide applicants an opportunity to ask questions. MBP encourages all potential applicants to attend one of these sessions. For more information and to view the RFR, see the Comm-PASS website and search for document number “ENV 12 CZM 03”. Applications are due by October 21; contact Prassede Vella at (617) 626-1217 or Prassede.Vella@state.ma.us for more info.
The Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced a new grant opportunity for FY2012 called the Landscape Partnership Program. This program will offer competitive grants to municipalities, non-profit organizations and EEA agencies to help fund partnership projects that permanently protect a minimum of 500 acres of land. The Landscape Partnership Program seeks to preserve large, unfragmented, high value conservation landscapes including working forests and farms, expand state-municipal-private partnerships, increase leveraging of state dollars, enhance stewardship of conservation land, and provide public access opportunities. Applications are due on October 28, 2011; click here and here or contact Celia Riechel at (617) 626-1187 or email@example.com for more info.
The Adelardand Valeda Roy Foundation (no web page) makes grants in the $5,000 - $15,000 range to environmental, educational, cultural and other charitable organizations in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England. Requests for funding should be accompanied by evidence of your organization’s §501(c)(3) status and addressed to: Rev. Dr. Nancy S. Smith, Adelard and Valeda Roy Foundation, 1500 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA 01702. Telephone: (508) 872-1325. The annual deadline for funding requests is October 31.
The Santa Monica, CA-based Lawrence Foundation is focused on making grants to support environmental, education, human services and other causes. The Foundation makes both program and operating grants and does not have any geographic restrictions. Nonprofit organizations that qualify for public charity status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or public schools and libraries are eligible for contributions or grants. Grant applications may be made by any organization that wishes to be considered for a grant and meets the Foundation’s grant guidelines. Grant applications are due either May 31or October 31; click here for more info.
The Wallace Genetic Foundation funds a variety of interests including agricultural research, preservation of farmland, ecology, conservation, and sustainable development. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations throughout the United States that believe in the long-term conservation of the soil and of the environment, rather than the exploitation of natural resources for temporary profits. Applications or letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time (but if received after November 1 may not be responded to until the following year). Click here, call (202) 966-2932 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ State Hazard Mitigation Team (comprised of the Mass. Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)) administers several FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)-funded mitigation grant programs: the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP); the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program; the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program; and the Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) grant program. While the final applications for funding aren’t due until November 4, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the MEPA and/or DCR points of contact (see below) much earlier to discuss projects (including dam removal) and determine eligibility, identify sources of matching funding and other prerequisites to receiving financial assistance. Click here for more info (including the time and location of upcoming public Grant Program Briefing sessions) or contact Scott MacLeod (MEPA) at (508) 820-1445, Scott.MacLeod@state.ma.us or Richard Zingarelli (DCR) at (617) 626-1406, Richard.Zingarelli@state.ma.us.
The Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation (no web page) gives grants for a wide variety of purposes as its trustees determine. Requests for funding should be directed to: William N. Harris, Trustee, Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation, 5 Pembroke Place, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (telephone: (650) 322-6565), in the form of a letter describing the need for funding, the financial status and a list of your organization’s Board of Directors.
The Boston-based Beech Tree Trust (no web page), a small foundation, makes grants to conservation organizations in Massachusetts and adjoining states, particularly in southeast Mass., based on available funds. Groups seeking funding should send a letter describing the needs of the charitable organization to Malcolm L. Davidson, c/o J.M. Forbes & Co., LLP, 3 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109. Telephone: (617) 423-5705.
The Cove Charitable Trust (no web page), administered by BNY Mellon, makes operating fund grants to support environmental and educational organizations in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Groups seeking funds should contact Sandra Brown-McMullen, V.P., c/o Mellon Financial Corp., P.O. Box 185, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0185; or 1 Boston Place, Boston, MA 02108-4407. Telephone: (617) 722-3891 or (617) 722-7121.
Administered in Chicago, the Helios Foundation (no web page) makes general support grants to charitable entities in New England and elsewhere. Requests for funding should be submitted to: Helios Foundation, c/o Bank of America, 231 S. LaSalle St., IL1-231-03-40, Chicago, IL 60697. Telephone: (312) 828-1785. No formal applications are required, and there are no submission deadlines.
The Edna Wardlaw Charitable Trust (no web page) makes grants in the $2,500 - $5,000 range to support environmental and other progressive organizations and causes throughout the U.S. Requests for funding should be submitted in writing (accompanied by your organization’s IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter) to the Edna Wardlaw Charitable Trust, c/o Suntrust Bank, 25 Park Place, P.O. Box 4655, Atlanta, GA 30302. Telephone: (404) 827-6529. There are no application forms or deadlines.
The Robert H. and Anita Q. Lawe Foundation makes grants to a number of conservation and other causes in New England and elsewhere. Groups seeking funding should submit requests to: Lonnie Humphries, Robert H. and Anita Q. Lawe Foundation, 12777 Jones Rd., #345, Houston, TX 77070. Telephone: (281) 894-8100. There are no application forms or deadlines.
The Ludes Family Foundation (no web page) provides a number of small grants to educational, environmental and other organizations and institutions, primarily in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Groups seeking funds should send a written request to John Ludes, Trustee, Ludes Family Foundation, 57 Water St., Marion, MA 02738. Telephone: (508) 748-1665. There are no application forms or deadlines.
The Patrick Carney Foundation Trust (no web page) gives grants of various sizes to a large number of charitable recipients, primarily in southeastern Massachusetts. Groups seeking funds should submit a written request on the organization’s letterhead stating the intended use of the grant funds as well as proof as an IRS 501(c)(3) qualified charitable status. Letters should be addressed to: Kathleen Larisa, Patrick Carney Foundation, c/o Claremont Management I, LLC, One Lakeshore Center, Bridgewater, MA 02324. Telephone: (508) 279-4300.
Founded in 1958 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, the American Conservation Association (no web page) is “a private operating foundation organized to advance knowledge and understanding of conservation; to preserve the beauty of the landscape and the natural and living resources in areas of the U.S. and elsewhere; and to educate the public in the proper use of such areas.” Nonprofit organizations seeking funding should direct funding requests to: Carmen Reyes, American Conservation Association, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Room 5600, New York, NY 10112. Telephone: (212) 649-5819. There are no application forms or deadlines.
The Intel Corporation is committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in the U.S. communities where the company has a major presence (including Hudson, MA; entities/projects in Middlesex and Worcester Counties are eligible for support). The company contributes through grants, donations, sponsorships, and other forms of philanthropy and giving, such as through its Intel Corporate Contributions Program (click here and here for more details). Click here if you have any questions, such as regarding organization and/or project eligibility for Intel support.
The mission of the FedEx Global Citizenship Program is to support the communities the company serves, including international locations, through charitable contributions, in-kind shipping services, and volunteer services of employees. The company's core giving areas include: Emergency and Disaster Relief, Child Pedestrian Safety, and Environmental Sustainability. In addition to its commitment to these core areas, FedEx supports select educational as well as local community projects identified by company team members. FedEx is especially interested in supporting organizations that request 5% or less of the total project budget, contingency grants, or seed monies with the expectation that other sources will contribute matching amounts. Priority is also given to communities where FedEx employees live, work, and volunteer (click here for locations of FedEx operations in MA). Requests for support may be submitted at any time; click here for more info.
The RBC Foundation - USA supports charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations with grants that focus on Arts & Culture, Human Services, or Youth Education. Grants are only considered in communities where RBC Wealth Management has a business presence (click here for a list of those locations in Massachusetts ). Click here for more info.
Last but not least: click here to read an informative article recently posted on Guidestar entitled Top Ten Fundraising Tips, which is compiled from a new book entitled Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, and here for a recent Guidestar article on a related topic.
(sorted chronologically by date of event, submission deadline, etc.)
Dave Paulson, Endangered Species Review Biologist with the MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP), and Tim Dexter, Environmental Analyst with MA Dept. of Transportation (MADOT), Highways Division, will speak on Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife, a proactive wildlife and transportation collaborative between MA DOT and MA NHESP, together with UMass and the Vernal Pool Association. The talk will take place on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM at the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA)’s River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119), Groton. Linking Landscapes’ mission is to minimize the impact of the existing road network on rare and nongame wildlife, while improving highway safety through cost-effective research, planning, and implementation of partnerships with citizens and communities of Massachusetts. The program encourages citizen engagement by documenting public reports of roadkill, turtle crossing “hotspots”, and migration routes of amphibians across roadways in an online database. Learn about this new program and how you can participate. This program is free and open to the public. Contact Pam Gill, NRWA Development Associate, at PamG@NashuaRiverWatershed.org. or (978) 448-0299 for more info.
Find Your Strength, Find Your Role – Rally for Your Land, Home, Community, and Family, sponsored by The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)’s Highland Communities Initiative, will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at TTOR’s Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield. Noted ecologist Tom Wessels’ keynote address will illuminate the lessons the natural world contains for creating resilient communities and economies. Fun, family-friendly activities and demonstrations will follow, with opportunities to enjoy and explore the vibrant farm landscape at the Bullitt Reservation. You’ll also have lots of opportunities to meet new dynamic people and get involved in shaping a positive future for the region and your own town. Click here or contact Mark Wamsley at email@example.com or (413) 628-4485 to sign up or for more info.
BostONEarth: The New Age of Water is the title of an event sponsored by and benefitting Earthwatch and taking place at the Taj Boston (the former Ritz Carlton) Rooftop Terrace the afternoon and evening of Thursday, September 22, 2011 . The event begins with an Environmental Forum from 4:30-6:30 PM featuring Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, and concludes with an evening celebration. Click here for more info.
A call for papers, workshops, etc. has been issued for two related and coinciding conferences taking place in Portland, OR in May 2012: the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference (NWQMC) and the River Rally (a joint event of River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance). The Call for Papers deadline for NWQMC is September 23, 2011; Workshop proposals for River Rally are due by October 13, 2011. Click here and here for more info.
COASTSWEEP, the statewide beach cleanup sponsored by the Mass. Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston, will kick off its 24th year on September 24, 2011. Volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is part of an international campaign organized by The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect marine debris and record what they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. Click here or visit COASTSWEEP’s Facebook page for more info. [September 24, 2011 is also National Estuaries Day as well as National Public Lands Day – click here to access a listing of NPLD events in Massachusetts, some of which are also cleanups.]
Greening the Urban Environment is the title of the Philadelphia Low Impact Development Symposium, taking place from September 25-28 in Philadelphia, PA. Click here for more info.
Strategic Conservation Planning Using the Green Infrastructure Approach will take place from September 26-30, 2011 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. This introductory course provides participants with a strategic approach for prioritizing conservation opportunities and a planning framework for conservation and development – integrating the green and the grey. Through hands-on class projects, lectures, and numerous case studies, participants will experience firsthand how the green infrastructure approach can be used to connect environmental, social, and economic health across urban, suburban, and rural settings. Participants will also learn how green infrastructure planning can serve as a tool to inform land use decisions and build consensus among diverse interests. Click here to register or for more info.
Sponsored by the Community Preservation Coalition (CPC), a Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) is scheduled to take place at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, beginning at 10:30 AM. Come celebrate this landmark Massachusetts law and how it has transformed state and local investment in open space protection, recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation, and learn about pending legislation (S.1841, H.765) that will ensure CPA's success in future decades. The Celebration will also honor ten individuals who have been significant contributors to the success of CPA during its first decade through the 2011 Kuehn Awards. Click here or contact the CPC at (617) 367-8998 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Along New England 's shoreline, what uses should go where? How can multiple, competing uses co-exist compatibly? New tools are available to help analyze current and anticipated uses of ocean and coastal areas to enable communities to achieve maximum economic and social benefits while ensuring that the ocean remains ecologically healthy. These and related subjects will be discussed at the 2011 Coastal Communities Conference (aka Living on the Edge: Nantucket 2011: Creating A Blueprint For Our Coast). The conference, co-hosted by ReMain Nantucket and the Egan Maritime Institute, will take place September 29-30 on Nantucket Island. Click here to register or for more info.
Municipal and NGO staff: Do you expect to be involved in a dam removal project in the next year or two? If so, you are strongly encouraged to attend the Mass. Division of Ecological Restoration (DER)’s annual Dam Removal Project Manager Training, which will take place on Friday, September 30, 2011 in Plymouth . The training, conducted in partnership with American Rivers, will cover: (1) technical issues common to most dam removal projects; (2) the engineering and design process; (3) choosing the right consultant; (4) permitting; (5) community engagement; and (6) funding sources. After the classroom session, we will visit planned and completed dam removal sites along Town Brook. Click here or contact Beth Lambert at (617) 626-1526 or Beth.Lambert@state.ma.us to sign up or for more info.
The Third Annual Mass. Green Careers Conference: Find Your Role in the Green Economy will be taking place on September 30, 2011 at the Holiday Inn in Marlborough, MA. The $75 conference fee covers speaker sessions, exhibitors, roundtable discussions, coaching, lunch and free book raffle. Click here to register or for more info, or contact conference director Jen Boudrie at (508) 481-0569 or JenBoemail@example.com.
A half-day workshop entitled Riverbank Stabilization Techniques, sponsored by the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists (AMWS), is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 30, 2011 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, Haverhill, Mass. Learn about the methodologies used to stabilize difficult riverbank sites. The City of Haverhill, with funding by the MA Emergency Management Agency, recently completed work to stabilize a heavily-eroded bank along the Merrimack River. With this recent project serving as a model, this half-day workshop will feature an indoor presentation and site visit. The cost is $50 for AMWS members and $75 for others. Click here or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or for more info.
An Urban Park Advocates Summit will take place at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. The event will be a day-long gathering for people involved with and committed to making Massachusetts’ cities healthier and more vibrant by having quality green spaces in all of our urban neighborhoods. The parks, gardens, and greenways in our cities are key ingredients for public health, food security, community development, recreation, youth development, summer jobs, and more. The event will demonstrate how investments in urban parks, gardens, greenways are also investments to advance environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social justice. DER’s Cindy Delpapa will present on urban river revitalization efforts. Click on the new Urban Park Advocates web page or contact Miriam Scagnetti at (978) 840-4446 ext. 1935 or email@example.com to sign up or for more info.
TheAssociation of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPs), a program of the Center for Watershed Protection, is currently (until October 5, 2011) seeking articles for a forthcoming (Spring 2012) issue of its peer-reviewed Watershed Science Bulletin focusing on the practical applications of monitoring and modeling to assess watersheds and how these tools are used to inform the decision making process to protect or improve watershed health. Click here for more info on this call for articles, and here for more info on past and forthcoming issues of the Watershed Science Bulletin.
The Boston-based Technical Development Corporation (TDC) is offering a half-day workshop entitled Public Relations for Nonprofits in the Information Age on Thursday, October 6, 2011. The workshop will discuss strategies for coping with the changing nature of the mainstream media along with providing tips on writing effective messages and press releases, tactics for bypassing the mainstream media where necessary, and making effective use of social media options, including blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. Click here to sign up or for more info.
Hosted by the East Coast Greenway Alliance and other sponsors, the New England Bike-Walk Summit is scheduled to take place in Providence, RI, on Friday, October 7, 2011 (timed to coincide with the Providence Cyclocross Festival). Planners, designers, engineers, advocates, and other bike and walk stakeholders from throughout the region will convene to engage in breakout sessions, a field visit and training, a poster session, and networking opportunities.
The Mass. Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) is hosting its 2011 Fall Conference: Open Space Protection: Making it Happen, on Saturday, October 15th from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Clark University in Worcester. Click here for more info.
Coastal Wetlands - Impacts And Restoration, the title of the New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists (NHANRS)’s 2011 Coastal Wetlands Conference, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 15 in Portsmouth, NH . The conference will focus on research results relating to coastal wetlands impacts and restoration issues, including, but not limited to, storm damage, sea level changes, development, erosion and deposition of soils and sediments, fisheries, shellfisheries and wildlife, and other subjects related to tidal wetlands, coastal river systems, cranberry bogs, beaches, dunes, estuaries and the ocean. A field trip to area wetlands is planned during the afternoon session (time permitting). Click here, contact Bill Kuriger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 343-0921, or write to info@NHANRS.org for more info.
All land trust and conservation organization board, staff and volunteers and town conservation agents are invited to an evening workshop on Conservation Restriction and Land Management: Challenges and Opportunities, to be held at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge on Wednesday, October 19 from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Presenters include Wil Hastings (Hilltown Land Trust), Alain Peteroy (Franklin Land Trust) and Doug Bruce (Berkshire Natural Resources Council). Network over refreshments, join the discussion on land management challenges and successes and participate in a discussion on opportunities and challenges facing small land trusts. Click here or email Lindsay Sarquilla at the Mass. Land Trust Coalition at LSarquilla@MassLand.org with subject line “Berkshire Event” to sign up or for more info.
Leading the Way, the Associated Grant Makers and Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Annual Conference and Expo, will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at the Best Western in Marlborough, MA. The Conference and Expo will bring together nonprofit organizations, consultants, and foundations to bolster their knowledge of effective practices thus strengthening their ability to carry out their mission and work. This year’s focus is on leadership – both within and by the sector – and we expect over 500 individuals to attend and take part in this exciting opportunity. Click here to register or for more info.
The Mass. Rivers Protection Act: A 15-Year Retrospective is the title of the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists (AMWS) 2011 Annual Meeting. The event takes place from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM on Friday, November 4, 2011 at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland, MA. The Mass. Rivers Protection Act (RPA) created a 200’-wide Riverfront Area wetland resource area on both sides of most perennial rivers and streams. The 1996 law amended the Wetlands Protection Act to regulate proposed activities in this resource area. It’s been 15 years since promulgation of the RPA, and the AMWS Annual Meeting will explore that works, what doesn’t, and what are some remaining issues. Specifically, the meeting will cover: (1) DEP’s intentions for the RPA and how court cases have shaped its implementation; (2) determining what “riverfront” is, and (3) development and redevelopment scenarios. Speakers from the public and private sector will offer an overview of the RPA and an assessment of its impacts. Robert Durand, former Commissioner of the Mass. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs when the RDA was implemented in 1996, and now a principal with Durand & Anastas Environmental Strategies, is our keynote speaker. Russ Cohen, Rivers Advocate at DER /Riverways Program, will receive the AMWS Lifetime Achievement Award for ensuring adoption of the RPA. Click here or write to email@example.com to sign up or for more info.
The Changing Climate In Sediment And Water Management, the Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association’s 2011 Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition (IECA), will take place from December 1-3 in Natick, MA. The conference program will include full-day classes on erosion & sediment control and site inspection, short presentations, a trade exposition, networking opportunities and more. Professional Certification Examinations and Exam Review Courses will be offered. Click here or write Jason Lederer at JLederer@BSCGroup.com for more info.
Last but not least: the New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program (OWT), operated by the University of Rhode Island’s Cooperative Extension Program, offers a number of courses at its training center at Peckham Farm on URI ’s Kingston campus, where one can observe various onsite wastewater mechanisms in operation. Click here for a course schedule and here for more info.
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Are you considering protecting and enhancing wetlands on your land through the federal Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)? The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has published a new guide to help Massachusetts landowners understand this environmentally beneficial but complex program. The eight-page Landowner’s Guide to the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) includes a checklist of required documents, a glossary of common real estate terms you might encounter when applying for WRP, questions and answers and a planning guide to help you determine if your land might be eligible for WRP. Click here to download the guide and here and here for more info.
The U.S. EPA recently redesigned its EnviroMapper for Water tool, a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) application that dynamically displays water quality and other environmental information about bodies of water in the United States . This interactive tool allows you to create customized maps that portray the nation's surface waters along with a collection of water quality-related data from the national level down to community level. The redesigned tool provides the ability to:
- Geographically display a variety of EPA water program data
- Pan, zoom, label and print maps
- Link to water program web reports after identifying specific features of interest
- Generate specific water quality related reports based on an area of interest
Have you always wondered about the health of a river near where you live? Now you can find out by creating a map using EnviroMapper for Water. Click here to try it out and here for guidance on how to use the tool.
Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution entering our waters has escalated dramatically, and is becoming one of America 's costliest and most challenging environmental problems. In many parts of the country, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution negatively impacts human health, aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and people’s quality of life. In response, the EPA has developed a new and improved website about nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to provide the public with information about this type of pollution-- where it comes from, its impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, and actions that people can take to help reduce it. EPA’s new website also includes updated information on states’ progress in developing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients as part of their water quality standards regulations. Click here for more info.
Americans use urban waterways as sources of drinking water and for a variety of activities including boating, fishing and swimming. Cleaning up and restoring these water resources is essential to protecting Americans’ health and improving their overall quality of life. Revitalizing these urban waterways will also reconnect citizens to open spaces, and will have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in these communities. The EPA’s Urban Waters website is intended to empower communities to learn about their local waterways, share ideas and solutions and act to clean up and improve access to those waters. The EPA’s initiative is part of a larger Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which is intended to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts. Last but not least, an Urban Waters “idea factory” website has been set up to solicit and share creative ideas from the public for urban waterway revitalization.
Our communities depend on aging drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure for the health of its people and the vitality of the local economy. Local elected officials and decision makers play a vital role in safeguarding the shared community assets that make up our nation’s water infrastructure. The EPA’s recently-launched Water Infrastructure: Moving Toward Sustainability website includes an enhanced set of web pages to provide information and resources for meeting the water infrastructure challenges faced in communities across the country. To support local officials as they meet these challenges, the updated web pages also have a new section specifically for local officials, offering concrete, achievable steps that local officials can take to put their community on a more sustainable path or enhance existing efforts to address their water infrastructure needs. [Click here and here to access related info from Massachusetts.]
When young people are substantially and actively involved in shaping the future, they are empowered to be the next generation of stewards of the natural world and they understand the importance of their role in preserving it. “Connecting Kids to Conservation”, a website established by the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) and the Public Lands Institute, is intended to serve as a tool for planning professionals and educators to better engage young people in stewardship of natural resources via conservation and recreation planning, environmental education, service learning, outdoor recreation, restoration projects and more. Resources at this site include helpful tips on how to design and implement successful programs and projects as well as case studies. Click here for more info.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)’s Massachusetts Drought Watch page has links to average streamflow maps and drought advisories, along with information on national drought conditions and links to USGS drought publications. The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) maintains a Drought Status page with press releases on drought status, statewide drought maps, and tips on water conservation. DCR also maintains a Current Conditions page with information on rainfall conditions, streamflow, and groundwater levels. The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) maintains a Municipal Water Restrictions page where they keep track of which communities have adopted restrictions on outdoor water usage.
The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) at the Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently put out a case study entitled Successful Water Conservation Projects: How Four Companies Saved Money Saving Water. Click here to read a related OTA document: The Marlboro Water Conservation Project: Final Report, and here to access the OTA Water Conservation Services page.
As the legally designated depository library for Massachusetts state publications, The State Library of Massachusetts has the most complete collection of Massachusetts government documents in existence. The library is also a selective depository of federal government documents, and has an extensive collection of Massachusetts municipal reports. Library resources available on-line (electronically) include much of the above as well as old maps (showing the former location(s) of rivers, wetlands, coastlines, e.g.), historic photos, and much more. Click here to research state and local history and here to read the State Library’s blog.
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Non-government On-line Resources
(in rough alphabetical order – the following are offered for information purposes only and are not an endorsement of the items listed below)
E – The Environmental Magazine
Now into its third decade of publication, E provides information about environmental topics and shares ideas and resources so that its readers can live more sustainable lives and connect with ongoing efforts for change (see, e.g., a recent article on the “Transition Towns” movement). Not affiliated with any membership organization, E provides an independent voice and perspective on environmental issues. Resources on E’s recently spiffed-up web page include top environmental news stories, expert bloggers on a wide variety of environmental/green living topics, “green app” picks and much more.
Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media Database
In keeping with Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media’s belief that media play a vital role in shaping, framing and catalyzing public discourse and culture and its goal to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding, GFEM established this database to help bring media projects-in-progress to potential funders. The searchable GFEM Media Database serves as a hub where funders of all kinds can find a rich array of media-related projects that fit their funding priorities. Grantseekers are invited to contribute your media-related project to the website; click here for more info.
GreenTowns is a new network that connects and celebrates local green initiatives, their leaders and the sustainable communities many are striving to create. It brings together successful sustainability efforts at the local level, presents these initiatives by town (Worcester, e.g.) and by category (water, e.g.), and invites people to share their expertise and experiences. In a joint effort with Reader’s Digest and AmericanTowns.com, GreenTowns also features How Green is Your Town?, an invitation to identify and celebrate green efforts in your town and to encourage adoption of other worthwhile initiatives.
Established by the Craigslist Foundation and still in “beta test” mode, the LikeMinded website is intended to help share the success stories of what people and groups are doing to strengthen their communities. Know of great work being done in your community? Help the story be told by sharing an existing web link about it as a Resource, or document the story of a community project using LikeMinded’s Project feature. Click here to learn how to use LikeMinded, or just click here to learn more about the success stories already entered into LikeMinded’s database.
Mass. Audubon’s Ecological Extension Service (EES)
The EES is Mass Audubon’s technical assistance program, through which Audubon shares with conservation partners the considerable expertise it has developed in managing its own 34,000-acre sanctuary system.
The EES assists land trusts, towns, agencies, watershed associations, and private landowners with conservation prioritization, ecological inventory, mapping, trail design, management planning, restoration, research, and interpretation of open space. Online resources include the new Ground Truth newsletter, which details EES staff experience and areas of expertise, along with links to examples of EES projects.
Mass. Audubon’s ‘On the Water’ web page
This page promotes paddling and other water-related programs sponsored by Mass Audubon sanctuaries.
Mystic River Urban Trail Map and Activity Guide
Through funding from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) recently developed an Urban Trail Map for the Mystic River and its tributaries. The goal of this large, two-sided, annotated map and guide, available in English and Spanish and in both print and downloadable electronic formats, is to help watershed residents find their way to river access points in order to encourage healthy enjoyment of the river. The map highlights unique ecological features and environmental conditions from Medford to Chelsea. Click here to access electronic versions of the map and activity guide as well as learn about related upcoming events. Printed copies of the map/guide are available by sending $5/map to MyRWA, 20 Academy St., Suite 306, Arlington, MA 02476 -6401. Please include your address, indicate how many maps you would like and if you prefer the map in English or Spanish.
Restoring an Urban Watershed: Ecology, Equity, and Design
The link above takes you to a videotape of a “New Directions in EcoPlanning” lecture by Anne Whiston Spirn, sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History which took place this past spring. In the lecture, Spirn, professor of landscape architecture and planning at MIT, gives an inspiring presentation (accompanied by many images) of the restoration of Mill Creek in Philadelphia as a model for uniting science, design, and community engagement to address social and environmental problems. Click here for more info.
Runoff Rundown is the periodic electronic newsletter of the Center for Watershed Protection ( CWP ). Articles in the Summer 2011 edition of Runoff Rundown focus on
illicit discharges and pollution source detection in coastal watersheds.
The newsletter also includes info on two upcoming
CWP-sponsored webcasts: Rainwater Harvesting as a Stormwater Management Practice (on September 14, 2011) and Just How Gross Can You Get? Dealing with Gross Solids and Illicit Discharges in your Community (on October 5, 2011). [CWP also recently launched a Coastal Plain Watershed Information Center website which provides tools to manage the impacts of land use and stormwater runoff on coastal plain water resources, specifically watersheds in the U.S. Atlantic coastal plain from the Gulf of Mexico to Cape Cod .]
Billed as “the world's first entirely-online volunteer network”, Sparked seeks to connect skilled and passionate volunteers with nonprofit groups that can benefit from their services. The service is entirely free for participating nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit groups can click here to describe the volunteer services they seek, and prospective volunteers can click here to share their interests and skills.
Practicing the "TAO of Journalism" (Transparency, Accountability, and Openness), Spot.Us is an open source project to pioneer “community-powered reporting.” Through Spot.Us the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Community members can also take a survey when available , to support the story of their choice at no cost. Spot.Us also utilizes an open source fundraising platform. Click here for more info.
TechSoup provides nonprofits and libraries with technology that empowers them to fulfill their missions and serve their communities. Join TechSoup for free to be eligible for product donations such as Microsoft software (click here and here and for more details), webinars and access to the TechSoup blog and community forums where nonprofits share their experiences and expertise in using technology.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP)
The TRCP, a coalition of hunting, fishing and conservation organizations, labor unions and individuals representing the wide spectrum of America ’s outdoor community, is dedicated to the foresighted stewardship of America ’s landscape, helping expand fish and wildlife habitat and increase public access to quality hunting and fishing. Resources on the TRCP’s newly-redesigned website include a frequently updated, state-by-state map of hunting and fishing resources that includes links for licenses, weather forecasts, tides and Orvis fishing reports; a quick and easy ability to advocate for conservation and hunting and fishing through the TRCP’s action center; and full integration with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, allowing you access to videos, trivia, contests, prizes and the latest conservation news.
Wash for a Cause
Established by the nonprofit New England Carwash Association (NECA), Wash for a Cause enables non-profit organizations (§501(c)(3) charities and other groups) to raise money through selling car wash coupons. Register your charity on washforacause.com, then upload your group’s logo or photo, and a custom website will be created for you to begin collecting online donations. For every $10 donated, a car wash voucher will be emailed to the donor (redeemable at over 50 locations) and your group receives a portion of the proceeds. Click here to sign up and here for more info.
Watchdog New England
Established by the Initiative for Investigative Reporting at Northeastern University, the Watchdog New England website is intended to assist community news organizations in investigative reporting that helps excavate the truth behind important issues and holds public and non-profit agencies and their leaders accountable. The website puts reporters, editors, and citizens across New England within a mouse click of hundreds of databases (a constantly-growing list, all free of charge) that can help overcome reporting hurdles and add depth and context to breaking news stories (click here and here for examples). [See also the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, housed at Boston University.
Recently established by a broad coalition of agencies and organizations who have committed to work together to examine and report regularly on the condition of the land and water resources of the Narragansett Bay Watershed Region (which includes the Mass. portions of the Blackstone, Ten Mile, Mount Hope/Narragansett Bays and Taunton River watersheds), the Watersheds Counts website tracks five key indicators (climate change, impervious cover, beach closures, fresh water flow and invasive species to assess environmental quality and help identify, prioritize and evaluate effective protection and remediation measures and communicate this information to the public and decision makers. [Click here to read a recent op-ed on Watershed Counts in the Providence Journal.]
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Publications and Videos, etc.
(the following are offered for information purposes only and are not an endorsement of the items listed below.)
River of Renewal: Myth and History in the Klamath Basin, the title of a book and new documentary film, tells the story of the crisis in the Klamath Basin where competing demands for water, food, and energy have pitted farmers, American Indians, and commercial fishermen against each other. Remarkably, the outcome may be the largest dam removal project in history and the restoration of a once vital river. Click here to order the book, here for more info on the book, here for a schedule of broadcast times for River of Renewal on PBS World stations, here to order a DVD of the film for home use, here to see the film’s trailer and opening sequence, and here for more info on the Klamath River restoration effort.
The September 2011 issue of Ecological Applications, put out by the Ecological Society of America (ESA), includes a large section devoted to evaluating river restoration. Among the eight articles on this topic are: River restoration success: a question of perception; Effects of urbanization and urban stream restoration on the physical and biological structure of stream ecosystems; Assessing stream restoration effectiveness at reducing nitrogen export to downstream waters; and Testing the Field of Dreams Hypothesis: functional responses to urbanization and restoration in stream ecosystems. Click here for info on other ESA publications, including the new Ecosphere on-line journal, which includes an article entitled Stream size and human influences on ecosystem production in river networks.
In Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, due out in September by Boston-based Beacon Books, award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett reports on the many ways one of the most water-rich nations on the planet has squandered its way to scarcity, and argues the best solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a water ethic for America. From backyard waterfalls and grottoes in California to sinkholes swallowing chunks of Florida, Blue Revolution exposes how the nation’s green craze largely missed water – the No. 1 environmental concern of most Americans. But the book is big on inspiration, too. Blue Revolution combines investigative reporting with solutions from around the nation and the globe. From San Antonio to Singapore, Barnett shows how local communities and entire nations have come together in a shared ethic to dramatically reduce consumption and live within their water means. The first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America. Click here to order or for more info.
As Alex Prud’homme and his great-aunt Julia Child were completing their collaboration on her memoir, My Life in France, they began to talk about the French obsession with bottled water, which had finally spread to America . From this spark of interest, Prud’homme began what would become an ambitious quest to understand the evolving story of freshwater. What he found was shocking: as the climate warms and world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of freshwater are static or dropping, and new threats to water quality appear every day. Prud’homme’s recently-published book The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century seeks to answer urgent questions about water supply and demand, water quality, threats posed by natural disasters and terrorist attacks, and whether or not our current water-related infrastructure is up to the challenge. Click here to order the book, here to see Prud’homme’s web page on The Ripple Effect, and here to read an excerpt of the book.
“Cities across the U.S. should anticipate significant water-related vulnerabilities based on current carbon emission trends because of climate change, ranging from water shortages to more intense storms and floods to sea level rise”, according to Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities, a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). To help cities become more resilient to the rising threats of climate change, NRDC reviewed more than 75 scientific studies and other reports to summarize the water-related vulnerabilities in 12 cities across the United States (including Boston). Although there may still be some uncertainty about what particular impacts threaten cities and how quickly or severely they might occur, action at the local level is the most effective method of reducing, mitigating, and preventing the negative effects of water-related climate change. NRDC’s report urges cities to prepare for coming challenges relating to water resources. Fortunately, there are steps cities are already taking to become more resilient. Click here for more info and here to download a copy of the report.
Clean water and healthy communities go hand in hand. Urban areas are increasingly using green infrastructure to create multiple benefits for their communities. However, there have been questions whether strong stormwater standards could unintentionally deter urban redevelopment and shift development to environmentally damaging sprawl. Smart Growth America, American Rivers, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, River Network and NRDC commissioned ECONorthwest to address this question. The resulting report, Managing Stormwater in Redevelopment and Greenfield Development Projects Using Green Infrastructure - Economic Factors that Influence Developers ʼ Decisions, highlights several communities that are protecting clean water with strong, volume-based stormwater standards and also fostering redevelopment. The findings show that clean water and urban redevelopment are compatible. Click here to download the complete report, here to read the Executive Summary, and here and here for related info.
Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living gives homeowners a do-it-yourself, low-cost approach to conserving water and energy. Authors Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little, and Edmund C. Snodgrass, the creator of the first green roof nursery in the U.S, explain that a green roof differs from a rooftop garden because “rather than being grown in individual containers, the plants are in a more continuous layer of soil, which allows interaction between the plants and is more akin to a natural system.” Full of pictures and easy to read, the guide profiles more than 40 homeowners around the globe who created green roofs on their homes, sheds, studios and garages of all shapes and sizes. Each profile includes how-to tips readers can use to design, construct and maintain a similar domestic or small-scale green roof project. Click here to order the book and here to read a brief review.
Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation , by envi- ronmental planner Sharon Gamson Danks, is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. The book’s 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world’s most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; and creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to explore the natural world first hand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful, and describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their school communities in transforming their own asphalt into ecosystems. Click here to order the book, here for a review and here for more info.
The intended audience for The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas around Your Home is landowners of one to ten acres of forested, semi-forested, or non-forested land who wish to promote and restore ecologically sound and healthy forested environments for the trees, shrubs and plants, and wildlife on the land, and themselves as they inhabit and use the land. Structured as a primer and workbook, the book uses two case studies throughout to illustrate the process and activities needed to define goals for the land and its use, how to evaluate and inventory the land, determine desired projects (along with the physical, and financial requirements of each project and expertise needed), and how to prioritize those projects. Click here to order a hard copy, here to download a low-res, “fair use” copy, or here to read a review of the book.
Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards, Plus a Checklist for an Eco-Friendly Property, a new, 55-page booklet by Sarah Little, Ph.D. for the Northeast Organic Farming Association Organic Land Care Program, is aimed at homeowners with new lawns, old lawns and alternative landscapes. Beautifully written with gorgeous pictures, the booklet covers topics ranging from conserving water and energy and promoting soil fertility to controlling invasives and pests without pesticides. The book includes checklists, inspiring quotes and lists of resources. Click here to order hard copies of the brochure, here to download a .pdf version of the brochure, and here to access links to resources referred to in this document. [Click here to read the first issue of Organic with the Seasons, the organic homeowner's newsletter.]
Published earlier this year by Harvard University Press, Cricket Radio: Tuning In the Night-Singing Insects, by New England-based nature and childrens book author and illustrator John Himmelman, seeks to (re)awaken our interest in the insect sounds of summer and other seasons and how (and why) they are made. Himmelman explains how to track down and identify the often overlooked producers of these sounds. Click here to access the supporting website for the book (which includes insect sounds with or without the author’s running commentary), here for a related web page featuring recordings of cricket and other insect sounds, and here to read a review of Cricket Radio in Orion magazine.
Poet Jason Kirkey teams with photographer James Liter to create a meditation on river landscapes in Estuaries: Poems, recently published by Hiraeth Press. The guiding metaphor of the book, estuaries—a place of mingling salt and fresh water—is expressed here as the mingling of human nature and non-human nature. The collection includes poems entitled “Ravens through Cedar Trees” and “the Riverway”, paired with arresting photos of natural landscapes and details. The text and images tandem to create a volume that offers a spiritual retreat in the form of book-meditation. Click here to order the book, here to see Kirkey reading one of his poems from the book, and here to read a review of the book.
Riparia’s River, the new children’s book by New England-based nature writer Michael Caduto and illustrator Olga Pastuchiv, tells the story about how four friends arrive at their favorite swimming hole, only to find it afflicted with green slime and a foul smell. In an attempt to figure it out where the smell and slime are coming from, they start walking upstream and meet a mysterious woman who calls herself “Riparia” or “of the riverbank.” She tells them “the river isn’t well” and offers to show them why the water is polluted. Riparia’s River is an inspiring tale about the nature of rivers and sources of pollution and how if “we do what Riparia says, we can help things grow back along the riverbank and make the water clean again.” Click here to order or for more info.
Frederick Law Olmsted, best known locally as the creative force responsible for the Back Bay Fens and the Emerald Necklace, may well be “the most important American historical figure that the average person knows least about,” writes Justin Martin, author of Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Martin researched Olmsted’s letter collection (both to and from), and found within an unconventionally ambitious man who would become an early environmental pioneer partly responsible for preserving Yosemite National Park, a journalist for what is now The New York Times, a Civil War abolitionist and a world traveler. On a trip to England, after visiting a private park and asking himself “Was it really right for this beautiful place to be set apart for the enjoyment of the privileged few?”, Olmsted set out to make beautiful, publicly-accessible landscapes at Central Park, the U.S. Capitol Grounds, Prospect Park, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and many other American landmarks. Click here to read a review of Genius of Place and here to access a segment on this subject that recently aired on WBUR’s Radio Boston program.
Produced in partnership between the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the U.S. Forest Service and released this past spring, the hour-long documentary film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time provocatively examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st century ecological challenges. Leopold’s biographer, conservation biologist Dr. Curt Meine, serves as the film's on-screen guide. Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community. Click here for more info on Green Fire, including how to schedule a screening or obtain a DVD of the movie for home use; here to watch the trailer; or click here and here to read reviews of the film.
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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!
Coordinated by the Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), The Great Outdoors Blog is dedicated to Massachusetts outdoor activities, events, wildlife, state parks and local agriculture that features a calendar of Massachusetts outdoor events. Learn about native marsh species, guides for the state’s best paddling adventures and learn about wetlands restoration projects that protect recreational and commercial fisheries. [Click here for the related “Green Massachusetts” photo gallery.]
Division of Ecological Restoration Staff:
Tim Purinton, Director
Hunt Durey, Acting Deputy Director
Carrie Banks, Stream Team and Westfield River Wild and Scenic Committee Coordinator
Jeremy Bell, Wetland Restoration Specialist
Russell Cohen, Rivers Advocate
Cindy Delpapa, Stream Ecologist
Eileen Goldberg, Assistant Director
Alex Hackman, Project Manager
Franz Ingelfinger, Restoration Ecologist
Georgeann Keer, Wetland Scientist and Project Manager
Beth Lambert, River Restoration Scientist
Chris Leuchtenburg, River Restoration Data Researcher
Laila Parker, Watershed Ecologist
Nick Wildman, Priority Projects Coordinator
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Ecological Restoration (DER)
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lieutenant Governor
Richard K. Sullivan, Jr., Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Mary B. Griffin, Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game
251 Causeway St. Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Visit the DER Staff page