January 5, 2007
In this issue:
Last But Not Least
River Advocates Weigh in on Rivers Agenda
Dear River Advocates,
As the New Year begins, we look ahead to a new Administration and new opportunities. Our incoming Governor, Deval Patrick, looks forward to an “active grassroots government”, which we enthusiastically endorse, having embraced this fundamental principle with our partnerships with all of you—watershed associations, land trusts, municipalities, Stream Teams, RIFLS groups and citizens—during the past 19 years. We look forward to an Administration that understands and values partnerships and one that actively solicits citizen and grassroots input and involvement from across the Commonwealth.
In that vein, in late November, Riverways convened a River Advocates Meeting in Leominster to bring watershed associations and river enthusiasts together to talk about the riverine resources that need protection and restoration. We worked with five watershed volunteers in planning the agenda, with the goal of first determining statewide river issues and secondly creating a river agenda for the next four years. I found great joy in facilitating this vital and exciting meeting, where over fifty representatives of watershed associations, land trusts, urban river and statewide advocacy groups brought their energy and expertise to the discussion. We set up the meeting so that we could look at our rivers by issue: water quality, instream flow, habitat, restoration, recreation and access. Watershed leaders across the state provided information about their top issues, and from those descriptions, a tapestry of river needs emerged. After refining the priorities through e-mail voting, volunteers from four associations wrote the document that was submitted to the Patrick-Murray Transition Team’s Energy and Environment Working Group. Because it represents the collected wisdom of local advocates, we are highlighting this document as NewsNotes #23’s lead article.
Riverways has had an exciting year, culminating with the removal of the Ballou Dam on Yokum Brook in Becket on December 20th. After engineering studies and planning, partnership with the Town (led by the Town Administrator, Rich Furlong, with support from various departments,) federal, state and private organizations provided funding, local knowledge and essential technical assistance to the project. The project was carefully engineered (by an experienced river restoration engineering firm) so that dam removal would provide passage for fish (including trout and salmon), promote river continuity, improve habitat through installation of step pools, manage sediment, ensure protection of adjacent infrastructure as well as to ensure fire suppression for the adjacent school. It was a “win-win-win solution”—for the Town, the brook (and its watershed, the Wild and Scenic Westfield River ) and the fish. Click here for photos and links to media coverage of this exciting project. Thanks to the Riverways team, led by project manager Tim Purinton and Brian Graber, Restoration Scientist, who oversaw efforts to successfully complete this project this year. Thanks also to nonprofit, corporate, local, state and federal funders, technical advisors, and all the members of our large (local-state-federal-nonprofit) steering committee. A dedication ceremony is planned for next spring.
I am very pleased to announce that Riverways has hired Gabrielle Stebbins, replacing Amy Singler, as part of Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream staff. Many of you have known Gabrielle through her work at RIFLS, forming and training volunteers to measure instream flow, through her organization of Riverways Instream Flow Conference, or through her outstanding community organizing for the “Neponset River Revival” that highlighted the Neponset River , its resources and needs as well as solutions to its problems. Gabrielle will continue her work in the Neponset as well as working to form and train new Stream Teams and to work with existing groups to build community support to implement projects.
We are currently soliciting applications to fill Gabrielle’s former position of the Instream Flow and Restoration Specialist due on February 2nd.
My final thank you is to the Riverways Staff for its outstanding work once again in 2006, and to all of you who have inspired us, shared your local rivers with us, and worked so successfully on behalf of the rivers and streams across the Commonwealth.
This lead article is followed as usual by a cornucopia of timely grant opportunities, events and Web resources compiled by Russ Cohen. Please check appropriate grants right away because some have fast-approaching deadlines.
See you on the rivers !
Joan Kimball, Director
P.S. The Mass. Watershed Coalition (MWC)’s “mwc-list” listserv is a great source of information on river- and watershed-related funding and job opportunities, upcoming events, recent articles and more. Many of the posted items are time-sensitive and can’t wait until the next edition of NewsNotes. You can access the mwc-list listserv at http://email@example.com, where you can subscribe to receive the posted messages to your e-mail address, or simply read them on-line. Highly recommended! While there’s some overlap, you might also want to join and/or read prior postings to the “NEWatersheds” listserv maintained by River Network – see http://rapids.rivernetwork.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/newatersheds.
P.P.S.: Riverways seeks your help in gathering information on locations in the Commonwealth where dams have (through natural and/or human causes) been breached, removed, or otherwise rendered defunct. This information, while not contained in the state Office of Dam Safety’s database, is nevertheless of considerable value in helping to understand how rivers and riverine lands adapt to the breaching or removal of a dam. We hope that anecdotal or other information illustrating the substantial restoration of ecological, scenic and other riverine values subsequent to a dam breaching or removal will help inform future potential dam breaching or removal projects. If you have any information on sites like this in your watershed, including historical information about the dam’s former use and how its breach or removal came about, please send it along to us. We’re hoping that this information will help further the cause of dam removal by highlighting positive impacts/consequences or pointing out pitfalls/mistakes to avoid for future projects. Your information can be submitted in whichever form is most convenient to you (e-mail, snail mail, phone, etc.) Submit it to: Tim Purinton, Riverways, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114, (617) 626-1542, (617)626-1505 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Submission of the Ad Hoc Group of Advocates for Rivers and Watersheds to Governor/Lieutenant Governor-Elect Patrick-Murray Transition Team’s Working Group on Energy and the Environment, December 11, 2006
Dear Mr. Gomes and Dr. Tierney:
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments to the Patrick/Murray Transition Team Working Group on Energy and the Environment. We are writing as an ad hoc group of advocates for the Commonwealth’s rivers and watersheds, representing numerous communities throughout the state, and we appreciate your attention to these critical natural resource issues.
Rivers are an essential but often undervalued natural asset of the Commonwealth.
For centuries, rivers have provided the powerful engine to drive and sustain the economic growth of our commerce and our communities. Rivers provide valuable services in the form of drinking water, transportation, power, irrigation, food, recreation, and respite for each of us. Rivers also afford productive habitat for a spectacular and important diversity of species of fisheries and wildlife that enrich our environment and our lives. Whether slow and undulating or rapid and precipitous, rivers provide us natural beauty, spiritual peace, and a sense of place that defines and shapes our landscape and our quality of life.
Today, the rivers of the Commonwealth are suffering neglect and compromise from unchecked and poorly managed development that has included more wells and water withdrawals, increased paved surfaces and stormwater runoff, increased wastewater inputs, habitat alterations, such as culverts and dams, and burdens on outdated infrastructure. As a result, our rivers suffer from poor water quality, lower seasonal flows and, in some cases, dry streambeds, higher peak flows and flooding, habitat destruction and the loss of overall ecosystem integrity. Despite our plentiful rain and temperate climate, many communities experience water shortages as well as flood-related damage to homes and businesses, depleted and contaminated fish stocks, sedimentation and erosion, loss of recreational opportunities, and destruction of our scenic and historical landscape. These management-related impacts to our rivers, and ultimately our estuaries and bays, can be avoided with better planning, more oversight, and more funding.
As our cities and towns continue to grow and develop, it is extremely important to consider the essential role rivers will play in our communities. Our desire for success, productivity, and a high quality of life require that we consider and implement thoughtful and sustainable strategies that support an integrated rivers policy. This policy should include increased funding for rivers protection and restoration, including infrastructure improvements, smart growth and low impact development (LID) requirements, improved water resources management education for municipal officials and for the public, tools and funding for local governments to implement education, by-laws and enforcement provisions, and support for collective community-based action. We also need to enhance recreational and event-based access to our rivers as our communities grow, to maintain public engagement with these vital resources.
Since implementation of the Clean Water Act, a legion of civic-minded river advocates in Massachusetts have formed approximately 70 watershed associations and scores of Stream Teams. From a grassroots level, these groups work to assess the health of their rivers, understand and mitigate the impacts of development and growth on our fragile ecosystems, and take action to protect and restore these resources through advocacy, education and science programs. The groups also play a key role in mobilizing political support for required investments and improved stewardship, and leveraging state and municipal efforts by engaging community volunteers.
Based on this experience, we propose a series of essential principles that illustrate the important role of rivers in our daily lives, and we offer several strategies to assure improvements in the fundamental quality of Massachusetts rivers so that they can continue to contribute to a better quality of life in our communities now, and for generations to come.
I. Establish a Rivers Working Group to Update the Rivers Policy and Action Plan
In 1989, the Commonwealth defined a River Policy to "... stop the degradation of the state's rivers, protect against any loss of the improvements made in the last fifteen years, and spur the restoration and enhancement of our rivers." and committed to a five-year action plan to achieve these goals. Adopted by Governor Dukakis and EOEA Secretary John DeVillars, that policy and related efforts resulted in significant progress, including passage of the Rivers Protection Act, development of the Riverways Program, the work of the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative, development of the state Stormwater Management Policy, and creation of a revolving fund for wastewater treatment and the Heritage River Pilot Project, among others. Much remains to be done, however. Recent cuts in the state environmental budget, the decision to end the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative, and increased development pressures have resulted in a serious loss of momentum in efforts to protect and restore our rivers.
The time has come for a renewed commitment to the Commonwealth's rivers and a reinvigorated effort to act on that commitment. As a key first step, we recommend convening a new Rivers Working Group – once again made up of agency, watershed association, and private representatives – to review and update the Rivers Policy, and define a new five-year action plan.
The following points highlight five important goals that must be addressed by a new Rivers Policy:
a. Promote Integrated Rivers Management
An effective Rivers Policy must recognize the integrated nature of different aspects of river health -- flow, water quality, habitat quality, and biota – and their interdependence with watershed land uses. Integrated water resources management requires us to think comprehensively about land and water use, to ‘keep water local’, and to proceed with the following:
- Coordinate state programs on a watershed basis, including implementation of watershed-based permitting that addresses all water resources (stormwater, wastewater and water supply).
- Promote broader use of Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to reflect a more environmentally-sensitive land use and development ethic by enacting more stringent requirements for private and public development and redevelopment projects, and providing stronger incentives.
- Increase investments in open space preservation and acquisition to protect riparian corridors, which will positively impact water quality and quantity.
- Recognize the cumulative impacts of all land use decisions on water resources to prevent extreme low flow conditions, sanitary sewer and combined sewer overflows, violations of water quality standards, stormwater runoff, destruction of wetlands, and building in the floodplain.
- Improve implementation of the Water Management Act, Interbasin Transfer Act and other state laws to require effective water conservation measures and ensure that they do not authorize actions that degrade the Commonwealth’s rivers and conflict with the goals and purposes of the Clean Water Act.
b. Enhance Capacity to Achieve Rivers Protection & Restoration Goals
To achieve our rivers protection and restoration goals, we must enhance coordination among all participants involved in watershed management. We must first and foremost invest in ‘watershed thinking’ that engages federal and state regulators, municipalities and watershed associations to:
- Enhance coordination among all stakeholders involved in watershed management and more readily engage the citizens of the Commonwealth as river stewards.
- Involve watershed associations, municipalities and businesses in the development and implementation of state programs and regulations.
- Establish clear restoration goals to meet waterbodies’ designated uses.
- Develop and provide training and tools that help educate municipal officials, businesses, practitioners, and the public about the benefits of water resource management, water and nutrient use reduction (i.e., low-water, low-input yard and lawn care), and site-specific stormwater management on water quality and instream flow.
c. Improve Water Quality
Progress in achieving water quality goals and supporting the designated uses of each river in the Commonwealth requires the following actions:
- Assess 100% of our rivers to determine the attainment of designated uses for each waterbody, through a partnership of DEP monitoring efforts and watershed association volunteer monitoring programs.
- Develop and implement TMDLs for all of the Commonwealth’s impaired waters to quantify the pollutant loading capacity that each waterbody can assimilate and still meet its designated uses, and to effectively manage the pollutant sources.
- Integrate water quantity and streamflow indices in water quality assessments and TMDLs, to prevent disjointed management of water quality and water quantity.
- Reduce significantly or eliminate sanitary sewer and combined sewer overflows.
- Require and support effective municipal, industrial, commercial and state agency stormwater management programs.
d. Protect and Restore Instream Flows
To sustain the ecological health, biodiversity, and natural functions of our rivers, we must determine the amount of water they need, protect these instream flows, and maintain their natural hydrological regimes. To achieve this, it is imperative that we:
- Develop and implement an accurate method for estimating the available "safe yield" of our watersheds, calculated to include protection and maintenance of the natural magnitude, duration and frequency of instream flows that sustain river health.
- Develop scientifically-sound streamflow standards for protection of ecological integrity and require Water Management Act permit and registration holders to meet these standards.
- Address adverse impacts of existing water withdrawals through effective water conservation, mitigation programs, and economic incentives.
- Establish and enforce clear standards to ensure that effective water conservation is the “first resort” in addressing water demand under all state law and programs.
- Maintain existing USGS gauging stations to improve streamflow monitoring and identification of stressed basins, and provide support for monitoring of ungauged locations.
e. Restore Aquatic and Riparian Habitat, and Fisheries
We need coordinated efforts that promote aquatic and riparian ecosystem restoration, undo the damages of past neglect, and promote habitat renewal. These efforts should include the following:
- Assess the condition of instream dams, determine and prioritize removal of unnecessary dams, and streamline the permitting process for dam removal.
- Develop target fish communities for impaired rivers, specifying fish species that would exist in a healthy river ecosystem (defined by water quality, flow and habitat), and establish restoration goals to achieve target fish communities in our rivers.
- Improve fish passage at dams and other obstructions to fish movement, and streamline the permitting process for these projects.
- Support efforts to remove invasive plant species along river corridors, as well as native re-vegetation and erosion control efforts.
- Enhance and encourage connectivity along river corridors to promote wildlife habitat, migration of pollinators and other beneficial species, and continuous tree canopies.
II. Provide An Adequate River Fund within the Environmental Bond and Establish a River Endowment Fund to Sustain Municipal Efforts
The contribution of our rivers to the Commonwealth’s development and economy is immeasurable, yet the assaults on these precious natural assets are difficult to quantify. Unfortunately, our financial investments have long been inadequate for sustaining river health and concurrently ensuring our long-term economic and social progress. Just as we promote our own welfare with individual heath and retirement plans, we must recognize the importance of our rivers’ health to ourselves and to future generations, and prioritize their well-being with an increased investment in our rivers by doing the following:
- Create a Rivers Fund within the Environmental Bond Bill to fund land purchases, infrastructure improvements, and other capital investments to restore, protect and provide long term stewardship of Commonwealth rivers.
- Provide adequate funding in the state’s operating budget to achieve the goals of the Rivers Policy.
- Establish development and user fees that recognize and mitigate impacts on the ecosystems, and encourage communities to set aside funds for river enhancement and improvement.
- Develop creative mechanisms to fund education and community projects that promote the health of rivers, including support for local NGOs and citizen groups.
As advocates for our rivers and watersheds, we look forward to working with Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray, and a new EOEA Secretary on a strong Rivers Policy and Action Plan for the Commonwealth. Thank you again for considering these recommendations.
Blackstone River Coalition
Blackstone River Watershed Association
Charles River Watershed Association
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay
Connecticut River Watershed Council, Inc.
Farmington River Watershed Association
Hoosic River Watershed Association
Housatonic Valley Association
Ipswich River Watershed Association
Jones River Watershed Association, Kingston
Massachusetts Audubon Society
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions
Massachusetts Sierra Club
Massachusetts Watershed Coalition
Merrimack River Watershed Council, Inc.
Mystic River Watershed Association
Nashua River Watershed Association
Neponset River Watershed Association
North and South Rivers Watershed Association
Organization for the Assabet River
Parker River Clean Water Association
Saugus River Watershed Council
Sheehan Family Foundation, Kingston MA
SuAsCo Watershed Community Council
Sudbury River Watershed Organization
Taunton River Watershed Alliance
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Resources and Grants
Grant Awards, Fundraising and Fellowship Opportunities
(presented in chronological order by application deadline)
The Orchard Foundation ( http://www.orchardfoundation.org) is a private charitable foundation, founded in 1990, that makes grants to non-profit organizations concerned with the environment and children, youth and families in New York and New England . Environmental grants made by the foundation include the topics of biodiversity, fresh and coastal waters, forests, toxic substances and pollution prevention. Advocacy, principally legal, governmental agencies, and administrative process participation advocacy projects are strongly encouraged and given preference. The Orchard Foundation favors organizations with a demonstrated competency in specific skills such as litigation, technology, scientific advocacy, or coalition building. The foundation favors organizations with local and national ties, either through networks, chapters or other affiliations. Finally, the foundation favors organizations with a demonstrated strong base of citizen and activist support. The foundation does not fund projects involving general citizen organizing and public awareness-building, environmental education (for adults or children), growth management and sprawl, energy (except for dams), species-specific or other scientific research, and land acquisition. The next deadline for concept letters is (postmarked by) January 15 th. For more info (e-mail contact is preferred), contact: Executive Director, Orchard Foundation, P.O. Box 2587, So. Portland , ME 04116 , (207) 799-0686, email@example.com.
The purpose of the Fuller Foundation ( http://www.fullerfoundation.org/FullerFoundation/) is to support non-profit agencies which improve the quality of life for people, animals and the environment. Its geographic focus area includes the metro Boston area (inside Route 128). The Foundation strives through its grants to effect change, make an impact on our community, and inspire good deeds. In its Wildlife, Endangered Species - their Environment, And Animals Helping People program, the Foundation proposals that will educate the public on wildlife and the adverse affects of encroachment on their habitat; support shelters, animal hospitals, animal habitats, and programs that insure a healthy wildlife population; protect endangered species, their environment and habitat from extinction or unnecessary human encroachment; and support programs which improve people's lives by interaction with animals. Grant submission deadlines are January 15th and June 15th annually. For more information, contact: John T. Bottomley, Executive Director, P.O. Box 479, Rye Beach, NH 03871, (603) 964-6998, ATFuller@aol.com.
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF, http://www.grassrootsfund.org) is a small grants program designed to foster and give voice to grassroots environmental initiatives in the six New England states. NEGEF was created to assist groups who are not being reached by traditional funders. It provides grants of up to $2,500 to fuel civic engagement, local activism, and social change. NEGEF funds community involvement in projects that address a wide range of environmental issues including: agriculture, air quality, alternative energy, aquifer protection, biotechnology, community gardens, environmental justice, energy conservation, forestry, global warming, land trusts, marine environment, public health, sprawl, sustainable communities, toxics and hazardous waste, trails, water quality, watershed management, wetlands, wildlife, and youth-organized environmental work. The Fund has three funding cycles per year. Proposals should be postmarked by January 15th for a March decision, May 1st for a June decision or September 15th for a November decision. Regardless of whether or not you apply for NEGEF funding, you may want to take a look at NEGEF’s highly-informative newsletter to see what other groups are doing ( http://www.grassrootsfund.org/current_newsletter.html). For more information, contact Ginny Callan, Massachusetts Grant Reviewer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 223-4622.
The Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust ( http://www.hembar.com/selectsrv/jbcox/cox.html) funds projects in New England in the areas of health, education and the environment and is particularly interested in projects that primarily benefit underserved populations and disadvantaged communities in New England, as well as projects that focus on prevention rather than remediation. The Trust is interested in supporting environmental projects which will have a positive impact on: protection of critical natural resources; energy conservation; public awareness of the critical environmental issues facing the region; protection of the public’s health, especially in low income or minority communities. The Trust is also interested in fostering collaborations among nonprofit organizations. Grant awards range from $25,000 - $ 75,000 (average award = $ 35,000). The next deadline for submitting concept papers is January 16th. For more info, contact: Susan M. Fish, Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, Select Client Services, Hemenway & Barnes, 60 State St., Boston, MA 02109-1899, (617) 227-7940, x 775, email@example.com.
The U.S. EPA is seeking nominations for its new Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program to recognize outstanding leadership in designing or implementing water quality trading programs and policies that have achieved or will achieve environmental and economic benefits. EPA’s Water Quality Trading Policy offers participants a tool to help foster accelerated restoration of our nation’s watersheds. Trading programs allow facilities facing higher pollutant control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollutant reductions from another source at lower cost, thus achieving the same water quality improvement at lower overall cost. Water quality trading is gaining increased acceptance as a cost-effective method of meeting new challenges. The deadline for applications is January 16th. For more info about Water Quality Trading, please visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/trading.htm.
The EPA’s Region One/New England office is now accepting nominations for the 2007 Environmental Merit Awards. The awards are given in four categories: individual; business, industry, trade, and professional organization; local, state or federal government; and environmental, community or non-profit organization. Awards are also given under a lifetime achievement category. Nominations may be submitted by anyone, and individuals or organizations are allowed to submit self-nominations. The deadline for nominations is January 27, 2007. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques. Awards winners will be invited to a ceremony this spring in Boston . For nomination forms and more info on the Environmental Merit Awards, go to http://www.epa.gov/ne/ra/ema/.
The Mass. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA)’s Volunteer Monitoring Assistance Grants support volunteer and/or citizen groups which monitor inland and coastal systems and coordinate their efforts with state efforts at data collection such as performing watershed assessments, determination of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), and the performance of Best Management Practices for stormwater and other non-point source pollutant remediation. Volunteer groups gather valuable information to support the protection and restoration of important aquatic habitats, water, and other natural resources. These funds may be utilized for marine, estuarine, and freshwater monitoring to help the public better understand the environmental health of Massachusetts ’ watersheds. Maximum grant size is $15,000; a 25% match is required. The application deadline is Tuesday, January 30th at 3PM. For more info, go to http://www.comm-pass.com, click on “Search for solicitations” at the bottom of the page, and then enter ENV 07 POL 07- B in the “Keyword” box, or contact John Clarkeson at John.Clarkeson@state.ma.us or (617) 626-1175.
Based in Somerville, MA, Resist ( http://www.resistinc.org) gives small but timely grants and loans to grassroots groups engaged in activist organizing: collective action that challenges the status quo, demands changes in policy and practice, and educates communities about root causes and just solutions. High priority is given to groups that fall outside of mainstream funding sources because they are considered to be too “radical”. Click here for the 2007 grant deadlines (the next one is Feb 2nd). Resist also serves as a resource center for those seeking information about other sources of funding. In support of this effort, Resist now offers its Finding Funding: A Beginner's Guide to Foundation Research, and media funders guide online. Contact Resist at (617) 623-5110 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) FishAmerica Foundation invites proposals for citizen-driven habitat restoration projects in 2007 under its partnership with the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program. The partnership seeks to fund local efforts accomplishing meaningful, on-the-ground restoration of marine, estuarine and riparian habitats, including freshwater habitats important to anadromous fish species (particularly sportfish). The project must also involve community participation through an educational or volunteer component tied to the restoration activities. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate the participation of NOAA staff to strengthen the development and implementation of sound restoration projects. Non-profit organizations such as local sporting clubs and conservation associations and local and state governments may apply for funding. The application deadline for 2007 is (received, not post-marked by) Monday, February 5th; click on http://www.fishamerica.org/images/grants/noaa07_rfp.pdf for more details. For more info, contact Jeffrey Bloem, Grants Coordinator, FishAmerica Foundation, at (703) 519-9691 x247 or email@example.com.
The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (CESCF) provides funding to States for species and habitat conservation actions on non-Federal lands. While only State agencies that have a current cooperative agreement with the Secretary of the Interior may apply directly for CESCF grant funding, individuals or groups (e.g., land trusts, watershed associations, other conservation organizations) may work with a State agency that has such a cooperative agreement, on conservation efforts that are mutually beneficial, as a subgrantee. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 7th; click here for more details.
River Network is seeking nominations for its annual River Hero awards: “Come on – you know the person: The one who gives of herself endlessly to help protect your local river? The one who is the heart and soul of your local river protection efforts? The one who has much to say about your river and its benefits to the community - but never, ever gives long speeches when standing in front of 500 of his peers? At [this year’s] River Rally celebratory awards banquet, we will honor up to 5 peer-nominated River Heroes. Nominations are due (post-marked by) February 9, 2007. And remember: "if you don’t nominate ‘em, we can’t honor ‘em. So, stop stalling and nominate your hero today - you know you want to...” Contact Katherine Luscher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503/542-8384 for more info.
The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP)’s Greater Boston Regional Fellowship Program encourages interested individuals to apply for acceptance into its Training Series for Emerging Leaders. ELP seeks emerging leaders from non-profits, business, government, indigenous affairs and higher education with approximately three to ten years of experience in the environmental field. ELP defines "environmental" broadly to include public health, transportation policy and planning, economic development and broad-based community organizing. ELP will invite 20-25 individuals to join its Associate Class of 2007 and receive professional development training, networking opportunities, and access to other ELP resources. The year-long program will be offered free of charge due to the generosity of ELP donors. Contact ELP at email@example.com or (617) 755-6719 or go to http://www.elpnet.org/greaterbostonnetwork/training.php for more info; the application deadline is Monday, February 12th.
The Preserve America matching-grant program provides funding to designated Preserve America Communities to support preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education and historic preservation planning. The grants seek to promote the sharing of knowledge about the Nation’s past, strengthen regional identities and local pride, increase local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support the economic vitality of our communities. The application deadline for Preserve America 2007 Grants is February 14th. [N.B.: Right now the only Mass. communities eligible for this grant are in the Blackstone River watershed. Go to http://www.preserveamerica.gov/communities.html to apply to be a Preserve America Community or Preserve America Neighborhood so that you are eligible for subsequent grant rounds (there may be another in 2007)].
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MassPike) recently announced the next round of its Tourism Grant Program. The purpose of the Program is to benefit tourism in the cities and towns through which the “Western Turnpike” passes and/or are visited by Turnpike drivers (i.e., communities west of Interstate 90’s intersection with Route 128/I-95 – see list at http://www.masspike.com/pdf/cmr/609.pdf) as well as some communities east and south of that intersection (see list at http://www.masspike.com/pdf/cmr/610.pdf). While municipalities are the main intended beneficiaries of these grants, other entities can submit proposals as long as they are intended to benefit tourism in one or more of the eligible communities. Criteria by which proposals are judged include: benefit to the economic or social well-being of the Commonwealth (e.g., a project that encourages healthful exercise, such as a riverside jogging trail or paddler access point); the ability to leverage private or additional non-profit investment (such as from a land trust or watershed association); the impact on regional or local character or identity promotion (e.g., a project that highlights your river/watershed’s distinctive attributes); the degree of innovation (promoting eco-tourism, e.g.) and collaboration among local agencies or groups. The complete set of regulations setting out the parameters for the grant program can be accessed on-line at http://www.masspike.com/aboutus/regulations.html; the application deadline for the next round of grants is Friday, March 2nd, 2007 . For more information, contact Steven Jacques at (617) 248-2835 or Steve.Jacques@masspike.com. Even if your group is not interested in applying for a MassPike Tourism grant, you may nevertheless want to take advantage of MassPike’s “Take a Hike on the Pike” web page http://www.masspike.com/tt/user-cgi/events.cgi, where organizations can post info about upcoming events (as well as directions on how to get there via the Pike); this service is open to anyone (not just Turnpike communities).
The National Association of Counties, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with EPA, are soliciting applications for the Five-Star Restoration Matching Grants Program. The Program provides modest financial assistance on a competitive basis to support community-based wetland, riparian and coastal habitat restoration projects that build diverse partnerships and foster local natural resource stewardship through education, outreach and training activities. Awards are between $5,000 and $20,000; the average grant is about $13,000. Projects must include a strong on-the-ground wetland, riparian, or coastal habitat restoration component and include a strong training, education, community stewardship and/or outreach component. Projects must involve diverse partnerships of ideally five organizations that contribute funding, land, technical assistance, workforce support, and/or other in-kind services. Projects involving only research, monitoring, or planning are not eligible for funding. Applicants must demonstrate that measurable ecological, educational, social, and/or economic benefits are expected to result from the completion of the project. Applications must be postmarked by March 9th, 2007. Go to http://www.nfwf.org/programs/5star-rfp.cfm for more info.
Founded in 1981, the Town Creek Foundation ( http://www.towncreekfdn.org) seeks a healthy environment, an informed society, and a peaceful world. The Foundation is committed to achieving its mission through public education, citizen action, and advocacy. The Foundation supports programs that engage citizens in challenging the unsustainable use of natural resources and in protecting biological diversity. Strategies supported are grassroots activism, monitoring the enforcement of environmental laws, public policy advocacy, collaborative opportunities, media outreach, and model or demonstration projects fostering sustainable policies and practices. A letter of inquiry (up to two pages) may be submitted before a full proposal is prepared. It may be submitted by fax or email and the foundation will respond as soon as possible as to whether a full proposal will be considered. The next letter of inquiry deadline is March 16, 2007. For more info, contact Christine B. Shelton, Executive Director, Town Creek Foundation, 121 N. West Street, Easton, Maryland 21601, (410) 763-8171, (410) 763-8172 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for a tasty way to raise $$ for your organization? Why not put out a cookbook? Cookbook Publishers ( http://www.cookbookpublishers.com/) helps nonprofit organizations create quality community cookbooks, which they can then sell to their members and others to raise funds to support their charitable work. One such local example is Greenways Seasonings, a cookbook recently put out by Wachusett Greenways. Cookbook Publishers provides step-by-step guidance on how to solicit recipes and transform them into an attractive, well-organized, easy-to-read and easy-to-use cookbook that raises the profile of your organization as well as funds to support your work. Call (800) 227-7282 anytime to order a free, no-obligation Cookbook Instruction Kit.
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Recently established by UMass fisheries professor Piotr Parasiewicz, the mission of the Rushing Rivers Institute: Science for Sustainable Management of Running Waters http://www.rushingrivers.com is to provide sound science for river advocates and managers, particularly on the issues of instream flow, fisheries composition and habitat. During the past seven years, first at the Instream Habitat Program at Cornell University, and during then the past two years at the Northeast Instream Habitat Program ( http://www.neihp.org) at the University of Massachusetts and Mt Holyoke College, Dr. Parasiewicz and his colleagues have conducted research that has considerably improved the tools and techniques for the management of riverine resources available today. Rushing Rivers will conduct on-demand, applied research, to protect and restore rivers, and offer professional training and project review services. Computer simulation models, supported by cutting edge remote sensing technology, allow for the quantitative evaluation and validation of the ecological potential of river management scenarios at the watershed scale, and build a foundation for intelligent decision-making. You are invited to attend an information meeting on January 25th at 6pm in the Red Barn of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA (located at the Admissions Building entrance, off of Route 116 about 1000 feet north of the college’s main entrance). Please RSVP to email@example.com or by phone at (413) 825-1412.
The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) is seeking presentations for its 2007 Northeast Water Science Forum, entitled Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs): State of the Science, to be held August 8th- 9th in Portland, ME. The primary goal of the conference is to bring together scientists, regulators, water and wastewater professionals and other technical experts to disseminate and evaluate the latest research findings and technical data on pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the water environment. Possible session topics include: identifying PPCPs of concern; occurrence of PPCPs in surface water, groundwater and coastal areas; PPCP impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health; fate and removal of PPCPs in drinking water and wastewater systems; and public education (e.g., risk communication and product labeling programs). The deadline for submitting abstracts is January 31st, 2007 . For more info, or to submit your abstract, go to http://www.neiwpcc.org/ppcpconference or contact Marianna Vulli at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978)323-7929 ext. 256, or click here for a recent article about PPCPs in rivers appearing in the NRDC’s On Earth magazine.
The Grant Institute's Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop will be held at the Harvard Medical School Conference Center in Boston from February 21st -23rd, 2007. The course, an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing, will give participants valuable insights regarding factors which determine whether or not a program gets funded. Through the completion of interactive exercises and activities, participants will complement expert lectures by putting proven techniques into practice. This course is designed for both the beginner looking for a thorough introduction and the intermediate looking for a refresher course that will strengthen their grant acquisition skills. The course also covers the basics of foundation, corporation, and government grant research via on-line and database research tools, publications and directories that contain information about foundation, corporation, and government grant opportunities. Click on http://www.thegrantinstitute.com or call (toll free) (888) 824-4424 to register or for more info.
The Ecological Landscaping Association’s 2007 Winter Conference & Eco-Marketplace – “Sustainable Landscapes: Creating Healthy Communities”, will be held from March 1-3, 2007 at the MassMutual Center, in Springfield . This premier event includes 25 workshops presented by preeminent educators, writers, and practitioners in the field of ecological landscaping today. With over 30 exhibitors and live demonstrations, the Eco-Marketplace showcases landscape techniques, information, products and services needed to create and manage healthy communities. Further information is available at http://www.ecolandscaping.org or by contacting Penny Lewis, ELA Executive Assistant, at ELA.email@example.com or (617) 436-5838.
The 31 st Annual Meeting of the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will take place from March 14th-16th, 2007 at Mount Snow ’s Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center in Vermont. As with prior years, this meeting is paired with the New England Biological Assessment of Wetlands Workgroup meeting (co-sponsored by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)), which will take place at the same location from March 12th -14th. Topics include stormwater and other non-point sources, biological assessment/monitoring/modeling, invasive species, zooplankton, algae/algae toxins, bacteria and nutrient criteria. For more information, contact Neil Kamman, VT Department of Environmental Conservation, at (802) 241-3795 or Neil.Kamman@state.vt.us, or Kerry Strout, NEIWPCC, at (978) 323-7929 ext. 244 or kstrout@NEIWPCC.org.
EPA Region One/New England and the UMass Boston’s Urban Harbors Institute will be co-hosting the Host the 1st New England Urban Rivers Conference, The Promise and the Challenge of Urban Rivers, on Thursday, March 29th at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston . Featured topics will include: contaminated sediments, stormwater, public access, urban land conservation, environmental justice, urban hydrology and riverfront design. For more info, check the EPA/NE web site ( http://www.epa.gov/ne) in the coming months or call Trish Garrigan, EPA at (617) 918-1583 or Chantal Lefebvre, UHI at (617) 287-5570.
The Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst will host the annual Massachusetts Water Resources Research Conference on Monday, April 9th on the UMass/Amherst campus. The 2007 conference is entitled “Sustainable Waters in a Changing World: Research to Practice”. Conference themes include: the interrelation of water issues with climate, ecosystems, and human decision; natural disasters and water security; and science, technology, and the new media. The WRRC is also currently accepting nominations for its John W. Olver Leadership Award, presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions and shown great leadership in environmental research and in protecting our water resources. Go to the WRRC’s web page or the conference webpage for more information on the conference or for award nominations, or contact Jerry Schoen, Mass. Water Watch Partnership Coordinator, at (413) 545-5532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Created in February, 2006, the Source Water Collaborative http://www.protectdrinkingwater.org meets quarterly to share information, develop recommendations, and promote the protection of the lakes, streams, rivers and aquifers America taps for drinking water . Members include the American Planning Association, American Water Works Association, American Metropolitan Water Association, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, Association of State & Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, Clean Water Fund, Ground Water Protection Council, Groundwater Foundation, Environmental Finance Center Network, National Association of Counties, National Rural Water Association, River Network, Trust for Public Land, the USGS and the EPA. In their vision statement, Collaborative members agreed that source water protection should be integrated into land-use planning and stewardship; road, sewer and water projects; farming, industry and development practices; waste disposal methods; watershed planning; and the routine decisions Americans make every day. This approach recognizes that the country cannot rely on treatment alone to protect drinking water and that the quality, quantity, and cost of drinking water also depend on land stewardship and planning decisions. The Collaborative’s new web site offers a portal to source water guides and materials for policymakers, developers, farmers and others. Contact Tracy Hudak at email@example.com or (202) 564-0651 for more info. [Click here for info on recent EPA “webinar”: “Integrating Drinking Water into Watershed Protection.’]
Which activity uses less water - a five-minute shower or a full bath? How can you test whether your toilet has a leak? How much of the earth's water is available for human use? The answers may surprise you as you take the U.S. EPA's new on-line interactive quiz,Test Your WaterSense. The quiz, created as part of EPA's recently-launched “ WaterSense” water efficiency promotion program, provides an entertaining way for both adults and children to learn more about why it is important to save water and how to be more water efficient in your home. To take the quiz, players must maneuver the water-efficiency hero “Hydro” through a maze while avoiding water-wasting monsters such as “Sogosaurus” and “Drainiac”. As Hydro, players must answer questions along the way that test their knowledge of water-using behaviors and common water-saving opportunities. Questions deal with water use in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and yard.
Downstream (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/waterSupply/watershed/dwmfactsheets.htm) is the name of an excellent publication put out twice annually since 1999 by the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection (formerly the MDC Watershed Division). While Downstream was originally created to foster communication on common land protection issues with property owners in the Quabbin Reservoir/Ware River/Wachusett Reservoir watershed system, many of the topics it covers appeal to a wider audience. The Fall 2006 issue, for example, contains a feature article on “Mapping Resources for Watershed Management”, and the previous edition focused on dragonflies and damselflies. The link above provides access to the current and all past Downstream editions. For more info, contact editor Jim Taylor at (508) 792-7423 ext. 363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information is an unbiased living receptacle of information about technical, fiscal and social aspects (pro and con) of dam removal, including cases where a decision is made to retain the dam. The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to allow all parties involved in dam removal decisions to share experiences, learn successful techniques and avoid repeating mistakes. In particular, the Clearinghouse intends to capture the “gray literature” that is transiently available when a dam removal is taking place or being considered. The Clearinghouse allows users to find and submit summaries/case studies of completed or proposed projects, lessons learned, engineering design plans, dam removal estimates and final costs, permitting documents/ applications, monitoring plans and results, modeling data and analyses, scientific studies, project reports, images, conference/symposium /workshop announcements and proceedings, presentations, papers, and more. The Clearinghouse is the result of a 5 year joint effort by the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Dams and Rivers - Clearinghouse Task Committee and the University of California - Berkeley’s Water Resources Center Archives (WRCA). The creation of a neutral clearinghouse to centralize and improve access to information on dam removal was recommended as part of two years of dialogue that resulted in the publication of the Aspen Institute report, Dam Removal: A New Option for a New Century. While the Clearinghouse is designed to serve as a platform for posting events and become a forum for carrying on discussions for those interested in dam removal issues, it is merely a repository, so it needs help from you to become the largest source of published and “gray“ literature on dam removal in the world. The Clearinghouse is housed at the WRCA and can be found on line at: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/WRCA/damremoval/. [On a related note: see Setting Rivers Free – When Should dams Come Down, at http://sciencebulletins.amnh.org/biobulletin/biobulletin/story1203.html.]
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps —scanned copies of the original paper maps—are now available on-line. Users can create and print a one-page flood map, or a “FIRMette” (a portion of the full flood map) for a specific street address. To create a map for any address, see the FEMA Website at http://msc.fema.gov/. In the upper right portion of the page, select “Public Flood Map” and enter the complete address include house number, and then select “Product Search.” When the map listing is displayed, click on the “view” icon. The full FEMA Federal Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) will be displayed. Click on “Make a FIRMette.” On the left side of the screen, select a page size for your map. Now click and move the pink box over the area of interest. Once finished, select “Adobe PDF” or “Image File” under “Create FIRMette.” After a moment, the FIRMette will be displayed. Select “Save your FIRMette.” The file will be saved to the computer desktop as a file beginning with FM. If you need help reading or interpreting flood zones on the FEMA maps, you may want to read The Art and Science of Identifying Flood Zones http://www.mass.gov/czm/coastlines/2002/c26.htm, which appeared in the 2002 edition of the Mass. Coastal Zone Management (MCZM) Program’s publication Coastlines.
The National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program’s Northeast Region recently posted a document on their web page (see http://www.nps.gov/nero/rtca/NPS_RTCA_NE_2007.pdf) describing the projects they will be partnering on with local groups in 2007. The regional RTCA office has also just started putting out a monthly electronic newsletter and is seeking your ideas and submissions for its content. E-mail Charlie Tracy at email@example.com with ideas, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the newsletter.
GuideStar http://www.guidestar.org is the leader in providing comprehensive data on more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations, connecting them with donors, foundations, businesses, and governing agencies in a nationwide community of giving. Most non-profit organization’s IRS information (Form 990s, e.g.,) is accessible via the Guidestar website. Donors and grantmakers use GuideStar to research your nonprofit organization. You can them more about your good work by completing the GuideStar Information Form (a free service – see http://www.guidestar.org/npo/index.jsp?source=dnresources), which will also facilitate your group’s ability to accept on-line donations.
Derived from the words Knowledge (K) and Interaction (intera), Kintera http://www.kintera.com provides software and related services to help nonprofits foster a powerful sense of community. Groups can use Kintera’s complete web-based solutions to build communities, manage contacts, distribute communications, create content and run reports. The company’s Knowledge Interaction solutions strengthen an organization’s community by providing volunteers, members, donors and staff with web-based tools to share real-time data and information. Kintera Sphere enables nonprofits to leverage the Internet to reach more people, raise more money and run more efficiently. Tools include a patented viral grassroots marketing module which enables individuals or teams to participate in virtual ‘door-to-door’ solicitations on behalf of your organization. Campaign participants can create personal home pages and send e-mails to their friends and family on behalf of your organization, inviting them to their personal web sites to make donations, purchase merchandise or take action on issues. Kintera’s Event module can be used alone or in conjunction with the Friends Asking Friends module to promote and manage every type of event that brings in revenue for your organization, including galas, walks, cruises, golf tournaments, lunches, and seminars. Kintera’s Advocacy module enables groups to use their website or e-mail communications to alert your base when you need their immediate support. Drive them to an action center on your site where they can customize advocacy messages and generate emails, faxes or letters with a few clicks of a mouse. Use the built-in database of U.S. legislators, or add your own custom decision-maker database. For more info, contact Bayard Saunders at (858) 795-3000 or email@example.com. [See http://www.nonprofitmatrix.com/index.asp for similar products.]
Founded in 2000 as a §501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Boston-based Common Impact http://www.commonimpact.org develops and implements skills-based volunteering programs that pair business professionals from leading companies with high-potential local nonprofits addressing crucial community needs. Through its innovative model, Common Impact channels untapped resources into the nonprofit sector and fosters relationships that bridge the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. For example, Common Ground paired seven volunteers from Fidelity Investments with the Somerville-based Eagle Eye Institute(EEI) to revamp EEI’s website. For more info, contact Lesley Edwards, Vice President of Partnerships, at ( 617) 868-1014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EcologyFund website ( http://www.ecologyfund.com), owned and operated by The Hunger Site Network (which also operates GreaterGood.com), was created as a means to get new funds for critical habitat and wilderness preservation using the power of the Internet. When a visitor to the site "clicks to give", the site’s sponsors (i.e., advertisers) pay the project selected to preserve the number of square feet shown by each project. The web surfer pays nothing. To maximize the contribution, click on each project every day. If you register, The Hunger Site Network will donate 500 square feet of wilderness in your name, and will keep a running tally for you of all the land you have preserved. All monies from sponsorships generated on EcologyFund go to purchase and protect wild lands. If you click and visit a sponsor's site it will usually double their contribution. Clicks to site advertisers in the Special Donations section will save additional land or plant trees. Certain actions (ordering free catalogs or registering for free) will save even more land or plant additional trees through the Rainforest Rewards section. Shopping through Shop For Acres will save an average of 50 square feet per dollar spent. The average amount of land protected through each action of the site is always specified. A breakdown of the amount contributed is listed in EcologyFund’s totals section. Contact co-founder Tim Kunin at email@example.com or (781) 461-6161for more info.
You may already be acquainted with Evite through some friend using this free, on-line service to invite you to a party. (Evite.com estimates it saves party planners millions of dollars in paper invitations and postage each month through this service). What you may not know is that Evite.com can also be used to publicize your group’s public events (walks, paddles, concerts, workshops, etc.) either by sending out “evites” to the event to selected e-mail addresses, or for posting to Evite’s events page, where people looking for something to do in your area can find out about it. Click here for more info. [See also http://communityserver.org/i/overview.aspx.]
Teaming With Wildlife is a national coalition of more than 4,500 organizations working to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered by supporting increased state and federal funding for wildlife conservation.The Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), in partnership with the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), has established the Massachusetts Teaming with Wildlife Coalition. The Mass. Coalition’s new web page http://statewildlife.nwf.org/ma/about.htm provides info on the federally-funded State Wildlife Grant and the State Wildlife Action Plan prepared as a condition to receiving the grant. The web page also provides an opportunity to join the Massachusetts Coalition , which is already comprised of over 135 organizations and businesses, including land trusts, watershed groups, outdoor organizations, environmental policy organizations, commercial whale watches, sportsmen and women groups, bed & breakfasts and other businesses. Joining the Coalition is free and sends a powerful message to Washington , DC in support of continued federal funding for state wildlife conservation efforts. Please consider encouraging conservation-minded groups and businesses you know of to join. For more info, contact Marion Larson at (508) 792-7270 ext. 111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last but not least: a reminder that state sporting (hunting, fishing, etc.) licenses for 2007 are now available to be purchased with your computer through the “ MassOutdoors“ on-line licensing and registration system ( http://www.sport.state.ma.us/index.html). While there, you can purchase your Massachusetts hunting, fishing and sporting license, recreational lobster permit and renew your motorboat, ATV, and snowmobile registration. Furthermore, when your license information is in the system, you may also receive subsequent licenses, permits and registrations through the mail. License fees support inland and marine fisheries research and management, wildlife restoration programs, land conservation efforts, and environmental law enforcement.
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The Sierra Club recently published a 28-page document entitled Building Better II: A Guide to America 's Best New Development Projects (Fall 2006 Clean Water Edition). It focuses on green designs for water quality, including low-impact development (LID). This document is accessible on-line at http://www.sierraclub.org/healthycommunities/buildingbetter/intro.asp. See also http://www.sierraclub.org/cleanwater/reports_factsheets for on-line access to a number of other clean water-related factsheets, including From The Source To The Tap: Why America’s Drinking Water Sources are at Risk, which came out in May of last year.
In the new children’s (ages 4-8) book, A Drop of Water, a child crouches beside a meadow brook, and a drop of water collects and falls from the child's fingertip to continue on its journey. Where does that journey begin? High in the sky, rain clouds are parting. Water trickles and flows down the mountain, collecting in an upland bog, seeping through a beaver's dam, rushing over rocks, passing many plants and animals along its winding way; each dependent on water and the different environments it shapes to live. Author and illustrator Gordon Morrison has captured a single moment in time, revealing the course and influence of water, and inviting readers to pause and consider the world around them in this beautiful and lyrical appreciation of nature and the resource that makes it all possible: a drop of water. A Drop of Water (32pp., $16) can be ordered directly from its publisher, Houghton Mifflin.
As a member of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, Nathaniel Tripp, author of the recently-published book Confluence: A River, the Environment, Politics, and the Fate of All Humanity juggled a multitude of conflicting tasks: helping oversee a disappointing salmon restoration program, monitoring pollution, negotiating with the hydroelectric dam utility that pegs river flows to the electricity spot-market, and pondering a killing spree by an antiregulatory fanatic. Confluence presents a valuable insider's perspective on the challenges of practical environmentalism. Evocative nature scenes are interspersed with bureaucratic wrangles with industry, canoe trips with then Vermont governor Howard Dean (who wrote the book's foreword), ruminations on environmental apocalypse and condemnations of the industry-fomented, anti-environmentalist “property rights” movement. For more info about or to purchase a copy of Confluence, click here.
As the nation's leading conservation group creating parks in and around cities, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) launched its Parks for People initiative in the belief that every American child should enjoy convenient access to a nearby park or playground. To support that effort, TPL recently published a white paper entitled The Health Benefits of Parks: How Parks Help Keep Americans and Their Communities Fit and Healthy, which draws from the latest research to outline ways in which parks support and promote healthy lifestyles, particularly in cities, where eighty percent of Americans live, work...and play! Intended for parks and open space advocates and professionals, The Health Benefits of Parks is intended to make the case for parks as a wise community investment. Reasons for this include: parks, greenways, and trails enable and encourage people to exercise; exposure to nature improves psychological and social health; play is critical for child development; and parks help build healthy, stable communities. The Health Benefits of Parks can be downloaded for free on-line by clicking here.
While the New England region was naturally blessed with abundant, free-flowing rivers, changing demographic and land use patterns and antiquated laws and policies have combined to strain the region’s water resources. The result is an increasing number of rivers with so little water that they no longer support aquatic life. Some literally run dry during the hot summer months. Trout Unlimited (TU)’s Eastern Water Projectworks with communities throughout the region to address a host of water management issues including dry streambeds, water shortages and habitat degradation. TU volunteers spend thousands of hours annually engaging in these issues – from working on the ground to restore streams to advocating for modernized water regulations in state legislatures. At this page you can access an on-line version of a new report entitled A Glass Half Full: The Future of Water in New England, which documents (with compelling photographs) the extent of the problem and proposes a list of recommendations. Contact Kirt Mayland , Director, TU Eastern Water Project, at email@example.com or (860) 435-2073 to obtain hard copies of A Glass Half Full or for more info.
While protecting important conservation land and providing affordable housing are often among the most pressing priorities for communities in Massachusetts, they are often (and inappropriately) pitted against each other. In response, planning consultant Susan Jones Moses put together an excellent PowerPoint presentation entitled Affordable Housing and Open Space: Creative Partnerships for Success which summarized 13 case studies where both land conservation and affordable housing were achieved as a result. Susan gave this presentation at the 2006 Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference and has received funding from the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) to give her presentation to other interested audiences. Contact Susan at (978) 948-3713 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a presentation in your community or watershed. [For more on this issue, see the Conservation Fund’s recent publication entitled Conservation Based Affordable Housing: Improving the Nature of Affordable Housing.]
Those engaged in land conservation and management have increasingly come to envision and make use of a process that connects environmental, social and economic health: green infrastructure. Using this process, community members can understand how green space adds value, in myriad ways, to land development, and then relate these findings to developing infrastructure plans. Communities can then prioritize conservation opportunities and plan development that meets the needs of both people and nature. The Conservation Fund’s new book, Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities, by Mark Benedict and Ed McMahon, provides illustrative and detailed examples of how this technique advances smart conservation through innovative approaches to conservation-minded land use. Green Infrastructure (299pp., $35) is available from its publisher, Island Press, by clicking here or by calling (800) 621-2736.
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Does your car have an environmental license plate?
The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET, http://massenvironmentaltrust.org) provides funding to many river and other water resources protection and restoration projects throughout the Commonwealth. A major source of MET’s funding comes from the sale of environmental license plates. Besides the “whale” plate (often accompanied in print ads by “Bob”, MET’s new marketing icon), sale of the “FW” (“fish and wildlife”) and “BV” (“Blackstone Valley”) plates also help fund MET’s grant-making programs. (By the way, these three are the only Mass. specialty license plates that exclusively fund environmental programs). Getting an environmental plate is easy and can be done on-line at http://www.mass.gov/rmv or at your local Registry of Motor Vehicles office.
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