NewsNotes #25 - August 7, 2007
In this issue:
Last But Not Least
Herring Re-Run: Reclaiming Our Natural Heritage
Dear River Advocates,
Summer is in full swing and we, as well as you, are enjoying our rivers. As summer brings us
the joy of being on the rivers it also brings challenges to the rivers themselves, as we all know.
Low flows, warm temperatures, and low dissolved oxygen levels can create stressful conditions for
many aquatic organisms. Cool, flowing and well-oxygenated refuges are critical micro-habitats that
help to support riverine communities during this season. For example, trout look for refuge in cool,
deeper pools. On the coast, adult herring are back at sea, while the juveniles are still living in
the freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers where their parents spawned this spring. We know from marine
fisheries experts that many of the anadromous species are in trouble from lack of sustainable flows
in our streams, connectivity problems (e.g., dams, dropped culverts and other barriers) and general
loss of habitat. Working with partners, such as RIFLS volunteers, towns, watershed associations,
Stream Teams, regional planning associations, Trout Unlimited, land trusts, statewide environmental
groups and federal partners, we are working together to promote habitat for our fish and wildlife species.
It is rewarding and challenging work.
Our feature article, "Herring Re-Run: Reclaiming our Natural Heritage", is an exciting story of working
to restore sustainable flows and herring to the First Herring Brook in Scituate. Margaret Kearns, heading
up Riverways' RIFLS (River Instream Flow Stewards) Program, partnered with Lance Van Lenten of the First
Herring Brook Watershed Initiative to share an inspiring story of fish, rivers, water supply, permits and
cooperation among partners. In this case partners include The Town of Scituate, the First Herring Brook
Watershed Initiative, the North and South River Watershed Association and Riverways. In a first for us,
as a result of the volunteer RIFLS work, RIFLS staff presentations and science, site visits with Division
of Marine Fisheries staff, a pro-herring constituency and an enlightened town, the Board of Selectmen wrote
to DEP indicating town interest in providing enough water to help restore a herring run while meeting water
supply needs. As we struggle statewide with low flow and loss of fish in our rivers and streams,
this heartening story is a must-read as a model for other towns.
Riverways is delighted to announce that Alex Hackman and Joanna (Jo) Carey have joined our RIFLS staff,
replacing Gabrielle Stebbins who joined Adopt-A-Stream and Tom Warhol who is now working full-time on web
pages for a private firm. Alex has a great deal of experience performing and managing stream flow, creating
rating curves, managing large databases, evaluating biological community structure and ecosystem processes
(whole-stream metabolism and nutrient uptake) as well as outreach experience. Before receiving his MA from
the University of Vermont in water resources (with an emphasis on aquatic ecology), he worked with towns,
universities, consulting firms and DEP's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup. At Riverways, Alex is doing RIFLS
field work, revising RIFLS' "QAPP" and is working with staff on pre- and post- restoration monitoring protocols.
He is also involved with the Eel River Restoration project. Jo comes to us with a BS in Environmental Planning
and Policy and an MS from Yale University in Environmental Science with a concentration in water resources management.
She has experience with hydrology, geomorphology and river processes. She has extensive field experience in salt
marshes and rivers and has enjoys working with citizen volunteers. At Riverways Jo is doing RIFLS field work,
updating databases and contacting volunteers for sites that need RIFLS monitors. She will be finishing up work
on the Tower Brook restoration project.
As we continue to enjoy summer, please note that in addition to grants (some with fast-approaching deadlines)
and other opportunities, Russ Cohen has pulled together an extensive summer river reading lists (both technical
and enjoyable) as well as provided a link to info on river and other swimming holes to take a dip and cool off.
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 -
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Herring Re-Run: Reclaiming Our Natural Heritage
by Margaret Kearns, Mass. Riverways Program, and Lance Van Lenten, First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative. Adapted from an article originally appearing in the North and South Rivers
Watershed Association's April 2007 RiverWatch newsletter.
Have you ever seen a herring in First Herring Brook? According to historical records, Native Americans seasonally populated areas near the banks of First Herring Brook to harvest the abundant herring as they traveled upstream and downstream. In the 17th century, colonists used herring both as a staple of their diet and bait for larger game fish. More recently, according to older residents in the South Shore, it was common for herring to travel up First, Second and Third Herring Brooks and these occurrences were exciting annual events. Now Scituate and other coastal communities are trying to bring back discontinued herring runs and reclaim an important part of New England’s natural heritage. You could call this effort, if successful, a “rerun” of a lost aspect of our culture that will inspire a greater interest in the watershed ecology of our region.
Herring played an important role not only in the history of commercial and recreational fishing in this area, but also in the ecology of coastal streams. Herring are anadromous fish, meaning that they live most of their lives in the ocean but return to freshwater to reproduce. The annual migration of herring once transferred vast stores of nutrients and energy between the ocean and our rivers and lakes. In marine waters, herring are a major food source for bluefish, whales, cod and striped bass, making them economically as well as ecologically important. In freshwater, herring are eaten by northern pike, pickerel, bass, perch and lake trout as well as terrestrial species such as eagles, osprey, cormorants, herons and roseate terns. Even zooplankton benefit by consuming the herrings’ unfertilized eggs and unused sperm.
Today’s herring population is only a fraction of what it once was. Dams that block migration routes, poor water quality, water withdrawals, diversions, and fishing pressure over the last 300 years have taken a heavy toll on the number of herring returning to New England rivers. But there is some good news—the federal government, as well as many local groups, have recognized the plight of the herring and are now working to help restore its freshwater habitat. Where appropriate, the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries runs a fish stocking program, where herring from another river system are put into a river before spawning so that those juvenile herring will make the river their home and return to spawn there several years later.
Could herring be restored to First Herring Brook? In 2004 the First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, the Mass. Riverways Program and the Scituate Water Department joined the Division of Marine Fisheries in a site visit to assess the current habitat and the possibility of restoring a herring run to First Herring Brook. The two impoundments, Old Oaken Bucket Pond and the Reservoir (a.k.a. Tack Factory Pond), together offer enough spawning area to support a run of alewife, a species of herring that spawns in slackwater habitats. Spawning areas for blueback herring, which prefer faster moving water, is limited. The group also learned that eggs of smelt, another anadromous fish, have been seen in the riffles, or cobble areas with fast moving water, just downstream of Old Oaken Bucket Pond!
Based on the existing habitat, the herring species with the greatest restoration potential is the alewife. The main challenge is providing enough water for in-migration of adult alewife in the spring and, especially, for out-migration of the juveniles in late summer or fall. Without adequate stream flow, the fish can’t get to or from their spawning grounds and the run won’t be successful. Upgrades to the fish ladder at Tack Factory Pond may also be needed to ensure that herring can make it to the Pond.
The First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative began working with MA Riverways Program’s River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) stream gauging network in 2003 to document the amount of water flowing from First Herring Brook into the town’s drinking water reservoirs. Since then, the data has shown that the section of First Herring Brook between the Reservoir and Old Oaken Bucket Pond experiences zero flow conditions in the summer followed by rapid surges as water is shuttled from the Reservoir to Old Oaken Bucket, where the town’s drinking water is withdrawn.
In addition, there is often no flow over the dam at Old Oaken Bucket Pond during summer, when stream flow is naturally lowest and human water use highest. Occasionally, First Herring Brook upstream of the reservoir runs nearly dry as well. In addition to being a problem for migrating fish, these dry or wildly fluctuating flows also wreak havoc on the native fish, macroinvertebrates and amphibians that rely on flowing water for their survival. Restoring adequate flow for herring will benefit these species, too!
How can the town provide enough water for herring? This past December, Scituate received a revised water demand forecast from the Mass. Water Resources Commission. Based on current water consumption patterns, planned new developments, and predicted population growth in Scituate over the next 18 years, the state estimated that Scituate will need up to 1.85 million gallons of water per day by 2010. This June, the town of Scituate was issued an updated Water Management Permit from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection. During the permit amendment process, Scituate ’s Board of Selectmen sent a letter to DEP indicating that the town of Scituate is interested in providing enough water to help restore a herring run, to the extent compatible with water supply needs, at the request of the Town’s newly-revived Water Study Committee.
The final permit allows the town to withdraw 1.85 million gallons per day (increased from 1.73 million gallons per day previously) from their sources, which include both surface water withdrawals from the reservoir system as well as numerous wells throughout town. In addition, the permit requires the town to continue to “…facilitate and participate in the work of the Scituate Water Study Committee and First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative”. The permit further states that it may be modified in the future to require a management plan for minimum stream flow releases.
In order to meet those future water supply needs and provide enough flow to support a herring run in First Herring Brook, the town will need to take a close look at several water management alternatives, such as:
• Water conservation – In most communities, an aggressive water conservation campaign can reduce the demand for water by 10 to 20%, particularly in the summer when water is used, and often needlessly wasted, outdoors.
• Increase storage capacity – dredging one or both impoundments on First Herring Brook would increase the amount of water that can be captured in the spring high water season and used during the summer low flow season for humans or to enable the out-migration of juvenile herring.
• Return flow from Satsuit Meadow – a tributary draining 15% of the First Herring Brook Watershed runs through Satsuit Meadow and once emptied into Tack Factory Pond that flows into Old Oaken Bucket Pond. The outlet of this stream was diverted downstream of Old Oaken Bucket Pond out of fear that water passing through the bogs was not adequate for drinking. The cranberry bog has been inactive for some time and the quality of water in this tributary has been tested by the Water Department and found to be exceptionally clean. The stream could be easily restored to its natural flow and directed through Tack Factory Pond into Old Oaken Bucket Pond, where it would help to meet human and environmental demands for water.
• Optimize the management of multiple water sources – Scituate has 6 wells in addition to its surface water withdrawal from Old Oaken Bucket Pond. Some of these wells lie outside of the First Herring Brook watershed and some are in the headwaters. By shifting the use of sources to those outside of the First Herring Brook watershed in late summer and fall more water may be left within the watershed for the out-migration of juvenile herring. Similarly, the effect of groundwater wells can take up to several months to affect nearby streams. By shifting from the use of groundwater sources in the spring to surface water sources in the summer and fall, the amount of water available for instream ecological purposes may be increased over the current situation.
• Find new sources – the town has explored several other possible well sites and the potential of these sources to help build flexibility and meet human and ecological needs should be evaluated.
Scituate’s Water Study Committee, in cooperation with the Water Department, Margaret Kearns of Riverways, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and Lance Van Lenten of the First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative, coordinated a workshop this spring that brought together fisheries experts, town boards, the Department of Environmental Protection and local environmental groups to discuss these options and plan the next steps toward returning herring to the First Herring Brook.
• Next steps:
– This summer, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, with assistance from the Mass Division of Marine Fisheries, is monitoring water quality in Old Oaken Bucket Pond and the Reservoir to determine whether these impoundments are suitable for the rearing and growth of juvenile herring over the summer.
– In partnership with the Riverways Program at the MA Department of Fish and Game, the herring restoration group is also collecting additional information about the amount of water leaving Old Oaken Bucket Pond and an additional tributary of First Herring Brook.
– This fall, the water department’s water level data for Old Oaken Bucket Pond and the Reservoir will be combined with stream flow data and the engineering designs of the two dams to determine how often water spilled over the two dams during the crucial spring and early fall migration periods in the past.
– The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection will be using Scituate as a case study in its “Firm Yield III” project, which aims to incorporate downstream flows into the determination of the “firm yield” of a reservoir system, or the amount that can be safely withdrawn.
– Lastly, the restoration group will meet again in November to review these data and plan the next steps in restoring herring to First Herring Brook.
A restored herring “rerun” within First Herring Brook will be tremendous benefit to Scituate in many ways. It will also serve as an example how water resources can be used wisely and effectively to benefit both the drinking water demands of residents and the ecological needs of the natural world.
[P.S.: The Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts (WAA) recently put together an interactive, portable, touch-screen kiosk entitled “Free Passage: Restoring Rivers and Herring" that WAA is happy to lend out for public outreach purposes. The kiosk tells the story of herring and rivers and its message is to become involved, restore a river and join a watershed association. The display includes a 70-inch-high, stand-up banner, handouts about herring, and fact sheets about specific rivers. Contact Jill Cowie at (781) 837-0982 or Jacowie@aol.com if you are interested in borrowing the Free Passage kiosk. See also the article “Salmon of the East”, recently appearing in Audubon magazine, which talks about herrings’ important role in our coastal and riverine ecosystems.]
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Resources and Grants
Grant, Fundraising and Award Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application deadline)
The Los Angeles-based The Grant Institute offers expert workshops nationwide for nonprofit professionals, academic researchers, program planners, and public sector administration employees. Currently, the Institute offers two certificate programs: “Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing” (which will next be offered in this region on August 13-15 in Manchester, NH) and “The Grant Institute: Certificate in Professional Program Development and Grant Communication” (which will next be offered in this region at Harvard Medical School from August 20-24th ). Contact the Institute at (213)-817-5308 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Gulf of Maine Council is seeking letters of intent for coastal habitat restoration projects within the Gulf of Maine watershed (which includes the northeastern portion of Massachusetts and lands draining to Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays). In partnership with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's Community-based Restoration Program, the Gulf of Maine Council provides grants to further the goal of habitat restoration and to support a strategic approach to marine, coastal, and riverine habitat restoration. The 2007 deadline is August 15th. For more info, including objectives for habitat restoration in the Gulf of Maine, eligibility requirements, a list of state contacts, and an application form, go to the GOMC grants web page or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture is requesting proposals to restore and conserve habitat necessary to support existing populations of brook trout that are healthy and productive and to restore habitat that has historically sustained brook trout populations. Proposals should range from $10,000 to $50,000 in grant request and must have a minimum of a 1:1 match from other sources. These funds can only be used for on-the-ground brook trout habitat conservation and improvement projects and related design and monitoring activities; fee/easement acquisition is not eligible. Applications must be received in electronic and hard copy format by COB Friday, August 17, 2007. Click on http://www.easternbrooktrout.net/funding.html for more info and on-line access to all application materials.
The U.S. EPA is accepting nominations for the 2007 Water Efficiency Leader (WEL) Awards to recognize organizations and individuals that demonstrate leadership and innovation in water efficient- products and practices. Winners will be chosen by a panel of national water experts and based on three criteria: leadership, innovation, and water saved. The importance of water efficiency also is reflected in WaterSense , a voluntary partnership begun by EPA to educate consumers about making smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. Nominations are being accepted until August 17th. For more information and to enter award nominations go to http://epa.gov/water/wel/2007_application_process.html.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting project proposals for estuary habitat restoration projects on behalf of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council. Recommended projects must provide ecosystem benefits, have scientific merit, be technically feasible, and be cost-effective. Proposals selected for funding will be implemented through a cost-share agreement with ACOE. Applications will be accepted until close of business on August 20th. Further information can be found at http://www.usace.army.mil/cw/cecw-p/estuary_act/index.htm.
The Holcim Foundation offers two monetary awards for sustainable development and construction: a regional competition for projects with a high probability of execution, with a grant award of up to $100,000, and a “next generation” category for projects in the conceptual stage with a grant award of $35,000. The project must exhibit a sensible use and management of natural resources throughout its life cycle, including operation and maintenance. Long-term environmental concerns, whether pertaining to flows of material or energy, should be an integral part of the built entity. Sustainable construction involves planning that preserves environmental quality, conserves energy through efficient design, reduces waste and consumption through sensible design, and reduces pollution by establishing efficient transportation networks. At all scales, sustainable construction aims to support ecosystems through design with nature (establishing and improving habitats for wildlife, supporting biodiversity, replenishing groundwater instead of channeling rainwater into storm sewers, etc.). A meeting/seminar, which will detail the Holcim Awards program in great depth, will be held on Wednesday August 22nd at the New England Aquarium. Fore more info, contact Mark Nikitas at (781) 941-7200 ext. 2230 or Mark.Nikitas@aggregate-us.com.
YSI, an employee-owned company that supplies instruments, software, and data collection platforms for environmental monitoring and testing, has established the YSI Foundation, which donates a portion of company profits to environmental causes as well as educational and charitable organizations. Click here for detailed info on YSI’s annual S10,000 “Who’s Minding the Plant” environmental grant award program – the application deadline is Friday, August 31st. Eligible activities include preserving, restoring, and/or remediating waterways or restoring polluted watersheds, which result in enhancing the sustainability of the earth, its habitants, and its natural resources and/or preserving or restoring natural habitats. Contact Susan Miller, YSI Foundation President at (937) 767-7241 x406 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), in coordination with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), have issued a Request for Response (RFR) for the FY08 Drinking Water Supply Protection Grants Program. This grant program provides funding to public water systems and municipalities for land acquisitions that protect public drinking water supplies and drinking water quality. The direct recipient of a grant must be a municipality or public water system authorized by the Commonwealth to provide water to the public. Eligible land acquisitions include land located in existing or future drinking water supply areas. Land may be acquired through purchase of fee simple title, purchase of a conservation restriction, or a combination of the two. Although not directly eligible for grant funding, local land trusts, community groups, or others are encouraged to work cooperatively with eligible Applicants to pursue drinking water supply land protection projects. Local groups often have expertise in identifying appropriate properties that would qualify for funding, or experience negotiating acquisitions from willing sellers and can offer such assistance to eligible Applicants. The maximum grant award for a single project is $500,000. The maximum reimbursement amount available is 50% of the total project cost. Applications must be received no later than September 5, 2007 at 3:00 PM. The complete RFR is accessible at http://www.comm-pass.com by clicking on the “Solicitations” tab at the top-left of the page, then select “Search for a Solicitation”, then enter “BRP 2007-03” in the “search” box. For more info, contact: Christy Edwards, Land and Forest Policy Coordinator, EOEA, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114, (617) 626-1151, (617) 626-1181 (fax), or Christy.email@example.com.
The overall goal of the Compton Foundation, Inc.’s Environment and Sustainability Program is “the prevention of environmental deterioration and the protection of natural resources. Priorities include: Land, river and watershed protection and management for purposes of long term habitat and ecosystem preservation and restoration. … Geographically limited projects should demonstrate impact beyond their immediate location.” Grants are generally awarded to regional. Projects located outside of the western U.S. should have national significance. Only organizations with tax exempt with §501(3)(c) status are eligible to apply. The next cut-off date for applications is September 7th. Click on http://www.comptonfoundation.org/environ.html for more info.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy recognizes the increasingly pivotal role the arts play in the Commonwealth’s evolving economy. Tapping into our state's wealth of cultural assets, the Adams Program funds projects that create jobs and income, revitalize downtowns, and draw visitors. The program inspires innovative, progressive, and systemic approaches to economic development in communities across Massachusetts. The deadline for submitting an Intent To Apply is September 7th. Click here or contact Meri Jenkins, Program Director, or Christina Hogan, Program Coordinator, at (617) 727-3668 for more info. [Past “Adams” grants have funded river-related arts programs - See Turners Falls’ Riverculture web page for an example].
The Mass. DEP recently announced the resumption of its Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program for hazardous waste disposal sites. Grants of up to $10,000 will be competitively awarded to selected communities and citizen groups to provide expert advice and public education about hazardous waste site cleanup activities. TAG grants are intended to: provide access to expert advice and technical assistance about disposal sites; encourage more effective participation in response actions by promoting access to and use of information; and allow community concerns related to the disposal site to be addressed. Eligible Applicants include: groups of individuals who may be affected by oil and/or hazardous material from a disposal site; a city or town which may be affected by oil and/or hazardous material from a disposal site; and a district or other political body that owns or operates a public water supply system that may be affected by oil and/or hazardous materials from a disposal site. Go to http://www.mass.qov/dep/cleanup to download an application (the deadline is Friday, September 14th). Contact Patti Mullan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 556-1018 if you have questions or need additional information.
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MassPike)’s Tourism Grant Program is intended 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 Noon on Friday, September 14th, 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 New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) 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. NEGEF was created to assist groups who are not being reached by traditional funders. NEGEF’s user-friendly web page ( http://www.grassrootsfund.org ) is worth checking out, as it contains on-line versions of NEGEF’s current and past newsletters and a recommended reading list for potential grantees as well as links to grant recipients sorted by resource type (water, e.g.). For more information, contact Cheryl King Fischer, Executive Director, at (802) 223-4622 or Linn Perkins Syz at email@example.com. The next application deadline is Saturday, September 15th.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) recently announced the release of the FY08 Conservation Partnership Grant Program Request for Response (RFR). This grant program provides funding to assist not-for-profit corporations in acquiring interests in lands suitable for conservation or recreation purposes, with a maximum reimbursement amount of up to $60,000. The application deadline is 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 20th. Applicants may submit questions to Christy Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org 12:00 noon Monday, August 20th. The RFR, application form, rating system, answers to questions and program timeline are available at http://www.comm-pass.com/.
NOAA's Community-based Restoration Program (CRP – click here for a fact sheet on CRP’s activities in Massachusetts) provides financial and technical assistance to implement individual, grass-roots restoration projects to restore fish habitat that will benefit living marine resources, including anadromous and catadromous fish. Projects funded through the CRP will be expected to have strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that provide educational and social benefits for people and the communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources. Funding of up to $3,000,000 is expected to be available for Community-based Habitat Restoration Project Grants in FY 2008. NOAA anticipates that typical awards will range from $50,000 to$200,000. Applications are due Thursday, September 27th, 2007. Click on this link for the application procedure forms or send an e-mail to Robin.Bruckner@noaa.gov for more info.
The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)’s Recreational Trails Program provides funding on a reimbursement basis for a variety of trail protection, construction, and stewardship projects throughout the Commonwealth. It consists of Massachusetts’ allocation of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds disbursed to each state to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. In Massachusetts, funds are administered by DCR in partnership with the Mass. Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB), and the Executive Office of Transportation. Go to http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/greenway/regionalGrants.htm for more details on eligible applicants and projects, matching fund requirements and a description of past funded projects. The application deadline for this year’s funding round is Monday, October 1st. Contact Paul Jahnige at (413) 586-8706 ext.20 or Paul.Jahnige@state.ma.us for more info.
NOAA’s Open Rivers Initiative (ORI) provides funding and technical expertise for community-driven, small dam and river barrier removals, primarily in coastal states. Projects funded through ORI have strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that foster economic, educational, and social benefits for citizens and their communities in addition to long-term ecological habitat improvements for NOAA trust resources such as striped bass, Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic salmon, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, and alewife. Funding of up to $6,000,000 is expected to be available for ORI Project Grants in FY 2008. NOAA anticipates that typical awards will range from $50,000 to $250,000. Applications are due Wednesday, October 31st. Click here for more details or send an e-mail to John.Catena@noaa.gov for more info.
Mass. DCR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, in collaboration with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, will be offering a round of competitive 75-25 matching grants targeted to municipalities and non-profit organizations working in environmental justice (EJ) communities in Massachusetts. The purpose of these grants is to advance environmental equity, improve environmental quality, and build local capacity for urban and community forestry in EJ communities. The application deadline is November 1st. Click on www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/forestry/urban/urbanGrants.htmor contact Eric Seaborn at (617) 626-1468 or Eric.Seaborn@state.ma.us for more info. [N.B.: The Norman Foundation (http://www.normanfdn.org) also makes EJ grants and its next deadline is also November 1st.]
Fundlink is an on-line shopping service through which over 1,400 merchants pay royalties to selected nonprofit organizations when patrons make purchases through the site. This new shopping concept is an innovative way to increase unrestricted funds for nonprofit organizations. Organizations interested in finding out how they can benefit from this service should contact Erv at email@example.com or call (770) 642-2232.
The recently-launched website Party4APurpose.com is an innovative new outreach and fundraising tool for organically expanding charity networks. Party4APurpose.com is a unique, user-generated portal for the listing of charitable and purposeful events. Designed as a philanthropic catalyst for socializing through shared interest, the site allows anyone in your organization to post, create, and explore events anywhere in the country (by price, type, purpose, and distance); promote your activities; and send customized event invitations – all for free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in combining forces to increase charitable engagement everywhere.
Founded in 1997 by Orion Magazine, the Orion Grassroots Network (OGN) supports the efforts of organizations working to heal the fractured relationships between people, their communities, and the land. Member organizations are recognized in their home communities as leaders in the fields of conservation, restoration, energy, education, agriculture, democracy, justice, health, peace, economics, and more. OGN membership is only $45/year and includes a subscription to Orion Magazine and other valuable membership benefits. OGN’s Internship & Career Service enables member groups to publicize internship and job openings on the OGN website and through the monthly OGN e-mail update. OGN members also get freeaccess to GrantStation.com’s on-line “Find-a-Funder” database of 6,000 foundations and grantmakers – a $599 value. Find-a-Funder is highly searchable, with 165 issue areas and 30 funding support types indexed. Take a tour here for more information and to see GrantStation’s extensive "how-to" section for better fundraising. OGN members can also sign up for a free subscription to GrantStation’s weekly “Insider” e-mail, with info on new funding programs, upcoming grant deadlines, conferences, trainings, and relevant information for grantseekers. Call (toll-free) (877) 784-7268 or send an email to email@example.com for more info on GrantStation or the Insider.
Last but not least: Thirteen new funding sources have recently been added to the Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection website (http://www.epa.gov/watershedfunding), a searchable database of financial assistance sources (e.g., grants, loans, cost-sharing programs) available to fund a variety of watershed protection projects.
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The Rushing Rivers Institute is sponsoring a course entitled MesoHABSIM: Instream Data Collection and Modeling, from August 27-31st in Amherst. The course, open to students and professionals engaged in river-related study or work, will teach the basics of data collection, data processing and habitat modeling within the MesoHABSIM framework. Course participants will have an opportunity to conduct stream habitat mapping, grid electrofishing, compute multivariate habitat suitability criteria for native fish species, create habitat suitability maps, create habitat-flow rating curves, develop flow augmentation scenarios and simulate habitat improvement measures. Click on http://www.rushingrivers.org/Courses/Courses.htm to sign up or for more info.
The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), along with many other conservation organizations, is sponsoring a “Conservation Commission Day” on Wednesday, September 19th. Conservation-minded organizations and individuals are welcome to take part; to pre-register for this free event, send an e-mail to Lindsay Martucci (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, address, daytime phone number, e-mail and organizational affiliation (if any).
American Rivers is once again sponsoring a River Action Day to encourage river advocates to come to the Nation’s Capital to raise awareness of river issues amongst federal lawmakers and their legislative aides. There is no charge to participate in River Action Day and American Rivers is providing a limited number of stipends to help offset travel and accommodations costs in Washington, DC. This year’s event takes place on Monday, September 24th and Tuesday, September 25th – click here or contact Josh Klein at (202) 347-7550 for more info.
The RI Land Trust Council, in cooperation with the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program and the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program will be hosting a Trail Planning & Design Workshop to be held on Saturday, October 13th from 9AM to 4PM at the offices of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island in Smithfield, RI. This day-long workshop, open to all land trusts, watershed organizations and others who are planning and developing trails, will cover all aspects of trail planning and design. Future workshops on this topic will address construction and stewardship aspects of trails. Contact Rupert Friday at (401) 331-7110 ext. 39 or email@example.com or click on http://www.landandwaterpartnership.org for more info.
The Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) will be hosting its Annual Conference and Trade Exposition from Tuesday, October 23rd to Thursday, October 25 thin Burlington, VT.
Contact Christine Odiaga at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 946-3836 for more info.
The Waterfront Center is hosting Urban Waterfronts 25, its 25th annual international conference on waterfront planning, development and culture at the Seaport Hotel in Boston from November 1st-3rd (with a pre-conference workshop on October 31st-November 1st). Click on http://www.waterfrontcenter.org/conference/index.html for details.
The disconnect between children and the outdoors has led to an increase in obesity, attention disorders, and depression amongst the nation's youth. In response, Mass. Audubon is hosting Connecting Children and Nature: Exploring New Avenues for Education, a one-day conference featuring keynote speaker Richard Louv. Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, provides a compelling argument for reconnecting children with nature and the positive societal benefits that connection provides. The conference will take place on Saturday, November 3rd at Wheelock College in Boston. Click on http://massaudubon.org/conference for more info.
The Trustees of Reservations’ Putnam Conservation Institute is sponsoring the 5 th annual Managing Land & Visitors Conference on Saturday, November 17th at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster. This day-long conference is designed to provide and share information and ideas for the staff and volunteers who manage natural or historic places that are open to the public. This year’s conference will focus on how to engage, inspire, and retain volunteers to help with stewardship plus organizational and community leadership. Call (978) 840-4446 ext. 1935 or click on http://www.thetrustees.org/pages/2519_putnam_conservation_institute.cfm?redirect=yes for more info.
The New England Regional Water Program of CSREES is sponsoring the 2007 New England Private Well Symposium on December 3rd and 4th at the Hyatt Regency in Newport, RI. Speaker presentations include regulatory issues regarding the proliferation of geothermal wells in the region as well as a sociological study of why more private well owners don’t get their well water quality tested. Click on http://www.usawaterquality.org/newengland/wellsymposium for more info.
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The U.S. EPA recently upgraded its web site providing guidance for administering state water quality standards (see http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/handbook). Containing EPA's 1994 Water Quality Standards Handbook, the web site has been upgraded to provide over 100 new links to EPA documents and web pages with supporting information. For more info, contact Grace Robiou, Chief of the National Water Quality Standards Branch, at (202) 566-2975. [Click here for recent EPA info on recreational water quality standards.]
The EPA's Watershed Academy recently posted a free, updated on-line training module on Getting In Step: A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns. This module offers a tested, step-by-step system to help local governments, watershed organizations and others maximize the effectiveness of public outreach campaigns to help solve nonpoint source pollution problems and protect local waterways. The module is based on EPA's free, downloadable outreach guide of the same name (published in Dec. 2003 and posted at: www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/outreach/documents). To view the new Getting in Step on-line training module, visit http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/gettinginstep/ . Approximately 50 other free on-line Watershed Academy training modules are available at http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/.
On a related note: The EPA’s Office of Water has released the Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox, a comprehensive set of Web-based resources, designed to assist communities across the U.S. to conduct locally effective watershed education and outreach activities. The Toolbox, on-line at http://www.epa.gov/nps/toolbox/, includes a searchable catalog of nearly 800 print, radio, and TV ads and outreach materials in the following categories: lawn and garden care, motor vehicle care, pet care, septic system care, household chemicals and waste, and general stormwater and storm drain awareness. The Toolbox also contains Getting in Step as well as a comprehensive collection of surveys and evaluations of outreach programs from around the country. [Click here for a glowing review of the NPS Outreach Toolbox from the editor of Stormwater Magazine.]
The EPA is currently seeking feedback on the “beta” version of its Watershed Plan Builder Tool and Planning website, designed for people involved in watershed management activities. These activities include the development and implementation of watershed plans, the analysis of data, and the implementation of management practices. Each piece of this website provides specific information or helps you perform a task. Please address your comments, suggestions, and corrections to OWOW-WPB@epa.gov with "Watershed Plan Builder Site" in the subject line; submissions should be received by September 30, 2007.
The EPA recently issued National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Hydromodification (posted on-line at http://www.epa.gov/nps/hydromod), a guidance document providing background information about nonpoint source pollution and a variety of solutions for reducing NPS resulting from hydromodification activities including dams, channelization and channel modification, and streambank and shoreline erosion. Available models and assessment approaches that could be used to determine the effects of hydromodification activities are also discussed and dam removal information, including permitting requirements, process, and techniques for dam removal are provided.
Other interesting web pages worth a look at the EPA’s website include ones on Green Infrastructure, Ecological Revitalization of Superfund sites and other polluted areas and Urban Rivers, which includes on-line versions of presentations and other items from the Urban Rivers Conference held last March 29th at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. Last but not least: Taking Environmental Protection to the Next Level , a new report by a National Academy of Public Administration panel, urges the EPA to lead new partnerships to effectively clean up America’s 40,000 polluted waters. This vast problem cannot be solved by simply adding more and better wastewater treatment plants. The report calls for giving special attention to reducing pollutant loadings generated from everyday activities, like fertilizing lawns, driving cars or washing dishes. The complete report can be found on-line at http://www.napawash.org/index.html.
The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced the creation of Pathways to Healthy Learning (http://www.nps.gov/ncrc/portals/health/index.htm), a nationwide initiative to encourage more physical activity in parks and local communities. It's run through the NPS’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program and works in partnership with Active Living By Design, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The health community is becoming increasingly aware of the value of “close-to-home” opportunities for physical activity that bike paths, pedestrian trails, waterways suitable for boating or swimming, etc. provide. Pathways to Healthy Living collaborations bring park and trail advocates together with hospitals, health care providers, HMOs, YMCAs, and other interested health partners to determine the best ways to improve physical activity rates in the community, and then work together to make it happen. Click on http://www.nps.gov/nero/rtca and scroll down to the July 2007 E-Newsletter for more info. [See also http://www.nps.gov/nero/rivers/Grant%20Database%20Final.doc to download an informative spreadsheet the RTCA put together on river and trail-related funding opportunities].
The use of Galerucella spp. beetles as a natural biocontrol for purple loosestrife at test plots is going so well that the beetles are now expanding their range beyond the pilot plots to find more of the invasive loosestrife to chew on. The Mass. Wetlands Restoration Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have produced a laminated, pocket-size, field identification card for purple loosestrife biocontrol beetles (click here to see an on-line version) to aid volunteer monitors in identifying and reporting observations of beetle adults, eggs, and larvae on stands of purple loosestrife outside of the pilot plots. See the project website or contact Beth Suedmeyer at (617) 626-4921 for more info.
MassWildlife (a.k.a. the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife) recently launched a spiffed-up version of its web page (http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/). It is now considerably easier to navigate your way through the web page’s extensive content, including maps of Wildlife Management Areas, bathymetric (depth) maps of ponds, links to fishing and hunting laws and regulations, fish stocking information, and much more.
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Non-government On-line Resources
(in rough alphabetical order)
Act for Healthy Rivers
Founded by American Rivers, the Act for Healthy Rivers website is the on-line home for a broad-based coalition of national, state and local conservation groups striving to protect rivers from the rising tide of sewage pollution. As a crucial first step toward this goal, the coalition seeks to win passage of legislation in the U.S. Congress called the Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know Act of 2007 that will help reduce the annual number of human illnesses and deaths from contact with sewage by requiring public notification of sewer spills and overflows into waterways. Visit this website to join the coalition or to read entertaining postings to a “slog” (a sewage-oriented weblog). Contact Josh Klein at email@example.com for more info. [You may also want to click on http://www.cleanwateramerica.org for more info on the Water Quality Financing Act of 2007 (HR720) and http://audubonmagazine.org/audubonview/audubonview0701.html for more info on the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act (HR1356) – click here for a free download of the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Handbook ].
Bidding for Good
Founded by the Cambridge, MA-based company cMarket, an on-demand, on-line auction platform solely for organizations engaged in fundraising for nonprofit causes, BiddingForGood enables cause-conscious auction lovers to quickly and easily connect with non-profit organizations hosting cMarket on-line auctions. Got a specific type of item in mind? Chances are you'll find what you're looking for on one of cMarket's currently-running auction events. Or if there's a non-profit group or cause that's especially important to you, you can lend your support with an item donation and/or bid on items that benefit that cause or organization.
Center for Watershed Protection (CWP)
The link above enables you to download a free copy of the CWP’s new Better Site Design Handbook. The Handbook outlines 22 guidelines for more environmentally-friendly development and provides a detailed rationale for each principle, everything from basic engineering principles to actual vs. perceived barriers; examines practices in local communities; details the economic and environmental benefits; and presents case studies from across the country.
Discovering the Activation Point
As you (may) know, organizations seeking to persuade people to act in environmentally responsible ways have uneven success in seeing tangible results. Advocacy on many issues having high public support (clean water, e.g.) often don’t result in behavioral change. It is not enough for groups to simply educate an audience. Studies have shown that audience targets were knowledgeable and did care, but often did nothing. An organization’s messages must build will in order to spur action (a.k.a. the “activation point”). What does it take to build will? How does one know what’s important to a target audience? What needs to be reinforced to increase the likelihood that they will act? The link above enables you to download a free copy of Discovering the Activation Point, a report focusing specifically on strategies for mobilizing concerned people to supportive action by identifying and leveraging their activation points.
Global Restoration Network (GRN)
Recently launched by the Society for Ecological Restoration, GRN is a free, on-line hub for comprehensive information on ecological restoration. The interactive GRN website is rich with data, information, expertise and the latest techniques and innovations in restoration. Freely accessible to anyone in the world who has an Internet connection, users can now find the exact information they need to research, implement and improve their ecological restoration projects.
The North Reading, MA-based Got Books, Inc. is a for-profit professional fundraiser and used book seller whose primary mission is to support the local community by helping charities and nonprofit groups raise money. It does this primarily by hosting weekly Charity Book Sales at its North Reading warehouse. Its Book Sale provides a meaningful and effective way to raise money for a variety of local causes, and fifty percent of all weekend book sale profits go directly to its fundraising partners. Got Books’ raw material is supplied by residents and groups who have donated Books, CDs, Videos, DVDs and more through its free pick-up service. Book sale patrons pay only $1/book and get the added benefit of knowing that their purchases directly contribute to local causes. Contact the company at (978) 664-6555 to explore fundraising opportunities for your group or for more info.
River Management Society (RMS)
A non-profit, membership-based organization, RMS’s mission is to support professionals who study, protect, and manage North America's rivers. RMS seeks to promote career-long learning, quality in river management, creating and sharing knowledge of river management issues, and advocate for the use of science and research in policy development and decision-making at all levels of river management, public and private. Resources at RMS’s web page include links to rivers with permits required for recreational access, links to river-related organizations and agencies, and a “Consultant Yellow Pages” to help agencies or organizations find and develop connections with consultants that have experience or skills to conduct or assist with river research, management, planning, or restoration projects. Although most of RMS’s activities and membership have heretofore been mostly located in the western U.S., the organization is seeking to increase its involvement in northeastern river issues and support river advocates in our region. This is evidenced in part by RMS’s Summer 2006 newsletter which focused on Northeast issues, and the selection of Portland, ME for RMS’ 2008 Symposium, which is scheduled for May 12-16th,, 2008 (contact Symposium Chair Dan Hass at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info).
Stormwater Community Assistance Program (SWCAP)
Produced by the SuAsCo (Sudbury Assabet Concord) Watershed Community Council, the SWCAP web page provides outreach materials to municipalities to address two of the six minimum control measures under the Stormwater Phase II Regulations: Public Education & Outreach and Public Participation & Involvement. The Council has assembled a team of diverse watershed professionals including engineering consultants, municipal and state officials, science teachers, and interested citizens to create the annual SWCAP outreach materials. SWCAP materials are pre-reviewed by the MA DEP and the U.S. EPA. SWCAP materials have already been used by over two dozen communities and can be tailored to work for any municipality (i.e., even those outside of the SuAsCo watershed). Citizens will benefit from the breadth and excellence of the SWCAP outreach materials and the continuity of the stormwater education message. Increased public awareness and involvement in stormwater management can lead to improved water quality. Contact Nancy Bryant at email@example.com or (978) 461-0735. [Click here for a recently-issued report by the Charles River Watershed Association on stormwater financing.]
Looking for a good place to cool off this summer? The SwimmingHoles web page contains locational and descriptive info on hundreds of beautiful, natural places to take a dip in the U.S. and Canada (including over two dozen sites in Massachusetts). While focusing on freshwater rivers, the site also includes some lake, pond, hot springs (none in New England, unfortunately) and coastal swimming opportunities. The site is also periodically updated with new info and encourages visitors to offer their knowledge and opinions as well.
Based in Fall River, MA, Startmotions is a non-profit, environmentally friendly animation studio that creates fun and entertaining animations (mainly from non-biodegradable trash) that inform and enthuse audiences about animals, plants, and the environment. Startmotions’ goals are: to motivate people to protect and preserve natural habitats for all future generations' health and enjoyment; to promote compassion and interest in animals so people invest in their long-term survival; to improve people's knowledge about pressing environmental issues; to encourage recycling, preservation, and efficiency, and to inspire other projects of similar nature and mission.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Massachusetts Chapter
The Summer 2007 edition of TNC’s “Conservation Across the Commonwealth” newsletter, focuses on TNC’s work to protect and restore riverine organisms and ecosystems in Massachusetts. While the entire newsletter is well worth reading, the article entitled “Happy Trails, Salmon!” on pp.8-9 is a well-written account of the removal of two dams on Yokum Brook and the restoration of migratory and resident fish habitat, a project in which Riverways also played a major role. The TNC MA Chapter web page also has a factsheet entitled Letting Nature run its Course: A Case for Natural Streamflow, which raises awareness about the values of and threats to natural instream flows and proposed legislation (currently numbered House Bill 833) intended to help protect and restore more natural streamflow patterns and volumes to the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams (click here for related info from the Charles River Watershed Association). Contact Linda Orel at (617) 227-7017 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
A project of Paul Hawken’s Natural Capital Institute, WiserEarth is an international directory and networking forum that maps, links and empowers the largest movement in the world: the hundreds of thousands of organizations within civil society that address social justice, poverty, and the environment. WiserEarth provides the tools and a platform for non-profit organizations, funders, social entrepreneurs, students, organizers, academics, activists, scientists, and citizens to connect, collaborate, share resources and build alliances. WiserEarth provides grassroots groups that do not have a web presence visibility and access. It also offers free postings for recruiting staff, volunteers, and interns and will offer a marketplace to share surplus resources and materials.
Zoomerang pioneered on-line survey software in 1999 to give organizations like yours a powerful self-service alternative to conduct accurate comprehensive surveys with a minimum of cost and effort. Zoomerang’s business, educational and nonprofit customers have created and sent more than 100 million customer, employee and market-research surveys. The company offers a free service called Zoomerang Basic (a limited-feature trial version of the company’s “Zoomerang zPro” product) which enables any person or organization to ask up to 30 questions and collect up to 100 responses per survey (the results expire after 10 days). Zoomerang’s web page also offers a free market research toolkit containing white papers, webcasts, technical journals, and more to keep you plugged in to the latest tips and techniques to better understand and communicate with your audience.
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Publications, Posters, DVDs, Reports and Presentations
Heraclites famously noted that you can't step into the same river twice, and Hudson Valley author Akiko Busch reaches this literal truth by swimming across nine different rivers (including the Connecticut River at Hadley) - many once polluted beyond recognition - in order to “reclaim” them for personal and communal renewal. She writes about this experience in a new book entitled Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here. Along the way she shares delightful lore about these important waterways, insinuating aspects of each river's particular history and beauty. Busch enlists reflections from environmentalists and nature writers such as Edward Abbey and Thoreau, and taps into local organizations (e.g., Pete Seeger’s Clearwater) that claim that swimming in a river leads to a sense of stewardship. Busch's journey across these rivers becomes an elegant metaphor for life. She just keeps swimming, for herself, her peace of mind, and for the rivers. Many Americans fear their rivers – they perceive them to be too dirty, too murky, etc. But if we don't swim them, Busch says, we don't know them, and if we don't know them, we won't save them or ourselves. More info on Nine Ways to Cross a River is available at its publisher’s website, or you can listen to a recent interview with the author on WBUR’s On Point radio program and read an excerpt of the book at http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2007/07/20070718_b_main.asp.
A Guide to Northeastern Dragonflies and Damselflies , the newest addition to Mass Audubon’s popular laminated habitat guide series, provides an excellent introduction to the odonates of the Northeast, including family descriptions, identification, seasonality, life history, and behavior. Over 100 species are featured, including full-color portraits and brief accounts of more than 50. Now you can easily identify these beautiful, fascinating, and beneficial insects as you fish, swim, or just relax near your favorite lake, pond or stream. The price of this colorful laminate is $4.95 and can be purchased on-line at http://www.massaudubon.org/shop or by calling (781) 259-2214. [You may also want to check out Mass. Audubon’s upcoming odonate programs at http://www.massaudubon.org/dragonflies or the on-line version of Mass. Audubon’s Paddlers’ Guide to New England Rivers.
Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse is an accessible and clearly written guide to alternative water collection, with a focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment. The book: outlines the process of water collection from multiple sources-landscape, residential, commercial, industrial, school, park, and municipal systems and provides numerous case studies. All aspects of rainwater harvesting are outlined, including passive and active system setup, storage, storm water reuse, distribution, purification, analysis, and filtration. There is even a section on rainwater harvesting for wildlife. Design for Water (240 pp., $25) is available from New Society Publishers at http://www.newsociety.com/bookid/3954 or by calling (800) 567-6772 ext. 111.
Take Back the Tap: Why Choosing Tap Water over Bottled Water is Better for Your Health, Your Pocketbook, and the Environment, a new report from the organization Food and Water Watch, educates consumers about the environmental and economic downsides to bottled water and why they should switch to tap water. It also illustrates the importance of supporting local water utilities through increased federal funding. [See also Corporate Accountability International‘s efforts to encourage people to “Think Outside the Bottle” a recent column and op-ed piece from the Boston Globe on the subject, and a recent New York Times editorial in praise of tap water.]
A Field Guide to Conservation Finance provides essential advice on how to tackle the universal obstacle to protecting private land in America: lack of money. Author Story Clark dispels the myths that conservationists can access only private funds controlled by individuals or that only large conservation organizations have clout with big capital markets. She shows how small land conservation organizations can achieve conservation goals using both traditional and cutting-edge financial strategies. Clark outlines essential tools for raising money, borrowing money, and reducing the cost of transactions. She covers a range of subjects including transfer fees, voluntary surcharges, seller financing, revolving funds, and Project Related Investment programs (PRIs). A clear, well-written overview of the basics of conservation finance with useful insights and real stories combine to create a book that is an invaluable and accessible guide for land trusts seeking to protect more land. A Field Guide to Conservation Finance (416 pp., $35) can be ordered from its publisher, Island Press, by calling (800) 621-2376 or g o to http://www.conservationguide.com for more info.
Recently published by the Trust for Public Land, The Economic Benefits of Land Conservation , pr esents quantitative and authoritative research on the economic benefits land conservation can bring to communities. Writers include scientists, economists, and researchers from academia, government, nonprofits, and industry. The report summarizes the best current studies, offers original research, and suggests topics for further inquiry. The report may be downloaded for free by clicking here , click here for more on the economic benefits of parks and open space, or go to TPL's Center for Conservation Finance or the Conservation Campaign for related information.
Recently produced by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Shaping the Future of Your Community: A Citizen’s Guide to Involvement in Community Planning, Land Protection, and Project Review in Massachusetts, a long-awaited response to the organization’s Losing Groundreport, describes many ways that citizens can help shape their community’s land use to help preserve community character, wildlife habitat, water quality and other important values. Shaping the Future of Your Community also guides you in determining what you can do to minimize the impacts of a development project that has already been proposed. Using this guide, you can craft and implement effective strategies to: update and implement community plans; i dentify and protect the highest priority lands; provide incentives for well-planned growth; and establish and apply regulations to minimize the impacts of development. Click here to download a copy of Shaping the Future of your Community or contact email@example.com or (781) 259-2171 for more info.
Preserving Open Space: A Step-By-Step Guide For Volunteers Seeking To Limit Urban Sprawl is a step-by-step manual concerned volunteers can use to create an Open Space Action Plan. The Plan provides the information needed to negotiate with landowners, permitting authorities, and developers to preserve rapidly disappearing open space and limit sprawl. Unlike typical land use master plans, an Open Space Action Plan identifies specific and critical land parcels to be preserved for open space, so as to better manage the random incremental growth that often results from real estate development projects undertaken as market conditions, land availability, developer interests and regulatory opportunities dictate. The manual’s author, Beverly, MA-based David F. Gardner, also offers workshops on this topic; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Abandoned lots and litter-strewn pathways, or rows of green beans and pockets of wildflowers? Graffiti-marked walls and desolate bus stops, or shady refuges and comfortable seating? How do individuals take back their neighborhood? Neighborhoods decline when the people who live there lose their connection and no longer feel part of their community. Recapturing that sense of belonging and pride of place can be as simple as planting a civic garden or placing some benches in a park. In The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Placemaking, author Jay Walljasper explains how most struggling communities can be revived, not by vast infusions of cash, not by government, but by the people who live there. The author addresses such challenges as traffic control, crime, comfort and safety, and developing economic vitality. Using a technique called “placemaking”-- the process of transforming public space – the book offers inspiring real-life examples that show the magic that happens when individuals take small steps, and motivate others to make change. This book will motivate not only neighborhood activists and concerned citizens but also urban planners, developers and policy-makers. More info about The Great Neighborhood Book is available from the publisher or by visiting the Project for Public Spaces website.
Recently published by River Network, Cancer Downstream: A Citizen’s Guide to Investigating Pollution/Health Connections is a step-by-step action guide intended to help community groups investigate and understand the potential impact of environmental contamination on community health. The approach is a set of tools to help organize, collect data, analyze data and take action to assess and address environmental health concerns in your community. Community examples from across the country give added explanation to the steps, and reading through each chapter prepares the reader for the next to find a unique solution to create positive change. Cancer Downstream (284 pp., $25) can be ordered on-line by clicking here or by calling (503) 241-3506.
Gene Helfman, emeritus professor in the Institute of Ecology and the program in conservation ecology and sustainable development at the University of Georgia in Athens, is the author of a recently-published book entitled Fish Conservation: A Guide to Understanding and Restoring Global Aquatic Biodiversity and Fishery Resources. Helfman brings together available knowledge on the decline and restoration of freshwater and marine fishes, providing ecologically sound answers to biodiversity declines as well as to fishery management problems at the subsistence, recreational, and commercial levels. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Fish Conservation is available from the publisher, Island Press, by clicking here or by calling (800) 621-2736 to order or for more info.
The Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NH&ESP) has three relatively new educational items relating to the conservation of the Commonwealth’s native turtles. An Introduction to The Turtles of Massachusetts; Why They Need Our Help!, a 12-minute DVD, features information about rare turtles including interviews of a variety of turtle experts, major threats to turtles and ways in which people can help turtles. The DVD was produced by college students enrolled in Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts. The Turtles of Massachusettsposter includes images of 10 native adult turtles, with views of the carapace (upper shell), the plastron (lower shell) and a hatchling turtle. Information about each turtle's population status, size, identifying field marks, description of habitat and distribution in the state are also provided. A paragraph on assisting turtles across roads is also included. The Hatchling Turtles of Massachusetts poster illustrates 10 native turtle hatchling images with carapace and plastron views, egg clutch size, season of hatchling emergence, physical description, population status and the range of these turtles in Massachusetts. Threats to hatchling turtles are also briefly described. Educators, conservation commissioners, environmental organizations and consulting firms will find the posters and DVD valuable tools aiding the identifying physical and habitat characteristics of adult and juvenile turtles. Go to http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/nhesp/publications/nhesp_pubs.htm or call (508) 389-6357 to obtain copies or for more information.
Habitat loss is the most significant threat to America’s biodiversity, and one of the greatest consumers of habitat is poorly planned, sprawling development. Better transportation planning can shape future growth, thereby enhancing the quantity and quality of the habitat left for wildlife. Getting Up To SPEED: A Conservationist's Guide to Wildlife and Highways, a new publication from Defenders of Wildlife, explains how road building design and funding decisions are made and enables conservationists to be more effective stakeholders in transportation debates. Getting Up to SPEED (GUTS) is available for free download; hardcopies are available free of charge to non-profit wildlife conservation advocacy organizations, and to government agencies and private companies for $25 each. Please e-mail all questions and inquiries to jesse.feinberg@defendersorg. [Click here for info on a similar document entitled Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects.]
Last But Not Least
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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Visit the Riverways Staff page