Riverways News Notes #28- April 2, 2008
An electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Riverways Program http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/river
Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Program’s Stream Team Implementation Awards and River Instream Flow Stewards Restoration Grant for FY08
In this issue:
Your Events Wanted for the 2008 Massachusetts Rivers Month Calendar
Support Land and Water Conservation with a "Land and Water" Specialty License Plate
Last But Not Least
Dear River Advocates:
Riverways continues to celebrate our two decades’ worth of work on behalf of the river systems of the Commonwealth. Partnering with you has helped us to be cognizant of changing conditions that require new approaches and techniques to meet the needs of the rivers and our partners. These changes include:
- a growing awareness of instream flow issues and an increasing lack of water in the rivers. Riverways’ Margaret Kearns gave a PowerPoint presentation to the Mass. Water Resources Commission in January which provided graphic evidence of streams going dry before an official Drought Advisory was declared last October. There's a link to her presentation on Riverways' home page (its large size might take awhile to download);
- an emphasis on aquatic habitat and river restoration, leading to actions to remove barriers and improve connectivity (see, e.g., Riverways’ Stream Restoration and River Continuity web pages); and
- Increasing concern about the effects of climate change on aquatic habitats (see NewsNotes 26’s lead article). Climate change is expected to result in higher flows in the rivers in the winter—some flashy floods resulting from impervious surfaces—and even less water in the rivers in the summer, times that fish and other riverine organisms and habitats are especially vulnerable to harm from depleted streamflows.
At the same time, we have remained true to our earliest principle: partnering with citizens, municipalities, watershed groups, businesses and others to protect and restore the rivers, streams and riparian lands of the Commonwealth.
NewsNotes 28’s lead article reports on the assistance two of Riverways’ core programs—Adopt-A-Stream and River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS)—will be providing this year to local partners on implementation projects. Adopt-A-Stream and RIFLS both seek out opportunities to form and train groups to monitor the streams and then develop Action Plans and other recommendations to bring back and maintain the ecological, aesthetic, recreational and other values of river and stream systems. Both Adopt-A-Stream and RIFLS asked the groups they work with to propose specific implementation projects that could benefit from a modest infusion of funds. Adopt-A-Stream then provided seed money for several of these group’s projects, and RIFLS provided one award.
Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Program, beginning its 21st year, works with citizen groups to promote protection and restoration of local rivers and streams. During that time, Adopt-A-Stream has worked with over 250 groups, and since 1994, 200 groups have conducted Shoreline Surveys. Most recently (in 2007), 259 volunteers surveyed 135 miles of stream. To help groups implement their action plans or start new Stream Teams and train volunteers and facilitate action plans, Adopt-A-Stream offers both technical assistance and, when available, seed money ranging from $2000-10,000, through a competitive process. This year, as our lead article describes, Adopt-A-Stream awarded seven groups Implementation awards.
Riverways’ innovative, science-based RIFLS Program works with teams of volunteers to measure stream flow in stressed, ungaged streams. Working with USGS, EPA, DEP, DCR and watershed experts, Riverways staff train volunteers according to protocols established by its “QAPP” (Quality Assurance Project Plan). Recently (in 2007), RIFLS trained 150 volunteers who took 4,391 stream measurements and followed up with them to determine appropriate actions to restore the stream. As with all Riverways Programs, the object of monitoring is action to restore the streams. To help implement their action plans, Riverways staff provides technical assistance including scientific analysis and data interpretation, presentations to town boards detailing the findings and needs of the streams. In 2007, through an extremely competitive process, RIFLS awarded a grant to the Parker River Clean Water Association to conduct an ecological safe yield analysis.
On the restoration front, Riverways staff (present and former) played a significant role in providing expertise to the two new dam removal documents published by EEA and DEP, which were featured in NewsNotes #27’s On-line Resources section (click here and scroll down to read about them). Riverways Restoration Team is currently expanding projects on its Priority Project list, the subject of a future NewsNotes article. Currently, Riverways is working on 17 restoration projects that include dam removal.
Riverways welcomes Nick Wildman as our Restoration Priority Projects Coordinator. Nick has jumped right into his complex duties with enthusiasm, skill, and without pause. Nick brings to us project management expertise gained from his work with a consulting firm in Massachusetts and New Jersey. His expertise includes permitting, field experience, contracting and a strong background in ecological restoration. Nick replaces Erin Higbee who has moved to the West Coast and is working in the private sector.
This first week of April brings us a taste of warm weather (63 degrees in Boston!) and the promise of spring – time to start planning (and telling us about) your Rivers Month events (see below).
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!
Your Events Wanted for the 2008 Massachusetts Rivers Month Calendar
Hi Folks – it’s that time again. As you (may) know, Riverways has each spring since 1988 put out an annual Massachusetts Rivers Month Calendar as part of the national celebration of Rivers Month each June. As many of you also organize great river-related events in May and July as well, we typically expand the “Rivers Month” concept a bit to include river-related events from mid-May to the July 4th holiday. So this year we intend to include all river-related events (canoe trips, river festivals, river art exhibitions, etc.) we hear about that will take place from Friday, May 9th to Sunday, July 6th, 2008. If you haven’t already got one or more events planned for that period, there’s still time to organize something. Rivers Month is a great opportunity for river and watershed groups, stream teams and all other river enthusiasts to schedule activities that promote public awareness of the importance of clean, flowing rivers and protected riparian lands to the Commonwealth’s environmental and economic well-being.
In order to list the events in the Calendar, we need to know about them, so please send them in (via e-mail, fax, snail mail or the telephone – whichever form is most convenient to you). We’ve also posted an event submission form to give you an idea of what info we’re seeking for the Rivers Month Calendar. However you get the info to us, please submit it by Thursday, April 24th, 2008. (NOTE: If you can’t make the 4/24 deadline, send the info in to us anyway, and we will try to squeeze your event in to the Calendar – no promises, though.) Please feel free to circulate this message to anyone you feel is appropriate. We look forward to learning about and publicizing your events.
On a similar topic: Riverways is planning to create a web page that compiles information on all printed and/or on-line canoe guides, river maps, books and other resources that inform paddlers, anglers and other users as to how to gain access to and enjoy the rivers and streams of the Commonwealth (click here for an example). If you have or know of any such printed or on-line materials, please pass the information along to Russ Cohen at (617) 626-1543, (617) 626-1505 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Land and Water Conservation with a "Land and Water" Specialty License Plate
Development near our lakes, ponds, rivers and coasts - and the fertilizer, storm water run-off and other non-point source pollution it brings - is the greatest single threat to Massachusetts waters. In response, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) is launching a new “Land and Water Conservation” license plate that will support the conservation of land critical to the protection of the Commonwealth’s water resources. Similar plates in other states have conserved tens of thousands of acres in recent years. This new tool for land conservation is needed here now more than ever. Proceeds from the new Land and Water Conservation license plate will be segregated in a separate fund dedicated to the acquisition, stewardship and restoration of land affecting 9,000 miles of streams and rivers, 1,100 lakes and ponds and over 1,500 miles of coastline.
NOTE: Due to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)s’ policy regarding specialty license plates, the new MET “Land and Water” plate will not become reality unless and until at least 3,000 people sign up for the plates. You are therefore strongly encouraged to reserve your new plate by sending in a check for $40 payable to Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles along with this form to: Massachusetts Environmental Trust Land & Water Plate, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114 . Once 3,000 checks are received, the MET will forward the checks to the RMV, and then you will be contacted to let you know what else is needed to finish the process of getting your new “Land and Water” specialty license plate. Show your support for Massachusetts land and water conservation by purchasing a Land and Water Plate! Click here or call the MET at (617) 626-1045 for more info.
> Top of page
Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Program’s Stream Team Implementation Awards and River Instream Flow Stewards Restoration Grant for FY08
By Rachel Calabro, Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator, and Margaret Kearns, RIFLS Coordinator
Two of Riverways’ cornerstone programs have announced projects for Fiscal Year 2008. Each of the projects have been selected through a competitive process. Celebrating its 20th year, the Adopt-A-Stream Program works with local citizens to form Stream Teams, which, through Shoreline Surveys and other means, identify concerns and opportunities for protecting, restoring and stewarding stream reaches in their communities. AAS then provides assistance to selected Stream Teams to implement Shoreline Survey recommendations, and/or address other identified needs, in watersheds throughout the Commonwealth. The River Instream Flow Stewards Program (RIFLS) assists groups interested in protecting and restoring more natural flow regimes to their rivers via collecting stream flow data, assessing the extent of flow regime alteration and restoring more natural flows where necessary. The RIFLS Restoration Grant Program was established this year to accomplish two goals: to help RIFLS groups use their stream flow data to take the next steps toward restoring more natural flow regimes; and to encourage mutually beneficial partnerships between local environmental groups and municipalities.
Adopt-A-Stream selected seven projects for its FY08 Stream Team Implementation Awards. These projects represent work identified by local Stream Teams to help assess and restore rivers, enhance public access and encourage land protection along local rivers. Adopt-A-Stream works with citizens to support and develop projects in watersheds across the state that restore habitat and natural stream structure, protect flow and identify and prevent non-point source pollution. This year, we will be working with the following groups:
Hoosic River Watershed Association, South Branch Stream Team - $2,780.00
The Hoosic River Watershed Association will recruit and train volunteers to create a Stream Team for the South Branch of the Hoosic River. Adopt-A-Stream staff will work with the association to provide training workshops for surveying and sampling and support the Stream Team in actions to solve problems found during the volunteer survey.
Town of Reading, Ipswich River Greenway Feasibility Study - $3,050.40
Having achieved many of their stream flow goals, the Reading/North Reading Stream Team is turning its energy to bring people to the river. One of their accomplishments has been the successful partnership with the town on river issues. This year, as part of their work with the Stream Team Implementation Award, the Town of Reading and the Reading/North Reading Stream Team will work with a wetland consultant to conduct an environmental impact and feasibility study for a trail as part of the Ipswich River Greenway. The study will assess the ecological footprint, cost and feasibility of building a boardwalk on this section of the Greenway. The Stream Team volunteers and town will flag the boardwalk route and delineate wetlands in the area, and will create a map to accompany the feasibility report.
Greater Northfield Watershed Association, Northfield Stream Team and River Access Project - $2,859.00
The Greater Northfield Watershed Association will develop Stream Teams for East Wait/Bennett Brook, Mill Brook, Millers/Roaring Brook and Louisiana/Pauchaug Brook in Northfield. Some of the Stream Teams have already been established and completed Shoreline Surveys. More teams will be formed this spring. As part of the award, the association and Stream Teams will also refurbish fencing and benches and add an historical interpretive sign to the King Phillip’s Hill historic property. Another part of the project will promote the group’s anti-dumping campaign by creating a campaign poster and flyer and by visiting schools to promote the materials. Posters will also be displayed along roads at problem dumping areas.
East Quabbin Land Trust, Ecological Assessment of the Moose Brook Valley - $5,000.00
Following up on a Shoreline Survey, the East Quabbin Land Trust, part of the Moose Brook Stream Team., will complete ecological assessments and engage in direct communication with owners of riparian lands in the Moose Brook watershed of Hardwick and Barre. The group will host a follow up forum where overall ecological information as well as property specific information will be shared with landowners. The ecological assessments will be based partly on previous fish surveys, new macroinvertebrate sampling, winter tracking, amphibian and vernal pool assessments, and spring bird nesting assessments.
Blackstone River Watershed Association, Municipal Outreach Project - $4,500.00
Following up on Shoreline Surveys of the Mumford, Mill and West Rivers where over 30 volunteers surveyed 30 miles of stream, the Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) and Stream Team members applied for an Implementation Award to follow up on their findings. BRWA and the Stream Teams will work with a part-time municipal outreach coordinator to bring the results of recent Stream Team Shoreline Surveys on the Mumford, Mill and West Rivers to the attention of local town boards. To reach out to land owners and residents, the association will coordinate with the Blackstone River Coalition’s new “Property Owners Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Blackstone River Watershed” to do their part to keep local streams and water bodies clean and healthy. To reach out to businesses, they will incorporate findings into their In Business for the Blackstone program.
Merrimack River Watershed Council, Merrimack River Shoreline Survey Project - $10,000.00
As part of its efforts to restore good water quality to the Merrimack River and to find sources of pollution, the Merrimack River Watershed Council will recruit and train volunteers to join Stream Teams to assess the 46 miles of the main steam of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts from the New Hampshire line to Newburyport. The teams will be trained this spring with assistance from AAS staff. This 46-mile survey will entail the assistance of dozens of volunteers on motorboat, kayak, and foot.
Massachusetts Watershed Coalition, Monoosnoc Brook Restoration Project - $1,810.60
The Monoosnoc Brook Greenway Project, the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition and the Leominster Land Trust will contact private owners to seek conservation agreements that will preserve land and allow for the creation of a streamside trail to connect the Monoosnoc Hills trail system with the Nashua River Greenway. The Monoosnoc Brook Greenway Project is one of the early Adopt-A-Stream groups (1992) and has been working for over a decade with landowners and schools in the watershed to restore the greenways along Monoosnoc Brook. The groups will prepare a conceptual design and educational brochure for the Greenway Trail and will work with elected officials and landowners to further trail planning. This information will help municipal officials to encourage protection of riparian lands and expansion of a trail through ongoing redevelopment of private properties abutting the Brook.
Along similar lines, Riverways’ River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) Program has also chosen a group to provide a higher level assistance to in FY08. RIFLS’ Restoration Grant for FY08 is $35,000 in funding going to the Parker River Clean Water Association (PRCWA) to conduct an Ecological Safe Yield Analysis of the Town of Georgetown ’s wellfield, the primary source of the Town’s public water supply. The PRCWA is taking on this project with the cooperation and support of several town boards. Past studies have pointed to Georgetown ’s municipal water supply withdrawals from the wellfield as one of the most likely causes of observed declines in stream flow in the adjacent Parker River system. Hydrologic modeling by the Horsley Witten Group will help to determine the amount of water that can be withdrawn from the town’s wells while maintaining adequate streamflow to sustain the ecological integrity of the Parker River.
> Top of page
Resources and Grants
Grant, Fundraising, Contest and Award Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application deadline)
GrantStation and Benevon are co-sponsoring two conference calls on the topic of Meshing and Maximizing Your Individual Giving and Grants Strategies. These one-hour calls are free of charge (with the exception of the long-distance fees required to place the call). The calls are open to all nonprofit staff, volunteers, and board members in the U.S. and Canada. You must pre-register to participate; registration for all conference calls is limited. Each call will cover the same topics, so join whichever call works best for you. The dates of the upcoming calls are: April 8th, 2008 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (click here to register) and June 13th, 2008 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (click here to register).
The environmental group Food and Water Watch’s “I ♥ Tap Water” Video Contest challenges college students from around the US to produce a 30-second to 3-minute video that includes the following three elements: a declaration of your love for tap water; some discussion about the downsides of bottled water consumption; and that makes the case for why your school or any campus should give up bottled water (see a sample video on YouTube). The first place winner will receive a $1,500 award, and his or her video will be featured prominently on Food and Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap website. The winner will be chosen by a panel of prestigious judges, including leaders in environment and film. Submissions will be accepted until April 14th, 2008.
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. In honor of YSI’s 60 th Anniversary in 2008, YSI will award a special $60,000 grant to an organization focused on protecting water resources. Click here for detailed info on the YSI Foundation’s 2008 “Who’s Minding the Plant” environmental grant award program – applications are due by April 15th, 2008 . The 2008 special award will go to a deserving nonprofit that demonstrates a need for capacity building in a volunteer monitoring organization, whose work focuses on activities throughout an entire watershed. The grant will be awarded at the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, May 18th -22nd, 2008. The grant award recipient will be notified prior to May 19th so arrangements can be made to accept the award at the Conference. Contact Susan Miller, YSI Foundation President at (937) 767-7241 x406 or email@example.com for more info.
The U.S. EPA’s FY 2008 Assessment and Watershed Protection Program Grants (AWPPGs) authorized under §104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act, is looking to provide funding for “Tools, Incentives, and Trainings that Foster the Financing of Water Quality Protection and/or Habitat Restoration/Protection Activities on a Watershed Scale”. Eligible grant recipients include States and local governments, public or private non-profit, non-governmental institutions and individuals. While no cost share or match is required, your proposal may be ranked higher if you do. You are strongly encouraged to read the RFP to learn about the types of projects eligible for funding and for more info on the application process as well as how proposals will be evaluated. The deadline for AWPPG grant applications to be received by the EPA is April 22nd, 2008. Contact Tim Icke at (202) 566-1211 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
EPA Region One/New England’s 2008 Healthy Communities Grant Program integrates nine of its programs – Asthma, Children’s Environmental Health, Clean Energy, Community Air Toxics, Pesticides, Tools for Schools, Toxics, and the Urban Environmental Program. These programs are working in partnership to improve environmental conditions by competitively identifying projects that will achieve measurable environmental, human health and quality of life improvements in communities across New England . Eligible projects must be (1) located in one or more of the following four Target Investment areas: environmental justice areas, high air pollution areas, urban areas or involve sensitive populations; and (2) identify measurable environmental and public health results in one or more of the six Target Program Areas: Asthma, Capacity-building on environmental and public health issues, Clean energy, Healthy indoor/outdoor environments, Healthy schools, & Urban natural resources and open/green space. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, local government, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, state or regional agencies, K-12 schools or school districts and tribes. EPA expects to award about 10 to 20 grants in the $5,000 to $35,000 range for one- or two-year projects. The deadline for One-Page Project Summaries is May 12th, 2008. Telephone conference calls answering questions about this grants program will be held on April 15th, 17th and 23rd. Click here or contact Jennifer Padula at (617) 918-1698 for more info.
The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program provides grants of up to $10,000 to selected communities and citizen groups to provide expert advice and public education about hazardous waste site cleanup activities. TAGs 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. A full application, which describes the group, the site and the project, must be submitted on-line to DEP no later than May 2nd, 2008. Click here or contact Patti Mullan at (617) 556-1018 or patti.mullan@.state.ma.us for more info.
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act of 1987 established a national program to control nonpoint sources of pollution (NPS). Each year, the Mass. DEP issues a Request for Responses (RFR) for competitive projects to be funded through Section 319 grants. This year's RFR was issued on April 1st, 2008 (go to http://www.comm-pass.com/, click on “Search for solicitations”, and then type “RFR BRP 2008-01” into the “keywords” box). Proposals will be due on June 4th, 2008 . DEP anticipates that approximately $1,500,000 in Federal Funds will be available for Implementation, Demonstration, or Outreach & Education projects this year. A non-mandatory RFR informational meeting is scheduled for interested applicants at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 in the Concord Room of DEP’s Central Region Office in Worcester. Click here for info on past 319-funded projects, here for current eligibility and evaluation criteria, or contact Jane Peirce, 319 Program Coordinator, at (508) 767-2792 or email@example.com for more info.
The Mass. DEP will also be funding a second round of its Water Conservation Grant Program, which awards funds to municipalities and public water systems to encourage and enhance local drinking water conservation efforts. Up to $60,000 per proposal or a total of up to $800,000 is expected to be awarded to eligible public water systems. Qualified proposals will be selected on a competitive basis with priority given to those public water systems with Water Management Act permits or registrations that require meeting unaccounted-for water (UAW) or residential gallons per capita day (RGPCD) limits. The Request for Responses (RFR) posted on the state Comm-PASS website ( http://www.comm-pass.com) on Friday May 16th, 2008 . The deadline for proposals will be Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 . While the direct recipient of the grant must be a public water system or municipality, projects may be developed, carried out, and completed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regional planning agencies, consultants, etc. on behalf of the public water system.
Two Water Conservation Grant “pre-RFR” meetings will be held: at DEP’s Central Regional Office, 627 Main Street in Worcester on Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 at 10:00 AM in the Concord Room; and at DEP’s Southeast Regional Office, 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville, MA on Friday, May 2nd, 2008 at 10:00 AM in the main conference room. The purpose of each meeting is to discuss proposal ideas, and review project requirements and the application process. Under state procurement regulations, DEP and other EEA staff will not be able to discuss projects with proponents after the RFR is issued. Therefore, potential applicants are urged to take advantage of the Pre-RFR meetings and all other opportunities to engage program staff in discussion about how to develop eligible, competitive projects, prior to the 5/16/08 RFR issuance. Click here or contact program coordinator Malcolm Harper at (508) 767-2795 or Malcolm.Harper@state.ma.us for more info.
The Kodak American Greenways Awards Program, a partnership project of the Eastman Kodak Company and the Conservation Fund, provides small grants to stimulate the planning and design of greenways: corridors of protected public and private land established along rivers, ridges, abandoned railroad corridors, utility right-of-ways, canals, scenic roads, or other linear features. In general, grants can be used for all appropriate expenses needed to complete a greenway project including planning, technical assistance, legal, and other costs. Awards are primarily provided to local, regional, and statewide nonprofit organizations. Applications are accepted until June 15th, 2008. Click here for specific guidelines and application process.
The Boston Foundation’s Twice-Yearly Grants Program funds a wide variety of projects. Click here to see the eligible geographic area for projects, and click here for more detail on grant application processes and deadlines (which are January 5th and July 1st).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program provides financial and technical assistance for coastal habitat conservation, including coastal riverine and estuarine habitat conservation. Examples of restoration projects may include, but are not limited to: restoring stream corridors to provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality; reconstruction of in-stream aquatic habitat through bioengineering techniques; and re-establishing fish passage for migratory fish by removing barriers to movement. For more info, contact: Steve Hill at (413) 253-8614 or Steve_Hill@fws.gov.
The three main areas of interest of the Charlottesville, VA-based Blue Moon Fund are: rethinking consumption and energy; balancing human and natural ecosystems; and reenergizing urban communities. Although the vast majority of projects funded are in poorer nations abroad, projects in the U.S. are eligible. The website offers a simple eligibility quiz. If your group passes the quiz, you may be invited to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI), and, following its favorable acceptance, a full proposal. The Fund also supports fellowships and investments in its areas of interest.
With the motto “Greening the Grassroots since 1985”, the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation offers competitive grants to not-for-profit, grassroots organizations which facilitate progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal and environmental problems. All of the Foundation's funding decisions are made by a team of Ben & Jerry's employees that meets once a month to review proposals. Grant awards range from $1,000 to $15,000. The application process begins with an initial Letter of Interest, which, if invited, is followed by a full proposal. Letters of Interest may be submitted at any time and are reviewed on an ongoing basis. To apply or for more info, contact: Ben & Jerry's Foundation, 30 Community Drive, S. Burlington, VT 05403 (802) 846-1500.
The FishAmerica Foundation’s Conservation Grants Program provides funding to non-profit organizations (sporting clubs, civic associations, conservation groups) and state agencies for hands-on, action-oriented projects that have clear and identifiable benefits to sport fish populations and the sport of fishing (e.g., projects that directly enhance water quality, fish habitat and/or sportfish populations). The average conservation grant is $7,500. There are no specific application deadlines, but there’s usually a 9-12 month lag time while FishAmerica reviews the proposal. Click here for more detailed guidelines. Potential applicants with specific questions about the application process are encouraged to contact the Foundation at (703) 519-9691 ext 247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Norman Foundation supports efforts that strengthen the ability of communities to determine their own economic, environmental and social well-being, and that help people control those forces that affect their lives. Examples are efforts that promote economic justice and development through community organizing and work to prevent the disposal of toxics in communities and link environmental issues with economic and social justice. To apply or for more info, click here or contact: June Makela, Program Director, Norman Foundation, 147 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017, (212) 230-9830 , (212) 230-9849 (fax), email@example.com.
The Surdna Foundation’s Environment Program supports a healthy natural environment, the foundation upon which human communities flourish. It believes that the social and economic concerns of communities are inextricably, and crucially, linked to the natural world. Today, the environment is at great risk due to the interrelated threats of global climate change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable levels of resource consumption. The program’s goals are to build support for programs to stabilize climate change at the local, state and national level and improve transportation systems and patterns of land use across metropolitan areas, working landscapes, and intact ecosystems. Click here for detailed program guidelines. Surdna also makes grants for community revitalization, nonprofit sector support and organizational capacity building. There is no application deadline; decisions are made 3-4 months after receiving a request. Click here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Environmental grants made by the John Merck Fund include the categories of climate change and environmental health. The foundation also makes grants in the areas of civic engagement and defense of the public interest. The Fund favors: outstanding individuals working on promising projects in organizations that may have difficulty attracting funds; pilot projects with potential for widespread application; advocacy, including litigation, capable of setting or protecting important precedents; smaller organizations, start-ups included; one-year grant requests (though multi-year grants of up to three years occasionally are made); and matching-grant opportunities, particularly to help broaden support for fledgling initiatives. Grant seekers are asked to submit a brief letter of inquiry, which, if received favorably, is then followed by a concise proposal. Letters of inquiry (see Grant Process) should be addressed to: Ruth G. Hennig, Executive Director, The John Merck Fund,47 Winter St., 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 556-4120, (617) 556-4130 (fax) email@example.com (in the subject heading of your e-mail please write: "JMF Inquiry").
The Wallace Genetic Foundation funds a variety of interests including agricultural research, preservation of farmland, ecology, conservation, and sustainable development. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations throughout the United States that believe in the long-term conservation of the soil and of the environment, rather than the exploitation of natural resources for temporary profits. Applications may be submitted at any time. Click here, call (202) 966-2932 or e-mail President@WallaceGenetic.org for more info.
The Dominion Foundationsupports nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the economic, physical, and social health of the communities served by Dominion's gas companies (which include the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York). The Foundation’s areas of interest include civic and community development and the environment. Prospective applicants can increase their chances of receiving a grant by passing the eligibility quiz reading the FAQ page and following these helpful hints. For more info, contact: Daniel A. Weekley, Northeastern U.S. Region Contributions Committee, Attn: Dominion Millstone Station, Rope Ferry Rd., Waterford, CT 06385 .
The Overbrook Foundation strives to improve the lives of people by supporting projects that protect human and civil rights, advance the self-sufficiency and well being of individuals and their communities, and conserve the natural environment. Click here for the Foundation’s most recent guidelines. Prospective applicants should also click here to take the eligibility quiz. If you pass the quiz, you are invited to submit a letter of inquiry, which, if accepted, should be followed by a full proposal. Call (212) 661-8710 or click here to send an email to the Foundation for more info.
The Ettinger and Prentice Foundations share the same address and phone number ( 35 Church Lane, Westport, CT 06880, 203-227-7470 ) and make a large number of grants in the $1,000 - $10,000 range to environmental and other organizations. Click here and here for more info.
Established in 1995, the Northampton, MA-based Solidago Foundation’s mission is “to promote justice, equity, sustainability and enfranchisement for all through charitable grantmaking to, and work with, progressive, empowering, community-based organizations and collaborations”. While the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, letters of inquiry may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of the Arthur Ashley Williams Foundation is “to give financial aid and support exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes.” Its mission is “to render financial assistance to non profit organizations that can show need of assistance and meet all the criteria required by the foundation”. A number of Massachusetts-based environmental organizations have received grants from the Foundation, which tend to be relatively modest in size ($500-$3,000). There are no proposal deadlines. For more info, contact the Foundation at PO Box 6280, Holliston, MA 01746, (508) 893-0757 or email@example.com.
The Hannaford chain of supermarkets maintains a charitable giving program, which consists of a charitable foundation and a local donation/sponsorship program, both of which are targeted to areas in which the company does business (click here for a store locator). The company encourages organizations to apply for support at least eight weeks in advance of when the requested funding or other donation is needed. Click here for more info.
The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) provides grants generally in the $5,000 to $25,000 range to nonprofit organizations and public agencies for projects in communities where Lowe’s operates stores and distribution centers (click here for a store locator) and can utilize company employee volunteers. The Foundation requires that all applicants take and pass an on-line eligibility test. Additionally (or alternatively), the Foundation encourages you to contact your local Lowe’s store when seeking a modest gift card, door prize or donation of materials for a community project or event, as well as seeking their support for a larger grant from the Foundation. Click here for more info and here to preview the contents of LCEF’s on-line application.
The website iGive.com enables consumers who shop on-line to steer a portion of each purchase to your favorite charitable cause. Over 600 retailers and other sellers (such as eBay) participate in iGive. Search to see if your cause is already listed (you can filter results by state and by type of cause - “environment”, e.g., or type in a keyword), and, if it isn’t, you can add it. (Any cause in the U.S. or Canada is eligible; §501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is not required.) Registering is free and items purchased via iGive do not cost more than conventional on-line shopping. Organizations seeking to promote donations via iGive can promote it to their members and/or on their web page (see, e.g., River Network’s promotion of donations via iGive on its web page). [See also Smartraise.com, a very similar free service, which makes it even easier for groups (such as the (East Coast Greenway Alliance) to sign up to promote on-line donations via on-line shopping.]
The mission of Network for Good’s new on-line Learning Center (http://www.fundraising123.org/) is to provide nonprofits with free access to the best available web-based fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources. The Learning Center features hundreds of articles in six areas: Online Fundraising, Social Networking, Website 101, Email 101, Donor Database, and Nonprofit Marketing. Much of the content comes from nonprofit professionals, coaches, trainers, bloggers, and consultants who are working every day to improve fundraising and marketing effectiveness. Last but not least, the site offers a free subscription to a bi-monthly Online Fundraising & Nonprofit Marketing Tips newsletter.
A primary goal of Guidestar, one of the Web’s most reliable and comprehensive sources of information on nonprofit organizations and funders, is to encourage nonprofits to share information about their organizations openly and completely to enable donors to make informed decisions in their charitable giving. Any nonprofit in Guidestar’s database can update its report with information about its mission, programs, leaders, goals, accomplishments, and needs—for free. Guidestar’s new “Donate Now” feature enables prospective donors visiting the Guidestar site and requesting info on a particular nonprofit (the Westport River Watershed Alliance, e.g.) to make on-line donations directly to that nonprofit. Have more than one cause you care about? Guidestar’s "donation cart" allows you to give to multiple organizations at one time and then, when you are ready, check out.
The number one reason that people donate to charity is because they were asked. One of the most difficult aspects of fundraising is figuring out who to ask. Established in October of last year, NOZA helps charities identify who to ask via a searchable database containing more than 26 million charitable donation records (growing by 1,000,000 records monthly). Charities access NOZA’s database through its website and search for prospective donors for their organizations. Nonprofits can use NOZA’s Foundation Grant Searching function for free, and access millions of individual and company donation records for only $25. The NOZA website also provides free and extensive guidance on researching prospective donors. Click here for more info.
> Top of page
A number of free Healthy Lawns and Landscapes workshops, led by Ann McGovern of Mass. DEP, are scheduled for various venues this spring: April 2nd in Groton; April 17th in Sutton; April 29th in Lexington and May 6th in Weston. The purpose of the workshops is to teach residents, landscapers and municipal staff how to maintain landscapes without using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Attendees will receive a chance to win a compost bin. Refreshments will be served. Click here for more info on the workshops and here for more info on healthy landscaping methods, or contact Ann at (617) 292-5834 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [Click here to learn about similar programs in western Mass., sponsored by the Center for Ecological Technology.]
The Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center and UMass Extension will be hosting the 5th Annual Conference on Water Resources: Integrating Water Resources Management for a Secure Water Future on Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 at the Lincoln Campus Center , UMass/Amherst. This year’s conference will highlight integrated water resources management, from cutting-edge research on the assessment and remediation of impaired water resources, to policy for water use, reuse, conservation, and balance. The goals of this conference are to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scientists, practitioners, and policy makers to discuss current critical water research; foster greater collaboration among scientists and practitioners; and strengthen the connection between research, extension, and policy. EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Ira Leighton will be keynote speaker and address exciting new developments in stormwater policy and remediation. Click here to register or contact Françoise Walk at (413) 545-5531 for more info.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is hosting a workshop entitled Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development for North Suburban Communities, which will take place on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 from 8:30 AM - 10:45 AM in the Community Room of the Wakefield Public Safety Building, 1 Union Street in Wakefield . The workshop’s focus is on local stormwater bylaws and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. The workshop is planned with municipal officials and board members in mind, as well as interested citizens, businesses, and property owners. Officials and board members from Public Works Departments, Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Boards of Appeal, Boards of Health, and Engineering Departments are particularly encouraged to attend. The workshop will include a “Community Clinic” session where you can bring questions and issues from your community to the panel of speakers. Click here for more details, an agenda and directions, or contact Martin Pillsbury at MAPC, 617-451-2770, ext. 2012 or email@example.com for more info.
The Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will present Low Impact Development Tools: Strategies for Environmentally-Friendly Development that Reduce Stormwater Runoff: A workshop for municipal boards, officials and staff, on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at DCR’s Wachusett Regional Office, 180 Beaman St. (Route 140) in West Boylston. The workshop is offered to municipal officials and staff at no charge; please RSVP to Christine at (508) 792-7806 ext 233.
Thousands of college students and others are expected to converge in Boston on Friday, April 11th – Monday, April 14th, 2008 for Massachusetts Power Shift and learn, connect, get inspired, and take action to solve the climate crisis and chart the path to a just, sustainable future. Citizens will engage in a weekend full of activities, including workshops on climate organizing, city/town break-out sessions around Green Jobs, and Soul Purpose Live: an afternoon rally complete with music, activism, and leadership. The weekend will culminate on Monday with a lobbying push at the State House to pass the Global Warming Solutions Act and set Massachusetts as a national and global model. Citizens will then return to their communities empowered, trained, and organized to advocate for the creation of Green Collar Jobs in their communities, making sure the benefits of the Green Economy are shared with people of all income levels. Click here or write firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Trust for Public Land's Worcester County Conservation Initiative presents An Evening with Richard Louv , author of Last Child in the Woods Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 7:00 PM at the Harrington Theatre, Bancroft School, 110 Shore Drive in Worcester. Barnes and Noble will offer book sales beginning at 6:00 and a book signing will follow the presentation. RSVP required as seating is limited. Please RSVP with your name, address, and the number in your party to email@example.com.
Mass. EEA’s Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) will be presenting a free two-part workshop series entitled Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation: An Introductory Workshop for Facilities. You can attend the Energy Efficiency workshop at Holyoke Community College on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 or at the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough on Wednesday, April 30th, 2008. You can attend the Water Conservation workshop at the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School on Friday, April 18th, 2008 or at the Holyoke Community College on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008. Contact Scott Fortier at (617) 626-1090, Rick Reibstein at (617) 626-1062 or click here for more info.
The New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) is hosting a workshop entitled Water Efficiency: What’s in it for Me?, on Thursday, April 24th, 2008, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the EPA New England Lab in North Chelmsford, MA. Click here for more info and here to register, or call Jeanne Gilpin at (508) 893-79790.
Protecting the Taunton River Watershed: Strategies for preserving the watershed’s natural and historic resources, a forum sponsored by the Taunton River Watershed Alliance, in cooperation with the Taunton River Watershed Campaign, will take place on Saturday, April 26th, 2008 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the Bristol County Agricultural High School, 135 Center Street in Dighton, MA. There is no registration or fee for the forum and breakfast and lunch are complimentary.
River Network is hosting its annual national gathering, River Rally 2008, from Friday, May 2nd to Monday, May 5th at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, OH. The Rally is intended to help river enthusiasts, grassroots groups, governments at all levels and others harness the power of citizen involvement to protect rivers and build healthier communities and watersheds. “The River Rally will bring together hundreds of friends of rivers, water keepers, monitors, watchdogs, stewards, guardians and others involved in watershed protection and restoration. Together, we will celebrate rivers, teach and learn from each other, and explore the power of citizen action.” Click here to download the Rally brochure or here to go to the Rally webpage.
The Spring 2008 New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) meeting will be held May 1st -3rd, 2008, at the Gregg Coastal Conservation Center in Greenland, NH. Click here for more info.
The River Management Society (RMS) is hosting its 9th Biennial Symposium, Branching out from the Mainestream, from Monday, May 12th to Thursday, May 15th at the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, ME. Session topics include dam removal, urban rivers, river restoration techniques and case studies of successful partnerships. Sandra Postel is one of the featured speakers. A bunch of river and watershed-related field trips have also been organized. Click here for an on-line registration form, or contact Caroline Kurz at RMS at (406) 549-0514 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC)'s 19th Annual Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Conference, Progress Through Partnerships: Collaborating to Protect Our Watersheds, will be held May 19th -21st, 2008, at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton, CT Click here for more info.
The National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) is hosting its 6th conference, Monitoring: Key to Understanding Our Waters , from May 18th – 22nd, 2008 at the Atlantic City (NJ) Convention Center. Click here for more info.
The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) is hosting a conference entitled Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Working at the Water's Edge, which will be held at the Founder's Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, VA from June 30th- July 2nd, 2008. The conference will focus on emerging science and new studies on: the structure, function, and management of riparian ecosystems, conservation buffers, and coastal shorelines, including water quality, aquatic habitat, and terrestrial habitat, while focusing on new techniques in landscape prioritization and targeting, measuring and monitoring effectiveness, and the application of riparian buffer practices and restoration approaches in urban, agricultural, prairie, and forest landscapes (click here for a listing of probable workshop topics). [See also AWRA’s 2008 Awards Nominations, which are due on May 8th.]
he Humboldt Field Research Institute/Eagle Hill Foundation is offering a number of aquatic species and habitat-related seminars and workshops for professionals and naturalists this spring and summer at their campus in Steuben, ME, along the scenic downeast Maine coast. Click here for a course listing and here for more info on the Institute and its other activities. Call (207) 546-2821 or write email@example.com for more info.
> Top of page
In honor of the approaching Earth Day 2008, on Tuesday, April 22nd , the U.S. EPA recently posted a new web page entitled Fifteen Things You Can Do to Make a Difference in Your Watershed.
The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has recently posted several updates to its website relating to Stormwater to reflect recent regulatory changes which went into effect on January 2nd, 2008. Here are links to: the Revised Wetlands Protection (WPA) Regulations; the Revised Water Quality Certification (WQC) Regulations; and a Summary of WPA & WQC Revisions. DEP’s new Stormwater Handbook is in three volumes: Volume 1: Overview of Massachusetts Stormwater Standards; Volume 2: Technical Guide for Compliance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards; and Volume 3: Documenting Compliance with the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards. Click here to access the various chapters and checklists that make up these volumes. The old Stormwater Policy and handbooks are also accessible here as well for use on projects that had filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) or other submission to conservation commissions prior to Jan 2nd, 2008 . Also recently posted to DEP’s web page are the following: a Stormwater Report Checklist, which replaces the old Stormwater Management Form that was included as an appendix to the NOI form; a Checklist for Redevelopment Projects; and new versions of WPA Forms 3 & 5, Notice of Intent and Order of Conditions, revised to reflect the changes to stormwater management requirements. Go to DEP’s Wetlands Circuit Rider web page if you have questions or for more info.
“Aqueous Solution: Water Trails ” is the feature article in the March 2008 edition of Northeast Update, the electronic newsletter put out by the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)’s Northeast Region. Click here to subscribe or read on-line. [Note: The RTCA provides hands-on technical assistance to nonprofits, informal groups and alliances for projects that lead to on-the-ground results, such as improved trails, conserved shorelines and protected acres. RTCA Mass. Project coordinator Charlie Tracy [(617) 223-5210, firstname.lastname@example.org] would like to discuss project ideas with groups seeking RTCA assistance for the next federal fiscal year (which begins 10/01/08 ). Letters of request must be submitted by August 1st, 2008.
The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)’s Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative offers technical assistance and training to support the preservation of historically significant landscapes throughout the Commonwealth. Resources at this web page include downloadable copies of five editions of its useful and visually appealing Terra Firma publication, providing helpful advice on how to identify and protect historic landscapes, trees, roads, even stone walls and other features. [See UConn Professor Robert Thorson’s Stone Wall Initiative for more help on how to identify, categorize and protect historic stone walls.]
ast but not least: Issue No.3, 2007 of Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine , the quarterly publication of the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), contained an article by Riverways’ Gabrielle Stebbins entitled Going With the Flow: Advocating for Wise Water Use. The article discusses various factors contributing to unnaturally low and no-flow conditions in rivers and streams and actions citizens and others can take to restore our streams to hydrological balance and ecological health. Rick Kennedy of the DFW has graciously consented to posting this article on-line (along with a previous article on brook trout) to help ensure it reaches a large audience. You are nevertheless warmly invited to subscribe to the print version of Massachusetts Wildlife to read all the other excellent articles the magazine has to offer (it’s only $6/yr or $10/two years).
> Top of page
Non-government On-line Resources
(in rough alphabetical order)
Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)
A brainchild of the famed ecologist E. O. Wilson and partially housed at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the newly-fledged EOL website is intended to be a repository of information on all species of life on Earth. Drawing upon its collaboration with the Catalogue of Life and Tree of Life projects, EOL’s infrastructure now includes placeholder pages for 1 million species, of which 30,000 have been populated with detailed information derived from comprehensive, authoritative compilations available for some taxonomic groups (Fishbase, AmphibiaWeb, etc.) One aspect of the EOL project that differentiates it from other species databases is EOL’s active encouragement of amateur naturalists and other nature enthusiasts in developing the website’s structure and content. You can do that right now by filling out a survey or volunteering to be a curator for one or more species pages. Later this year you’ll be able to submit content to other species pages. Click here for more info.
H 2 0 Conserve
America ’s waterscape is changing. Climate shifts and population increases are putting pressure on our fresh water sources, leading to record-setting droughts and unprecedented water shortages. Despite the recent surge in media coverage about our water problems, most Americans still don’t realize that they have a role to play in addressing the problem. Established by Food and Water Watch with help from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE, http://www.gracelinks.org) and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the new H20 Conserve website enables visitors to calculate their “water footprint”: the water they use at home, and the water used to produce their food, energy and household products. After using the site’s H20 calculator, visitors are directed to H20 Conserve’s Info Page, where they are invited to learn more about water supply infrastructure, water privatization, indoor and outdoor conservation tips and other important water issues. [Click here to read a short article from Sierra Magazine on how one couple set up a greywater system at their home to reduce water consumption.]
Massachusetts Civic Action
This website is a tool for posting examples of innovative and successful civic engagement activities, originally created to facilitate on-line dialogue before and after the first-ever Massachusetts Civic Engagement Summit, held on Nov. 16, 2007 . The website encourages people to report on what they’ve done in their communities in the areas of Volunteerism, Neighborhoods & Diverse Networks, Civic Education, Electoral Politics & Policy or other areas of civic life. Click here to register for the site. Once you're registered, you can click here to post your project. Registration is not required to view and search other users' projects. [See also http://www.socialcapitalinc.org.]
Mass Nature's aim is to document species occurring in Massachusetts and to provide information that may be used for identification and educational purposes. The website contains listings (by scientific and common name) and (in many cases) photos of plant, animal and mushroom species known to occur in the Commonwealth, organized by family. As this is an on-going project, as the website grows, it is likely to undergo numerous additions, updates, and revisions. If you spot an error or omission or have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact the webmaster at email@example.com.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Massachusetts Chapter
The link above will take you to A New Way For Water: Protecting Fresh Water in Massachusetts, a recently-released, visually stunning and content-filled 6-page document which outlines TNC’s comprehensive vision and strategy for the long-term protection and management of Massachusetts ’ rivers and streams. It calls for a holistic approach to protecting and restoring what TNC considers to be the five elements most essential to healthy rivers and streams: headwaters, intact river corridors and floodplains, connected networks, flow and protected water-supply lands. Click here for A New Way For Water’s press release, here for related info on TNC’s freshwater work in Massachusetts, or contact Freshwater Program Director Alison Bowden at (617) 227-7017 ext.351 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain hard copies of A New Way For Water or for more info.
Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA)
Infiltration is groundwater that enters a sewer system through cracked, crushed or leaky pipes, joints and manholes. Inflow is rain or surface water that enters the sewer system, generally through illegal connection of things like sump pumps, roof drains, etc. Because infiltration and inflow (known as “I/I”) can introduce tremendous amounts of water into sewer pipes in a very short time during big rainstorms, towns with a lot of I/I often suffer from sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) of raw sewage into streets, houses, and wetlands. Because I/I poses grave threats to human health and the environment, steal precious groundwater resources, and cost municipalities big money in unnecessary sewage costs, most communities are anxious to stop it. Doing this can be costly, however, so, in response, NepRWA has put out Minimizing Municipal Costs for Infiltration & Inflow (I/I) Remediation - A Handbook for Municipal Officials, produced last summer under contract with the Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The document gives assistance in: setting cost-effective I/I goals; adopting sewer use regulations that give adequate authority to reduce present and future I/I on both public and private property; obtaining grants and loans from non-municipal sources; and, where legally permissible, establishing an I/I Bank which makes new and expanding development, rather than ratepayers, finance most I/I remediation work. Click here to download this document. [Also available at Neponset.org is a Let’s Talk Toilets webpage, which provides a rationale for and guidance on purchasing and installing a high-efficiency toilet (HET) in your home and/or business.]
Created by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the DrinkTap.org web page informs and educates consumers on the differences and similarities of tap vs. bottled water for drinking. [The web page also provides into on pharmaceuticals in drinking water, which has been in the news a lot lately – see also Food and Water Watch and Corporate Accountability International’s perspective on this issue.] The AWWA also recently created Only Tap Water Delivers, a grassroots and media campaign to help utilities and public officials communicate the value of tap water service and the need to reinvest in water infrastructure to consumers, media and other stakeholders. The campaign is designed to encourage community investment in water service and resources, provide utilities with tools that help them communicate with consumers and decision-makers about the value of water service, encourage and equip public officials to speak about the importance of investing in water service and resources and elevate the value of water service in the minds of consumers. [Click here to read an excellent six-part article on the environmental and other downsides to bottled water in the February 2008 edition of Reader’s Digest].
Co-founded by internationally recognized water expert Peter H. Gleick, the Oakland, CA-based Pacific Institute envisions a world where the basic needs of all people are met, where resources are managed sustainably and the natural world protected, and where conflicts over resources are resolved in a peaceful and democratic fashion. Resources at the Institute’s website include: a new fact sheet entitled Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels, explaining how the equivalent amount of oil consumed by the bottled water industry is actually ten times more than previously estimated; a new report entitled Hidden Oasis: Water Conservation and Efficiency in Las Vegas; and a Water and Sustainabilityweb page, with information on water efficiency, water privatization and more. [Click here to hear Gleick interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air program last November and here to read Gleick quoted in a recent CNN.com article entitled “Green lawns could lead to brownouts”. See also the Institute-sponsored Circle of Blue website for water scarcity and solutions news stories.]
Founded in 2007 by Paul Tukey, publisher of People, Places and Plants Magazine, SafeLawns’ mission is “to create a broad-based coalition of non- and for-profit organizations committed to educating society about the benefits of organic lawn care and gardening, and effect a quantum change in consumer and industry behavior”. Resources at this web page include a series of free downloadable “how-to” videos, a compilation of organic research and resources, an FAQ page explaining the downsides of conventional lawn and landscape care and the benefits of going organic, and a newsletter whose lead article explains why organic lawns and landscapes are more drought-tolerant and need less watering. [See also the Healthy Lawns for Healthy Families web page.]
Socialmarkets.org applies a “Wall Street” model to charity in such a way that every donor receives returns in the form of “Socialdollars”. The website founders use economic models to put a fiscal value on the results of non-profits seeking donations (such as the Rushing Rivers Institute) via the website. The funding seekers must commit to deliver estimated social value, which is measured with the help of project-specific indicators, such as an increase of free participation in river courses, number of people accessing information about fish ecology, number of published papers, or cost reduction in environmental assessment projects. The sponsors are in control of what is accomplished with their money. The sponsors, as well as grant seekers, are constantly measured through voting systems. Rushing Rivers Institute posted four projects for which they seek funding (click here for details). Visit Socialmarkets.org, register and vote for those or other nonprofit projects you feel are deserving, or submit a project of your organization for consideration. The more votes, the better the chances for donations.
Society for Nonprofit Organizations (SNPO)
With a 24 year history and over 6,000 members, SNPO is one of the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit management support organizations. SNPO member benefits include: Nonprofit World Magazine; Available Grants delivered monthly via email; Job Postings at NonprofitCareers.org; Searchable Archive of 700+ articles; Discounted Courses in nonprofit management (online); Discounted Books from Fieldstone Publications; GrantStation.com Membership with over 5,500 current grants; and GrantStation Insider delivered weekly via email. Click here for info on a 30-day free trial membership. [As mentioned previously in NewsNotes, Grantstation.com offers a wealth of resources to its members, including articles by experts on capital campaigns, endowment building and other useful topics.]
Set up by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy , America 's leading organization assisting local communities in converting unused railroad corridors into community trails, Traillink is billed as “the most robust source of free trail information on the Web”. Traillink provides detailed information on surface types, access points, locations, distances, services, reviews, photographs and local links for America 's 1,400 plus rail-trails. The website has been recently upgraded to include interactive mapping, dynamic driving directions, improved search functionality and updated content. Registering at Traillink.com (also free) enables you to submit your own trail reviews and photos.
The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)
The link above will take you to the Spring 2008 edition of TTOR’s Special Places members’ magazine, where you can read an on-line version of an excellent feature article entitled A Big-Hearted River, which extols the natural and scenic qualities of the Westfield River and watershed.
Your Water, Your Decision
Recently established by the Source Water Collaborative (SWC), a coalition of nineteen national organizations united to protect America’s drinking water at the source (the lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers we tap for drinking purposes), the Your Water, Your Decision campaign is intended to encourage local officials to connect with best practices, people, and other resources that can help them protect their sources of drinking water. The SWC produced this new guide to give local decision-makers a look at their options for protecting sources of drinking water. The actions taken include a wide array of approaches from development to stewardship to budgeting. Click here or http://www.protectdrinkingwater.org/ for more info.
> Top of page
In an effort to ensure that every community is equipped with the guidance needed to repair streams as part of larger watershed restoration efforts, the Center for Watershed Protection is now making Manual 4: Urban Stream Repair Practices of the Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series available permanently for free download. This manual focuses on practices used to enhance the appearance, stability, structure, or function of urban streams. It includes guidance on how to set appropriate restoration goals for your stream, and how to choose the best combination of stream repair practices to meet them. [N.B.: The first three manuals in this series are also available for free download as well: Manual 1: An Integrated Framework to Restore Small Urban Watersheds; Manual 2: Methods to Develop Restoration Plans for Small Urban Watersheds; and Manual 3: Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices.]
In their international bestseller Blue Gold, internationally-renowned Canadian water activist Maude Barlow and co-author Tony Clarke exposed how a handful of corporations are gaining ownership and control of the earth's dwindling water supply, depriving millions of people around the world of access to this most basic of resources and accelerating the onset of a global water crisis. Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, Barlow’s sequel to Blue Gold, describes a powerful response to this trend: the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to have water declared a basic human right, something that can't be bought or sold for profit. [Barlow is also the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to stop commodification of the world's water. Blue Covenant (208 pp., $24.95) can be obtained from its publisher, The New Press, by clicking here. [Click here to hear a recent interview with Maude Barlow on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” program.]
Human activities affect the natural hydrologic cycle in many ways. Modifications of the land to accommodate agriculture, such as installation of drainage and irrigation systems, alter infiltration, runoff, evaporation, and plant transpiration rates. Buildings, roads, and parking lots in urban areas tend to increase runoff and decrease infiltration. Dams reduce flooding in many areas. Water budgets provide a basis for assessing how a natural or human-induced change in one part of the hydrologic cycle may affect other aspects of the cycle. Water Budgets: Foundations for Effective Water-Resources and Environmental Management, a new publication from the U.S. Geological Survey, provides an overview and qualitative description of water budgets as foundations for effective water-resources and environmental management of freshwater hydrologic systems. Click here for more info on Water Budgets.
Each community chooses its future every day, through the incremental decisions made by planning and zoning boards and other citizen volunteers, as well as professional staff. The challenge is to ensure that these decisions support the preservation of what is special about the community, while still fostering necessary and appropriate growth. In the book Preserving and Enhancing Communities: A Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Policymakers, edited by Elisabeth M. Hamin, Priscilla Geigis, and Linda Silka, twenty-nine experts from a variety of fields describe in very practical terms how residents can be empowered to become involved in local decision-making, building coalitions and expressing their views on a wide range of issues, such as zoning, water and land protection, transportation, historic preservation, economic diversity, affordable housing, and reuse of brownfields. When done properly, development can enhance the sense of place and provide needed homes and jobs. Done improperly, it can generate sprawl and a multitude of problems. Preserving and Enhancing Communities (272 pp., $29.95) is available from the publisher, University of Massachusetts Press, by clicking here or by calling (800) 537-5487.
Last But Not Least
Does your car have an environmental license plate?
The Massachusetts Environmental Trust ( MET ) 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, sale of the “FW” (“fish and wildlife”) and “BV” (“Blackstone Valley”) plates also help fund MET ’s grant-making programs. While these three are the only Mass. specialty license plates currently available that exclusively fund environmental programs, there’s a proposal for a new MET “Land and Water” plate (see image above) that (if 3,000 pre-paid plates are sold) will fund land conservation that helps protect water resources (click here or call (617) 626-1045 for more info). 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.
> Top of page
Visit the Riverways Staff page