Riverways News Notes #31- February 2, 2009
An electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Riverways Program http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/river
Taunton River on the Verge of National Wild & Scenic River Designation
In this issue:
Resources and Grants
Support Land and Water Conservation with a "Land and Water" Specialty License Plate
Last But Not Least
Dear River Advocates:
Winter has tightened its grip on Massachusetts, and many of our river and streams are coated with a layer of ice and snow. While it appears that our rivers and steams are locked in place, lots of activity is still churning below the frozen surface. That analogy holds true for your work and ours here at Riverways.
Winter tends to be a time to plan and prepare. Our restoration staff is working hard to get multiple projects ready for 2009 construction, including projects in Plymouth, Wareham and Clarksburg. In addition to preparing for a new field season, our RIFLS staff is working statewide to restore more natural stream flows. Current demonstration projects include hydrologic modeling to restore a herring run to First Herring Brook in Scituate and the development of pilot dam management plans on Housatonic River tributaries in Hinsdale, Pittsfield and Stockbridge. Our Technical Assistance staff continues to work with watershed associations in assuring quality control for their water quality data and providing assistance to state grant reviewers. In addition, staff is preparing a web site to identify all printed or online canoe guides (see below).
Our remaining Adopt-A-Stream coordinator, located in western Massachusetts, is helping citizens organize Shoreline and River Continuity Surveys, including Lexington Watershed Stewards, Westfield River Stream Teams, Blackstone Trout Unlimited (River Continuity), Berkshire Environmental Action Team (River Continuity), and Three Rivers Initiative -- Chicopee, to assist in community outreach and volunteer coordination for river restoration projects, including Green River, Mill River (Taunton), and Mill River (Hatfield) and to coordinate Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee projects including a new website, riparian conservation and community grant programs.
Our lead article this issue is devoted to celebrating the progress of the effort to add the Taunton River into the federal Wild & Scenic River System. The Taunton River Wild and Scenic’s Federal Designation is approaching its last and final hurdle. If approved by the House of Representatives (one last time) the Taunton River will join the Westfield River and the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers as the Commonwealth’s third federally-recognized wild and scenic river area. What started with many days of planning, education, partnership building and strategic outreach nearly a decade ago is coming to fruition.
Riverways served on the Taunton Wild and Scenic Committee, coordinated by the National Park Service and the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) along with ten towns, numerous environmental groups including Taunton River Watershed Association, the Nature Conservancy, Mass Audubon, Wildlands Trust and Save the Bay, as well as the Inter-tribal Indian Council, SRPEDD, the National Park Service, consultants, a canoe livery owner and local experts. Riverways led the initial outreach subcommittee efforts, and Adopt-A-Stream staff and local coordinators led eight Stream Teams in conducting surveys of the important tributaries to identify outstanding resources and find potential problems that could harm the system. The Shoreline Survey reports became a significant part of the River Stewardship Plan. Riverways RIFLS and water quality staff provided technical assistance on instream issues. We are proud to have been involved in this grassroots effort alongside an amazing group of dedicated and hardworking partners. Please read more about the Taunton River Wild and Scenic Dedication in our lead article.
In our last NewsNotes, we described completion of Phase II of the Red Brook restoration. Since that time, the restoration of Red Brook was featured in a cover story by the Boston Globe on climate change adaptation. In addition, Riverways staff was interviewed in Plymouth alongside Town Brook by WBZ meteorologist Mish Michaels on how the Department of Fish and Game is implementing “climate smart” restoration projects that will increase the resiliency of our aquatic ecosystems.
2009 promises to be a year of exciting progress as well as a time to respond to uncertain economic conditions. Perhaps the ebb and flow of our coastal streams and the seasonal rise and fall of our rivers can provide some perspective to our own economic patterns.
See you on the rivers!
Joan Kimball, Director
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 email@example.com.
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Taunton River on the Verge of National Wild & Scenic River Designation –
Community-led effort protects river corridor
By Carrie Banks, Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Program
[NOTE: Although bills containing the Taunton W&S designation have passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the vote in the House took place in the last Congressional session, and so the bill will need to pass the U.S. House again this session before the legislation can be signed by the President and the designation goes into official effect. This House “re-vote” is expected to take place in the very near future
– click here for more info.]
“The affluent society has built well in terms of economic progress, but has neglected the protection of the very water we drink as well as the values of fish and wildlife, scenic, and outdoor recreation resources. Although often measureless in commercial terms, these values must be preserved by a program that will guarantee America some semblance of her great heritage of beautiful rivers.”
Senator Frank Church from Idaho,
Arguing for passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968)
In 1968, Congress passed the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act to safeguard the special character and heritage of our nation’s rivers. For years, unchecked dam building and river habitat destruction had been occurring on rivers and streams throughout the country. Through the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System, “certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations (Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, 1968)”.
Forty years later, over 11,400 free-flowing miles of 168 rivers in 38 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have been protected under the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. While an impressive statistic, it should be noted that this represents only one-quarter of one percent of the total 3.5 million river miles in the United States. By comparison, nationwide, currently over 600,000 miles of river lie behind 60,000 to 80,000 dams.
On January 15, 2009, the U.S. Senate passed legislation (specifically, section 5003 of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009) in favor of adding a segment of the Taunton River to the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System (click here and here for more details). This followed passage of a similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives last July (click here for more details). Once the Taunton receives its official designation, it will become Massachusetts’ fifth Wild & Scenic River – segments of the Westfield River, and the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers, were previously designated. Riverways, and, especially, its Adopt-A-Stream Program, played a significant supporting role for the community-based effort that led to all three of these federal Wild & Scenic designations (click here and read below for more details).
Rivers in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System can be designated in two ways – through a state-initiated (a.k.a. Section “2(a)(ii)”) designation, which is the path the Westfield River took, or through an Act of Congress (the route that the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers designation took). In order to be designated, a river must be free-flowing and possess at least one “outstandingly remarkable” resource – i.e. regionally significant, unique, rare and/or exemplary scenic, geological, biological, recreational, historical, literary, or cultural resources. In order to determine a river’s eligibility for designation, a Wild & Scenic Rivers Study is the first step in the designation process.
The Taunton River Study Bill, signed by President Clinton in October of 2000, authorized the National Parks Service (NPS), Department of the Interior, to initiate the study process along a 22-mile stretch of the upper Taunton River from Bridgewater to Taunton to determine if the river met the criteria for designation. In 2002, the study area was expanded to include the lower Taunton River, extending to Braga Bridge in Fall River.
While most of the 168 rivers in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System flow through federal lands, such as National Forests and National Parks, Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers, such as the Taunton River, flow through a mix of private and public lands. Managing these rivers is based on a collaborative, partnership-based approach; often bringing together state, regional and community representatives and interests to locally manage their river-related resources and to preserve the “outstandingly remarkable resources” for which the rivers were designated. From the outset of the Taunton study period, the National Park Service (NPS) staff worked closely with representatives of local and state governments, river conservation groups, regional planning agencies and other concerned citizens, forming a Stewardship Committee, to help guide the study process and develop the Taunton River Stewardship Plan. An excellent Taunton River Wild and Scenic Study website was established to conduct outreach and facilitate communication amongst the stakeholders, and to help build public support for the designation.
The Stewardship Plan found the river to be eligible for designation, and provided a roadmap to protect the river’s free-flowing character and significant resources. In 2004-2005, each town approved the Stewardship Plan and proposed Wild & Scenic designation at their respective town meetings. Based on these findings and local support, in July 2005, the Stewardship Committee joined with local members of Congress to draft legislation to designate the Taunton River as a National Wild & Scenic River.
Following the final passage of the legislation by Congress and signature by President Obama, administration of the Designation, and implementation of the Taunton River Stewardship Plan, will be accomplished through a broadly participatory, community-based Taunton River Stewardship Council, with representation from 10 cities and towns, the National Park Service, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, SRPEDD, the Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Natural Resources Trust of Bridgewater, the Taunton River Watershed Alliance (TRWA), Save The Bay, The Nature Conservancy, and the Council Oak Wampanoags, Massachusetts.
Outstandingly Remarkable Resources of the Taunton River
The designation includes a 40-mile stretch of the mainstem Taunton River, from the confluence of the Matfield and Town Rivers in Bridgewater to Mount Hope Bay in Fall River. The Taunton River rises from Hockomock Swamp, a 17,000-acre wetland, where small streams meander through grassy fens and white cedar and red maple woodlands. Uninterrupted by dams, the Taunton is the main artery of a freshwater system that drains 562 square miles of Southeast Massachusetts, providing valuable services like water filtration, flood protection and recreation to 38 towns. Commercially and ecologically important fisheries run from Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay through the River and its tributaries. As the longest free-flowing coastal river in New England, the Taunton River provides important habitat for fish and wildlife, including the largest spawning population of river herring in New England. In addition, it has a freshwater tidal section, which is highly unusual for the coastal rivers in Massachusetts. Fish from the Taunton herring run are used in restoration projects region-wide, and have been shipped as far away as Michigan to augment diminished runs. The Taunton watershed’s nursery and foraging habitats support herring, rainbow smelt, silversides and other fish that play a critical role in supporting marine food webs. Striped bass and bluefish, which enter the river to feed on these species, are a significant recreational and commercial fishery. The upper River provides spawning habitat for migratory fish, is home to the Northern redbelly cooter (a federally-listed turtle), the globally rare bridle shiner, river otters, and seven freshwater mussel species.
Local Citizen Involvement – The Key to Success
The tributary systems of the Taunton River share many of the same outstanding characteristics that make the mainstem of the river suitable for designation as a Wild & Scenic River. Riverways’ Adopt-A-Stream Program worked with three Wild & Scenic River Shoreline Survey coordinators to establish Stream Teams to conduct visual assessments of the rivers and identify outstanding characteristics in the tributary river communities. Volunteer groups assessed eight of these major tributaries (the Matfield River, Town River, Winnetuxet River, Nemasket River, Forge River, Three Mile River, Segreganset River and Assonet River) using protocols developed by the Adopt-A-Stream Program.
The tributary Shoreline Surveys involved many people from each community, including conservation commission members, planners, town administrators, local land trust members, river abutters, sportsmen, Eagle Scouts, college students and professors, and concerned citizens. It was the intent of the Shoreline Survey process to bring these different groups together around a common issue – the rivers and their protection. Adopt-A-Stream focused on empowering community members so that they would play a larger role in shaping solutions to the identified threats and raise the level of awareness about these rivers in their local community. Their Shoreline Survey findings and priorities for action were incorporated into the Taunton River Stewardship Plan.
Volunteer participation was an essential element to getting the Taunton River designated as a National Wild & Scenic River, and volunteers will continue to play an important role in managing and protecting this spectacular river. I hope you will join me in offering an immense Congratulations on their significant achievement!
Taunton River Designation Timeline:
October, 2000: Congress authorizes Taunton River Study, including 22 miles of the upper Taunton River from Bridgewater to Taunton.
September, 2002: The study area is expanded to include the lower Taunton River extending to Braga Bridge in Fall River.
2003-2004: Riverways Adopt-A-Stream staff assists Stream Teams in conducting Shoreline Surveys along 8 tributary streams to the Taunton River . Results were incorporated into the Stewardship Plan.
Spring 2004-2005: Each town in the study area vote to approve the Stewardship Plan and proposed Wild & Scenic designation.
July, 2005: Legislation was written to ask congress to include the Taunton River in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers system.
July, 2008: U.S. House of Representatives passes bill designating a segment of the Taunton River as a federal Wild and Scenic River.
January, 2009: U.S. Senate passes bill designating a segment of the Taunton River as a federal Wild and Scenic River;
bill is currently before the U.S. House of Representatives (click here for more info).
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Resources and Grants
Grant, Prize and Award Opportunities
(presented in rough chronological order by application deadline)
The BoatU.S. Foundation is currently seeking applications from small volunteer and nonprofit organizations for its 2009 Clean Water Grants, which support clean boating education efforts. Grantees can receive up to $4,000 each to fund innovative projects addressing clean water issues specific to their local waterways. Click here for more info and here to apply; applications are due by February 2, 2009, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bruce J. Anderson Foundation makes awards for preventive programs, direct services, and new initiatives in the fields of: mental health (focusing on young adults, treatment, research and suicide prevention); environmental protection; historic and archival preservation; and the arts. The Foundation focuses its grantmaking in two geographical areas: Cape Ann (Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea), and the Nashua River Watershed (Harvard, Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, Shirley and Townsend). Grants range from $5,000 to $12,000, and the typical grant is less than $10,000. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 6, 2009 (click here for the cover letter and here for the RFP). Contact Amy Park Appleby at (617) 338-2686 or Diane Elenbaas at (617) 338-2608 for more info.
The Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry with a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups, and youth organizations. The Foundation's “Physh Ed” National Fishing and Boating Grants Initiative is a national program that helps public, private, and charter K-12 schools design and deliver high quality, standards-based, fishing-related programming as a part of their daily curriculum. Teachers may apply for grants of up to $2,500 to incorporate fishing and boating activities into the broader activities of their classrooms. The application deadline is February 9, 2009 at 5:00 PM. Click here or e-mail email@example.com for more info.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking to provide federal assistance, in the form of grants or cooperative agreements, to support conservation efforts for the current list of marine and anadromous species under the Proactive Species Conservation Program. The program supports voluntary conservation efforts designed to conserve marine and anadromous species before they reach the point at which listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) becomes necessary (click here for NMFS’ list and description of “at risk” species (a.k.a. Species of Concern or SOC) eligible for funding under this program). Any state, territorial, tribal, or local entity that has authority to manage or regulate these species or activities that affect these species is eligible to apply to this grant program. Proposals submitted through Grants.gov must be received by 5 PM. Eastern Time on February 12, 2009; proposals submitted by mail must be postmarked by February 12, 2009; click here or here, or contact Kim Damon-Randall at (978) 281-9300 ext. 6535 for more info.
The Five-Star Restoration Matching Grants Program, an initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by supporting wetland, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration projects. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 are provided to projects that build diverse partnerships and foster natural resource stewardship through education, outreach, and training activities. Partnerships should include at least five organizations that contribute to project success through funding, land, workforce support, technical support, and/or other in-kind services. Projects that can leverage the amount of funds requested with significant cash or in-kind contributions from project partners are given priority. The application deadline is February 16, 2009; click here or contact Assistant Program Director Lacy Reimer Alison for more info.
The Fiskars 2009 Project Orange Thumb grants program provides grants to community garden groups, community centers and others for projects geared toward community involvement, neighborhood beautification, sustainable agriculture, and/or horticultural education. Fiskars will award twenty grants to projects in the United States and Canada. Each grant includes up to $1,500 in Fiskars garden tools, t-shirts for members/volunteers, and up to $800 for additional materials (seeds, plants, mulch, etc.). Applications must be received electronically no later than February 17, 2009. Click here for more info.
The Laura Jane Musser Fund: Environmental Initiative Program encourages rural communities throughout the United States to use a consensus-based approach to environmental decision-making. Under this initiative, grants are provided through two distinct programs. The Environmental Stewardship Program supports projects that manage resources of ecological, economic, or aesthetic value, and that include a broad range of community members and stakeholders involved in both the planning and implementation of the project. The Environmental Dispute Resolution Program supports projects that engage in a collaborative process in order to build consensus instead of confrontation, so parties may resolve a conflict and move forward without resorting to litigation. The application deadline for both programs is February 18, 2009. Click here for more info or contact: Mary Karen Lynn-Klimenko, Managing Consultant, The Laura Jane Musser Fund, 318 West 48th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419, (612) 825-2024, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF) is a state-funded, 50% reimbursable matching grant program to support the preservation of properties, landscapes, and sites (cultural resources) listed in the State Register of Historic Places. Applicants must be a municipality or nonprofit organization. Eligible activities include the acquisition of State Register-listed properties imminently threatened with inappropriate alteration or destruction. Applicants should contact the Massachusetts Historical Commission or their local historical commission to ascertain State Register status of the property before applying for grant funds. The application deadline is February 20, 2009. Click here for more info, including downloadable application forms, or contact MHC ’s Grants Division at (617) 727-8470 or e-mail at Paul Holtz if you have any questions.
River Network is currently seeking nominations for its annual River Hero awards: “Come on – you know the person: The one who gives of herself endlessly to help protect your local river? The one who is the heart and soul of your local river protection efforts? The one who has much to say about your river and its benefits to the community - but never, ever gives long speeches when standing in front of 500 of his/ her peers? At [this year’s] River Rally celebratory awards banquet, we will honor up to 5 peer-nominated River Heroes”. Click here or contact Katherine Luscher at (503) 542-8384 for more info; the deadline for nominating a River Hero is February 20, 2009.
The Taunton River Watershed Campaign, a coalition of ten environmental and planning organizations working in the largest watershed in southeastern Massachusetts, invites communities and conservation advocates to apply for Watershed Mini-Grants. This year, $15,000 is available for small grants to communities and conservation advocates in the watershed. The grants are open to cities and towns, grassroots groups and nonprofit groups working on conservation issues and land use planning to protect natural resources. Priority will be given to projects which will result in the permanent protection of significant natural resources, the preparation of municipal Open Space and Recreation plans, and passage of the Community Preservation Act. Applications are due by email to email@example.com by Friday, February 22, with one hard copy mailed to TRWA, PO Box 1116, Taunton, MA 02780. Contact Susan Speers, Campaign Coordinator, at (toll-free) (866) 393-TRWA for more info.
The Bikes Belong Grants Program strives to put more people on bicycles more often by funding important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths, lanes, and routes, as well as bike parks, mountain bike trails, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. If your organization is new, and you have not yet acquired your nonprofit status, you may submit an application with the assistance of another nonprofit that has agreed to serve as your fiscal agent. Upcoming grant deadlines are February 23 and May 26, 2009. Click here to apply or for more info.
Communities Creating Healthy Environments, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aims to prevent childhood obesity by increasing access to healthy foods and safe places to play in communities of color. The program will support community-based organizations for projects that increase public resources for recreation in underserved communities, and land-use and zoning policies that increase healthy food access in a community. The Foundation will provide grants of up to $250,000 over a three-year period in up to ten communities. The application deadline for brief proposals is February 26, 2009. Click here for more info.
The William P. Wharton Trust supports conservation, study and appreciation of nature through projects with tangible and lasting results, those that seek partnerships and that leverage funds to gain matching contributions. The Trust seeks to support projects that directly promote the conservation, study, and appreciation of nature, particularly (in order of priority): Natural areas preservation, primarily in Massachusetts and New England, including funding acquisitions of land for conservation purposes; Management techniques designed to improve environmental quality and species diversity; Bird and forestry research and management, especially at the applied level rather than the theoretical or molecular level; and Creation of materials or projects designed to foster an appreciation of and a concern for wildlife and natural systems. The Trust’s next preliminary application deadline is Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:00 PM . For more info click here or contact the Trust c/o Choate Hall & Stewart, Two International Place, 32nd Floor, Boston, MA 02110, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Sybil Williams, Trust Administrator, at (617) 248-4067.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced the availability of its FY09 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Projects eligible for funding include those that implement new technologies and/or approaches to maintain, restore, or enhance water quality and/or quantity in watersheds with predominantly agricultural land uses, and projects that promote environmentally sound wildlife habitat management, while sustaining agricultural productivity. Riparian area management and restoration is specifically mentioned as an eligible activity. Eligible grant recipients include municipalities, nonprofits and individuals. Applications must be received in the NRCS National Headquarters by 5 PM on March 2, 2009. Click here or contact Gregorio Cruz, National CIG Program Manager, at (202) 720-2335 for more info.
The NRCS also recently announced the availability of Federal Farm Bill funding for its Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), which seeks to enter into agreements with farmers to promote the conservation of ground and surface water and the improvement of water quality. Proposals must be postmarked by March 2, 2009. Click here, here, or contact Greg Johnson, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, NRCS, at (202) 720–1845 or AWEP2008@wdc.usda.gov for more info.
The U.S. EPA’s Region One/New England office is now accepting nominations for its 2009 Environmental Merit Awards. The awards are given in five categories: individual; business, industry, trade, and professional organization; local, state or federal government; and environmental, community or non-profit organization; and lifetime achievement. Nominations may be submitted by anyone, and individuals or organizations are allowed to submit self-nominations. The deadline for nominations is March 6, 2009. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques. Awards winners will be invited to a ceremony this spring in Boston. Click here or call Carol Krasauskis at (toll-free) (888) EPA-7341 for more info.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Bird Habitat Conservation (DBHC) administers the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)’s grants programs, which fund the protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands that serve as critical waterfowl and other bird habitat. The Standard Grants Program supports projects that involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. The application deadlines in 2009 are March 9 and July 31; click here and here for more info, or contact David Buie, (301) 497-5870, or Bonnie Gaukler, (703) 358-2017.
The Purpose Prize, administered by Civic Ventures, provides awards to people over 60 who are taking on society's biggest challenges. The prize recognizes those with the passion and experience to discover new opportunities, create new programs, and make lasting change. Five awards of $100,000 and five awards of $50,000 will be given to exceptional individuals who are channeling their creativity and talent to address critical social problems at the local, regional, national, or international level. The winners may be working in public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit organizations devoted to taking on environmental and other timely issues and who have initiated important innovations in an encore career. The nomination deadline is March 9, 2009. [Click here for additional resources that encourage and enable older people to get involved in public-spirited projects.]
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced a second round of funding availability in FY09 for its Division of Conservation Services (DCS )’s Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Grant Program. LAND (formerly called “Self-Help”) Grants assist municipal conservation commissions in acquiring land for natural resource and passive outdoor recreation purposes. Lands acquired may include wildlife, habitat, trails, unique natural, historic or cultural resources, water resources, forest, and farm land. Passive outdoor recreational uses such as hiking, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, bird observation, etc. are encouraged. Access by the general public is required. Applications must be received by Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 3:00 PM. For the complete application packet, go to http://www.comm-pass.com, click on “Search for Solicitations” and then enter LAND into the “keyword” box, or go to the DCS website. Please contact Celia Riechel at (617) 626-1187 for more info.
The U.S. EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program, a community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program, is intended to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources . The CARE Grant Program works with eligible entities to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of risk from toxic pollutants and environmental concerns, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future. An estimated $3 million is available in FY09. CARE grant applications are due by March 16, 2009; click here to apply or for more info.
The purpose of the Wildlife Links Grants Program, a partnership between the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is to fund research, management, and education projects that will enhance wildlife management on golf courses on at least a state-wide, and preferably a region-wide or national basis. Funding is not available for habitat improvements on individual courses (butterfly gardens, nest box trails, etc.). Click here for more info on how to apply (the application deadline is April 1, 2009), and here to learn about already-funded research projects, which might have some applicability to golf courses in your area.
The mission of WildGift, a non-profit organization, is “to give exceptional leaders, ages 21-30, a compelling experience in deep wilderness and the support to launch a self-designed project that promotes the stewardship of wild nature and development of sustainable communities”. Every year, five leaders are selected to receive the Wild Gift, a value of $11-15,000 per leader (click here for more details). The 2009 application deadline is April 1; click here or contact WildGift at (208) 928-6208 or email@example.com for more info.
The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC-NE) is currently seeking nominations for its 16th Annual EBEE Awards. Award categories include: the Nicholas Humber Environmental Award for Outstanding Collaboration; the Paul G. Keough Environmental Award for Government Service; and the EBC Environmental Merit Award for Leadership by a Non-Profit Organization. Click here for a nomination form; the deadline is Monday, April 13, 2009. Awardees will be fêted at an awards reception and dinner at the Hyatt Regency Boston on June 18, 2009.
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Their leadership and courage make them true heroes—and inspirations to us all. Each year, the Barron Prize selects ten winners nationwide. Half of the winners have focused on helping their communities and fellow beings; half have focused on protecting the health and sustainability of the environment. Click here for info on how to nominate someone (the deadline is April 30, 2009) and here for the Barron Prize FAQ page.
The TransWild Alliance is a coalition of conservation advocacy organizations (including the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, BEAT) dedicated to reducing the impacts of highways on wildlife and natural resources (click here for more on what BEAT is doing on this issue). Many times, conservation organizations lack financial resources to actively participate in important public forums or respond to last-minute opportunities for collaboration or advocacy. To respond to this need, the Alliance offers one-time mini-grants of $2,500 each to assist four conservation organizations in meeting their goals and mission through projects, actions or activities that seek to reduce the impacts of highways on wildlife. Click here to download the application, which has a deadline of May 1, 2009. Write to minigrants@TransWildAlliance.org with any questions. The Alliance also offers training opportunities in reducing the adverse impact of highways on wildlife, habitats, etc.; click here for more info.
The New York City-based Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation promotes a sustainable and just social and natural system by supporting grassroots organizations and movements committed to this goal. The Foundation’s funding priorities are shaped by a view of the Earth as one community, an interconnected web of life in which human society is an integral part. Organizations eligible for funding include those that: protect the health and environment of communities threatened by toxics; work to counter environmental degradation in low-income communities and communities of color; and work with farmers and consumers on issues involving sustainable agriculture and community food security. To gauge the possibilities that the Foundation fund your work, you can fill-out an on-line eligibility questionnaire or submit a letter of inquiry (click here for more details).
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Too often, fundraising galas, large dinners and tributes to honored guests result in very low profits and extremely stressed-out staff and board of directors. How can you plan your event so that it will make money and help strengthen your organization? Learn how to do that by attending Special Events: How to make your fundraising event (fun and) profitable, a half-day training offered by the Boston-based nonprofit support group Technical Development Corporation (TDC), led by Cindy Rowe, and scheduled for Tuesday, February 3 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Click here to sign up for this session, here for other TDC training opportunities, or call the TDC at (617) 728-9151 for more info.
A conference entitled NEURON 2009: Watershed approaches to urban stream rehabilitation: Practice, Education and Research, sponsored by the Northeastern Urban Research Organizational Network (NEURON) and the Urban Ecology Institute, is scheduled for February 9-10 at Boston College. Click here for more info. Registration is $75 and will be accepted anytime (including at the door). Contact Jess Schmierer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 552-2477 to register or for more info.
To help nonprofit managers cope with the economic downturn and navigate the choppy waters ahead, Third Sector New England (TSNE) is offering a series of free workshops (in Boston – a call-in option is also available) focused on quick - but essential - information that can help your organization sustain itself through the crisis. Additionally, you can join TSNE on Thursday, February 12 for an advanced fundraising workshop with Simone Joyaux, featuring tips and resources to help survive these tough times.
New Thinking in Integrated Stormwater Management: Green Roofs, Rainwater Harvesting, and Advanced Stormwater Mitigation Techniques (#823A), a workshop offered by the Arnold Arboretum’s Landscape Institute, is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 13 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The workshop will explore various aspects of current stormwater management practice, including the benefits of stormwater harvesting and reuse on a regional, city, campus, and residential scale; legislation and market forces and their affect on stormwater reuse; an examination of current knowledge on how to use stormwater harvesting and the materials available; and the use of integrated systems such as green roofs and other structures, their management and seasonal requirements and new directions and pilot projects currently underway. Click here to register and here for related info.
Last year, individuals contributed over $250 billion to nonprofits. Is your organization getting what it needs to survive? Understanding the ins and outs of fundraising is essential to your continued success. You can raise what you need without compromising who you are and what you stand for. Fundraising for Fun and (Non) Profit, a workshop sponsored by the Rowe Conference Center and scheduled to take place from Friday, February 13 to Sunday, February 15, 2009, will teach you how to choose a fundraising strategy, diversify your funding sources, and manage your fundraising tasks. Strategies will include soliciting major gifts, direct mail and on-line appeals, special events planning, identifying prospects, motivating boards, and getting donors to give more money each year. The workshop is taught by Kim Klein, founder and publisher emerita of the Grassroots Fundraising Journal. Click here to sign up of for more info.
The 2009 Clean Water Week Conference, Renewing America’s Commitment To Clean Water, coordinated by the Clean Water Network, will be held from February 24-26, 2009 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. This event will provide a great opportunity to help shape the water policies and programs of the new Congress and Administration. Click here to register or contact Jennifer Peters at (202) 547-4208 for more info.
Digging In: The Theory and Practice of Ecological Landscaping, the title of the Ecological Landscaping Association’s Fifteenth Annual Conference and Eco-Marketplace, will take place from February 26-28, 2009 at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main Street in Springfield. The conference features over eighteen seminars and workshops presented by passionate practitioners, talented writers, and prominent educators in the fields of landscaping, gardening, eco-design solutions, and more. Sessions explore all aspects of ecological, sustainable and organic landscaping, including minimizing water use, developing healthy soils, supporting urban and suburban forests, and designing and building gardens with diversity and native populations in mind. The keynote address, entitled “Expanding the Story of Ecological, Sustainable and Organic Landscaping”, will be delivered by Peter Forbes of the Center for Whole Communities. Click here, here, or call (617) 436-5838 for more info.
The largest regular environmental conference in New England, this year’s Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) Annual Environmental Conference will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2009 at the Hogan Campus Center, Holy Cross College in Worcester. The event is attended by over one thousand Conservation Commissioners, other local officials, state and federal environmental officials, consultants, attorneys, environmental activists and others. The Conference offers over 40 workshop and training sessions, all taught by recognized experts, along with over 40 exhibits and displays. Click here for workshop descriptions and here for a registration form.
The Organization for the Assabet River will be hosting a local showing of theWild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival on the evening of Wednesday, March 4 at the Maynard Fine Arts Theater. The films are selected from the annual film festival held in Nevada City, California every January. It will be an evening filled with humor, adventure, and inspiration! The event will also celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers’ Wild & Scenic Rivers designation. Click here or contact at Julia Khorana at (978) 369-3956 for more info.
A conference sponsored by Lesley University's Graduate Division of Environmental Studies and Mass. Audubon, entitled Greening the City: Fostering Inspired and Innovative Leadership for Just and Sustainable Urban Communities, is scheduled to take place from March 20-22, 2009 at the Lesley University campus in Cambridge. Greening the City is geared toward environmental practitioners and thinkers from nonprofits, higher education institutions, local community groups, government agencies, and businesses. There will be keynote talks, workshops, and an exhibit area, and other interactive ways to engage with the challenges and solutions arising from our increasingly urban world. The conference is meant to engage in-depth and meaningful dialogue among participants while addressing the difficulties and opportunities faced in cultivating just and sustainable urban communities. Click here or contact Lily Fessenden for more info.
The University of Massachusetts’ Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) will be hosting its Sixth Annual Water Resources Research Conference: Water Dependencies in New England: Systems, Stresses and Responses, at the UMass/Amherst campus on Tuesday, April 7, 2009. Click here or contact Françoise Walk at (413) 545-5531 for more info.
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The USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area and the Center for Watershed Protection collaborated on and recently announced the launch of the Watershed Forestry Resource Guide, a new on-line resource for all things related to forests and their role in watershed and stormwater management. This website contains pages specific to Forest Planning and Assessment; Reducing Stormwater Runoff; Forest-Friendly Development; and Planting and Maintaining Trees. Whether you are an engineer needing information on using forests to provide stormwater treatment, or an urban planner working towards an urban tree canopy goal, this site will equip you with all the fact sheets, slideshows, how-to videos, training exercises, research papers, reports and essential websites you will need. Contact at Karen Cappiella for more info.
Besides donating staff time to assist worthy projects, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)’s website maintains several useful web pages or links to resources for river conservation, trail development and maintenance, funding, and Pathways to Healthy Living: Promoting Physical Activity In Parks and Communities.
The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) recently announced the availability of an on-line video they co-produced entitled Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In. This nine-minute video highlights green techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rain barrels to help manage stormwater runoff and mitigate adverse impacts on downstream receiving waters. The goal is to mimic the natural way water moves through an area before development by using design techniques that infiltrate, evaporate, and reuse runoff close to its source. The techniques illustrated in the video manage urban stormwater runoff at its source, reducing its volume while capturing harmful pollutants. Vegetated areas that capture runoff also improve air quality, mitigate the effects of urban heat islands and reduce a community’s overall carbon footprint. The video highlights green techniques employed in 2008 at the USBG’s “One Planet – Ours!” exhibit and at the U.S. EPA headquarters building in Washington, D.C., including recently completed cisterns. Click here to see the video and for related info.
The EPA is developing a series of on-line, .pdf format documents, collectively called the Green Infrastructure Municipal Handbook, to assist local officials with implementation of green infrastructure programs. Each 15-20 page issue covers a very specific issue associated with establishing and implementing a comprehensive program. Funding Options, the first in the series, was released last September. Green Infrastructure Retrofit Policies addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing a comprehensive municipal program to incorporate green infrastructure into existing landscapes, including descriptions of a wide variety of incentives and regulations that communities have used to drive green infrastructure retrofits. Green Streets focuses on one of the most common opportunities for implementing green infrastructure in urban areas, the transportation right-of-way; this paper discusses specific designs, how to overcome typical hurdles, and includes descriptions of several successful municipal green streets programs. Rainwater Harvesting Policies provides information on the impetus for rainwater harvesting, including energy and climate change drivers, technical and policy considerations for establishing water harvesting programs, and municipal case studies.
The EPA's Office of Water’s draft Handbook for Developing Watershed Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) is available for public comment until February 18, 2009. The draft document identifies the issues for practitioners to consider and tools and resources that can help them when planning for and developing watershed TMDLs. It also identifies the benefits of developing watershed TMDLs, as well as the challenges and ways to address them. Examples, tips and resources provide further support for TMDL practitioners in understanding how to develop watershed TMDLs to cost-effectively develop allocations to restore impaired waters. Finally, the draft document evaluates the connections between watershed TMDLs and other water programs and identifies opportunities for integrating watershed TMDLs and their results into other watershed management efforts, such as monitoring, watershed planning, watershed-based permitting and water quality trading.
The EPA’s”WARSSS” (Watershed Assessment of River Stability & Sediment Supply) website will help watershed managers assess and restore waters with suspended or bedded sediment problems. The centerpiece of the WARSSS Web Site is a step-by-step, three-phase assessment methodology developed by Dr. David L. Rosgen for detecting sediment problems and source areas, estimating excessive sediment loads, and planning to restore normal sediment dynamics in streams and rivers. Besides the WARSSS methodology, the site also contains the entire sediment model WRENSS, a stream classification tutorial, and a large collection of links to clean sediment information and tools.
Since its Earth Day 2008 introduction, the EPA's Green Remediation (GR) web page, part of the EPA-sponsored Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Information (CLU-IN) website, has grown to accommodate a new user-friendly toolbox of best practice, contracting, decision-making, and partnership tools; 22 brief profiles of green remediation strategies already used at specific sites; nearly 80 key documents or related organizational links; and a mechanism for requesting GR details or technical assistance. GR Web's technical information focuses on holistic sustainability of existing or anticipated remedies; guidance and policy issued by government agencies; integration of renewable energy resources; green strategies for design, construction, and operation of remedies; and treatment system optimization resulting in green cleanups. [Click here to download a copy of a new four-page fact sheet entitled Green Remediation: Best Management Practices for Excavation and Surface Restoration (EPA 542-F-08-012)].
Last but not least: the EPA has joined with the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) -- a grassroots network of more than 400 universities, scientific societies, and organizations -- to celebrate The Year of Science 2009. Throughout the year, EPA will be blogging, hosting activities, inviting public participation and providing special content on its new Year of Science website. The EPA’s website will complement the COPUS website, which allows visitors to search for science events such as science festivals and science cafes in their communities, and provides access to scientific resources and educational materials.
The StormSmart Coasts website, launched last spring by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (MCZM), is loaded with practical information intended to help coastal communities minimize avoidable losses of life or property, and the unnecessary expenditure of public funds, resulting from coastal storms, especially the higher intensity storms and water levels anticipated to result from global warming. One valuable resource at this website that is equally applicable to inland communities is the concept of No Adverse Impact (NAI), a forward-thinking, fair, and legally defensible approach to flood-prone land management. First articulated by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, NAI is a set of “do no harm” principles that communities can use when planning, designing, and evaluating public and private projects. See, e.g., Introduction to No Adverse Impact Land Management in the Coastal Zone; No Adverse Impact and the Legal Framework of Coastal Management; and the case study A Cape Cod Community Prevents New Residences in Floodplains. [Click here, here, and here for more legal analysis and soundness of the NAI concept.]. Last but not least, there’s a good article on SmartStorm Coasts and NAI in MCZM’s Coastlines 2008 Magazine, a visually-stunning and highly readable assortment of articles, mostly by and/or about MCZM staff and projects. Coastlines 2008 ’s feature articles explore the Blue-Green Connection, i.e., the connection between how what we do on land impacts rivers, streams, and oceans. From choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products to recycling trash, this issue covers a multitude of ways we can all contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. For a printed copy of Coastlines 2008, e-mail your request to email@example.com.
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Non-government On-line Resources
(in rough alphabetical order)
Alliance for Water Efficiency (A4WE) Forum
The A4WE Forum is a place for water conservation advocates and practitioners to share knowledge and ideas, ask questions, and keep one another informed of what's on the cutting edge. You can read posted messages on-line without registering, but to respond to them, or to post your own messages, you’ll need to register and log in. Registering for the A4WE Forum is simple, and you need not be an A4WE member to participate. Click here to access the Forum, or you can go to A4WE’s home page and click on the Forum tab at the top of the page.
[Click here to read a message from A4WE and American Rivers re proposed funding for water efficiency projects in the pending federal stimulus package.]
American Rivers’ Blue Trails Guide
The water equivalent to hiking trails, blue trails are created to facilitate recreation in and along rivers and water bodies, and are found in urban settings as well as remote environments. Blue trails come in all shapes and sizes and are used by paddlers, anglers, hikers, picnickers, and those just seeking a bit of solitude. Blue Trails can be an effective means of stimulating local economies, encouraging physical activity, improving community pride and making rivers and communities healthier. Recently produced by American Rivers, the Blue Trails Guide provides step-by-step instructions for developing thriving blue trails in your community. To have a successful blue trail, you need to have a healthy water body, which is why the guide focuses on conservation. You’ll find practical advice on planning, building and managing for conservation as well as case studies from experienced practitioners across the country. The Blue Trails Guide is designed for anyone interested in creating a blue trail including, but not limited to, planners, conservation organizations, recreational enthusiasts, and local and state governments.
Conservation Law Foundation ( CLF )’s Recovery Act Recommendations
CLF has posted on-line a suite of recommendations for how the pending federal Recovery Act can effectively address environmental issues, create jobs and stimulate the economy while minimizing any unintended adverse environmental and other consequences. [Click here to see a similar effort by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.]
Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM)
ELM’s web page, in the process of a major overhaul, is already much more visually appealing and easier to navigate through. Resources on ELM’s web page include info on various Mass. environmental issues and proposed legislation ELM is tracking (see columns on right – this info is likely to be updated soon to reflect the new Mass. legislative session), an opportunity to sign up for ELM’s Action Alerts, and links to ELM publications, affiliations and to the 60+ member organizations of the ELM-sponsored Environmental Collaborative of Massachusetts.
The San Francisco-based International Rivers, formerly the International Rivers Network (IRN), is the world’s leading NGO seeking to protect rivers, and people living along rivers, from adverse environmental and human impacts resulting from dams, especially new dams, and other large-scale water engineering projects. The link above takes you to an article appearing in a recent edition of the organization’s highly-esteemed World Rivers Reviewnewsletter, entitled Dam Removal: Learning from the Pros, a Q+A with several experts, including Brian Graber of American Rivers (formerly of Riverways). [See also the River Revival web page, which shares inspiring stories of dam removal and river restoration, and the new Tools for Educators web page, where you’ll find links to educational and environmental groups that provide lesson plans, videos, books, and tips for teaching almost everything related to rivers.]
James River Association’s “Extreme Stream Makeover” Project
Inspired by the Extreme Makeover TV programs, Extreme Stream Makeover was a week-long, local project aimed at sparking greater community involvement and public action to improve and restore water quality through a series of low-impact design projects. In this case, low-impact design refers to reducing the amount of rainwater runoff from roads, buildings, parking lots, and managed turf that enter stream and creeks and ultimately, the James River. The web link above takes you to photos and other info on the sites the James River Association undertook in partnership with four local garden clubs and many other organizations, businesses and citizen volunteers. [Click here to read an article about this event and its cousin, the Extreme BMP Makeover, in Issue #32 of the Center for Watershed Protection’s Runoff Rundown electronic newsletter.]
Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
A new, nonprofit, statewide advocacy organization, the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance was formed “to restore and protect the rivers and streams of Massachusetts and the ecosystems they support, by developing practical, effective policy solutions to provide a sustainable future for our rivers and the Citizens of the Commonwealth. The Alliance brings together organizations and individuals throughout Massachusetts, who are working together to improve river protection through advocacy and education, to apply an effective, unified statewide approach to the critical issues facing our rivers and streams.” The Alliance’s web page, still under development, will provide background and advocacy info on the issues the Alliance is working on, including Streamflow, Clean Water, Conserving water, Stormwater, Habitat restoration, Protecting wetland and river resource areas, Keeping water local, Climate change and Funding.
Membership in the Alliance is possible for like-minded organizations as well as for individuals, families and businesses.
National Council of Nonprofits’ Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center
The National Council of Nonprofits, which seeks to advance the vital role and the capacity of the nonprofit sector in civil society, recently launched the Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center, a free, on-line clearinghouse of resources designed to help nonprofits cope with the multiple challenges created by the faltering economy. The Center consists of three focus areas: Basic Facts & Analysis, Impact on Nonprofits, and Proactive Positioning—Action Steps for Nonprofits. These sections help nonprofits, as well as grantmakers, journalists, policymakers, and the general public, understand the scope of the economic downturn, how it affects nonprofits in various subsectors and regions across the country, and what nonprofits can do to weather these turbulent times. [See also the Network for Good’s 2008 Online Fundraising Survival Guide - 12 Winning Strategies to Survive & Thrive in a Down Economy, a free, 92-page downloadable guide on raising funds on-line, making your web site more effective, mining for new donors and much more.]
Park Equity and Public Health Toolkit
Developed by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and intended for park and public health professionals and community advocates, TPL 's Park Equity and Public Health Toolkit provides training materials to help increase awareness of the link between accessible parks and physical activity; introduce the concept of local public finance for parks; and demonstrate the park equity mapping model. Topics include: Parks & Health Overview; Park Access & Health Disparities; Paying for Parks; Building Support for Parks & Health; Case Studies; and Publications and Other Resources. Click here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Preserve America ’s Waterways (PAWs)
The Boy Scouts of America, in cooperation with Sea Scouts, Venturing, and other community-based youth organizations, have taken up the ambitious challenge of dedicating one million community service hours to preserving and protecting our nation's waterways. The PAWs website provides a database of service projects and ways to get involved. It also allows organizations to log their service hours to contribute to the one million hour goal. Watershed groups and other conservation organizations may find some great volunteer support through this exciting initiative.
Have an opinion? Want to write letters to the editor (LTEs) of a newspaper or magazine --- anywhere in the world? Don’t know where or how to begin? The new PublishALetter.com website enables you to submit LTEs of many key newspapers in the US and around the world. Check the site’s resources page for helpful hints on how to write an LTE. Even if the letters are not printed, you can also publish letters on the site itself for the whole world to read, comment on, and get the discussion going.
Richard Male’s “Rich Tips” Archives
This web page, established as a free service of Denver-based nonprofit consultant Richard Male and Associates, is a (pardon the pun) rich archive of information on keeping nonprofit organizations in good organizational and fiscal shape. Topics include: how wealthy donors choose and support their charities; 10 tips for a lucrative “parlor” (a.k.a. house party) meeting; designing and developing a successful volunteer program; how to deal with an offensive or annoying board member; tips for surviving in this tough economy, and many, many more. Many tip pages conclude with specific grant and other opportunities. Click here to sign up to receive Rich Tips on a weekly basis.
River Advocates Fundraising Guide: A Handbook for River and Watershed Organizations
Based largely upon information first appearing in River Network’s quarterly Fundraising Alerts and originally posted on-line in 2004, this useful guide, accessible to anyone at no cost, contains solid and detailed advice on all aspects of fundraising, from drawing up a plan, targeting donors, asking for donations, tracking gifts, and much more. While it is tailored to river and watershed groups, most of its advice is applicable to other environmental organizations and nonprofits in general.
River Network's Anti-Degradation Database
The Clean Water Act ’s main program for keeping clean water clean is known as the "anti-degradation" policy. The link above enables you to can find out how the anti-degradation provisions in the water quality laws and regulations of ten different states (Mass. is not yet included) compare to each other. To submit comments on a state's report, to request your state be included in the next round, or for specialized search requests, contact River Network's Merritt Frey.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative
Developed by a number of non-profits, along with EPA and the USDA Forest Service, the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI) seeks to evaluate the environmental sustainability of proposed development projects (site plans) in a similar manner to how the LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) rating process works for buildings. Although the comment period closed on January 20, the draft report posted at this site gives you an idea of where this project is heading.
The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR)’s Invasive Plants: Guidelines for Land Managers http://www.thetrustees.org/documents.cfm?documentID=819
This recently-produced on-line document, developed to guide TTOR staff ecologists and property managers’ decisionmaking regarding invasives species control on their properties, should be of value to other public and provide landowners as they consider if, when, how they should take action to control invasive plants on and in their lands and waters. This document provides flowcharts and other techniques to help prioritize which species should be targeted for control and on which properties (or portions of properties) the control actions should be undertaken.
A partnership between Toyota and the National Audubon Society, the TogetherGreen Program funds conservation projects, trains environmental leaders, and offers volunteer opportunities to significantly benefit the environment. TogetherGreen’s Innovation Grants Program fund projects that: conserve or restore habitat and protect species, improve water quality or quantity, and reduce the threat of global warming; engage new and diverse audiences in conservation actions; and inspire and use innovative approaches and technologies to engage people and achieve conservation results. Click here for info on how to apply for 2009 (the application deadline is May 1, 2009), and here for info on 2008 grant recipients. Smaller planning grants are also available. TogetherGreen’s Conservation Leadership Program recognizes and nurtures individuals from across the country working on environmental conservation and restoration. Each year 40 promising and proven leaders will receive professional development opportunities, a $10,000 grant to help support an innovative Conservation Action Project, and an opportunity to network with a cadre of committed leaders. Last but not least, TogetherGreen’s Action Center provides tips on how to “green up” your lifestyle, and its Volunteer Center enables you to find out about and volunteer for environmental and other public service projects across the country and post photos and videos about your experience.
Waterkeeper Alliance ’s U.S. Blueprint for Clean Water
The Alliance ’s Blueprint offers remedies to past federal policy decisions and proposes a new way for the federal government to strengthen environmental protection in all areas relating to water. The Blueprint contains many good recommendations in the areas of Clean Water Act jurisdiction and enforcement, sewage, stormwater runoff and more. Click here to read the full report, and here for the Alliance’s Top 10 priorities for the Obama Administration, as chosen by local Waterkeepers, to protect and restore America ’s waterways.
World Water Day
Sponsored by UN Water, a mechanism to strengthen co-ordination and coherence among all United Nations bodies dealing with water-related issues, this very slick-looking (with content to match) web page tells you all you need to know about current and past (going back to 1994) celebrations (each with a specific theme) of World Water Day, held each year on March 22, developed as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
YouTube’s Nonprofit Program
Does your organization have a compelling story to tell? Do you want to connect with your supporters, volunteers, and donors but don't have the funds to launch expensive outreach campaigns? YouTube’s Nonprofit Program offers a powerful way to show your organization's impact and needs. YouTube’s designated “Nonprofit” channel can deliver your message to the world's largest online video community. Program benefits include: premium branding capabilities and increased uploading capacity; the option to drive fundraising through a Google Checkout “Donate” button; and listing on the Nonprofit channels and the Nonprofit videos pages.
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Publications, Presentations, Documentaries, etc.
Water Consciousness: How We All Have to Change to Protect Our Most Critical Resource, edited by Tara Lohan, contains essays by many leading clean water experts and advocates, including Canadian activist Maude Barlow, the new senior advisor on water to the U.N., and Wenonah Hauter, the director of Food and Water Watch. One essay tells the story of a concerned citizens group successfully fought against a proposal to privatize the public water supply of Stockton, CA. We must, says Barlow’s essay, reclaim “water as a commons for the earth and all people that must be wisely and sustainably shared and managed if we are to survive.” In order to protect the world’s water resources, the essays agree, we first must make sure we haven’t given them away. While Water Consciousness (200 pp., $14.95) can be obtained from its publisher, AlterNet Books, you may also want to check out the book’s content-laden and timely web page.
Rain Gardens in Connecticut, a twelve-page, full-color brochure put out by the UConn Cooperative Extension’s Sustainable Landscapes and Residential Water Quality Program, explains everything you need to know for designing, siting, installing and maintaining an aesthetically pleasing rain garden that effectively absorbs and infiltrates runoff. A suggested plant list, appropriate for Connecticut, is also included. The brochure is available both on-line and in hard copy format. To request a hard copy, please contact the Resource Center Store, UConn College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at (860) 486-3336 or email@example.com. [Click here and here for helpful “how to” info on rain gardens from the New England Wild Flower Society, here for more “how to” info from the Low Impact Development Center, and here for a recent EPA Watershed Webcast on this topic.]
There is no one way to see the North River. Its characteristic meandering cuts a twenty-three-mile path through the South Shore to Massachusetts Bay. Flowing through six towns, Pembroke, Hanover, Norwell, Scituate, Marshfield and Hanson, the river has played a prominent, if not definitive, role in shaping the identity of the region. If this has whetted your curiosity, then you’ll want to read the recently-published book The North River: Scenic Waterway of the South Shore. Author John Galluzzo, who leads cultural and natural history tours of the river for Mass Audubon's South Shore Sanctuaries, traces this natural landmark's multifaceted history from multiple vantage points as a shipbuilding center, a highway into the interior and facilitator of trade and a protected wildlife sanctuary today. The North River [128 pp., $17.39] can be ordered by clicking here.
Reports on nanotechnology can often be tedious to read, expensive to procure, and generally unknown to non-experts interested in this technology. Nanotechnology: Health and Environmental Risks, a new book by Massachusetts author Jo Anne Shatkin, presents a reader-friendly and affordable alternative to these options. The book introduces risk analysis as a tool for responsible environmental decision making in nanotechnology development and provides examples of past, present, and future technologies that demonstrate the need for and benefits of evaluating the risks of nanotechnology. It also discusses the toxicology of nanoscale materials, and the known impacts of specific nanoscale materials on people, as well as environmental impacts and exposure. Nanotechnology (192 pp., $49.95) can be ordered directly form its publisher, CRC Press, by clicking here or calling (800) 272-7737.
The technology boom of recent years has given kids numerous reasons to stay inside and play, while parents' increasing safety concerns make it tempting to keep children close to home. But what is being lost as fewer kids spend their free time outdoors? Deprived of meaningful contact with nature, children often fail to develop a significant relationship with the natural world. A Natural Sense of Wonder: Connecting Kids with Nature through the Seasons, a new book by Rick Van Noy, documents one father's attempt to seek alternatives to the “flickering waves of TV and the electrifying boing of video games” and get kids outside and into nature. In the spirit of Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods and Rachel Carson's The Sense of Wonder, Van Noy journeys out of his suburban home with his children and describes the pleasures of walking in a creek, digging for salamanders, and learning to appreciate vultures. Through these and other outdoor adventures, the family discovers what lives nearby, what nature has to teach, and why this matters. A Natural Sense of Wonder (152 pp., $16.95) can be ordered from its publisher, the University of GA Press, by clicking here; click here to read a review of the book appearing in the Jan./Feb. 2009 edition of Orion Magazine. [See also National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour Campaign for related info.]
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://firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can subscribe to receive the posted messages to your e-mail address, or simply read them on-line. Highly recommended!
Support Land & Water Conservation with a "Land & 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.
Last But Not Least
From now until March 31, the MassValuePass, issued by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, is your “ticket” to receiving discounts of 25% or more on places to go and things to do – all across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the wallet-sized pass and then click here (for Greater Boston – you can easily navigate to other regions from there) to find out about and take advantage of hundreds of great deals on Massachusetts lodging, restaurants, and attractions.
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Visit the Riverways Staff page