"Greenscapes" is a compilation of environmentally friendly landscaping practices that drastically reduce water usage, encourage groundwater recharge, protect water supply, and reduce stormwater pollution. Originally developed by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSWRA) and MBP, the Greenscapes program is now expanding to the North Shore communities of Massachusetts thanks to the combined efforts of Salem Sound Coastwatch, the Ipswich River Watershed Association, the Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Committee, and the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association. “Greenscapes North Shore” will provide information on how to reduce outdoor watering and pesticide use through special materials for homeowners, workshops, demonstration sites, email newsletters, and promotions. To keep up to date on the program, check in with the Greenscapes website or MBP's online calendar, or click on the links to the partnering organizations above.
In more Greenscapes news, MBP and the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSWRA) are happy to announce the completion of a Greenscapes model bylaw. The model bylaw was originally presented at NSRWA's Green Communities Speaker Series in November 2006. Developed in partnership with Department of Public Works representatives and other local entities from several South Shore communities participating in the Greenscapes program, the model bylaw can help communities regulate the amount of water used in maintaining local landscapes. Contact NSRWA for details.
Cape Cod Salt Marsh Restoration
On Cape Cod, the restoration of the Stony Brook salt marsh and herring run in Brewster is underway. The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) is helping the Town of Brewster to secure state and federal agency commitments to restore a tidally restricted salt marsh and an endangered herring run leading to 386 acres of herring spawning area. The Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Program (WRP) and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership have accepted the site as a priority for restoration, and the WRP plans to conduct an aerial topographic survey this spring. APCC also helped the Town to get stormwater funding from the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office (MCZM) Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program to assess stormwater discharges into the Stony Brook watershed, as part of the goal of overall watershed improvement. To assess herring populations, APCC won a grant to conduct herring counts using a video monitoring approach, which will be combined with volunteer fish counts beginning this spring.
Sea Level Rise on the North Shore
While the North Shore of Massachusetts might conjure images of rocky shorelines seemingly immune to sea level rise, the beaches, barriers, and estuaries of the Merrimack Embayment are experiencing seasonal and long-term shifts associated with rising sea level, storm frequency, and human development. As use of the coastal barriers grows, many area beaches are beginning to retreat due to a continuing trend of sea level rise, which in the future may accelerate as a result of global warming. Peter Phippen of the Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Committee and MBP, has begun to visit the municipalities and environmental organizations of the upper North Shore armed with a presentation about the possible effects of sea level rise on the region. The goal is to raise awareness of the impacts of sea level rise and to help communities understand that there are things that they can do to mitigate its impact. Zoning changes near the coastal interface, increased coastal wetland protection, or enhanced building codes for structures in the coastal environment are ways in which communities can prepare, at the local level, for inevitable increases in sea level, and resultant storm surges. For more information, contact Peter through the Eight Towns and the Bay Committee website.
Salem Sound No Discharge Designation
Based on the results of the Salem Sound Marine Sanitation Needs Assessment conducted in 2005, Salem Sound Coastwatch has brought together representatives from the boating community to look at next steps to a Salem Sound No Discharge Area (NDA) designation. This project will address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) goal to have all the New England coastline designated NDA by 2010. The newly formed Salem Sound Working Group consists of harbormasters, health department staff, and representatives from marinas, yacht clubs, Salem Sound Coastwatch, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Beverly Sail & Power Squadron, and Marblehead Sail and Power Squadron. The Salem Sound Working Group will hear from state and federal government staff about the application process for a No Discharge Area designation for Salem Sound, as well as discuss the status of an educational mailing to boaters and pump-out facilities in the Sound, at a February 15 meeting at the Winter Island Function Hall, Salem. For more information contact Salem Sound Coastwatch.
Award for the Think Blue Campaign
On November 18 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association was awarded the blue ribbon for the best exhibit at the 2006 Earth Fair for their Think Again. Think Blue. exhibit. Earth Night is a party to benefit the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) and features exhibits from environmental organizations across the state. The 9th annual Earth Night was an ideal opportunity to showcase the Think Blue campaign to more than 700 of the state’s business and community leaders. In addition to bringing Stormy (Think Blue’s 15-foot inflatable duck mascot, pictured) to the party, Think Blue developed two new tools to share its message. The Clean Water Pledge card and “floor talkers” both did a great job of drawing event patrons to the booth and encouraging people to pick up after their dogs. For more information, visit Think Blue Massachusetts.
Samantha Woods Receives the Stephan Gersh Award
On November 3, 2006, MBP presented Samantha Woods, Executive Director of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSWRA) , with the Stephan B. Gersh Volunteer Stewardship Award. The award was presented in recognition of Samantha's passion, long-term dedication, and steadfast commitment to both local environmental issues and efforts, and the overarching goals of the Massachusetts Bays Program. Samantha's tireless work has resulted in significant environmental accomplishments in the North and South Rivers watershed, and she played a central role in making the MBP's nonprofit sister organization, the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association, a reality after years of planning. Congratulations, Sam!
National Estuary Program 20th Anniversary
The National Estuary Program (NEP) will celebrate its 20th anniversary on February 4, 2007, marking two decades as a leading model for watershed-based management nationwide. The NEP, consisting of 28 estuary-specific programs across the country, has served as a catalyst for producing environmental results by helping communities identify, develop, and carry out solutions to local environmental problems. Nationwide, this has meant protecting or restoring more than 1 million acres of estuarine habitat. The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program , a member of the NEP since 1990, is proud to be a part of this national success story. Events celebrating the 20th anniversary are being scheduled for throughout 2007, so keep in touch with the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program for the latest news.