Cape Cod Herring Count Program
Declining river herring populations in the Northeast are cause for concern, as herring occupy an important ecological niche and are an important food source for birds, fish and other predators. The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) is coordinating a new Volunteer Herring Count Program along Stony Brook in Brewster. Over 20 volunteers are now performing herring counts according to volunteer monitoring protocols established by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries . The results of the herring count will support a study to examine the feasibility of restoring tidal flow to a tidally-restricted salt marsh along Stony Brook. This work has been supported by grants from the Gulf of Maine Council and NOAA Habitat Restoration Partnership program, a private foundation, and others.
Great Marsh Kayakers Guide
The Eight Towns and the Bay Committee has created a kayaking resource to highlight the hundreds of creeks and rivers that traverse the Great Marsh--the largest continuous stretch of salt marsh in New England. The Kayakers Guide to the Great Marsh is an online, interactive map that will steer you to some of the more prominent creeks and rivers in the Great Marsh. Three different map icons indicate access points, water trails, and cultural/historic sites. Information contained in the guide is detailed and exhaustive, including: photographs of access sites, parking areas, water trails, scenic vistas, and other important features; road maps indicating put-in locations; general information on the boating hazards that may be encountered at the access point or on a water trail; vehicle parking availability; site access conditions; best access sites for individual water trails; web links; and more.
Salem Pocket Park
Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) and a team of graduate students from Tufts University have developed initial design concepts for a “pocket park” on a vacant City of Salem-owned lot on the South River waterfront. SSCW and the students worked with Salem’s Department of Planning and Community Development to begin the process of reviving the brownfield lot that borders the densely populated, largely immigrant Point neighborhood as another public space where people can become connected to Salem's tidal rivers. The Tufts students interviewed residents and community organizations in the Point and surrounding areas to identify their needs and desires for this park. Creation of the park ties in with the Salem Harbor Master Plan that calls for better access to the water, a Harbor Walk to utilize the open space along the South River’s edge, and the creation of a small park on the river.
First Herring Brook Fish Passage Restoration
In light of a request from the Town of Scituate to the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection to increase water withdrawals, the town's Water Resources Committee, First Herring Brook Watershed Initiative , Massachusetts Riverways Program , Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries, and MBP are working to ensure that there will be enough flow in First Herring Brook for fish passage, and to restore the fish ladder at Old Oaken Bucket Pond. A workshop was held on April 14th to discuss available options and next steps to be taken to encourage herring passage in the brook.
Think Blue at the Cambridge Science Festival
Think Blue Massachusetts brought its exhibit to the first annual Cambridge Science Festival on April 21. All afternoon, festival-goers visited the Think Blue exhibit and met the 15' inflatable mascot ("Stormy"), saw a working model of a watershed, picked up a children's stormwater activity guide, and much more. Think Blue's festival neighbors will included music-playing robots, alternative energy concept cars, live animals, dance contests, and solar cookers, so Stormy felt right at home. A big "thank you" goes to the City of Cambridge Department of Public Works for inviting Think Blue and coordinating the event.
Barbara Warren Receives EPA Award
Barabara Warren, MBP's Salem Sound regional coordinator and Executive Director of Salem Sound Coastwatch , was presented with an EPA Environmental Merit award on April 18 at a ceremony in Boston. The award recognizes “outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant contributions toward preserving and protecting our natural resources.” Barbara has been instrumental to EPA New England’s goal of clean water with SSCW’s Clean Beaches and Streams Program by monitoring culverts and pipes that discharge to the many beaches and coastal waters in Salem Sound. She performs this work on a biweekly basis during the spring and summer while strategically targeting several areas thought to suffer from major sources of bacterial contamination. Barbara regularly publishes the results of her monitoring on-line for public access. This work as led to the detection of broken sewer and storm drain pipes and salt marsh restoration. Additionally, she recently spearheaded an initiative to survey boaters with the ultimate goal of designating Salem Sound a “no discharge area.” Congratulations, Barbara!