2017 WaterWatch Lecture Series

Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
January 11-March 8 (March 15 snow date)
South Shore Natural Science Center, Norwell
Free admission

Join us every Wednesday night for a free public lecture series featuring world renowned authors, scientists and historians focused on the nature and human history of New England waters. This year’s highlights include a story of local women who spent a year hiking the entire 200 miles of the Bay Circuit Trail; how this year’s severe drought impacted people, gypsy moths and our natural world; the resurgence of Bald Eagles on the South Shore; and how award winning designers are building landscapes that support wildlife and save water.

Brought to you by:

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Sponsored by:


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Sponsored by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, the South Shore Natural Science Center, Mass Audubon South Shore and the South Shore YMCA.


January 11
The History of Drought In New England
Ed Capone and Ellen Mecray, NOAA’s Eastern Region Climate Center

“We will know the value of water when the well runs dry.” said Ben Franklin famously.  This year’s drought dried up wells, brought record low streamflow stressing fish and wildlife, had reservoirs drying up in August and made our lawns brown, but how does this drought compare to past droughts? Climate scientists from NOAA will put this year’s drought in perspective for us by reviewing the history of drought in New England.

ma-division-fish-wildlife-bldg-webJanuary 18
Award Winning “Green” Landscapes for Water and Wildlife
Natasha Andjelic and Shavaun Towers, Towers/Golde Landscape Architects

Winner of the Green Building Special Merit Award in 2016 the Massachusetts Headquarters for the Division of Fish and Wildlife stands out for many reasons – one of which is the beautiful landscape that benefits native wildlife and water through sustainable design. The landscape design includes a wildflower meadow, butterfly garden, no mow areas and rain gardens to capture stormwater. Join these award winning landscape architects who will share their design with us – and adapt their techniques in your own landscape and get through the next drought!


January 25
Gypsy Moths and Drought
Joe Elkinton, Entomologist, Professor UMass Amherst

Gypsy moths stripped more than 350,000 acres of trees in Massachusetts alone this year as their populations exploded. The culprit – the lack of rain in the spring which prevented the spread of a fungus that usually keeps the number of gypsy moth caterpillars under control. Join Joe Elkinton, an invasive forest insect researcher from UMass Amherst who will share with us how trees and other species are being impacted by this outbreak.

amy_kukulyaFebruary 1
Swimming with Sharks and Sea Turtles
Amy Kukulya, Ocean Vehicle Operations Engineer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Wonder where Great White Sharks and endangered sea turtles go when they are underwater?  Researchers are using new technology to track and video not only where these creatures go but also their behaviors. Featured on the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, come see the exciting footage taken where you can virtually swim with sharks and sea turtles.


February 8
Local Shipwrecks and Underwater Artifacts
Debra Jackson, Tom Mulloy and Hank Lynch

In 1990 Tom Mulloy, a local diver, discovered the 100 ft. long remains of the Forest Queen shipwrecked in 1853 in 20 ft. of water off 2nd Cliff in Scituate.  Since then members of the Bassing Cove Maritime Association have been diving the Forest Queen to explore, retrieve and restore the artifacts that tell her story.

bay-circuit-trail-mapFebruary 15
A Year Hiking the Bay Circuit Trail
Carolyn Sones, Naturalist and Hiker

Spanning 37 towns and 230 miles, the Bay Circuit trail connects the North Shore to the South Shore beginning at Plum Island and ending at Kingston Bay. Starting in 2014, Carolyn Sones and group of her friends decided to spend the next year exploring this extensive trail system. Carolyn will share stories of her meanderings and how you can enjoy this wonderful rich outdoor experience close to home!


February 22
South Shore Sea and Sand From the Sky
Margot Cheel, Fine Aerial Art Photographer

Examining the beauty of our landscape from the air can inspire us to remember the beauty, fragility and interconnectedness of our earth.  Margot Cheel is an award-winning photographer, private pilot and arts educator whose work inspires awareness of the environment through her aerial photos. Join us in seeing the South Shore coastline from the air and gain a new perspective.


March 1
Bald Eagles on the South Shore
Jason Zimmer, Southeast Manager, Mass Division of Fish and Wildlife

Bald Eagles are majestic birds of prey that hunt over water and were once listed as an endangered species. Between 1905 and 1982 there were no breeding pairs living in Massachusetts but a successful introduction back to the Quabbin Reservoir has led to an increase in the population with sightings now happening on the South Shore. Join us to find out more about the largest of our North American raptors!


March 8
The Alewives’ Tale – The Struggle to Save a Dramatically Declining Species
Barbara Brennessel

Barbara Brennessel’s book, The Alewives’ Tale, describes the plight of alewives and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, that have been economically important since colonial times as food, fertilizer, and bait. In recent years they have attracted much attention from environmentalists, especially as attempts are being made to restore the rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries that are crucial for their reproduction and survival.

At the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.