January 17 @ 7:00 pm - March 6 @ 8:00 pm
WaterWatch Lecture Series
Wednesdays, January 17 – March 6, 2024
Join the NSRWA and Mass Audubon for this winter’s eight part educational WaterWatch Lecture Series 2024. Stay engaged with nature this winter with weekly presentations by a diverse range of presenters and themes. Each lecture is on Wednesday evening from 7-8pm with a few minutes at the end for Q&A. The program begins on January 17 and ends on March 6.
All lectures will be available on Zoom for FREE. However, the first and last lectures can also be attended in person! Separate registration pages are available for those events. You will also find the separate links for the two in-person registrations in the lecture description. Each lecture will be recorded with videos at the bottom of this page.
2024 PRESENTATION SCHEDULE
Wednesdays, January 17 – Eating Our Way to a More Sustainable Coast
Join us for our kick off lecture in-person at Island Creek Oyster Raw Bar in Duxbury to learn about oysters while eating a few! Live and Zoom participants will learn how scientists and aquaculturists are teaming up to create more resilient coastlines and food systems. Steve Kirk, Director of the Massachusetts Coastal Program for The Nature Conservancy will share how oysters are being farmed and transferred to build reefs across the country, and locally to build more resilient shorelines. SEE VIDEO RECORDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
January 24: Wind Farms Off Our Coast
What’s going on off our coast? There has been a lot of noise around offshore wind farms along the Massachusetts coastline. Tune in as we are joined by Justin Bopp with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and Todd Callaghan with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management. They will provide a clearer perspective and education as experts from within the field. We will hear about current plans, pros and cons, scientific data, and potential impacts wind farms may have on marine habitat. You will walk away with a broader perspective and greater understanding about what’s going on in our coastal waters and how it affects our state, communities, environment, and us! SEE VIDEO RECORDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
January 31: Shad: America’s ‘Founding Fish’
Shad, a species of fish native to Southeast Massachusetts, has a rich history, great ecological importance and are a thrill to catch! American shad, or Alosa sapidissima, is an anadromous fish and one of the larger species in the same family as river herring. These fish play an important role in both coastal and freshwater ecosystems, and are also steeped in early American history with ties to George Washington and the Continental Army. Tune in as we are joined by James Garner, a UMass Amherst PhD candidate with the Department of Environmental Conservation, and John Sheppard with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. We will learn about shad and their life cycle, local populations, struggles they face, and current research that is being done and what the data suggests. SEE VIDEO RECORDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
February 7: What Good are Mosquitoes? A Fresh Perspective on the World’s Most Hated Insect
Join Blake Dinius, Plymouth County Entomologist, to learn about the world’s most hated insect. Mosquitoes are often the prime targets in land/water management and pesticide use. But, only a small fraction of our 50+ mosquito species serve as disease vectors. Many mosquitoes play critical parts in healthy ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, low natural diversity in human-modified landscapes favors some species over others. How have humans impacted our natural world in ways that favors disease vectors? Can we reverse this trend? Join us for our fresh take into the world of mosquitoes from a conservationist’s perspective. SEE VIDEO RECORDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
February 14: Canaries in a Coal Mine: Bird Migration and Climate Change
Bird populations are the perfect metric to help understand the impact of climate change in our communities, both locally and globally. The collection of data over decades, from ornithologists, research scientists and citizen science on shifting bird populations have provided tools to help mitigate climate change. Join Manomet Shorebird Biologist Liana DiNunzio and Mass Audubon Educator Doug Lowry as we celebrate our feathered friends clarion call to action. SEE VIDEO RECORDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
February 21: Ghost Gear in Our Coastal Waters; Its Impacts, and What’s Being Done About It
Join us as we discover the issues surrounding “ghost gear” – abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear in our coastal waters. We will be joined by Laura Ludwig with the Center for Coastal Studies, and Julia Kaplan with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, two experts in the field who will provide insight on the effects of this form of marine debris, the regulatory backdrop, what the data shows, and what’s being done about it. We will also be joined by artist Pamela Moulton, who repurposes this form of marine debris to form amazing art.
February 28: North and South River Marshes and the Legacy of the 1898 Portland Gale
Many residents of the North and South Rivers Watershed know that the 1898 Portland Gale rearranged the estuary when it cut a new inlet between Third and Fourth Cliff in Scituate. What is less known is that high tide levels in parts of the North River rose about a foot and a half as a result of the shortened North River channel. This abrupt increase in water levels represents a 120 year experiment in what happens to salt marshes when you raise water levels, in some ways resembling rapid sea level rise. Brian Yellen will present work from several members of the Sediment and Coastal Dynamics Lab at UMass Amherst to unravel how and why North and South River marshes responded to this unintentional experiment.
March 6: Trivia Night at Stellwagen Beer Company
Join the NSRWA and Mass Audubon at Stellwagen Beer Company in Marshfield for a fun night of refreshments and trivia. Test your knowledge of content covered throughout the 2024 WaterWatch Lecture Series, as well as general watershed and environmental topics. Tickets for this FREE event can be found HERE.
Eating Our Way to a More Sustainable Coast
Wind Farms Off Our Coast
Shad: America’s ‘Founding Fish’
What Good are Mosquitoes? A Fresh Perspective on the World’s Most Hated Insect
Canaries in a Coal Mine: Bird Migration and Climate Change
Making Salt Marshes More Climate Resilient
Slavery and Black Life in North River Communities, 1673-1865
PFAS in Our Waters
Know Thy Neighbor: A Brief Look at the History, Culture, and Teachings of the Mattakeeset People
How to Go Electric!
Expand Your Seafood Options with Unfamiliar Fish
Your Guide to Hiking the South Shore
Introduction to Duxbury Beach Reservation with Cristin Luttazi
Reading the Winter Landscape with Mass Audubon and the NSRWA
Salt Marshes of the South Shore with Mass Bays, NSRWA, and the National Wildlife Refuge System
Insect Decline with Plymouth County Entomologist Blake Dinius
Birding the Southeast Watersheds with Mass Audubon and the NSRWA
Amazing Arthropods! with Plymouth Co. Entomologist Blake Dinius
Exploring Wonder: A Child’s View of Nature with the SSNSC
A Beachcombers Guide to Winter with NSRWA Ecologist Sara Grady
An Introduction to Birdwatching with Mass Audubon’s Doug Lowry
Reading the Landscape with the SSNSC
Owls; In Search of Strigiformes with Mass Audubon’s Doug Lowry
Join the City Nature Challenge! The world’s biggest biodiversity study with the SSNSC
A Guide to Your Very Own River Adventure
Forest Foragers! Geocaching the South Shore with NSRWA’s Brian Taylor
Barstow’s Two Oaks and the Upper North River Shipyards
Eating Green Crabs to Save Our Clams and Estuaries?
From Single Use to Zero Waste: What’s New with Recycling
What’s Up with the Whales
Sea Run Brook Trout
Firefly Watch: Citizen Science from Your Back Porch
The History of the Gurnet Light and Fort Andrew