January 19 @ 7:00 pm - March 9 @ 8:00 pm

Winter Nature Challenge 2022!

Stay active and engaged with nature this winter! Join the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and Mass Audubon for our 2022 Winter Nature Challenge! Each week starting in January and running through March, will have a virtual presentation, a nature challenge to do on your own or with your family, and an optional guided outdoor event! This program is the new iteration of the familiar WaterWatch Lecture Series. Register below one time for the entire series.

Please consider making a gift to our 2022 Winter Nature Challenge

REGISTER HERE for Winter Nature Challenge 2022!

2022 Presentation Schedule

Wednesdays, January 19 – March 9 @ 7:00pm

January 19 – Insect Decline with Plymouth County Entomologist Blake Dinius (See video below)
Just this past September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared 23 species in America to be extinct. When we think of examples of endangered species, our minds often jump to animals from distant lands: pandas, tropical birds, rhinos, big cats. But, Plymouth county is home to several protected species of insects. These species need our help just as much as any others. Buck Moth (Hemileuca maia) is of special concern, as is the Frosted Elfin Butterfly (Callophrys irus), and, Barrens Tiger Beetle (Cicindela patruela) is endangered. These are just a few names on a growing list of animal life. In 2018, the New York Times published on the “insect apocalypse,” a term that has come to represent both documented and anecdotal declines in insect populations around the world. While some agree with the Times article, others say that “it’s not as bad as it seems.” This is hopeful, but is it true? The correct answer to this question is critical. Insects make up 77% (or more) of all animal life! They fulfill vital roles for keeping our planet functioning, such as pollinating our flowers, serving as food sources for birds, decomposing wastes, and cycling nutrients. Join our program where we will review the literature surrounding this nuanced and (still developing) topic of entomology. We will also review ways that you can make your own yard a safe-haven for nature. Whether rare or common, in the words of E. O. Wilson, insects are “the little things that run the world.”

January 26 – Awareness Inspires Conservation with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) is a nonprofit organization supporting scientific research, educating the community, and improving public safety. AWSC strives to increase knowledge of Atlantic white sharks to change public perception and conserve the species and ensure biologically diverse marine ecosystems. This program provides an overview of the work of the AWSC as well as a wide range of topics – from public perception of sharks to the role of sharks in our marine ecosystem. The ongoing white shark research taking place off Cape Cod is explained in detail, as well as how that research is connected to white shark conservation. The program wraps up with a discussion on how the presence of white sharks close to shore has specifically affected the Cape Community and the New England area.

February 2 – Birding the Southeast Watersheds with Mass Audubon and the NSRWA
Birds adapt to winter in amazing ways. We will explore some of those adaptations and by using maps and other tools we’ll introduce a number of winter birding hotspots in the numerous watersheds of our communities. From White-throated Sparrows to Northern Gannets, our riverine and coastal habitats have it all.

February 9 – Salt Marshes of the South Shore with Mass Bays, NSRWA, and the National Wildlife Refuge System
Our New England salt marshes have a fascinating agricultural history that has only been fully clarified relatively recently. The topographic legacy of these practices has influenced the way salt marsh restoration practitioners currently approach improving salt marsh hydrology in the face of climate change and sea level rise. Susan C. Adamowicz, PhD, the Land Management Research and Demonstration Biologist at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, will discuss the history and future of our marshes and regional efforts to understand and preserve our marshes. Sara P. Grady PhD, NSRWA Watershed Ecologist and MassBays South Shore Regional Coordinator, will tie these projects back to work being conducted in our own watershed.

February 16 – Reading the Winter Landscape with Mass Audubon and the NSRWA
The many diverse habitats that our coastal proximity provide, are home to wildlife that needs to adapt to an increasingly difficult existence. Climate change being one of the most influential. We will step into each habitat and describe the techniques that our flora and fauna use to navigate change and the challenges of winter.

February 23 – Spotted Lantern Flies and Their Threat to Our Forests with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Have you heard of the spotted lanternfly?  First detected in Pennsylvania in 2014, this invasive, non-native pest is rapidly spreading across the US, and in 2021 was detected in Massachusetts.  With a wide host plant range, including tree hosts like maple and black walnut as well as crops including grapes and hops, this pest poses a significant threat to North American forest and agricultural resources. Join us and USDA Entomologist Joe Francese as we take a closer look at this species and other invasive pests — the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer hemlock wooly adelgid and Lymantria dispar (formerly know as the gypsy moth) — all of which can also be found in Massachusetts, and their potential impact on our economy, environment, and our forests.

March 2 – Introduction to Duxbury Beach Reservation with Cristin Luttazi
Join us for an overview of Duxbury Beach Reservation, managers of the popular barrier beach.  The program will highlight the diverse ecosystems and their wildlife as well as the importance of maintaining the landform in the face of climate change.

March 9 – Your Guide to Hiking the South Shore with Mass Audubon’s Doug Lowry, NSRWA Educator Brian Taylor, and NSRWA Correspondent Kezia Bacon 
When looking to go on an outdoor walking adventure, the South Shore region of Massachusetts has so much to offer. Whether you’re looking for specific wildlife, amazing views, places of notable history, unique locations, or simply a fun and successful outdoor experience, the South Shore has it all! This presentation will provide you with valuable information to help you prepare for your very own outdoor adventure.

REGISTER HERE for Winter Nature Challenge 2022!

Please consider making a gift to our 2022 Winter Nature Challenge

Watch the 2022 recorded presentations below!

January 19 – Insect Decline with Plymouth County Entomologist Blake Dinius

Watch last year’s recorded 2021 presentations below!

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 with South Shore River Guides NSRWA’s Brian Taylor and Mass Audubon’s Doug Lowry

Forest Foragers! Geocaching the South Shore with NSRWA’s Brian Taylor


January 19 @ 7:00 pm
March 9 @ 8:00 pm
Event Category:


North and South Rivers Watershed Association
Mass Audubon South Shore Sanctuaries