In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 WaterWatch Lecture Series will be virtual. This year, in order to help you stay active and engaged with nature, we will be presenting the Winter Nature Challenge 2021. 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! Click here to read more.
Scroll down below the events list to see the recorded presentations!
Stay active and engaged with nature this winter! Join the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, South Shore Natural Science Center, and Mass Audubon in our 2021 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! See presentation titles and schedule below. This program is a new iteration of the familiar WaterWatch Lecture Series.
Join the virtual talk and discover something new. From owl watching, to winter beachcombing, the range of topics will be diverse, fun, and interesting! Take your new knowledge a step further by joining in a guided outdoor event! Each week’s talk will be accompanied by an optional guided event, building upon the topics discussed in the talk.
Compete in a Winter Nature Challenge! Each week’s talk will include a challenge. Participate in the challenge on your own, with your family, or with us on the guided event. Register for the talks to receive information about the Nature Challenge. Great for all ages! Once registered, you will receive special emails with zoom webinar links and instructions each week.
*By submitting your email, you may receive emails from NSRWA, SSNSC, or Mass Audubon.
Virtual Presentation Schedule: 7:00pm each Wednesday
Presentation Schedule and Descriptions:
February 24 – Join the City Nature Challenge! The world’s biggest biodiversity study with the SSNSC
Calling all citizen scientists! The City Nature Challenge is the world’s biggest biodiversity study and is dependent on volunteer participation. Learn how you can participate in the local efforts of this global campaign and contribute to a greater understanding of the flora and fauna of the Boston area.
March 3 – A Guide to Your Very Own River Adventure with South Shore River Guides NSRWA’s Brian Taylor and Mass Audubon’s Doug Lowry
Looking to go for a river paddle this year, but not sure where to start? Paddling on the North or South Rivers can be one of the most rewarding outdoor experiences the South Shore has to offer, but the tides and moving water can make the thought of planning a trip seem daunting. This talk will give you the knowledge and resources to feel comfortable and plan a successful trip. Join local guides and River Rats Doug Lowry with Mass Audubon and Brian Taylor with the NSRWA as we provide the know-how’s and how-to’s of planning and embarking on a river adventure of your own! Timing of the tides, put-in and take-out locations, gear, things to think about, how to plan, hazards, points of interest, local history, and common flora and fauna will all be included in this week’s Winter Nature Talk. Virtual talk will also include a special Q and A session with the guides.
March 10 – Forest Foragers! Geocaching the South Shore with NSRWA’s Brian Taylor
What the heck is Geocaching? You might have heard of it, but have you ever tried it out? It’s easy, fun, and a great outdoor activity for the family! There are thousands of caches all around the South Shore, probably even one near you right now! Join us for a simple virtual step by step guide to begin hunting for treasure, exploring new places, enjoying nature, and everything else that comes with having fun outside! What the heck is Geocaching? You might have heard of it, but have you ever tried it out? It’s easy, fun, and a great outdoor activity for the family! There are thousands of caches all around the South Shore, probably even one near you right now! Join us for a simple virtual step by step guide to begin hunting for treasure, exploring new places, enjoying nature, and everything else that cothemes with having fun outside!
*By submitting your email, you may receive emails from NSRWA, SSNSC, or Mass Audubon.
Watch the recorded presentations here!
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
Please enjoy these videos from our 2020 WaterWatch Lecture Series
The 2020 WaterWatch Lecture Series was filmed and broadcast online as a part of the Norwell Nature Series by Norwell Spotlight TV.
Water is the Blood of Creation
Jonathan James Perry, Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation – Water is an integral part of the Wampanoag peoples’ identity and connection to Creation. Their interdependence on the waterways has spanned for thousands of years and continues to be paramount for their health, transportation, subsistence, and ceremonies. Join us to learn from Aquinnah Wampanoag Councilman, culture bearer, artist, and traditional boat maker Jonathan James Perry as he discusses the Northeastern coastal Native peoples’ respect for and usage of the complex water systems along the New England coast line.
The 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower
Whit Perry, Plimouth Plantation – 2020 marks the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower landing at Plymouth and the birth of our nation. Join us for this exciting presentation about the historic restoration of the Mayflower and the celebratory sail planned for May of 2020 from Charlestown in Boston Harbor.
Mosquitos, Spraying and Triple EEE
Blake Dinius, Plymouth County Extension Entomologist – More than just annoying, mosquitoes may be the most dangerous animal in the world (Great white sharks, step aside!) The incidence of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Plymouth county ranks among the highest in the nation. Join Plymouth County Entomologist Blake Dinius in understanding why mosquitoes bite and carry these diseases and the current science behind how we can protect ourselves against mosquito borne illness.
Kill Your Lawn
Mark Richardson, Tower Hill Botanical Director – According to NASA, in the United States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop. Lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate. Learn how to replace your lawn with beautiful and environmentally friendly native plantings from Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s director of horticulture Mark Richardson, co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens, with photographer and author Dan Jaffe. This lecture is sponsored in part by Wild Ones – South Shore MA Chapter.
Shad, River Herring and Eels in Massachusetts
John Sheppard, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries – These curious fish migrate thousands of miles between fresh and saltwater and are incredibly important to our ocean and aquatic food webs. John Sheppard of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Diadromous Fish Project will share the latest news about their current populations and efforts to restore their habitat. These fish are incredibly important but their populations are at historic lows but recent efforts to restore their habitat are showing promise!
Climate Change Cafe: Keeping Your Head Above Water
Alexandra Vecchio, Mass Audubon Climate Change Program Manager – The subject of climate change with all of its ramifications can be overwhelming. We know our life choices have significant impacts on the health of our communities and planet. We struggle with individual action plans that can make a difference. Join us as Alexandra provides some insight and leads us in a discussion that will empower us to make positive choices in our communities and beyond.
The Life History and Conservation of the Diamondback Terrapin
Patty Levasseur, Graduate Researcher, Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay & University of Massachusetts – A once abundant turtle species, diamondback terrapins were an important food source for the Continental Army and later for slaves on coastal plantations dating back to the 1700s. Terrapin meat later became a delicacy for the elite and was heavily exploited to near extinction. Today, diamondback terrapins are listed as protected or regulated throughout their range, however they face additional threats including habitat loss, nest depredation, road mortality and drowning in crab traps. Conservation work is being done throughout their range to combat these threats in hopes of recovering populations of this unique turtle.
Weather vs. Climate and Climate Change
Eleanor Vallier-Talbot, Meteorologist National Weather Service – Weather watchers everywhere have been seeing the changes that have been happening around us, especially with the increasing number and intensity of storms locally and worldwide. Prolonged droughts have also caused major problems, especially with dwindling water and food supplies. This presentation will review what the differences are between weather and climate, then will shift into how the changing climate has been wreaking havoc along the coastline, across the mountains as well as the plains.
January 9, 2019
Barstow’s Two Oaks and the Upper North River Shipyards
Caleb Estabrooks of Hanover, NSRWA Board Member
For 200 years the North River bustled with the industry of building wooden ships and we see the evidence of this on historical markers and local town seals. Recently discovered artifacts and stories are adding to the depth of what we know about this influential piece of local history. Come see a collection of images and artifacts from the Barstow’s Two Oaks Shipyard in Hanover and hear how the shipbuilding industry shaped the town of Hanover, and the influence these ships had on the early United States.
January 16, 2019
Eating Green Crabs to Save Our Clams and Estuaries?
Roger Warner, Green Crab Research and Development
Green Crabs are a marauding European invader that is eating our clams, mussels, eelgrass and eroding our salt marshes. What can be done? Researchers and the seafood industry are teaming up to market these crabs as food and fertilizer. Could this be a winning strategy help manage these invasive species and help save our coasts from this destructive invader? Come find out!
Jessica Donohue, Sea Education Association
Plastics in our oceans are a major concern for wildlife and for us. But how do we know how much plastic is in the ocean? Sea Education Association scientist Jessica Donohue will explain how this data is collected, what the sources are, where it accumulates in the North Atlantic and what we know about the impacts of microplastics on sea life and human health.
From Single Use to Zero Waste: What’s New with Recycling
Claire Galkowski, South Shore Recycling Cooperative
Recycling has been in the news – from China not taking our recycling to making sure we recycle correctly. Longtime director of the fifteen-town South Shore Recycling Cooperative and lifetime waste hater, Claire Galkowski, will do a deep dive into impacts from some everyday consumer products, both upstream and down. The presentation will inspire new ways to think about “stuff,” explain how recycling works, and provide practical tools to “Recycle Smart” and be gentler to our forests, streams, oceans and atmosphere.
What’s Up with the Whales
Amy Knowlton, New England Aquarium, Senior Scientist
North Atlantic Right whales, entangled in fishing gear, struck by ships, dying in higher than normal numbers, and feeding in new parts of the ocean, are at risk of going extinct. This small population is facing existing and new threats and people are working hard to save them. Other large whales have also been dying along the east coast at unprecedented levels. Come find out “What’s Up with the Whales” from whale researcher from the New England Aquarium, Amy Knowlton.
Sea Run Brook Trout
Warren Winders and Geoffrey Day, Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition
Before the Industrial Revolution there were hundreds of rivers and streams from Long Island to Maine with populations of sea run brook trout, a special kind of brook trout that seek out rich food and shelter in our estuaries. Prized for their flavor, size and strength, these salter brook trout became the focus of America’s first sport fishery during the 1800’s. By the turn of the century their habitat had been so degraded by dams and pollution that now only remnant populations hang on in our streams and estuaries. Come find out more about sea run brook trout and how people are working to restore this once prized sport fish to our local streams.
Firefly Watch: Citizen Science from Your Back Porch
Don Salvatore and Jacqui Shuster
Join Don Salvatore and Jacqui Shuster, past and present coordinators for this international citizen science project. Learn how to identify and record a number of species of “lightning bugs” to help track their populations as scientists explore the challenges in habitat and climates for this iconic summer time resident. Recommendations on how to make your yard more attractive to fireflies will be shared.
The History of the Gurnet Light and Fort Andrew
Wally Hempel, Project Gurnet and Bug Lights
Celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Gurnet Light with history buff Wally Hempel, of Project Gurnet and Bug Light, as he explains the back story of this important landmark. Wally is a renowned story teller and will share accounts of the lighthouse being fired upon by British ships, and how it was once under the watchful eye of the first female lighthouse keeper. Through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers this crucial aid to navigation continues to guide mariners into Plymouth, Kingston and Duxbury Bays.
At the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.
- Community Programs
- Estuary Explorers
- River Adventures Camp
- School Programs
- WaterWatch Lectures
- Workshops and Conferences
- Healthy Rivers
- Dam Removals
- South River Restoration
- South River Restoration
- Third Herring Brook Restoration
- Improving Water Quality
- Streamflow Restoration
- First Herring Brook Restoration