Whether you were able to attend the Volunteer Appreciation Party or not, we want to thank all of our volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do without you! And a big thank you to Craig and Danny Hannafin for hosting the party! We have many volunteers who help advance NSRWA’s mission to protect our local waters

We have many volunteers who help advance NSRWA’s mission to protect our local waters. Volunteers who serve on our Board of Directors, our Advisory Council, a number of committees, including the ones for the South Shore Striper Tournament and the Great River Race, and our Ambassadors who help us raise awareness about water conservation and the important work of the NSRWA to protect our local waters. Our Ambassadors give talks at local libraries, senior centers, and other venues to share highlights of the history and natural history of our region, photo tours to showcase our rivers and waters to encourage people to get outdoors, and share some of NSRWA’s efforts to educate and engage the public for clean waters and healthy rivers. If you’d like to join this group, please let us know.

We also count on volunteers who help with tasks like putting together articles for our newsletter and other important communications, ensuring our events are successful, assembling membership mailings, helping us to maintain our database, leading our Walking Club, and even creating an exhibit for this year’s Marshfield Fair. Thank you for everything you do to protect our local waters!

Citizen Science Volunteers
By Ecologist/South Shore Regional Coordinator for MassBays Partnership – Sara P. Grady PhD

Every year the cycle of citizen science starts with training herring volunteers in March to prepare for April and May, rolls into late night horseshoe crab surveys in May and June, water quality monitoring through the summer, days out on boats in August for the eelgrass blitz, and finally to salt marsh sentinels as the air starts to cool again in the fall. We also have a new year-round project monitoring beach profiles at Duxbury Beach. It’s always a privilege to work with those of you who come back year after year and to meet new people each year who are enthusiastic about learning and helping and being a part of our ~150 citizen scientists that make *my* life easier. I couldn’t do it without you. We are still compiling the information from your work and will be letting you know how everything went.

This year was difficult for herring throughout the state, after such a wonderful year last year. No fish were seen at Bound Brook or Third Herring Brook at Tack Factory, although one fish was seen, not by a volunteer, upstream of the newly removed Peterson Pond Dam on the Third Herring Brook, which was a big marker of success. Congratulations to Graham Stevens, Karen Lunny, and Bob Dunn for spotting the first fish of the season at their locations. Thank you to Tom McManus, Jim Clinton, and Leo Boudreau for conducting the most counts at their location.

Photo credit Freya Schlegel.

Horseshoe crab surveys this year were very successful – our volunteers saw over 1,450 crabs! We had many of our steadfast volunteers returning – Chris Howie, Beth Howard, Janis Owens, Ingrid McGinty, Kathy Harrington, Jeanne Ryer, Carolyn Sones, Christine Hudanich, Goldie Freeman, and Angeline Graham. A special shoutout to Beth for being my midnight survey partner! It was great to meet new volunteers as well like Galynn Frechette, Melissa Muccioli, and Christine Ledin.

Riverwatch this year was a mix of experienced volunteers like Kathy Harrington, Christine Harris, and the Homolas and some new faces like Freya Schlegel, Kathleen Almand, and Amanda Powell. It was a rainy summer, and the bacteria counts reflected that accordingly, tending to be pretty high through the summer, although surprisingly Cornhill Lane didn’t have any exceedances.

Our eelgrass surveys occurred over four days in mid-August, during which 71 of our sites were visited and assessed for eegrass presence and percent coverage. Almost all of our volunteers were new to the project and we were fortunate to have some wonderful boat captains – Andrew Marshall, William Hurley, John Lovett, and Bill Walser. The eelgrass surveys are dependent on boats, and they made these surveys happen.

Our beach profiling project is in partnership with UMass Stone Living Labs and the Duxbury Beach Reservation. We have a small set of dedicated people who go out monthly and measure the contours of the beach. Thank you to Lanci and Page Valentine, Peter and Gwenn MacLearn, Joyce Pun-Flynn, and Andrew Staley – who haven’t faced the winter beach yet (ha ha ha).

Before then, though, fall is approaching and soon we will be doing our salt marsh sentinel dock surveys. I am so appreciative of all the dock owners that participate. Some of our dock owners are now approaching five years of data – Joell Bianchi, Janet and Bill Fairbanks, Rick Mayfield, Maritta Cronin, and Derek Pratt. I will be presenting the results thus far to the Massachusetts Salt Marsh Working Group in October and the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation in November, and once that presentation is ready I will present it to all of you as well!

Finally, a huge thanks to my interns from this summer, Olivia Freud and Lee, who helped manage volunteers, enter data, and conduct fieldwork. They were fun and helpful and I hope they have a wonderful year back at school. I also need to thank Jill Slankas, who helps coordinate our citizen science and is always so responsive and friendly to both my spontaneous requests and the questions of our volunteers.

Please keep helping us out, and tell your friends! Thank you.

Click here to see all the photos from the party on Facebook.