Author: Tanja Ryden

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2014 Annual Meeting and Oyster Stew Supper Wrap Up

Thanks to all who came out in support of our organization to celebrate another great year and look forward to the work that lies ahead in 2014 and beyond. Delicious Oyster Stew and corn bread was served to our guest by the WFA board of directors. And for desert fresh baked Apple Pie topped with delicious Adamsville Cheddar Cheese, a New England classic.

We had a full house it was great to see so many of our members and meet those who were new to our organization. The Annual Meeting portion of the evening began just after supper around 7:30. Our discussion included an overview of activities at the Historic Life Saving Station in the upcoming year, the benefits for fish habitats in successful river restoration projects, protecting cold water habitats, and our concerns and efforts in the area of advocating to see nitrogen loading daily limits put into effect for the overall health and ecosystem of the Westport river.
After reviewing the agenda with the attendees we voted in the slate of officers. The officers for 2014 are Jack Reynolds-President, Brian Pontolilo- Vice President, Tom Perkins – Treasurer and Laurie Marinone- Secretary. Just after the ballot was cast we proceeded to show a series of videos that related to the above topics of conversation followed by an opportunity for questions.
It was a terrific evening and very telling of how fortunate we are to live in a town where so many value and advocate for the conservation of our natural resources and the unique marine culture of Westport and its River system.
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We are committed to come up with a solution that will improve on the fish passage and overall health of the river at Forge Pond.

We are working to ensure the state is aware of the situation and that the Mass Fisheries and Wildlife will investigate the feasiblity and options for solutions to the ongoing problem of fish passage at the site whether it be a state of the art fish ladder or removing the dam in an effort of river restoration. We continue to check in with the status and priority of the project and will be working toward community engagement through education moving forward in 2014. Stay tuned
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Moving forward the WFA will continue to be committed to co- funding phase II of the study to catalog nitrogen sources impacting the Westport River with the Community Preservation Committee.

The WFA supplemented the project with a $10,000 pledge. This Phase II study compliments the first part of the work that was compiled by the Umass Dartmouth’s SMAST and brings that part of the work to attend to the nitrogen loading problem to a close.

The WFA will advocate that the Town will have to work out the details for solutions. Also the WFA joined with the Coalition for Buzzard’s Bay in petitioning DEP to set the TAMDL’s (total allowable maximum daily limits) for tributaries entering the river. These benchmarks are necessaryin order to know the extent of measures that will be needed to restore and keep the river healthy.
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This past year we finalized the long term lease agreement with the MA DCR

The lease agreement allows us to manage and keep open and available to the public the Historic LifeSaving Station and Visitor Center for the next 25 years.
The WFA hosted a terrific event with community friends and sponsors sharing in the celebration. DCR officials and our local town and state representatives recognized our efforts and outlined the benefits and importance to preserving the maritime history and community treasures such as the life saving station and visitor center for future generations to enjoy.