The WFA will award up to two $650 merit scholarships awards for college this year to local graduating high school seniors, preferably with a demonstrated interest in river/environmental protection. The award is designated as a “merit” scholarship; academic criteria and community citizenship will be evaluated, not financial need. Students who are Westport residents or who are sponsored by a WFA member are eligible to apply.
Students may download the application from the WFA website at http://westportriver.org/scholarship/ or pick one up from their local high school guidance office. The completed application is due by April 30th. The selected recipient(s) will be announced by June 1st and will receive a check after satisfactory completion of the first semester of college.
Racers taking off at the 2017 race
The WFA’s 14th annual ‘Run for the Water’ will be held on Saturday, May 5th at Horseneck State Beach Reservation. This year we will reinstate the 8K course along the full length of the state beach and around the reservation, with cash awards for top male & female finishers. The 5K Family Fun Run/Walk returns, with fun prizes for top individuals. Prizes will also be awarded in other categories for both races. We will offer complimentary T-Shirts and a post-race feast for all runners! All proceeds will support WFA’s efforts to protect and preserve the Westport River and its marine habitat as well as our scholarship and education programs.
Early bird online registration fee is $20 until March 31st. Regular registration is $25 and Kids 14 & Under are only $15. WFA members are eligible for a $5 discount. Race day registration fee is 20% more. Register online at www.racemenu.com/wfa14 or download a mail-in form.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association’s 34th annual clambake was held under warm and sunny skies on Sept. 17 for over 175 happy guests. After everyone enjoyed their clambake with all the fixings, we moved on announcing the pick-a- prize raffle winners, culminating in awarding of the grand prize 18′ handcrafted Night Heron Kayak to Ihsan Gurdal of Cambridge and Westport. Happy paddling!
Members always get their newsletter in the mail. For everyone one else, plus those who prefer to consume their news online, the latest issue of the WFA quarterly newsletter is now posted online. Happy summer reading!
It is never too early to reserve your clambake tickets for the WFA’s 34th annual traditional bake on Sept. 17, 2017. Lobster and double lobster options available! For details and to order online click here.
The Westport Summer Passport 2017 is an adventure that will take you to six of the most beautiful and interesting local spots. It is a free self-guided family-friendly activity that runs through July and August. All walks are less than 1.5 miles and cover flat ground or short moderate or steep inclines. You will visit:
- Brookside Conservation Area, 1013 American Legion Highway (north Westport)
- Forge Pond Conservation Area, 214 Forge Rd. (north Westport)
- Handy House, 202 Hix Bridge Rd. (central Westport)
- Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station, 214 East Beach Rd. (south Westport)
- Mill Pond Conservation Area, 62 Reed Rd. (Head of Westport)
- Noquochoke Conservation Area, 421 Pine Hill Rd. (central Westport)
Westport Summer Passport is a partnership of the Westport Historical Society, The Westport Land Conservation Trust, the Westport Fishermen’s Association, and the Westport Education Foundation.
To download the passport go to http://westportlandtrust.org/westport_summer_passport/
Visit Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station this summer to view our latest exhibit: Notorious Shipwrecks off Westport! The opening reception is on Saturday, June 24th at 2 pm.
Exhibit hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 to 4 pm from June 24th through Sept. 3rd. Free admission. Donations are always welcome. The exhibit is supported by in part by the Chip Gillespie Memorial Fund and by a grant from the Westport Cultural Council.
The entrance to Buzzards Bay is littered with shipwrecks, though it is impossible be certain of how many ships have been lost in this area of shoals and reefs, dense fog, and strong tides. Locally, most vessels went aground on Hen and Chickens Reef at the southern end of Gooseberry Island. Although nowadays there are fewer wrecks due to improvements in navigation, these waters still hold many stories.
Artifacts and the stories about the fate of three large ships, all over 300 feet long, that went aground nearby – the USS Yankee (1908) pictured above, the HMCS St. Francis (1945) and the Angela (1971) – are on display.
Despite the intermittent rain, we had a great turnout at the WFA’s 13th annual “Run for the Water” with over 140 participants coming from ten states. In fact, a woman flew in from Michigan the night before to compete specifically in the 10K. She is doing a race in all 50 states this year and picked the WFA’s event because it supported a good cause. Proceeds from this year’s event will help fund the WFA’s scholarship program and support our advocacy efforts.
This year we swapped out the 8K course for a 10K distance and Matt Moussamih from Swansea won it in 40:22. Lauren Galiardi of Cumberland, RI was the women’s winner, coming in at 46:59. Top finishers in the 5K Fun Run were Dan Murphy of Westport and Katie Knapp from Brooklyn, NY. Complete results can be found HERE.
In 2016 the Westport Fishermen’s Association sounded the alarm about rapid degradation of salt marsh islands, particularly those in the West Branch of the Westport River. Salt marsh islands are a characteristic feature of both branches of the Westport Rivers. These productive coastal wetlands are important because they protect properties from storm surges, remove nutrients from the water and carbon from the atmosphere, and provide critical habitat for fish, shellfish, and shorebirds. In response, we teamed up with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center, and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program to measure the rate of salt marsh loss and try to identify the causes.
The data are in and the news is not good at all. The Westport River is losing salt marsh islands at an accelerating rate and they are projected to entirely disappear within 60 years if nothing is done. Read the summary report here: Saltmarsh_loss_report_FINAL
Additional detail is in the full report: Westport Marsh Final Report_Mar2017
The Westport Fishermen’s Association is hosting their 13th Annual Run for the Water on May 6, 2017. We are featuring a new 10K course length this year, with cash awards and medals for top male and female finishers. The 5K Family Fun Run/Walk returns, with fun prizes for top individuals, families and teams. Free t-shirt for all pre-registered entrants. Post race feast too!