The Westport Fishermen’s Association is merging with the Buzzards Bay Coalition in 2019.
Since 1983, the Westport Fishermen’s Association (WFA) has been advocating for a healthy Westport River, especially for its marine habitat, at the grassroots level. Now 35 years later, the members and Board of the WFA determined that it was time to find a strong ally to continue and strengthen its legacy work. Because the WFA has had a long history of partnering with the Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) and the two organization missions are well aligned, it seemed like a natural fit. So when Jack Reynolds, WFA Board President approached Mark Rasmussen, President of the BBC, the idea of a merger was met with an enthusiastic yes. Negotiations proceeded smoothly, culminating in unanimous approvals by both Boards last week.
Read the full press release here: WFA-BBC Merger Press Release 10-30-18
Jerry Radzwilowicz from Colchester, CT was on hand (only the second time in 17 years of boat raffles!) at the WFA’s 35th annual clambake on Sept. 16, 2018 to win this year’s handbuilt Kaholo style paddle board. Jerry has never paddle boarded before, but he’s going to learn now! Congratulations Jerry and thanks to the many others who bought tickets to the raffle and helped us raise money to continue our advocacy work on behalf of the Westport River.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association is pleased to announce two 2018 recipients of $500 scholarships for continuing undergraduate college expenses. Lily Gelinas is a junior, studying Human Resource Management with a minor in Environmental Sustainability at Johnson & Wales University. Connor Brown will begin his sophomore year at University of Rhode Island, studying biomedical engineering with an additional interest in marine science. The WFA applauds these college students for their academic excellence and interest in environmental protection. The WFA recognizes the importance of continuing support for college students and awards continuing education scholarships to students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association recognizes the importance of ongoing support for college students and awards up to three continuing education $500 scholarships a year. The WFA Continuing Education Scholarship is open to incoming college sophomores, juniors and seniors. Undergraduate students can receive an award for up to four years, and do not need to be prior year recipients to apply. Preference is given to applicants with a demonstrated interest in river/environmental protection and history of volunteering with WFA or similar organizations. Applicants must be Westport residents and/or sponsored by a current WFA member in good standing. Additional application criteria and instructions are online at http://westportriver.org/scholarship/ Deadline for submission is July 31, 2018. Awards will be announced in August and check will be disbursed at that time.
Westport Dawning – Opening Reception June 30th
The WFA is pleased to announce ‘Westport Dawning’, a new exhibit showcasing images of the Westport River by the dawn’s early light.
Beautiful large scale photos from Greg Stone will also be accompanied by pictures of the river at risk. A wine & cheese reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibit will be held on Saturday June 30th from 2 to 4 PM at the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station Visitor Center, 241 East Beach Rd. in Westport.
As Greg has said: “… Dawn. It is a time of hope and inspiration – a time of special beauty when the sky takes fire with nature’s light show, all of nature awakens, and the rivers, streams and marshes pulse with life. We need to celebrate that beauty and we need to preserve it. Let us recognize the multitude of the river’s gifts – gifts of spirit, gifts of recreation, and gifts of sustenance – and let us make sure we pass these treasures on down to future generations.”
Although the river and its salt marshes are resilient, they are under siege. With this show we hope you will appreciate the special wonder and value of the river and recognize the threats to its health. Then learn what steps you can take to be a river protector.
‘Westport Dawning’ will be on display at the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station Visitor Center, 241 East Beach Rd. in Westport during the peak summer season, from June 30th to Sept 2nd. The exhibit is FREE and open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12 to 4 pm. The photos as well as photo cards will be available for sale, with all proceeds supporting the WFA’s Clean Water fund.
‘Westport Dawning’ is funded in part by a grant administered by the Westport Cultural Council and funding from the Hanover Group Insurance Foundation.
The popular Westport Summer Passport is back for 2018! It is a fantastic way to take in Westport’s beautiful sights. This year, it’s all about water. Westport looks out on Buzzard’s Bay, and the east and west branches of the scenic Westport River run through its landscape. The town boasts countless ponds, lakes, and brooks. Westport’s long history, economy, culture, natural environment, and leisure activities have been shaped by water. Follow the easy self-guided Passport to experience Westport and all of its glorious water. Take family and friends and have a good time!
Be sure to visit Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station as one of your stops and check out the Westport Dawning photo exhibit on view June 30th to Sept 2nd on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12 to 4.
Download the Summer Passport here: passport2018web
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!