The Westport Fishermen’s Association is pleased to announce five 2017 recipients of $500 scholarships for continuing undergraduate college expenses. George Sturges of Tiverton, RI is entering his sophomore year at Lehigh University. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and taking additional courses in Sustainable Development. Lily Gelinas is studying Human Resource Management with a minor in Environmental Sustainability at Roger Williams University. Reaghan Tripp is entering her sophomore year at Ohio State University, where she is studying health sciences. Andrew Ronan, a rising senior from Westport, is majoring in Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management at Paul Smith College in the Adirondack Mountains. Last year he developed a recreational plan focused on protecting the natural environment of a nearby property as a capstone project. Westport native Melinda Tripp will be a senior at UMass Dartmouth, where she is majoring in Marketing. In the spring she studied in Thailand, where she volunteered to help preserve the environment by planting mangrove trees. The WFA applauds these college students for their academic excellence and interest in environmental protection.
Labor Day has come and gone, but the fall still has many gorgeous days to enjoy. Come for a visit to the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station during our fall hours on Wednesdays from 12 to 4 pm and by appointment. The Notorious Shipwrecks off Westport! exhibit has been extended through mid October. Our thanks go to the local divers who has extended their loan of shipwreck artifacts: Erik Takakjian, Brad Hotte, Neal Venancio, Moe Leger, Scott Ciardi and John Conway.
Check out a new video about the Notorious Shipwrecks Off Westport! exhibit that was narrated by Tanja Ryden. Our thanks go to Irene Buck at Westport Cultural Council for arranging the taping and to Westport Community TV and cameraman/editor John Rezendes.
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 to students entering their sophomore, junior or senior year. Undergraduate students can receive an award for up to four years, and need not be prior year recipients to apply. The application can be found here: WFA-ContinuingEducationScholarship
The WFA Continuing Scholarship awards will be announced in August and checks will be disbursed at that time.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association is pleased to announce Connor Brown has received the WFA $650 Merit scholarship for 2017. This award is based on academic and civic excellence.
Connor is a 2017 graduate of Westport High School and he plans to attend the University of Rhode Island, majoring in biomedical engineering. In addition to being President of the National Honor Society, Connor challenged himself with numerous AP courses during his high school career. He is active in the community and a three sport athlete, as well as lifeguard at Horseneck State Beach. In addition, he performed a field study on the Westport River for his senior biology project, testing for the amount of nitrates and phosphates present in the water.
The Board of Directors would like to extend their congratulations and wish Connor much success in the future. In addition, the WFA would also like to recognize and thank all of our generous members, sponsors and community friends who contribute to our scholarship fund throughout the year.
In addition to the merit scholarship to graduating high school students, the Westport Fishermen’s Association also awards continuing scholarships to support students throughout their college career. More information is available on the WFA website at http://westportriver.org/scholarship/
The Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) and the Westport Fisherman’s Association (WFA) filed a 60-day Notice of their Intent to Sue U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) for their failure of perform their nondiscretionary duty to approve or disapprove the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Westport Rivers Estuary within the statutorily-mandated time period. The TMDL is a CWA-required cleanup plan designed to reduce nitrogen pollution and restore water quality in the rivers.
Read the full notice: PressRelease-WestportTMDLNoticetoSueEPA042717
Our spring newsletter has been mailed to all current members and is now available online. Check out all the latest news and event information. We have the Road Race coming up and then a shipwreck exhibit at the Lifesaving Station this summer.
Advocacy updates, the latest new catch, information about river herring, and photos from the annual meeting are also featured, along with columns from Cap’n Cukie and WFA President Jack Reynolds.
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 state DCR has posted a seasonal job opening for Horseneck State Beach Park Interpreter for the summer of 2017 (June to Labor Day weekend). Duties include staffing the WFA’s Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station. Check out the job description above and contact Amy Wilmot at [email protected] for more information.
The Westport River salt marsh study is in full swing. One round of field sampling has been completed. To document the marsh losses that seem to be accelerating this
summer, a volunteer will take drone aerial photographs of the specific test sites we have selected for comparison to historical satellite photos dating back to 1938.
Our intern, Molly Weiner, will be staying on a few extra weeks to do additional data analysis and interpretation, so we are looking to raise more funds to continue to pay her a stipend. Donations welcome! Online at www.westportriver.org/donate/ or by mail to WFA, PO Box 83, Westport Point, MA 02791.