News

Summer Passport

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/

Events

Gooseberry: The Mystery, The Military, The Magic

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In this illustrated talk, Westport writer/photographer Greg Stone explores the history of Gooseberry Island from its earliest formation to the present, answering such questions as to how many and why the towers were built, when the still controversial causeway came into existence, and what sort of special sights – animal, vegetable, mineral – you might see there. Greg has wandered – and wondered – about the island and its inhabitants since he first visited it half a century ago. He is the author of Gooseberry Journal, a blog about the island, and is the administrator for a popular Gooseberry Page and Facebook Group called Westport’s Gooseberry Island.

Members of the audience are encouraged to bring and share their own memories, photos and souvenirs of this special place.

Co-sponsored by Westport Historical Society & Westport Fishermen’s Association. Suggested donation $5

Events, News

Notorious Shipwrecks off Westport!

New Exhibit. 

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.

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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.

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WFA 2017 Merit Scholarship Winner

 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/

News

Run for the Water Results

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.

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EPA Inaction on Westport TMDLs Prompts Legal Action

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

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Spring 2017 Newsletter released

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.

News, Uncategorized

Salt Marsh Loss Report Released

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

 

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Horseneck Beach Park Interpreter Position Open

Horseneck Beach SR – 2017 Seasonal Park Interpreter Job Posting

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.

Events, News

Road Race Returns on MAY 6TH!

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 5k-3medals 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!  Pb rm tr 100 79a50c9f3b9887d99aea979433acb661e8b92f9a4d771c63eada895661f9dfb8

Details: http://westportriver.org/run-for-the-water