On November 5th we celebrated our 2016 accomplishments at the TRWA Annual Meeting! Joseph Callahan TRWA president thanked the many members present and gave a brief synopsis of 2016 highlights. Joe was pleased to extend a warm welcome to our special guests Mayor Thomas Hoye, and the student from Friedman Middle School in Taunton who received a Special Achievement Award.
The membership unanimously approved the proposed slate or TRWA Director nominees and we welcomed Rachel Thibeault of Brockton as out newest Director. Jen O’Keefe long time TRWA Calendar coordinator volunteer introduced the 2017 TRWA Tide Calendar, and the winners of this years photography contest. We are always very proud of this useful popular calendar, see our website for information on how to order your 2017 calendar or call our office to see if we still have copies for pick up!
Steve Silva thanked the monitoring volunteers and described the very high level of volunteer support in 2016 which produced our most complete data set in years. Steve presented a brief PowerPoint presentation (also available on the Monitoring Tab of our website if you click the sample bottles picture) summarizing the extremely high levels of in-stream nitrogen measured; sadly many times over what any reasonable target (sometimes called a water quality criterion) might be for a river that flows to an estuary. The hope is wastewater treatment plant upgrades currently in the works and better application of nitrogen fertilizers will bring nitrogen in the estuary down to environmentally protective levels in 4 to 6 years.
The featured presentation was the report by Patty Levasseur, the Biologist in charge of the TRWA supported monitoring of “Turtles in Assonet Bay”. We learned a great deal from this study including where and when to sample and optimum collection techniques. This information will be invaluable for conduct of a follow-up study in 2017. The goal of the project is to determine to what extent these turtles are endangered and if they are threatened what measures can help them.
After the meeting members had fun touring the Bristol County Agricultural High School’s fascinating museum and biology exhibits.