Volunteers Bob & Barbara Hunt, Retire After Years of Service

 
Thank you to Bob and Barbara Hunt for their years of water quality testing. They are long-time valued volunteers for TRWA’s Water Quality Monitoring Program and are retiring from testing as of this spring.
 
Steve Silva, program coordinator, says, “the Hunts were dedicated and reliable water quality monitoring volunteers long before I started with the program. Thanks to them, we have a long and complete data set on water quality conditions in the lower Taunton River main stem and the lower Three Mile River, both crucial areas. This data has been important to our efforts to lobby for treatment plant and stormwater management upgrades to improve water quality in the Taunton River.”
 
 
 

May be an image of 1 person, standing and outdoors

 
Bob is shown here at one of the 3 sites he and his wife Barbara sampled monthly from April -October for many years. The Hunts sampled at the Berkley Bridge (TNT-01), Plain St. (TNT-02, near Riverfront Park at the Weirs), and Three Mile River 01 (TMR-01,  the most downstream and tidal site on the Three Mile River).  The locations they sampled provided important data to access the lower Taunton River and upper Mount Hope Bay Estuary.
 
To understand the importance of their work, go to:
 
 
 

 

If you are interested in becoming a water testing volunteer, go here: https://savethetaunton.org/get…/volunteer-opportunities/

New volunteers attend a training seminar before the testing season begins and, as often as possible, are paired with experienced teams when they begin. The Hunts and our volunteers are at the forefront of learning about the conditions of our Watershed’s water quality.
 

Announcing the Photographers of our 2023 Tide Calendar

 

This year’s Tide Calendar Photographers are:

Cover

“Blue Eyed Lady,” TRWA Watershed Center, Dighton, MA – Ellenor Simmons

January: 

“Taunton River Snow Scene,” Berkley, MA – William Gibson

February:  

“If Peaceful was a Photo,” Sweets Knoll State Park, Dighton, MA – Kathleen Tasca

March:

“Reflections at Memorial Park,” Taunton, MA – Kerri Deptula

April:  
“Forest Adventure,” Woodward Forest, Norton, MA – Gloria Bancroft

May: 

“I Look Pretty Darn Good,” Tamarack Park, Lakeville, MA – Mohamad Ojjeh

June: 

“Sunset Bay Shores,” Assonet, MA – Adam Baker

July: 

“Riding Along the River,” Fall River, MA – Kerri Deptula

August: 

“Snails, Insects and Worms, oh my! Macroinvertebrate Workshop,” War Memorial Park, W. Bridgewater, MA – Sally Spooner 

September: 

“Taunton River Golden Hour,” Berkley, MA – Ruth Langlan

October:  

“October on the Snake River,” Lakeville, MA – Sally Spooner

November: 

“Cooper’s Hawk,” Taunton, MA – Anna O’Keefe

December: 

“Winter Skies are Anything but Bland,” Taunton River, Somerset, MA – Kathleen Tasca 

 

The calendar also features the photographic work of: Kathie Wing and Jennifer O’Keefe

                    

Calendars will be available for $20 at TRWA’s Watershed Center at Sweets Knoll State Park starting November 4th.  Please call ahead at 508-828-1101 for times when the Center will be open.  A limited number of calendars will be available for a discounted price of $15 at the TRWA’s Annual Meeting on November 12th at Bristol County Agricultural High School from 4PM-7PM. 

Calendars are always available print-on-demand. The TRWA is excited to use all the options of this new technology. The print-on-demand calendars can be printed from any month of the year with the tide data from the Taunton River or any other of the 3,500 NOAA tide stations. Or, if you like to write appointments onto your calendar, you can order a calendar printed without the tide data. People purchasing the calendar can even customize their calendar with their own photographs. Half the proceeds from the online $19.95 purchase price goes directly to the TRWA to support its ongoing mission protecting and restoring the Taunton River watershed, its tributaries, wetlands, floodplains, river corridors and wildlife.

To order our TIDE calendar, follow this link: http://www.calendarlink.org/trwa/home.html.

For a step by step guide on navigating the customizations of the order form, click on this link.  how_to_order_online_flier

2023 commemorates 35 years that the TRWA has been a voice for the river, an advocate for environmental protection, sustainable development and responsible stewardship of our precious water resources. We are an Alliance of concerned residents, businesses, and organizations united to restore and properly manage water and related natural resources within the Taunton River Watershed.  Your purchase of our calendar helps to support our work.  Thank you!

                     

    

How to celebrate World Turtle Day…

World Turtle Day was started in 1990 by the American Tortoise Rescue organization to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.   At the Taunton River Watershed Alliance (TRWA) we like to celebrate World Turtle Day the best way possible, by releasing head-started threatened Northern Diamondback Terrapins back into the wild. 

The Bristol Aggie NRM Junior Class getting ready to measure their charges one more time before release

The TRWA is working with the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to conduct a population study: a multi-year project looking at the numbers, age and distribution of the Diamondback in the Taunton River Watershed.  All work is conducted under a State Endangered Species Permit and will ultimately help the State manage and conserve this threatened species.  This spring will be the seventh year that TRWA volunteers have collected, documented, tagged and released individual Diamondback Terrapins in the Taunton River Watershed.  To date, 299 terrapins have been tagged.  For the last two years, two private property owners have allowed TRWA volunteers access to their land to collect and tag females after nesting.   In 2021, four nests were screen protected to prevent predators from eating the nests.  Half of the hatchlings that came from those four nests were released in August and the other half were sent to be head-started at the Natural Resources Management (NRM) Department at the Bristol County Agricultural High School (BCAHS.)

Head-starting is a conservation practice that helps dwindling turtle species.  Eggs or hatched young are raised for a season in artificial, protected conditions to give them a “head start.”  When released, they are often large enough to escape any further predation. 

These turtles believe it or not are the same age

At BCAHS, the 19 hatchlings were assigned to NRM Head Start project managers Grace Jackson, Faithanne Lackie, and Shanna McCarty.  Wild Diamondback Terrapins normally spend the winter in a semi-dormant state.  But Jackson, Lackie, and McCarty spent all of their senior year trying to trick the hatchlings into thinking it was summer and eating as much as they possibly could.  Faithanne Lackie, who will be attending Bridgewater State University in the fall, said the greatest challenge was the unknown.  The three girls could tell several head starts were ailing. Despite their attempts to change temperatures, diet, and care, four terrapins died. Shanna McCarty, who will be studying to be a Water Quality Technician at Bristol Community College, said they didn’t know whether it was illness or infection or malnutrition.  She holds up a tiny terrapin with the number 18 painted on its shell with bright pink nail polish.  Its as small as the day it arrived and clearly has not responded to all their doting care.  Right next to number 18, Grace Jackson, who will be studying Marine Biology and Aquaculture/Aquarium Science at Roger Williams University in the fall, holds up #1, which has thrived and is as big as her fist.  “It was exciting getting to watch them grow.” 

Bristol Aggie NRM Seniors Faithanne Lackie, Shanna McCarty, and Grace Jackson

On Friday, May 20th, National Endangered & Threatened Species Day, the three girls packed up their charges in bins with damp burlap to be sent back to the beaches where they hatched.  They were joined by fellow NRM students, TRWA Terrapin Study volunteers, and the private landowners to send 5 of the head-start terrapins off.  On Sunday, the 22nd, the remaining 9 were released in a second location.  Head-start #1 and #13 were big enough to be pit tagged.   Will #1 and #13 survive to return in seven years to lay a nest where their mother did?  Many of the volunteers that day hope so. 

Newly released head start heads towards freedom

Click here for a short video clip of one of the newly released head starts doing what Diamondbacks do best: IMG_3147

Test Announcement

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla efficitur tristique iaculis. Nullam efficitur quam ut nunc faucibus sagittis. Suspendisse tempus ligula ac malesuada tincidunt.

Suspendisse blandit enim facilisis, iaculis ligula eu, lobortis elit. Etiam commodo erat diam, at cursus massa blandit non. Cras quis cursus neque.

Upcoming Events Sponsored by Our Friends at Quequechan River Rail Trail (QRRT) and Fall River Street Tree Planting Program (FRSTPP)

We are pleased to pass along news of some upcoming events from our friends in the lower watershed.

QRRT

April 19 from 3:15 to 5:15

Come walk and learn about the QRRT (Quequechan River Rail Trail) and the history of the mills along the trail and the people that worked in them.

April 22nd from 9 -12

Earth Day River Clean UP  

contact: Julie Kelly at jkelly@fallriverma.org

FRSTPP

SATURDAY, APRIL 22ND

8:30 AM  North Park, Fall River 

Earth Day Clean-up         

Tree Planting at BCC (TBA)

FRIDAY, APRIL 28TH  – ARBOR DAY!

11 AM Greater Fall River Children’s Museum

Mayor’s Proclamation and Tree Plantings

FRIDAY, APRIL 28TH  – ARBOR DAY!

3:30 PM Fall River Public Library

Children’s Room: Please register for a

Reading and Craft Activity!

SATURDAY, MAY 6th

North Park and Highland Avenue

9:30 – 11 AM Tree Walk and ID 

with the FR Garden Club  and FRSTPP, Inc.

and . . .    10 community street plantings throughout the spring.

In April, we will begin planning our 2nd educational workshop, our ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF TREES, an outdoor workshop for families.  

We welcome your participation and ideas.

contact: MaryAnn Wordell (508) 679–8887