In June 2017, Mass Audubon and the Taunton River Watershed Alliance released Stream Continuity Assessment in the Taunton Watershed a report detailing the findings of more than 500 stream crossing assessments in the Taunton River watershed. The River and Stream Continuity Project was a joint effort of the University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, the Nature Conservancy and American Rivers. The Project developed a system to assess stream crossings and determine the extent to which each one created a barrier to aquatic passage and natural water flow. The database generated an “Aquatic Score” that represented the degree to which that crossing creates a barrier. Crossings were ranked as “severe,” “significant,” “moderate,” “minor” or “insignificant” barriers to passage. The report with its three Appendices are available on the Mass Audubon website.
On July 16th, TRWA, the Mass Wildlife Angler Education Program, and the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation teamed up to create a day of local cultural and natural history. Dozens of Dighton Rock State Park visitors learned about Taunton River biodiversity, explored the Dighton Rock Museum, and got a fishing lesson (and loaner tackle if needed) while enjoying a beautiful day along the river.
Please join us for the TRWA & Friends of Dighton Rock State Park’s 4th Annual Angler Education Day
A free family fishing event at Dighton Rock State Park, Berkley
Sunday, July 16, noon to 3 p.m.
Activities will include:
- Instruction in fishing techniques with staff from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife;
- Seining the river with leaders of TRWA to catch and identify some of the aquatic creatures who live there;
- More learning about fish species with coloring books.
This event is free of charge and everyone is welcome. Bring a bag lunch. Beverages will be provided, as well as all fishing gear.
Dighton Rock State Park is located on Bay View Avenue in Berkley. The Museum will be open to visitors, where you can view the glacial erratic boulder with its mysterious designs of ancient origin.
Don’t forget to visit the What’s Happening – Events section of the website to see the information on upcoming events and urge friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues who you think might be interested to do the same:
- Music in the Grove – Sunday, May 28th, 2-5 at Boyden Refuge;
- Overnight Canoe/Kayak Trip – June 10-11 (or either day as a single day trip);
- Angler Education / Family Fishing Day – Sunday, July 16th at Dighton Rock State Park;
- Annual Watershed Photography Contest – Submission deadline is July 15th (see rules and application on website).
Don’t forget to plan for and participate in the June 10 and 11 Wild and Scenic River Run Canoe and Kayak trip. Participate in both days and the overnight camp out at the historic Camp Titicut Reservation on Beech St in Bridgewater or either day. For more information see the events section of the website or click on the event flyer.
We are pleased to pass along news of some upcoming events from our friends in the lower watershed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
The 2017 TRWA Annual Water Quality Training on Saturday 25, 2017 was a great success! Almost all veteran samplers are staying with the program in 2017 and we enlisted many new enthusiastic volunteers. The program has almost 30 volunteers to cover our existing 19 watershed sampling locations giving us the security of having multiple samplers supporting each location. In addition if TRWA fund raising or grant solicitation is successful we have enough volunteers to add some additional sampling locations.
Our trained volunteers are the Guardians of the Taunton River Watershed knowledgeable about how waters are sampled, our month to month sampling results, what the results mean, the challenges facing the river, and what can be done to improve water quality. They not only take monthly samples the second Tuesday of each month for chemical analysis but are always on alert to take photographs of water quality problems such as algae blooms, excess rooted aquatic plant growth, and extremely depleted tributary and river flows.
Anyone can help by emailing photographs of water quality problems to TRWA at: Director@savethetaunton.org. If sending photos please indicate in your cover email the location, date, and time the photo was taken. You can learn about water quality issues in the watershed, see our 2016 monitoring results and water quality report cards at the Water Quality Monitoring tab on the TRWA website home page.
Become a “Guardian of the Taunton River Watershed“. Join us Saturday, February 25, 2017, 9:45 a.m. to 12 noon for our volunteer monitor training. (In case of inclement weather, the make-up date will be: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9:45 a.m. to 12 noon.) Learn how waters are sampled, what the results mean, the challenges facing the river, and how water quality can be improved.
We are seeking additional volunteers to assist in expanding the water quality monitoring program in the Taunton River and its major tributaries. The training will be held in the Visitors’ Center at the Gertrude M. Boyden Wildlife Refuge, 1298 Cohannet Street, Taunton. Admission is free of charge. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.
Volunteers who sampled sites in previous years must attend this training session for an update on the latest sampling procedures. To give new volunteers additional training in the field, we will be matching newcomers with experienced monitors as we assign team members to specific sites.
The session will be conducted by Steve Silva and Alex Houtzager, Coordinators of TRWA’s Sampling Program. No prior technical experience is necessary what we do is important but not difficult. This is a great opportunity to learn techniques of testing pollutant levels in our waterways and to enjoy dawn with the inhabitants of our rivers and streams.
Sampling at stream sites is done from March to November, depending on the weather, on the 2nd Tuesday morning of each month. Samples are taken to the Taunton Wastewater Treatment Plant for analysis. During the training session, we will verify the sampling sites to be used for testing.
You must be willing to commit about two hours each month to do this testing; however, we hope to have sufficient members on each sampling location team to provide back-up coverage for vacations, illness or other times. On sampling days, we collect samples from designated sites between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. so that the water samples may be delivered to the laboratory at the Taunton Wastewater Treatment Plant by 8:30 a.m.
Your participation will bolster TRWA’s efforts to track water quality at selected sites along the Taunton River and several tributaries. This monitoring program provides important information on the health of the watershed which has informed regulatory activities. Most of all, we want people to be safe, have fun, and learn by participating. For more information go to the TRWA website home page http://savethetaunton.org/ and click on the Water Quality Monitoring Tab.
To register for the training session, e-mail us: Director@savethetaunton.org
Or call the TRWA office at 508-828-1101 for more information. (If you reach
our voice-mail, please leave a message and we will get back to you.)
Taunton River Watershed Alliance
1298 Cohannet Street
Taunton MA 02780
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.
Join us at our Annual Meeting, Saturday, November 5th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Bristol County Agricultural School Auditorium, Dighton, MA.
The evening will feature a presentation on TRWA’s Turtle Conservation Project by biologists Brian Bastarache and Patty Levasseur.
The program will also include recognition of TRWA’s 2016 Water Quality Monitors and a report on recent monitoring results. We will elect officers and directors for the upcoming year and provide updates on other activities. Refreshments will be provided.
The meeting will be held in the auditorium and is open to the public and free of charge.
Winning images from the The Taunton River 2017 Tide Calendar will be displayed and calendars will be available for purchase
Bristol County Agricultural High School is located at 135 Center Street in Dighton.