Where the Land Meets the Sea: Working to Restore and Maintain the Health of the Buzzards Bay Watershed

Thank you to all presenters and participants for contributing to the success of this 2015 lecture series.

A three-part series of Wednesday evening lectures by environmentalists presented by the Whaling Museum and Buzzards Bay Coalition. Each evening began with a 6 p.m. Reception, 6:30 p.m. Lectures and Discussions


Restoring Rivers and Estuaries, Native Fish and Shellfish

Wednesday, March 25
Moderator: Tom Gidwitz

The evening’s presenters included:

Sara N. da Silva Quintal, Restoration Ecologist, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Sara discussed the Acushnet River Restoration Project, and how, through dam removal, riverbank restoration, invasive plant management and other practices, the River’s herring population has increased 27x, and a former lumber yard and abandoned industrial complex has been transformed into a 19-acre park that will open to the public this summer.

Jon Kachmar, Coastal Program Director, The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts
Jon talked about TNC’s SouthCoast Shellfish Restoration Project which aims to restore 5,000 acres of native shellfish species, including oysters and scallops, and their habitats by the year 2050.

Steve Hurley, Southeast District Manager, Mass Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
Steve described the Red Brook Trout Restoration Project, which hopes to restore one of the few remaining salter brook trout streams in Eastern Massachusetts. The project entails tagging research, small dam removals and wetland restoration in a headwaters cranberry bog.


Restoring the Water Quality of Buzzards Bay

Wednesday, April 1

The evening’s presenters included:

Guy Campinha, Director of Water Pollution Control, Wareham Wastewater Treatment Facility
Guy spoke about innovative methods devoted to improving the treatment of wastewater, and projects that are addressing nitrogen reduction, including the construction of new facilities and requirements.

Eric Turkington, Chairman, Falmouth Water Quality Management Committee
Eric discussed the problem of cesspools and septic leaching fields leaching excessive nitrogen into the estuaries, and described a project designed to supplement or replace these with innovative/alternative nitrogen-reducing systems.

Joe Costa, Executive Director, Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program
Joe addressed the problem of stormwater, excess nitrogen, and their effects on marine life as well as promising projects and programs underway to reduce and treat stormwater.

Rachel Jakuba, Science Director, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Rachel reviewed the problem of fertilizer-related nutrients released from cranberry bogs, and how BBC and the cranberry industry are working together to determine how these nutrients, which can add to the Bay’s problem of excess nitrogen, might be reduced.


Restoring an Urban Harbor: New Bedford Harbor

Wednesday, April 8

The evening’s presenters included:

Ginny Lombardo, EPA, Team Leader, New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site
Ginny addressed the extent of the PCB contamination in the Harbor and what the EPA is doing to remove contaminated sediments, including dredging, processing of dredged sediment for off-site disposal, construction of Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cells for containment of contaminated sediment, and other cleanup plans.

Jeff Stieb, Port Director, New Bedford Harbor Development Commission
Jeff spoke about restoring the Harbor’s water quality, specifically the removal of oil introduced by “mystery spills” from ships and other sources, and promising solutions that are being tested by the New Bedford Oil Pollution Prevention Pilot Project.

Mark Rasmussen, President, Buzzards Bay Coalition
Mark reviewed the problem of sewage from a variety of sources that continue to impact the Harbor’s water quality, and the encouraging number of projects currently underway that offer better ways of treating and disposing of sewage and other contaminants entering the harbor.


Registration per lectures:
Free  Whaling Museum and Buzzards Bay Coalition Members
$10  Non Members
$5  Student
Free with ID  UMASS/BCC Student 

All lectures took place at the Whaling Museum.

Last modified: August 26, 2016