Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 28, 2013 Rockin' with Raptors at the Boston Nature Center

Rockin' with Raptors at the Boston Nature Center

NECWA joined the Boston Nature Center's annual Rockin' with Raptors festival. We had a great time today and really enjoyed being a part of this fabulous event.

Thanks to NECWA interns Sherel and Maggie for their wonderful help and assistance over the course of the festival. And thanks to Jamie, Krill's son, for all his amazing help as well.

NECWA was able to offer three different activities at our table. One activity was focused on origami. Here kids could make their own origami whale or ocean sunfish. Once decorated with stickers and markers, the kids could take them home for their enjoyment.

The second activity was looking at all our fun display items including whale bones, whale baleen, shark jaws and ocean sunfish bones. Kids of all ages loved looking at all these neat whale artifacts.

Our third activity called "Beach Treasure Hunt" was the favorite of festival participants. Here kids could dig through sand to find a number of treasures including fossil shark teeth, sea glass and shells of all varieties. Once the children found their treasures, they were invited to take them home with them.

Great day, incredible steel drum music and wonderful people. Can't wait for next year's event!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21, 2013 - Successful Beach Cleanup at Scusset Beach State Reservation

NECWA staff members Leah, Jane, Mary and Tammy.
Squid egg cases. 

Beach Cleanup at Scusset Beach

We had a very successful beach cleanup this morning down at Scusset Beach State Reservation. Over 20 people joined us to help pick up the beach trash along the shores of Scusset Beach, a beautiful sandy beach at the mouth of the Cape Cod Canal. Joining us for this events were students from Bourne High School and Mass Maritime Academy as well as member of the general public. Kids young and old helped NECWA staff and interns pick up and record the type of marine debris that washed up on the beach. 

Mass Maritime making a difference. 
Mass Maritime students helping out. 
This beach cleanup is part of a larger effort through COASTSWEEP, the Massachusetts-wide coastal cleanup that occurs during September and October. And our beach cleanup at Scusset Beach is in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Captain John Boats and Plymouth Whale Watch.

COASTSWEEP cleanups are organized by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each fall, thousands of volunteers collect tons of trash from beaches, marshes, riverbanks and the seafloor. These cleanups are part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. Last year alone, 2,588 volunteers cleaned 139 miles of coastline, collecting more than seven tons of trash.

Bringing in the trash for weighing. 
Once everyone signed in and grabbed their gear, small clusters of volunteers headed down the boardwalk to the water's edge. It was such a beautiful morning with clear skies and warm temperatures that everyone was excited to get to work.

Putting on protective gloves. =
Perhaps smaller sized gloves would be best?
During the cleanup effort, we found some pretty interesting items, including a half case of water and a number of broken beach chairs. And some of our younger participants even found some interesting looking bones.

The most interesting item we saw this morning were squid cases floating in the rack at the water's edge. Each sac was filled with thousands of squid eggs. Everyone loved looking at the different cases that were attached to one another. When placed back in the water, this clump of egg sacs looked a bit like a flower as it floated away on the tide. Soon it was time to wrap things up at the beach and head back to the snack bar for some fun and refreshments. 

Squid egg cases attached to one another. 
NECWA's annual beach cleanup at Scusset Beach would not be possible without the support of John DeCosta, Park Supervisor. John and his staff do a wonderful job maintaining the park, year round, for visitors who enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the area. Thanks John for all you do, especially your efforts during our beach clean at Scusset Beach State Reservation.

John DeCosta, driving the beach to collect the marine debris.
Krill and John heading back with a load of beach trash!
One of my favorite activities during the beach cleanup is hitching a ride with John in the Kabota as we drive down the beach to pick up trash bags and heavy debris items from cleanup participants. Wish NECWA had one of these neat vehicles. This Kabota would come in quite handing when checking the beaches for standed ocean sunfish! What fun!

Another favorite part of this event is having the chance to spend quality time with so many amazing people who truly care about the environment. Everyone had fun working together to pull over 200 pounds of trash from the beach. Wow! Nicely done everyone!

Krill and Dominica. 
After our cleanup effort, participants joined NECWA staff and interns for a delicious lunch and then a free nature raffle. Lots of gifts and nature-themed items were raffled for free to thank our participants for joining us this morning. Thanks to Capt. John Boats and Plymouth Whale Watch for the guest whale watching tickets they provided for the raffle. And thanks to the National Marine Life Center for their raffle gift of a free tour of their facility and a travel mug.

Raffle loot!

NECWA would like to thank our sponsors including Capt. John Boats and Plymouth Whale Watch. And we thank all the NECWA staff and interns to volunteered their time for this event including: Tiffany, Leah, Tammy, Mary, Anna, Maggie, Marianne, Cathy, Dominca, Jessica and Jane. And thank you to Pat from RSVP for helping out at the information table and on the beach.

Thanks also to all the amazing people who joined us on the beach today. We had a great time and hope you did as well. We hope to see everyone on the beach next season for our fall Scusset Beach 2014 cleanup!