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Watershed News December 2018

President’s Message
Hi Everybody,
Holiday wishes to all our members. The year is let us know. We will be adding some new activi-
coming to a close and the New Year is just around the ties, so if you have any ideas, again, please contact
corner. It has been a busy year. We had the symposium a board member. We are looking forward to another
in the spring, along with the river cleanup, the film exciting year.
festival, and a day of storm drain labeling in Agawam. WRWA’s membership year runs from January to
Over the summer we had the fish ladder open house, December, and I hope that you’ll use the membership
but the river cruise had to be canceled because the form in this newsletter to renew for 2019!
river was too low. Then we had a lot of rain and the
river was too high, which made activities on the river OUR MEMBERS ARE OUR MOST IMPORTANT
dangerous. The fly fishing clinic was a big success, ASSETS. WITHOUT YOU WE COULD NOT
because we don’t go on or into the river. In the fall, we ACCOMPLISH ALL THAT WE DO. SEE YOU ON
participated in the “Source to Sea” cleanup and spon- THE RIVER!!!!!
sored a second showing of the film festival. At this Bill Rose
time I would like to thank all our members who help WRWA President
or participated in the activities this year.
Now it is time to move forward and plan for the
coming year (2019). Our planning meeting is sched-
uled for the beginning of January. It is the 350-year In This Issue
celebration of the City of Westfield in 2019. We have
been invited to take part in the celebration. If anybody President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
has suggestions for how we can do that, please con- Fall River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
tact a board member. Some of the activities from last
Film Festival, Take Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
year will be repeated: the river cleanups , fish ladder
open house, storm drain labeling and the fly fishing The “Stop Trash Before it Starts” Campaign . . . . 3
clinic to name a few. On a more serious note, some Teaching with Trout, 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
of our board members will be leaving this year due to
moving out of the area etc. If anybody is interested in
Officers and Directors for 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
getting more involved and being on the board, please
Fall River Cleanup
On Saturday, September 29, WRWA held its fall area, where a contingent of Westfield State University
cleanup, in conjunction with the Connecticut River students collected about 20 old paint cans, antifreeze
Conservancy’s annual Source-to-Sea cleanup day. jugs, etc.. The Agawam group picked up 20 bags of
As we’ve been doing for several years now, we had trash, as well as three tires. Access for both was a
two different groups, one starting from Westfield and little limited by high water, as we had rainy weather
covering sites in Westfield, Russell, and Huntington in the days before the cleanup. Even so, it is obvious
and the other starting from the mouth of the river at that we are making a real difference – there’s a lot
Pynchon Point in Agawam and covering the Westfield less trash out there in the river and on its banks than
in that area and the adjacent region of the Connecti- there once was. Thanks to all who get out there and
cut. The Westfield group gathered 31 bags of trash; help us with this project every spring and fall!
one notable site was along the dike and Riverwalk

Film Festival, Take Two

by Mike Young
The South Yuba River Citizens’ League has been We s t f i e l d R i v e r Wa te r s h e d A s s o c i a t i o n &
We s t f i e l d R i v e r W i l d a n d S c e n i c C o m m i t te e p re s e n t s the designation of parts
inviting submission of short films for inclusion in X X T H A N N UA L
of the Westfield River as
their annual film festival for 17 years. The 2019 W H E R E AC T I V I S M G E TS I N S P I R E D “wild and scenic”.
version will be held January 17-21, 2019 in Nevada
Given the success of
City and Grass Valley, CA – not far from the river,
the WRWA-sponsored
which flows off the west slopes of the Sierra Nevada Thursday, March 8 • 2018
events at Westfield
Dever Auditorium, Parenzo Hall at

Mountains northeast of Sacramento (and only about Westfield State University

State, the WRWA Board

Westfield, MA
6:30 – 10 p.m.
30 miles from Paradise, the city that was destroyed by
of Directors voted at
wildfires this past fall).

its October meeting to

For the first time, WRWA and the Westfield River GROUNDSWELL
participate in the festi-
Wild & Scenic Committee participated in the festi- SPonSored BY:
val again in 2019. Brief
XX FIL M S   •    ra F FL e   •    Food  &  d r I nk

Westfield River Watershed Association

The Departments of Geography

val by choosing a selection of entries to be shown at descriptions of the films

& Westfield River Wild and Scenic Committee and Regional Planning and
Environmental Science
For More InFo: • FaCeBook/Westfield river Watershed association

a variety of sites around western Massachusetts last that have been entered
spring. One of those events had to be cancelled due into the festival for 2019
to weather conditions, and we eventually decided to can be found at the SYRCL website. Well over 100
replace that showing with a partial screening (only 6 films have been submitted. Many are fairly short (under
of the original 13 films were included) on Tuesday, 15 minutes), but some are an hour or longer. Part of our
October 23 at Dever Auditorium on the campus of participation will involve selecting some films (total-
Westfield State University. The films were introduced ing roughly 2 hours in combined length) to include in
by Meredyth Babcock and drew an audience of about the local screening. If you find one that you think is
75, including many Westfield State students. particularly interesting, please forward your suggestion
Following the screening, a raffle of sponsor prizes to me at and I’ll pass those
was held and anniversary cake was served! The cake, recommendations along to the committee that will
provided by Cindy DelPapa, was in commemoration make the choices. We anticipate holding the screening
of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wild & sometime in the spring of 2019.
Scenic Rivers Act and also of the 25th anniversary of

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  2  

The “Stop Trash Before it Starts” Campaign
by Mike Young
As you’ve read elsewhere in this newsletter, WRWA areas, and allow for free, easy disposal of unwanted
has continued its sponsorship of local river cleanups tires, reducing the incentive for dumping.
in conjunction with the Connecticut River Conser-
You can join the campaign by adding your name to a
vancy’s (formerly the Connecticut River Watershed
petition, encouraging government, manufacturers and
Council) “Source to Sea” fall cleanup that takes
businesses to take action, on the Connecticut River
place throughout the Connecticut River watershed
Conservancy’s website at
in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New
Hampshire. Although we’ve made some progress in
cleaning up local rivers, it’s clear that trash keeps
showing up, and the Conservancy has launched a
campaign to try to minimize the amounts of trash pro-
duced and its impact on our rivers. Among the most
commonly encountered types of trash at our cleanups
are plastic bags, plastic and metal beverage contain-
ers, styrofoam, and tires.
Many communities in Massachusetts have banned, or
are considering banning, single-use plastic bags. The
Massachusetts Sierra Club has been advocating such
bans for more than a decade, and reports that there are
currently 85 plastic bag bans in place within the Com-
monwealth, with twenty-four of those having been
enacted in 2018 (with Longmeadow being a local
Teaching with Trout, 2019
example). You can do your part by taking your own by Mike Young
re-usable bags when you go grocery shopping or visit WRWA is again sponsoring several local schools’ par-
the convenience store. The Conservancy also notes ticipation in the Teaching with Trout program, over-
that bio-plastics are emerging as a preferred alterna- seen by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and
tive to conventional plastic (whose manufacture uses Wildlife (DFW). This year’s schools are the South
fossil fuels!) – the bio-plastics are compostible, read- Middle School in Westfield and Southwick Middle
ily break down in marine environments, where they School – with two classrooms at each location taking
can act as a food source, and require less energy for part. As always, WRWA is providing the needed
their production than current plastics. equipment – a 29-30 gallon aquarium tank, chiller to
Supporting recycling programs that are easy to keep the tank temperature at 50oF or so, a filtration
use and widely accessible, and eliminating styro- system, and miscellaneous supplies. The brook trout
foam dock supports are other ways to try to reduce eggs (nearly ready to hatch) will be delivered to the
the amount of trash piling up along roadways and schools in early January, and students will monitor the
streams. The illegal disposal of tires could be slowed hatching and development of the young fish until May
by the use of Extended Producer Responsibility or so, when they’ll be released in local streams (with
(EPR) programs, which have been successful in some the approval of MA DFW).

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  3  

Westfield River Watershed Association
P.O. Box 1764 Westfield, Mass. 01086

2019 Membership Application

New or Renewal? (Note: Memberships run Jan.-Dec. Memberships submitted on Oct. 1 or later will be
credited to the next calendar year.)
Street Address:
City/State/Zip: Phone:
(We send email updates re: events to our members, so it’s very helpful to have your email.)

Our newsletter is delivered via email, although those members who had previously requested actual mail will
continue to receive it that way unless or until they tell us different.
Please make check payable to “Westfield River Watershed Association, Inc.”
Send to: WRWA Memberships, P.O. Box 1764, Westfield, MA 01086

Membership Categories (check one):

Individual ($20) Family ($30) Student ($10) Life Member ($300 and up)
Business ($50-100) Corporation ($150-500) Government ($100-300)
Additional Support: If you would like to make an additional contribution
to support WRWA activities, please note the additional amount here: $ .
(Note: WRWA is a 501-c-3 charitable organization. You receive no goods or services in exchange for your
membership, just the satisfaction of caring for your watershed. Membership dues and additional donations
are tax-deductible.)
Get Involved: Please fill out this next section, even if you’ve filled it out in previous years, so we might contact
you about becoming actively involved in the following areas:
River Cleanup Fishway Monitoring Water Quality Studies
Event staffing Open Space Preservation Membership Development
Newsletter, Public relations Serve as Board Member
Other suggestions?

Thank you for your support of the Westfield River Watershed Association.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  4  

Officers and Directors for 2018
President: Bill Rose 39 Sunset Terrace Feeding Hills 01030 786-0195
First Vice President: Brian Conz 999 General Knox Rd., Russell, MA 01071 572-8084
Second Vice President: Allan Ouimet 16 Russell Rd. Westfield 01085 539-0964
Secretary: Mark Damon 297 Western Ave Westfield 01085 977-1577
Treasurer: Mike Young 721 West Rd. Westfield 01085 562-8498
Ann Barone 3 Delancey St, Westfield 01085 374-9799
Tim Judy 37 Mountain Rd. Holyoke 01040 569-9018
Ron Lucassen 39 Rachael Terrace Westfield 01085 568-4252
John A. Pelli 32 Laro Road, Westfield 01085 562-0182
Aaron Reyes Northampton, MA 01060 572-8380
Diane Snyder 6 Park St. Westfield, Ma 562-6126
Phillip Sousa 29 Yankee Circle Westfield 01085 568-3982
Henry Warchol 2 Sackville Road Westfield 01085 562-3467
Honorary Directors:
Dan Call 78 Granville Road, Unit 10, Westfield 01085 364-0993

For more information on WRWA’s activities, check our website at

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  5  

PO Box 1764
Westfield, MA  01086-1764

Westfield River Watershed Association Newsletter
December 2018

In This Issue
President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Fall River Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Film Festival, Take Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The “Stop Trash Before it Starts” Campaign . . . . 3
Teaching with Trout, 2019 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Officers and Directors for 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

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