The member-supported Buzzards Bay Coalition advocates for clean water and coastal preservation, and never has advocacy been so much fun!
The Coalition has created a lollapalooza of activities and programs that bring people together, get them out into nature and involve them in preserving our magical Bay and the lands around it. They’ve tapped into the community’s passion-for-place and rewarded it with first-class outlets to learn about the Bay and watershed up close, participate in its care, and share its wonders with each other and the next generation. “The more people grow to know and love something, the more inspired they’ll be to protect it,” says Erin Ban, Outreach Assistant at the Coalition.
Beyond the Coalition’s fun-filled swims, bike rides, road races and clambakes and alongside its outdoor exploration and kid’s programs, the organization always maintains its core focuses: science, advocacy, conservation and education.
Identifying and countering the forces that threaten Buzzard Bay’s fragile ecosystem is serious work. But at the Coalition, even serious science is made fun. Their Baywatchers Program involves 160 volunteers taking water samples at over 200 coastal monitoring stations in 30 harbors, coves, and rivers. Being a Baywatcher is a point of pride and an opportunity to make a difference while connecting with like-minded friends along the way. “Our Baywatchers are so enthusiastic and dedicated.” says Erin. “Here at the Coalition, late spring into summer is lovingly referred to as ‘Baywatchers Season.’”
The samples are analyzed for dissolved oxygen, salinity, clarity, temperature and bacteria, and the results identify trouble before it takes hold so the Coalition can work with coastal communities to develop solutions. Since the Coalition is now in its 35th year, those solutions are everywhere you look around the Bay and its watershed.
Currently, the Coalition has launched a collaborative effort to identify pollution sources in New Bedford’s Buttonwood Brook and Darmouth’s Apponagansett Bay. They’re also conducting experiments with runnels, a new technique to mitigate impacts of sea level rise in local salt marshes. Finally, a recently released report supported by over five years of research, engineering and technical assessments finds that a highly effective regional wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) in Wareham discharging to the Cape Cod Canal is a promising alternative for improving water quality for the region.
It’s comforting to know that the Coalition’s scientists, staff, members, and volunteers are standing watch over this precious place so that local families and visitors can experience the natural beauty and soul-soothing solitude that so many of us cherish. It’s a grateful community that walks their many preservation trails and enjoys events that have become welcoming local traditions.
Their website clearly outlines opportunities to join their community. Learn about events, hiking trails, educational nature programs, kid’s camps and so much more on their website: www.savebuzzardsbay.org.