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Waquoit Bay Reserve Watershed System

Waquoit Bay Reserve Watershed System

The Waquoit Bay Reserve is part of a nation-wide network of protected areas established for long-term research, monitoring, education and coastal stewardship; collectively called the  National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). As a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Reserve provides research and education programs of relevance to its local and regional communities. To learn more about the work of visiting scientists, the resources the Reserve protects, education and training programs,  and other community-based activities, visit the Waquoit Bay Reserve.

In these difficult economic times, the Reserve’s public funding is shrinking while the need for its research and education programs is growing:

  • Wastewater threatens Cape Cod’s bays and ponds, and towns are grappling with how to deal with the issue in a fair and affordable way.
  • Sea level rise, increasing storms, and flooding threaten coastal communities and towns are looking for help in how to face and prepare for these issues.
  • Children are becoming less connected to nature. Will they care as much about clean water, fish and wildlife as their parents?
  • People want information about what they can do to make a difference.
  • Scientists are studying everything from how nitrogen affects commercial fish species to how sea level rise will affect salt marshes and why that matters. But they need background data, logistical support and facilities to do it efficiently.
  • The Reserve’s facilities are outdated and inadequate. In the 20 years since the Reserve was founded, staff has doubled, programs have been added, and technology has been transformed, yet its infrastructure has remained virtually unchanged. The Reserve has significant capital needs to provide facilities to meet the needs of its different audiences.

There is much work to be done, and the Waquoit Bay Reserve is uniquely poised to do it. The Reserve has the site, the knowledge, and the experience. But they have a small staff and outdated facilities. The Waquoit Bay Reserve Foundation supports the Reserve through fundraising and volunteers. By supporting us, you support the Reserve and the great work they do.