Spring Excursion – Seabird & Whale Tale Trip

Join the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) for an all day marine excursion to view seabirds, whales, dolphins, basking sharks and ocean sunfish along the Mass coast, Sunday, June 13 from 8-4.  NECWA is a volunteer, non-profit organization.  All trip proceeds go to support marine wildlife research, education and conservation.

Enjoy our guided wildlife commentary by David Clapp (Natural History Services), Jim Sweeney (South Shore Bird Club) and Joanne Jarzobski (Capt. John Boats). Travel aboard the “Tails of the Sea”, a 110’ luxury commercial whale-watching vessel owned and operated by Capt. John Boats (www.captjohn.com).

Leave from the Plymouth Town Pier at 8 am and return by 4 pm. While offshore, we will conduct a plankton tow and demonstrations, chumming for seabirds and a free onboard nature raffle.

Tickets: Pre-Sale $90 and then $100 after May 31, 2010.  Go to www.necwa.org to download the registration form.  Space is limited to ensure lots of viewing room along the rail.  Group rates available.  For more trip information, call Krill at 508-566-0009.

This marine adventure is an annual fundraising event for NECWA and supports marine wildlife education, research and conservation in the New England area.  Assistance provided by Capt. John Boats, Mass Audubon South Shore Sanctuaries,  South Shore Bird Club, Natural History Services and Bridgewater State College.

Program on SEANET and Common Eider Die-offs

Drs. Julie Ellis and Sarah Courchesne from SEANET will be at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, December 5, at 2:00pm to talk about the SEANET program, meet current and prospective Cape volunteers, and present their latest findings on eider die-offs.  This program is FREE and open to the public.  At 1:00pm that same afternoon there will be a special showing of the film The Dark Side of the Loon, which highlights issues facing loons on their coastal wintering grounds. As part of Wellfleet Bay’s Winter Lecture Series, the film is free with sanctuary admission. Call 508-349-2615 for more information.

This fall, as in years past, the bodies of dead Common Eider, large black and white sea ducks, can be found littering the tide line of local beaches. This phenomenon has been recorded since the 1950s, but scientists are only recently starting to study and understand the factors behind these deaths. While Common Eider populations are still considered high, there is some evidence that their numbers are dropping. It is unknown if these annual die-offs reflect a larger problem.  Much of this research work has been done through the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET), based at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. SEANET is an ongoing project assessing seabird mortality along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Its goals are to pinpoint threats to marine bird populations, work collaboratively to alleviate those threats, engage the public in ocean research and conservation, and understand what seabirds can tell us about the state of our oceans. SEANET depends on a network of volunteers along the Atlantic coast; over 100 citizen scientists volunteer to walk an assigned stretch of beach once or twice a month, record environmental data and report both dead and live birds seen on the beach. New volunteers are always welcomed.  More information on SEANET

Cynthia Franklin

Volunteer Coordinator

Mass Audubon/Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

PO Box 236

South Wellfleet, MA 02663

508-349-2615 x 101; fax 508-349-2632

email: cfranklin@massaudubon.org

website: http://www.massaudubon.org

news blog: http://massaudubonblogs.typepad.com/wellfleetbaynews/

Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts

Follow a Teacher’s Expedition to the Bering Sea

Tom Harten, a teacher with the CHESPAX environmental education program of the Calvert County Public Schools in Maryland, will travel to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea as part of the PolarTREC program, a project that partners teachers with scientists conducting polar research in both the arctic and in Antarctica. Starting on July 15, Harten’s month-long project will investigate the impact of climate change on seabirds nesting on these remote islands. He will post journal entries from the field as video and audio podcasts and answer questions from students and teachers.