2015 - Our last public meeting of the year was October 5, 7 PM at the New Testament Church in Cedarville.

“Creating and Managing Landscapes More in Harmony with our Fragile Environment”Michael Talbot of Environmental Landscape Consultants and Talbot Ecological Land Care, a highly respected and very entertaining speaker, presented. Mr. Talbot focused on ecological landscape design, lawn care and land use for our ponds and Pine Barrens Eco-region, including designing for sustainability with reduced use of water and fertilizers, and organic and low impact lawn care. He gave tips on what homeowners can do in the Fall to better manage their property in harmony with Watershed water quality and the natural environment. Visit Michael's website Education Corner at <http://www.talbotecolandcare.com/education-corner/> and click to download his "Principles of Ecological Landscaping".

Good news: 2014 Bournedale Herring count was up 10% from 2013 to 278,134 according to Tim Mullen, Bourne Director of Natural Resources. Alewives: 213,539; Bluebacks: 64,595.

The count for 2015 however dipped lower by about 14% (40,000 fish) to 239,169.

2016: Down again (by 40% from last year) to 144,963!!!

2016 - HPWA Meeting May 16
Our first public meeting of 2016 was Monday, May 16 at 7:00pm. Sharl Heller, President of the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance and Co-coordinator for the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership discussed why many scientists believe the Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction and what plants and animals in our area are at risk. She explained how building a Regional Conservation Partnership can help conserve the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens, one of the most imperiled eco-regions in the world.

News Archive

26 Volunteers Counted the 2015 River Herring Run
May 2: The Kentucky Derby and Full "Flower" or "Corn Planting" Moon finally got our run going. 29 herring in 10 minutes recorded by Amy Heine and crew at our Little Sandy Pond Rd bridge counting station!

May 18: Herring still coming into GHP, with some dropping back down, mission accomplished.

May 27: Statistical design means we keep monitoring and recording even when we see zero!

June 6: Count period ended - all volunteers submit data sheets to the coordinator.

A general public meeting of HPWA was held Monday, July 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM in Cedarville.
Note: the Plymouth Planning Board Public Hearing continuance on LHP VOSD (proposed 10-home development opposed by HPWA) set for this same date was continued to September 21st, allowing for further negotiation toward town purchase with CPC funds.

HPWA education and outreach hosted a kids' activity table at Pine Fest in Myles Standish State Forest May 30. We provided materials for kids to decorate-a-herring in celebration of our "significant nexus": Our watershed's Area of Critical Environmental Concern, with its significant anadromous river herring run, connects the globally rare Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens to the sea, and marine commercial fisheries, at the Cape Cod Canal. Our super hero comic of the mighty river herring, Run, Herring Run, went to many households that day!

5/18/15: First HPWA General Public Meeting of the year  was held at 7:00 PM at New Testament Church, 1120 Long Pond Rd, Cedarville.

4/10/15: Lou-Anne Conroy, Plymouth South High School teacher, has created a student study guide to accompany our HPWA Watershed Stewardship Guide and graciously offers it to other teachers. View or download it here or on our Education and Outreach page.

The Town of Plymouth now has a ParkWatchReport site for reporting incidents of illegal activities, safety concerns and maintenance issues.  Click on the "File a Report" button, log your observations and upload the date, time, location and photos via your smart phone, tablet or computer. Here is a handy image you can print and carry with you:

Add May 30 to your calendar to attend Pine Fest at Charge Pond in Myles Standish State Forest. HPWA will be there...our ACEC uplands are part of a globally rare Pine Barrens remnant...continually diminishing to development. We are joining with SEMPBA to endorse a Regional Pine Barrens Conservation Partnership to protect this legacy for future generations.

View HPWA's call for orders for our Run, Herring, Run superhero comic on the River Herring Network blog and the Pew Trust's Herring Alliance Facebook page.

Visit Plimoth Plantation's 2nd Annual Herring Run webpage and plan to be there with HPWA (and help with our activity table) on April 25 & 26 at the Grist Mill.

HPWA is now the 100th member of the Pew Charitable Trust Herring Alliance.

Join HPWA on April 6 at 7 PM at The Spire Center for the Plymouth Open Space Committee's forum: "How Can I Help? Preserving Natural Plymouth.

The Planning Board's March 9, 2015 scheduled continuance of the public hearing on the Little Herring Pond Rd 10-home development proposal is continued to April 27 to allow for progress on joint party appraisal and possible town purchase with CPA funding. Check back for updates. The April 27 hearing is expected to be continued to allow negotiations to proceed.

Registration is now open for the Watershed Action Alliance's Future of Water Conference Friday, April 24, 2015 at Plimoth Plantation. HPWA is a sponsor, Lee Pulis will moderate the Outreach panel session, and we will host kid's activities Saturday and Sunday at the Plantation's 2nd annual Herring Run Festival. Register now to attend! Volunteer to help!

Our HPWA President, Brian Harrington, "...literally wrote the book on red knots...", Cape Cod Times, 1-11-15

At our general public meeting held Monday, October 6, 2014 Geri Williams presented the award-winning Plymouth Garden Club slide program on the three environmental treasures left by receding glaciers 12,000 years ago: the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer; the Coastal Plain Ponds; and the Atlantic Pine Barrens ecosystem.

RE: Proposed Triangle-Little Herring Pond 10-home Village Open Space development >>Update to updates: The Sept 29, 2014 public hearing on permitting that was originally continued to Nov. 17 was further continued to Monday, Dec. 15th, then January 5th, 2015. The town Community Preservation Committee is now working with the developer to get the property appraised for possible purchase; therefore the public hearing is again continued to March 9, 2015. When/if needed, we will alert all concerned HPWA watershed stewards via email to attend and be counted at the appropriate Planning Board meeting. Of course, you are welcome at any such hearing to attend and express your opinion. See bullets below for background information:

Lee's input to the January 5, 2015 public hearing. Click also for Brian's input.
Marleen's Letter to the Editor of the Old Colony Memorial, as posted Nov. 1 on Plymouth Wicked Local.
Read Lee's October 22 Letter to the Editor of OCM urging the Planning Bd to follow its own rules and reject the proposed inappropriately sited development outright.
View media reporting of the Sept. 29 Planning Board hearing on LHP VOSD
Read Planning Board Minutes of Sept. 29 Public Hearing
View PACTV recording of Sept. 29 Planning Bd mtg (be patient: video is very slow to load; LHP VOSD public hearing starts at 1:27:36; HPWA presentation soon after)
View slides from HPWA's Sept. 29 public hearing: Lee's PowerPoint presentation
The proposed project site is the narrow ridge between Triangle and Little Herring Ponds, an area formerly designated Open Space and Priority Habitat! For questions, offers to help, or to pledge to the Watershed Protection Program legal fund contact: lee@theherringpondswatershed.org
Keep up to date on LHP VOSD - read the text of this Wednesday's front page lead article online at: http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/article/20140927/NEWS/140927131/?Start=1  Or download PDF if link is broken: PDF
Leave comments on the OCM's Facebook page coverage at: https://www.facebook.com/OldColonyMemorial
See: Brian's letter to the editor of the Old Colony Memorial regarding the proposed LHP VOSD.
Click for text of Lee's oral presentation about the proposed Little Herring Pond Rd VOSD development, made in public comments to the Board of Selectmen on September 23, 2014. Written brief given Selectmen.
See also: Plant checklist and Bird checklist from our May 18, 2014 walk of the site.

Brian Harrington was reelected President and John Foye was reelected Treasurer at the August 25th public general membership meeting. Pledges received for our Watershed Protection Program legal fund topped our goal for Phase 1. Great brownies and other sweet treats were enjoyed.

Donna Mager was the Windspinner Winner for the most generous pledge of the evening!

HPWA's 2nd annual pot luck Picnic was held 3-7 PM, Saturday, August 9th on the east shore of Great Herring Pond (at 173 Herring Pond Rd...Weston bogs...where American flags fly from every fencepost). Click Photo Gallery and scroll to see photos of this year's fun.

Water quality sampling on GHP and LHP was last conducted June 30, 2014. (Click the Water Quality menu button to see all archived lab test data.) Town of Plymouth has notified us of a new Mass Environmental Trust grant to support town-wide pond sampling later this summer. The next Water Quality sampling will be in August. To volunteer - Call or email Eb von Goeler!

May 2104
HPWA was very active this spring -- Special Events of May 2014:
Our first public meeting for 2014 was Monday, May 19th, 7 PM at the New Testament Church on Long Pond Rd in Cedarville. The program was an electronic aerial tour of the watershed with focus on the Carter's River area and proposed residential development between Triangle and Little Herring ponds. If you were there, or even if you missed the meeting, email lee@theherringpondswatershed.org for a bookmark file that will open for you in free-download Google Earth. You can then control your own pan, tilt, pause, and zoom.

Our annual bird walk with Brian was Sunday, May 18th (38 species - click here for eBird report). Special thanks also to Irina Kadis and Alexey Zinovjev, Assistant Curators at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, for joining us to identify plants (82 species! - click here for the list with photo links). We focused on the land between Little Herring and Triangle ponds, recently proposed for development of ten homes. See attachment.

Saturday, May 17th, 2014 HPWA hosted a table of kids activities at the SE Mass Pine Barrens Alliance Pine Fest in Myles Standish State Forest. Robbie and Emma discussed the Stewardship Guide with Frederick Law Olmstead.

Volunteers helped with the first-of-the-year  water quality sampling Wednesday, May 7th at 10:30 AM at the Mass Maritime Sailing Center (Trails End Cove Rd) on Great Herring Pond.

Saturday, April 26th, 2014 HPWA members hosted kids activities at the Plimoth Plantation's 1st Herring Run Festival at Jenney Grist Mill. Kids decorated a herring cut-out and colored their own copy of our new HPWA graphic novel "Run, Herring, Run".
(Printing funded by a New England Grassroots Environment Fund grant.)

Watershed Action Alliance members, parents, grandparents, and teachers: Print-ready color or black & white PDFs available for your herring run educational events, classroom or family reading by clicking cover icons below:


HPWA Spring 2014 Newsletter is here!   <<click

Bald Eagles are nesting again this year (2014) just north of the watershed and visiting our ponds to stock their nest pantry.

Congrats to Robbie Haigh, our former Membership Committee chair, for a March 5, 2014 front-page article in the Old Colony Memorial, available for online viewing. Her TV show "Seniority" and volunteerism are highlighted.

HPWA education committee had a great meeting February 6th, 2014 with Town Hall officials about Parcel 15. Conservation restrictions are being worked on for state approval, to be held by Wildlands Trust.

Click to see the December 2013 Newsletter.

HPWA committed to raise $10,000 to facilitate Plymouth's purchase of 5-acre Parcel 15 in the Carters River corridor between Great and Little Herring Ponds, with Community Preservation Act funds. Our goal was reached thanks to 30+ member/donors! And on October 19, 2013 Fall Town Meeting approved the purchase of the property by the town, with CPA Funds. Your support made this possible! Read more below:

RE: Parcel 15, land between the ponds, in the news:
August 3, 2013 article in the Old Colony Memorial.       June 22, 2013 WickedLocal.com article

Watch Watershed Action Alliance's HPWA member spotlight video featuring Brian Harrington highlighting this special area.

The last HPWA Public meeting of 2013 was Tuesday, October 1, 7PM at the New Testament Church in Cedarville. Two of our members, Kristine and Robert Keese, presented their 20+ year history and process of organic cranberry growing in bogs around our ponds. Very interesting! Learn more about their first ten years of organic growing.

Officers elected August 19, 2013 (2-yr terms):
Lee Pulis, Vice President
Rali Esterman, Secretary

Dave Clark presented a program with Q&A on septic systems.
Our August 2013 Newsletter is available!

HPWA Volunteer Coordinator Robbie Haigh interviews Education Committee Chair Lee Pulis on Sandwich Community TV program "Seniority".

Sorry, Cancelled due to rain: Friday, July 26th at 5:00 til dusk - the HPWA pot-luck picnic on the east shore of Great Herring Pond (retired cranberry bog lined with small American flags ~ 173 Herring Pond Rd). Rescheduled for September 7, 2013.

Our mid-summer public meeting was July 15, 2013, 7:00 PM at The New Testament Church in Cedarville. Hydrogeologist Neal Price presented a great program on the Plymouth-Carver sole-source aquifer and its relationship to our ponds and wells.

Our Summer 2013 Newsletter is available.

Click on the Photo Gallery and scroll down to see the newest screech owl members of our watershed (2013 nesting season).    

Our first public meeting of the 2013 season was held at 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 20th at the New Testament Church at 1120 Long Pond Road in Cedarville. Debbie Cook, the Manager of the Greenscapes Program at North and South Rivers Watershed Association, gave a presentation on lawn care. She showed how our current lawn regimens threaten water quality and quantity. She offered strategies from landscape professionals for beautiful yards, safe for people, pets and ponds.

Results of our latest regular pond water sampling of Great and Little Herring Ponds on 4/30/13 are now available.  Nutrients appear to be gratifyingly low, so were  e-coli except at Carter's Bridge. Water was incredibly clear, with Secchi disk measurements around 8 m. Dissolved oxygen and vertical temperature profile did not yet indicate summertime stratification. Altogether quite positive results!

HPWA Spring Bird Walk: Saturday May 18, 2013, 7:00 AM at Bournedale Herring Run Park. Brian Harrington, Leader. 42 species were seen/heard in 2 hours. Some highlights: Ovenbird, Black & White Warbler, Rough-winged Swallows. See the full checklist on ebird at: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14154467

Your Herring Ponds Watershed Stewardship Guide is available for viewing by clicking the cover icon below or on the Education and Outreach page. Print copies have been distributed free to members and residents by mail by volunteers walking watershed neighborhoods. Let us know if you didn't get one or need another!

Robbie Haigh, our Volunteer Coordinator, recently interviewed Eb and Marleen von Goeler about HPWA on Sandwich Access TV.

Our Spring 2013 Newsletter is out!

Spotted Salamander eggs noted in vernal pools 4/4/13. Ospreys are back on nests. Remember to put our Herring Run Field Trip on your calendar for April 27.

Herring Run Field Trip  -- Held April 27, 2013 at 10 AM. We met at the Canal Visitor Center on Rt 6 between the Bourne and the Sagamore Bridges. A Corps of Engineers biologist lead the tour and discussion. Numbers look better this year.

HPWA Photo Contest - Entries closed October 15, 2012. Click for rules. Many great entries were submitted! An 18-month calendar starting in mid-2013 featured the winning entries (50 copies produced and sold for $15 each). Additional photo entries were incorporated in our Spring 2013 Watershed Stewardship Guide, supported by the Makepeace Neighborhood Fund and an HPWA member's matching donation. 

The last General Meeting of 2012 for the HPWA was on Monday, October 1st at 7 P.M. at The New Testament Church in Cedarville.
The Medicine Man of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, Troy Currence, and one of the Elders of the Tribe, Hazel Harding-Currence, presented history and stories from the Tribe's past, plus information about its present-day activities. We learned about the revival of the Wampanoag language and heard how it sounds. There were many questions from the group, and warm appreciation for answers shared. Portions of the program were video-recorded for future posting.

At our August 20, 2012 meeting Kim Tower, Environmental Technician for the Town of Plymouth, was the featured speaker and received a Certificate of Appreciation from HPWA for all her work with us.

The Powerpoint of her presentation detailing some of the work we have done together is archived here
An application to US EPA was not funded this year, but be sure to register your support with the Environmental Management Department at Town Hall for a renewed application next year.

July 2012
The HPWA Shed Faire event held at the Cedarville Fire Station on Sunday, July 29 netted $1706 towards our water quality testing costs for this year's volunteer pond sampling. Thank you to all members, friends, and families who donated items for sale, assisted setting up and running the event, and/or came and bought treasures at bargain prices! Our raffle winner was a young summer visitor of Great Herring Pond from California.

May 2012
HPWA Herring Run Bird Walk records 26 species in morning stroll on May 26. Click for list.

Makepeace Neighborhood Fund Grant Awarded to HPWA

HPWA’s project proposal for “Herring Ponds Watershed Awareness Education” was one of 33 projects selected for (partial) funding in 2012 by the A.D. Makepeace Company. Brian, John, Rali and Lee attended the May 17 Grant Awards Ceremony and Grantee Reception at Box Mill Hall on the Makepeace Company campus in Wareham. Since 2005 the company has invested over $1 million in projects that support agriculture, health care, education, the environment, historic preservation, and community housing in towns where the company operates.
In this project the Education and Outreach Committee will create, print and mail a 20-page watershed information and stewardship booklet to residents within the state-designated Herring River Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Our completion target is Spring 2013. Distribution of a digital version via e-mail and the association’s web site will extend the impact of the project to additional residents and site visitors.
Although we did not receive the full amount of our request, a grant match challenge by a generous summer resident of Great Herring Pond will enable us to fully fund all project activities and to meet the proposed goals.
If you or someone you know (friends, family, or student) are interested in getting in on the ground floor and volunteering on this project as a researcher, writer, editor, artist, photographer, or in any other capacity please contact Lee Pulis, Education and Outreach Committee chair, at 617 216-4921 or by email at leepulis@gmail.com.

February 2012
The Town of Plymouth has just become the recipient of a construction grant to mitigate stormwater pollution in the Pond Rd./Shore Rd. area of Great Herring Pond. This announcement came from Coastal Zone Management, a State agency. The award  money is $104k. It will be matched by an additional $97k from the Town. Construction is expected to start in March and will consist of a variety of systems, separators, bio-retention areas, and a rain garden. We are absolutely thrilled that this problem is about to be resolved. Our association has been flagging the runoff in this area for years and measured the pond pollution it causes. More details about the work about to start can be found in an Old Colony Memorial article dated  2/15/2012. UPDATE: See also several photos of the project construction taken in Summer 2012 on our Photo Gallery page.

January 2012
Good news:For many years our association has flagged stormwater runoff - and the pond pollution it causes in the Pond Rd./Shore Rd. area of Great Herring Pond. The Town of Plymouth recently completed an engineering study to mitigate this problem. Funds for this study came from Coastal Zone Management (CZM), a State agency, and the Town. The next step is raising additional money to proceed with the actual mitigation work. The Town is applying for a grant from CZM for this purpose, and hopes to complete this project next summer.

The Town of Bourne is replacing the Little Sandy Pond Road Bridge across the Herring River. The town felt that the bridge had become a hazard to public safety. The project should be completed very soon - before the herring return to spawn.

During the project, water flow has been diverted to an eight foot wide channel beside the bridge. Two photos in the Photo Gallery submitted by Dave Clark show construction of the bridge and the diversion channel.


Last summer's water quality and storm runoff test results are now available and have been posted.

At the August 30th, 2010 general meeting the following officers were elected by the membership:
President: Brian Harrington
Vice-President: David Clark
Secretary: Fred Kurker
Treasurer: John Foye