Local Bird Trends demonstrate Warming
January 23rd, 2012 | by Jim
Here is a link to a video of Hooded Mergansers in the Ipswich River as the river ice melts in spring. Their arrival to the upper sections of the Ipswich River has been steadily earlier in the spring due to the lack of ice on the slower sections of the river. These birds, in years past, may have been seen in the open riffles of the river but very rarely in Wenham Swamp before February 28. This year they have been in Topsfield all winter. Other long term records of the Essex County Ornithological Club are showing that spring migrant birds are arriving a week earlier than they did 90 years ago and leaving a week later in the fall.
Connecting People and Urban Streams
January 23rd, 2012 | by Cynthia
Here’s a nice video that the USGS put out on urban streams. In this 5 minute video, Faith Fitzpatrick (U.S. Geological Survey) outlines the importance of habitat to the health of streams and shows examples of connecting people to urban streams through rehabilitation efforts across the USA. Many of the issues discussed are relevant to the Ipswich River and its watershed. Another short video on Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems also explains how development can have negative effects on streams in urban and suburban. areas. Thanks to USGS for these great short videos!
The Water Closet, January 20, 2012
January 20th, 2012 | by Middleton Stream Team
BEAVERS YET AGAIN
In 1996 cruel leg hold traps were outlawed in Massachusetts1. Trappers stopped trapping. Beavers, enjoying a new lease on life, multiplied. Just a couple years later we found signs of them along waterways around town and beyond. By 1999 several dams were noticeably flooding red maple swamps, floodplains and even a few woodland paths skirting them.
In winter when their impoundments are sealed by ice hydrogen sulfide from bacterial anaerobic (without oxygen) respiration is released where open water trickles over dams. This “sewer gas” from microbial decomposition of organic matter can sometimes be smelled several hundred yards away. In 1999 it led a couple old closeteers to a major new dam in north Middleton. We’ve watched the (more…)
Join a Stream Team!
January 18th, 2012 | by Cynthia
IRWA sponsors several “Stream Teams” comprised of citizen volunteers who advocate for their local segment of the Ipswich River watershed. These volunteers are among the most committed and knowledgeable in the watershed, and have undertaken many projects to protect the Ipswich River and educate their communities about the issues facing the river.
Click here for brief descriptions of the existing teams and a contact email for each Stream Team leader. If you are interested in joining an existing Stream Team or forming a new Stream Team in your community, please contact IRWA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are gearing up for a Stream Team Caucus event in March that will bring all of our Stream Teams together for some brainstorming and training. This is a great way to learn more about the river and to get connected to the River Community! Keep your eye on our events page for more information.