Terry Atamian Sportfishing Shows Support
Buzzards Bay Coalition
The following content has been aggregated from the official Buzzards Bay Coalition site. We publish some of the content to help broadcast and spread the word on this amazing organization.
I have been a strong supporter of this organization for years and wanted to take the time to thank them and help promote the cause in an effort to assist in driving more support for the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
Terry Atamian –
Since 1987, a Coalition of community members has worked tirelessly to support the restoration, protection, and sustainable use of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The organization’s remarkable history supports our work today and into the future.
Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed are ecological treasures providing natural resources vital to the people and wildlife that live within. The region’s unique characteristics make this a special place for all to enjoy. Buzzards Bay is an estuary (a place where salt and fresh water mix) nestled in Southeastern Massachusetts. Among east coast estuaries it is one of the most pristine bays, with clear, cool water, vibrant marine life, and coastal communities with a rich maritime history and a deep connection to the Bay.
How Was the Bay Formed?
Buzzards Bay and most of New England were formed in the Ice Age by the movement of the last continental ice sheet and the rise in sea level that followed its retreat. Approximately 25,000 years ago, the outermost edge of the ice advanced as far south as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, then paused for a thousand years or so, depositing rocks and dirt (called glacial till). The remnants of this glacial “dump” can still be seen along the high ridge (called the Buzzards Bay Moraine) that runs north to south in Bourne and Falmouth, then curves to become the Elizabeth Islands.
That left a sandy ridge on the eastern shore of the Bay while the retreating glaciers left a slowly rising shoreline to the west. In between is a long, narrow, and shallow bay with a diversity of sub-tidal habitats like eelgrass meadows, oyster and clam beds, and rocky ledges that are home to lobsters, crabs, and a variety of fish species. The inter-tidal habitats that ring the bay include rocky shores to the west and sandy beaches to the east with rich salt marshes throughout and over 30 small estuarine embayments. With this diversity seemingly around every corner, there is a new beautiful discovery to be made on the Bay and in the watershed.
History of the Coalition
The Buzzards Bay Coalition was officially incorporated as The Coalition for Buzzards Bay in July 1987, as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with start-up funding support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The initial Board of Directors was composed of individuals from throughout the Bay watershed – environmental advocates, cranberry growers, marina owners, research institutions and town government. Today, the organization continues to maintain a governing Board of private citizens concerned with the health and future of the Bay from Westport to Woods Hole and from a variety of backgrounds.
The push to reverse the decline of Bay water quality, shellfish beds, and wildlife populations had begun in earnest in 1984 when Congress recognized the unique value of Buzzards Bay by selecting the Bay as one of four estuaries in the country (Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, San Francisco Bay in California, and Puget Sound in Washington) to be studied under the new National Estuary Program. With this program, a new government partnership between the EPA and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) was formed to create the Buzzards Bay Project (BBP). The objective of the BBP was to study water quality and living resources in the Bay, to assess threats to Bay health, and to develop a long-term management plan for the Bay. Toward that end, the Buzzards Bay Project completed a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Bay in 1991.
Directing the activities of the BBP during its early years was a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised of local town officials, environmental advocates, and members of the scientific community. This group was charged among other things with determining if Buzzards Bay would benefit from the establishment of a private advocate/watchdog group to ensure that the right decisions were being made for the Bay long after the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program was dissolved. In order to make that decision, the first Buzzards Bay Day was held on October 11, 1986 with varying events held around the Bay watershed – tours of Buttermilk Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and the Pocasset River as well as clean-up projects in New Bedford and elsewhere. Ninety-nine percent of the general public that came out for this first-of-its-kind regional event responded to a questionnaire that they felt that a permanent advocacy group was needed for Buzzards Bay. The Coalition for Buzzards Bay was formed less than a year later.
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