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In the News

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Canines for Clean Water adds a pledge to "Go Organic!"

Thanks to a grant from New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, we are underway with our Go Organic! initiative as part of the Canines for Clean Water Program. Since our launch, we have been outside, meeting many friendly people from all around town. Our lawn and garden care survey allowed us to spread awareness about Ogunquit’s Pesticide Ordinance and learn more about people’s thoughts on organic lawn and garden care. We are excited to continue informing Ogunquit about how using organic lawn care practices can keep our kids, our pets, and our watershed healthy. 

Want to learn more? Navigate to our Go-Organic page for our Top Ten Tips on making your organic lawn healthy and beautiful. While you're there, learn how to banish ticks and mosquitoes -- without the toxic chemicals.

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HeRO and Leavitt Theatre co-sponsor Crabbing Derby!

With all the fun we had last summer crabbing, we're taking it to a new level! On July 31 and August 1, Healthy Rivers Ogunquit and the Leavitt Theatre will be holding the 1st (and maybe not last) Ogunquit Crabbing Derby. Help us to remove invasive green crabs from the Ogunquit River and our Perkins Cove Harbor, where they destroy important habitat and consume unsustainable quantities of our native clams, mussels, and oysters. Choose from low-key low-tide crabbing on Monday afternoon, or kick it up a notch to catch crabs with baited ring traps and handlines during Tuesday morning's high tide. It's just $15 to enter a team of up to four family members, co-workers, or friends, and all the equipment you'll need is provided. A Launch Party at the Leavitt kicks things off on Monday afternoon and a Wrap Party celebrates the Derby win with prizes and fun on Tuesday from 3-5.  Register your Team Here!

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Green crab citizen science project has been a great success

Our Green Crab research project has been completed. Funded by a Discovery Grant from the Onion Foundation, the project engaged residents and summer visitors in catching crabs at four sites along the estuary, with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the crab population and dynamics. European green crabs (Carcinus maenus) are one of the top 100 invasive species worldwide; in estuaries up and down the coast, they have devastated the population of clams and mussels (our natural water filters), destroyed nursey habitat, and eroded marsh banks. Here in Ogunquit, we couldn't be happier about the reception our team of interns and volunteers received. Everywhere we went, the interest and engagement were fabulous! Read the report here. 

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With a generous grant from The Rotary Club of Ogunquit and the support of a number of community organizations, we officially kicked off our Canines for Clean Water program in September, 2021. Since then, we have spoken with hundreds of dog owners on our local trails, parks, and beaches about the connection between animal waste, stormwater runoff, and bacterial contamination in our rivers. Join them in taking our Canines for Clean Water Pledge and get some freebies for your furry friend!

How else can you help?

  • Be sure to clean up after your dog does his business—every time, everywhere. (Even in our own backyards!)

  • Got grass? Go organic!  Pesticides and herbicides are bad for pets, people, and planet. In Ogunquit, organic is the law.

Thank you to all who attended, volunteered, or - most importantly -  took the first steps towards "growing native." We are delighted to have placed almost 200 native perennials and shrubs in "forever homes" during this first annual event. Great Works Regional Land Trust was a fabulous host, even making sure that their native beach plums were in full, glorious bloom. Other partners included Ogunquit's Sustainability and Marginal Way committees, Laudholm Master Gardeners, and the Wild Seed Project. To support local wildlife and help restore our Maine landscapes, Grow Native!

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We planted clams!

On Friday, May 7, the Ogunquit Shellfish Conservation Commission and a group of enthusiastic volunteers boosted the population of our clamflats by seeding 240,000 juvenile clams. According to the Downeast Institute (DEI), statewide soft-shell clam landings have declined by 75% since the 1980's (Beal et al., 2016). As warming waters and invasive species such as green crabs and milky ribbon worms threaten our clam fishery, Conservation Commissioners are countering with efforts to protect the local harvest. Clams are filter feeders, so a healthy, vital clam flat benefits more than just lovers of steamers and linguine with clam sauce: swimmers and boaters enjoy cleaner water when clams are abundant. 

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FB Environmental Associates has prepared its 2020 annual report on the Ogunquit River watershed, revealing that  additional progress needs to be made. The 2020 annual monitoring and fecal source tracking project was funded by the Town of Ogunquit in order to continue the long-term monitoring of the Ogunquit River’s water quality and to measure progress and prioritize actions for the ongoing Ogunquit River Restoration Project, in partnership with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Read the report

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Thank You to our Fiscal Sponsor!

Have you ever tried to start a non-profit? Like everything, it's just easier with friends. HeRO got a hand up when Laudholm Trust agreed to be our fiscal sponsor, managing our accounts so that we can concentrate on the good stuff. 

Since Laudholm Trust is a 501(c)3 corporation, when you donate to HeRO, the amount is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. That makes everyone happy.

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The mission of Laudholm Trust is to raise financial and community support for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, a.k.a. the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, and for Maine’s coastal environment.

For more information on events and activities at the Wells Reserve, or to become a member of Laudholm Trust, visit them at www.WellsReserve.org

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