WESTPORT — The Westport River Watershed Alliance, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to science and education, has had to modify its usual planned activities during the past year of COVID-19.
This year was supposed to be a year for opening up their new River Center to visitors and students to experience the wonderfully equipped resource and learning area. From cancelling fundraising events and limiting visitor experiences, to outdoor, socially distanced school and summer programs, nothing about the past many months has been normal.
One important way that WRWA has adapted to this drastically changed environment has been to focus on educational videos created within the Westport River watershed. Over the past several months, Education Director Shelli Costa and her summer interns and Commonwealth Corps service volunteers have been busy exploring our local natural environment and sharing interesting findings with videos available to the public through their website. Many of these are intended for students in the Westport Community Schools, but there is always something new to learn for adults as well.
They are part of the Wonders of the Watershed series, funded in part from a grant from the Helen Ellis Charitable Fund through the Westport Cultural Council.
WRWA also enlisted the talents of filmmaker Alex Haggert to create a feature-style film this past summer, focused on the history and mission of the Watershed Alliance. It showcases the beauty of the river and tributaries with high quality drone footage, with interviews examining the history of the Head of Westport, anecdotes from longtime Westport residents, and in-depth descriptions of environmental challenges and solutions for water quality in the Westport River Watershed.
Haggert collaborated with WRWA to make the film as his “Capstone Project” in video production at New England Tech. He is also a certified drone pilot, which enabled him to capture unique and stunning views of the River. The videos are all accessible through the organization’s website: www.westportwatershed.org.
The Watershed Alliance looks forward to fully opening up its new River Center at the Head of Westport in the coming months, as new hope for containment of the COVID-19 pandemic is on the horizon. The education center features aquariums with native species, a high powered microscope for examining sea and river life, and a virtual reality sand table that captivates and delights with high tech interactive imagery. To keep up with what is happening at the River Center in 2021, those interested can subscribe to WRWA’s free monthly newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website listed above.