All posts by Kim Matthews

June – Message from the President

Message from the President

Wow, what a wonderful national wetlands month for CarWA.  We announced five new wetland treasures, five new tours and they were all full or nearly so!  One press article was written about the Hobcaw Barony tour.  Thanks go to Dan Hitchcock (Hobcaw Barony), Alvin Braswell (Robertson Mill Pond and Scuppernong) , Lizzy Stokes-Cawley (Scuppernong), Laura England (Congree and Kanuga), Frank Henning (Congree), and Clint Dewitt (Kanuga).  It took and lot of great people, coordinating with other people to pull off five very successful tours.  And the people attending the tours were all smiles, everyone seemed to enjoy exploring wetlands, especially wetland treasures!

There are two people that have been critical to the success of the Wetland Treasures program.  Amin Davis has been the quite force behind the success; leading, shepherding, coordinating, nudging, as needed to make things happen.  Amin has served as the Co-chair of the Program Committee since it started two years ago and fostered the “flagship program” of CarWA.  Thank you, Amin, for putting CarWA on the radar with the Treasures program!

And of course, Laura England.  She had worked for Wisconsin Wetlands Association and was a key developer of their Wetland Gems program.  Her, leadership, persistence, persuasiveness, and previous skills made CarWA’s wetland treasures program a success.  Believe me, it would not have happened without Laura.  She was instrumental to selecting the treasures both years, then coordinated the tours on several of the treasures.  Laura is truly a gift to CarWA and this organization is probably several years ahead of its time because of her contributions.  Thank you, Laura, for your tireless effort to get CarWA off and running!

CarWA is very fortunate to have so many great volunteers.  We want to honor you all for your hard work, so please join us for our annual meeting on June 25.

Thanks all and get out and explore a wetland; who knows, it may be our next treasure.

Rick

Wetland Treasures Field Trip Series a Big Success!

Wetland Treasures Field Trip Series a Big Success!
CarWA recently concluded our 2017 Wetland Treasures field trip series. This spring, around 75 wetland enthusiasts joined us on five tours exploring this year’s recognized sites, including Hobcaw Barony Wetlands (Georgetown County, SC), Congaree National Park (Richland County, SC), Scuppernong River Swamp (Tyrrell County, NC), Robertson Millpond (Wake County, NC), and Kanuga Bog (Henderson County, NC). We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating these natural wonders with you!

CarWA sends special thanks to all of our field trip leaders and coordinators for making these field trips possible—Dan Hitchcock, William Conner, George Chastain, Greg Cunningham, Laura England, David Shelley, Lizzy Stokes-Cawley, Amin Davis, Alvin Braswell, Howard Phillips, Walter Davenport, and Clint Dewitt.

If you’re interested in learning more about these sites and visiting them on your own, go to our Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas webpage and check out the site fact sheets.

We hope to see you on a future wetland field trip!

Message from the CarWA President – April 2017

One thing that is becoming obvious to me is that Carolina Wetlands is getting noticed. More and more I am going to meeting and/or meeting people and when I say that I am with Carolina Wetlands, they “oh I have heard of that organization”. This is music to my ears; we are having an impact and people are taking notice. We all need to continue to spread the word about wetlands and their value to our wellbeing!

In February, Alvin Braswell and I gave a presentation to the Science Café at the NC Museum of Natural Science. The presentation was entitled, “Do you really want to drain the swamp?”. We had a lot of fun doing that event and we had over 60 people attend. Alvin gave another presentation of Wetlands and Amphibians and we had an exhibit at Reptile and Amphibians Day at the museum, were we had over 200 visitors and over 50 who signed up for the newsletter. I have also been contacted by a business whose owners were at the presentation and wants to do a fund raiser for CarWA. Stay tuned!

I want to bring attention to our wetland treasures announcements for 2017 and the associated tours. They are truly filling up fast so you better register soon! The very hard work done by Laura England to coordinate the entire process is simply amazing! She has work with me to partner with the Wetland Forest Initiative to co-sponsor two of our tours and to write a news article on our wetland treasures and the tours. A big thanks goes to Laura and Amin Davis and their team for making the 2017 wetland treasures a tremendous success.

Finally, I was invited to have lunch with the Nature Conservancy at their conservation meeting at Singletary Lake State Park. There I met a few people I already knew and met many new people who want to help promote the organization and wetlands. I was there to present the certificates to two of our 2016 wetland treasures, Antioch Bay and Green Swamp. They were very excited about the recognition and they want to help us organize tours of both of these sites in the very near future. I also talked to several of the folks who manage several of their wetlands and they want to consult us on best management practices and on how to monitor their health, so get ready Science Committee, this is good news!

Lastly, I still want to encourage you to take our supporter survey. Taking the survey does not obligate you to anything, but it serves the organization by recognizing the tremendous talent we have and that can help us get funding and grants. This will allow the organization to begin to hire a small staff and great expand our influence. So if you never do anything else for the organization, please take the survey, it is very valuable information for us to have and it will remain confidential.

So, go explore a wetland!

Rick

CarWA partners with others organizations to create NC Aquatic Data Hub

The North Carolina Aquatic Data Hub is a new initiative for connecting aquatic monitoring efforts across the state in order to better understand the condition of North Carolina’s waters and to maintain and improve them. NCADH provides the resources and training for new groups and existing organizations to contribute to and access a statewide network of aquatic data.

The North Carolina Aquatic Data Hub has been made possible by a $160,000 two-year grant awarded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation  to support a statewide citizen science water quality monitoring project to New River Conservancy on behalf of multiple non-profits and agencies across the state.

Press Release

2017 Wetland Treasures Announced

Each May during American Wetlands Month, CarWA will recognize several wetland sites in North Carolina and South Carolina. The long-term goal is to recognize high quality representatives of each of the wetland types found in each ecoregion of North and South Carolina (Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plain). Collectively, Wetland Treasures will represent the wetland heritage of the Carolinas.

2017 Wetland Treasures

We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate our second class of Wetland Treasures sites! Click the links below to open a fact sheet and learn about the ecology, significance, flora and fauna, and more for each site:

Click here to find to sign up for field tours!

Message from the CarWA President

March 2017 – Message from the President

Hello wetland supporters!

A lot of what I do is network with other organization to make them aware of CarWA and what we can do for them as we have the best wetland talent of any organization!  I attend a lot of meeting and workshops to promote wetlands and the organization.  I also work with all CarWA committees to facilitate collaboration and to encourage their great work for wetlands.  Much of this information is typically reported at the Board meetings and are recorded in the minutes, but I felt this information needs to be in the newsletter – more so than in the Board meetings.

First I would like to make you aware that the 2017 Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas will be announced soon and we are hosting tours to each site in May. Stay tuned, you will want to be a part of these events.  I also want to announce that Erin Bradshaw Settevendemio is our new Public Information Coordinator.  She is doing wonderful posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure you are following us on social media to get the latest information.

One of the meeting I attended recently was the meeting of the Cape Fear Arch in Burgaw, NC.  This is the second meeting I have attended and each time I find more people to meet and to let them know about CarWA.  I am hoping that in the future CarWA will play a larger role in the Cape Fear Arch as this is critical wetland area in both NC and SC and includes one of our wetland treasures (Green Swamp) and many endemic species.

I also want to let you know about a potential concern with an industry that may be impacting wetland forests in our states.  Recently, I attended a meeting organized by the local chapter of the Sierra Club to organize an education forum on the wood pellet industry.  I recommend reading this article published by Yale University School of Forestry to understand this issue.

I also met with Ron Sutherlin of the Wildlands Network.  Ron was instrumental in helping to “save” the Hoffman Forest (and the wetlands contained within) and is working to create wildlife migration corridors throughout North America.  We discussed potential opportunities for our organizations to work together. Please contact me if you are interested in this effort.

Most recently, I met with Gale Adcock in the NC House of Representatives.  She represents a district next to mine, but I know her from being a former council member of Cary.  We had a great meeting and she will be a big environmental supporter.  Last fall, I met with Representative Pricey Harrison from Greensboro and I also found her supportive of our organization. We need to find out more ways to connect with our elected officials.

Finally, I am in the process of talking to folks from the NC Sentinel landscape partnerships and the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative to see how CarWA can play a role in their efforts.  I will have more on that next newsletter.

If you have any questions on any of these efforts, please contact me, rick.savage@carolinawetlands.org.

Thanks much and get out and enjoy a wetland,

Rick

Giving Campaign

We are excited to kick-off our first annual giving campaign.  Donors will receive a calendar for a donation of $25 or more.  These calendars were created with pictures of wetlands in North and South Carolina submitted by our supporters.  Additional calendars are $15 each.  Order and pay online.

 

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Happy 1-year Anniversary to the Carolina Wetlands Association!

It’s hard to believe that it was only last June that we had the first meeting of the Association and our board members were elected!  Thank to everyone who has volunteered at an event, participated in a committee and became a supporter!

Here is a list of just some of the things we accomplished:

  • Developed a mission statement and vision
  • Developed and approved our by-laws
  • Develop our logo
  • Launched a web site and pages on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Raised over $2000 in funding
  • Successfully received our 501(3)(c) designation from the federal government – all donations are now tax-free
  • Participated in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences on Science Saturday
  • Sponsored a both at the NC Museum of Natural Science Reptile and Amphibian Day
  • Participated in Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations in Cary, NC
  • Sponsored a table at the NC Arboretum in Chapel Hill
  • Developed our Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas and recognized five special wetlands
  • Sponsored field trip to two of our wetland treasures

Mason Farm Field Tour

When:  Saturday, November 5th, 1:00 – 3:00 PM (rain date: Sunday, Nov. 5 at 12 noon)
Where: NC Botanical Gardens in Orange County, NC —directions here

Description: Tour two valuable wetland areas—Big Oak Woods and Morgan Creek Floodplain Forest—that are part of the NC Botanical Garden’s Mason Farm Biological Reserve. Big Oak Woods is one of the largest tracts of mature bottomland swamp forest remaining in the Piedmont, with some trees exceeding 300 years of age. Morgan Creek Floodplain Forest is part of one of the largest, most intact tracts of Piedmont swamp forest remaining. Field trip will be led by the wonderful Johnny Randall, Director of Conservation Programs at the Botanical Gardens.

Registration required; to reserve a spot, email Laura England (laura.england@carolinawetlands.org).

Note: Mason Farm is open to the public for free, but contributions to Mason Farm can be made through www.ncbg.unc.edu (which provides all their management funds).

Learn more about Mason Farm, CarWA Wetland Treasure Site.