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      WELCOME TO THE WEST ISLAND STATE RESERVATION

West Island State Reservation

 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

     The 338 acre reservation is owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. An educational poster at the park entrance describes the reservation as a habitat for common and rare resident and migratory bird species. The land includes salt marshes, brackish ponds, mud flats, rocky headlands, wetlands, hardwood forests and sandy beaches. In 1996, five acres of the land was set aside for a state of the art tertiary leaching area for the treatment plant to address the island's waste water issues.  The land was acquired in 1988, from Realty Transfer of New Jersey for $1.6 million.

 

 

 West Island Weather Station DHD Photos Feb - April 2017  at 380FT

 

 East Cove looking northeast

 

Leaching wells looking south

North Cove

 North Point looking north-northeast

 Northwest

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The West Island State  Reservation is under jurisdiction of the

Massachusetts Environmental Police

East side of reservation looking west towards the causeway 1992

 

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 MassWildlife needs your help with ducks and geese
 
 By MARC FOLCO
 January 13, 2013 12:00 AM
Standard-Times 
 

MassWildlife is asking for help from sportsmen, birders, and other interested conservationists across the state to report sites where wild ducks and geese (waterfowl) are being fed or to report sightings of ducks and geese they see feeding at artificial waterfowl feeding sites through Jan. 26. Information needed for these reports include town, specific location (address, map, or GPS coordinates), date, number, and the kinds of wild ducks and/or geese observed.

MassWildlife is trying to determine if there is a correlation between artificial feeding sites and waterfowl population size. Feeding site locations or waterfowl feeding reports should be reported to H Heusmann, MassWildlife Waterfowl Project Leader by e-mail at: h.heusmann@state.ma.us; phone 508-389-6321; fax 508-389-7890; or postal mail at DFW Park Mallard Survey, 100 Hartwell St., Suite 230, West Boylston, MA 01583.

Every five years, since 1973, MassWildlife has conducted a winter waterfowl survey of sites where people feed wild ducks and geese. Designed primarily as a count of wintering mallards, the survey includes information on all waterfowl seen, including Canada geese. The statewide survey covers public and private property in city, suburban, and rural areas. Sites may be located on fresh water, salt water, and estuaries. Other feeding sites include parks, beaches, and backyard bird feeding stations. Because feeding locations change between each five-year cycle, the most current information on artificial waterfowl feeding locations is valuable.

While MassWildlife discourages feeding of wildlife, there is no state law or regulation prohibiting this activity and the feeding of ducks on some sites has been going on for decades. Some municipalities do restrict or prohibit feeding. Mallards are by far the most common ducks seen at feeding sites, but MassWildlife is also interested in obtaining information about other ducks and geese seen feeding at these sites. Black ducks are commonly observed along with wood ducks, pintails, gadwalls, wigeons, and hooded mergansers. Canada geese are well known visitors to feeding sites and their presence is often the impetus for towns and cities to pass feeding prohibition bylaws. Results from this year's survey compared to past surveys will be available later in the winter.
MassWildlife is asking for help from sportsmen, birders, and other interested conservationists across the state to report sites where wild ducks and geese (waterfowl) are being fed or to report sightings of ducks and geese they see feeding at artificial waterfowl feeding sites through Jan. 26. Information needed for these reports include town, specific location (address, map, or GPS coordinates), date, number, and the kinds of wild ducks and/or geese observed. 
 
 MassWildlife is trying to determine if there is a correlation between artificial feeding sites and waterfowl population size. Feeding site locations or waterfowl feeding reports should be reported to H Heusmann, MassWildlife Waterfowl Project Leader by e-mail at: h.heusmann@state.ma.us; phone 508-389-6321; fax 508-389-7890; or postal mail at DFW Park Mallard Survey, 100 Hartwell St., Suite 230, West Boylston, MA 01583.
 
 Every five years, since 1973, MassWildlife has conducted a winter waterfowl survey of sites where people feed wild ducks and geese. Designed primarily as a count of wintering mallards, the survey includes information on all waterfowl seen, including Canada geese. The statewide survey covers public and private property in city, suburban, and rural areas. Sites may be located on fresh water, salt water, and estuaries. Other feeding sites include parks, beaches, and backyard bird feeding stations. Because feeding locations change between each five-year cycle, the most current information on artificial waterfowl feeding locations is valuable.
 
 While MassWildlife discourages feeding of wildlife, there is no state law or regulation prohibiting this activity and the feeding of ducks on some sites has been going on for decades. Some municipalities do restrict or prohibit feeding. Mallards are by far the most common ducks seen at feeding sites, but MassWildlife is also interested in obtaining information about other ducks and geese seen feeding at these sites. Black ducks are commonly observed along with wood ducks, pintails, gadwalls, wigeons, and hooded mergansers. Canada geese are well known visitors to feeding sites and their presence is often the impetus for towns and cities to pass feeding prohibition bylaws. Results from this year's survey compared to past surveys will be available later in the winter.
 
New England Seabirds - pelagic birdingNew England Seabirds and Pelagic Birding
Natural history of seabirds, where and how to find them in New England. Includes: Stellwagen Bank, Jeffreys Ledge, Great So Channel, Nantucket Shoals. breeding colonies in Maine and eastern Canada, pelagic trips. Whale and Dolphins: Noncommercial site with no advertising. http://www.neseabirds.com


 

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Save West Island


By M.L.Baron

With orange stakes placed in the ground and seeing low flying aircraft banking over obviously taking pictures, you know somebody’s up to something.  That was the scenario I saw as I routinely walked along the West Island Town Beach back in 1986. 
 

   I immediately called my long time friend and Board of Public Works member David Szeliga. I told him that we have to find out what’s going on the east side of the island. Sure enough, developers where surveying over 338 acres of  pristine land to build over 100 homes. Upon this confirmation, I told Dave who’s a naturalist as well, “How in the hell can we stop these guys from bulldozing half of the island into oblivion?”
 
East Cove  looking northeast. A favorite spot for recreational fisherman.
 
 
    This was a monumental uphill battle. We organized along with others and formed a grass roots group given the simple name of Save West Island Inc.
 
The Fairhaven Town Beach by the reservation. (looking southwest towards Wilbur's Pt.)


      The so called “Massachusetts Miracle “ that Presidential candidate Governor Michael Dukakis, heralded to the media, was quickly fleeting. The timing was disastrous for our endeavor.  Without the state to back us up with funding to purchase the property from Realty Transfer of New Jersey, the destruction of more than half of the island to development was at a threshold.

 

 

   The clock was indeed ticking against our  favor.  Negative elements said it couldn’t be done and that our group was pissing in the wind. We were laughed at as a bunch of tree hugging political fanatics.  But our resolve never faltered, if anything, it became even stronger. 

SAVE WEST ISLAND REMEMBERED in recent meeting (enter above) 

Save West Island bumper stickers were seen as far away as Worcester.  We couldn’t keep up with the demand for T-shirts and promotional videos.

 

After almost two years of lobbying, fund raising and hard work by our group, it became “politically correct” for those who hesitated to finally join in and support our cause. A long awaited urgent message was received.

 

 "We weren't going to be denied. But I daresay without the help of the Lloyd Center and the Nature Conservancy it would have never happened. Economic and political powers were shamed into submission and the land was bought by the Conservancy and then the state. Your role ML was to drum up local support and you did that well: you couldn't go anywhere in town without seeing Save West Island bumper stickers on all types of vehicles. Was it a leap of faith? Perhaps, but most of all we had faith in ourselves and our cause."  Skip Tenczar

      In December of 1988 the Save West Island newsletter announced that the Commonwealth of  Massachusetts   has concluded an agreement for the purchase and acquisition of over 338 acres of pristine wetlands and forestry of West Island for 1.6 million dollars.   Tears of joy, disbelief, and relief befell the membership at the final meeting of Save West Island Inc. at the Fairhaven Town Hall.

Today the land is known as The West Island State Reservation dedicated to my late dear friend and compatriot David L. Szeliga. 

 Dave Szeliga was well known for the breeding of Golden Retrievers. He had customers from all over the country with his business "Fairlane Golden Retrievers". Dave would often  bring his pups to local elderly homes for what he called "pet therapy" , much to the enjoyment of the residents. His assistant was his son, Ross. He was also an avid fisherman in local fresh water streams. (Photo courtesy Maryanne  Regan, Dave's sister.) 

 The island reservation is a habitat for common,rare, resident and migratory birds.

 

Save West Island Inc. received the distinguished

National Award “A”  from the National Audubon Society for

“Excellence in Environmental Action”.

 
In Memory of

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