What is the State of Salem Sound?
Past, Present and Future
On March 25 and 26, 2011, Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) held a 2-day symposium. The event reviewed the strides SSCW has made in the twenty years since a group of concerned citizens, business leaders and local officials came together to address the seriously polluted condition of our coastal waters and marine habitats.
Some take a ways were:
- The water is much cleaner than it was 20 years ago, however, Marblehead, Salem, Beverly and Manchester harbors, as well as all the rivers that flow into Salem Sound, are still listed as impaired water bodies due to pathogens.
- Rainbow smelt and winter flounder are returning to our coastal waters, although not in great numbers, and that within the past five years American oystercatchers have been found nesting on islands in Salem Sound. The presence of bacterial contamination requires more hard work to reduce pollution before clams and mussels can be harvested.
- Despite the region’s long industrial past, many contaminated lands or “brownfields” have been turned into useful waterfront parks such as Salem’s new pocket park on Peabody Street along the South River and Beverly’s skateboard park on the Bass River.
- Stormwater runoff is the major source of pollution today. Upcoming challenges include addressing the impacts of climate change such as greater storm severity and sea level rise.
To see the list of presentations and posters.
The talks presented at the symposium by SSCW staff, Salem State University professors and Mass Division of Marine Fisheries aquatic biologists are currently being written up and will be available on this website.
More than 100 people attended each day and the most important thing learned was that our successes have come from developing partnerships and working together. We would like to recognize our sponsors, the Massachusetts Bays Program, Endicott College and Salem State University.
The two people who had the vision and drive to get the organization started in 1990, Rob Moir and Dan McGrath, were both in attendance. Dan flew in for this event from California where he is the Executive Director of the Berkeley Institute for the Environment at the University of California Berkeley, and Rob Moir is the Executive Director of the Ocean River Institute in Cambridge, MA.
A special thanks to everyone who helped and attended.
Betsy, Andrea, Nancy and Vic - the Registration Team