State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference Set For Saturday

WELLFLEET – The annual State of the Wellfleet Harbor Conference will take place this coming weekend.

For the past 17 years the conference has covered a range of topics associated with Wellfleet Harbor, its health, ecology, and economy, and has showcased the latest science on issues of concern to Wellfleet citizens and other Outer Cape residents.

“We’ve got two main goals for the conference, first to let people in Wellfleet know about all the scientific research and monitoring projects that are happening in Wellfleet harbor,” said Conference Moderator Abigail Archer.   

“The other part of our goal is to identify people’s concerns and questions about the health of the harbor.”

Among this year’s presenters will be assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Mike Armstrong.

He will address striped bass management and anticipated new regulations aimed at rebuilding the population.

Center for Coastal Studies biologist Agnes Mittermayr will present new research on Wellfleet Harbor’s infamous “black mayonnaise”, and Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary science coordinator Mark Faherty will speak on the status of Wellfleet’s significantly declining horseshoe crabs.

Talks later in the afternoon will include a presentation by coastal engineer Kirk Bosma of the Woods Hole Group on the hydrodynamics of the Herring River and how sediment in the estuary may move and be managed as tidal flow is restored.

Martha Craig of Friends of Herring River will also provide an update on the Herring River project.

The issue of “black mayonnaise” will continue to be explored the day after the conference with a harbor walk led by John Riehl, chairman of the Wellfleet Natural Resources Advisory Board, and retired Cape Cod National Seashore ecologist John Portnoy.

Those interested in attending the field trip may sign up on the day of the conference.

Directions on where to meet will also be available at that time.

“We’ve been doing this conference since 2002 and the goal is always to keep people up to date,” said Archer.

“It’s important to let the people know who live there what some of the research has produced.”           

Sponsors for this year’s conference include Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Center for Coastal Studies, Friends of Herring River, Mid Cape Home Centers, the Town of Wellfleet, the Wellfleet Conservation Trust, and Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Food donations are being made by Mac’s Seafood, the Wellfleet Box Lunch, Wellfleet Marketplace, The Wicked Oyster, and PB Boulangerie.

The conference is set to take place Saturday, November 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Wellfleet Elementary School. The event is free and open to the public.

The harbor walk will take place Sunday, November 3rd from 10 to 11 a.m.

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About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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