Tag Archives: natural resource damage assessment

Meet #ScienceWoman Molly Sperduto!

Molly SperdutoBranded Our #ScienceWoman campaign kicked off during Women’s History Month, and we’re going to keep on rolling! We’re looking forward by honoring women across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and female conservationists who are making history in our agency and in conservation. With each #ScienceWoman, we’ll share a photo and a couple questions and answers about her work. Stay tuned for more posts!

Meet #ScienceWoman Molly Sperduto, biologist in our New England Field Office in Concord, New Hampshire.

Molly and her son Nick monitor nest boxes made and installed by the Canterbury Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Molly and her son Nick monitor nest boxes made and installed by the Canterbury Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Molly studied biology and natural resource conservation at Duke University (I — Meagan — went to Duke’s rival, University of North Carolina. We’ve worked out our differences. 😉 ) and University of New Hampshire. Her conservation mentor is Lisa Williams from our East Lansing Field Office in Michigan.

Molly has been recognized for her pivotal role in planning and implementing restoration for more than 15 individual settlements in four New England states—resulting in many miles of restored streams and thousands of acres of habitat restored, enhanced or protected.

A birding field trip with the Belmont Middle School in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Molly.

A birding field trip with the Belmont Middle School in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Q. How did you get interested in conservation? A. My mom got me interested in conservation. When I was very young, we used to spend hours looking for spring wildflowers together. And as I grew older, she encouraged me to spend time backcountry canoeing in an incredible wilderness area in northern Ontario. Since then, protecting natural landscapes is something that I’ve always wanted to do!

Feeding Baird's tapir at the Belize Zoo. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Feeding Baird’s tapir at the Belize Zoo. Photo courtesy of Molly.

Q. What’s your favorite species and why? A. This is so difficult, but one of my current favorites is the Baird’s tapir – their closest relatives are horses and rhinos and they are kind of funky looking, with a long nose. I’d like to see one in the wild someday!

See more #ScienceWoman profiles!

Protecting, restoring and celebrating estuaries—where salt and freshwater Meet

Tivoli Bays are one of the four tidal wetlands protected by the Hudson River Research Reserve.  Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

Tivoli Bays are one of the four tidal wetlands protected by the Hudson River Research Reserve. Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

Below the Federal Dam at Troy, the Hudson River becomes an estuary, where fresh waters meet salt waters.

In 1982, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designated four sections of the Hudson River (Piermont Marsh, Iona Island, Tivoli Bays and Stockport Flats) as a National Estuarine Research Reserve. This reserve covers 4,838 acres of coastal wetlands along 100 miles of the Hudson River in New York State.

The estuary supports extraordinary biological diversity and provides important benefits to humans, yet these habitats have been diminished, damaged and disconnected by human activity.

In the early 1970s, toxic compounds known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were discovered in the water, fish and sediment of the Hudson River below General Electric’s plants at Hudson Falls and Ford Edward in New York. These PCBs have contaminated all parts of the Hudson River, including its estuary.

The responsibility for restoring natural resources that have been injured by hazardous substances (such as PCBs) belongs to the natural resource trustees, through a natural resource damage assessment. Trustees are stewards of the public’s natural resources.

For the Hudson River, the trustees are the U.S. Department of Commerce (through NOAA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (through our agency) and the State of New York (through NYSDEC). The trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment to measure the harm caused by PCBs, with the goal of restoring these natural resources so that wildlife can thrive and people can more fully enjoy the river.

We’re highlighting National Estuaries Week with a reblog from our partner, NOAA. Check it out below. Learn more about the Hudson River Estuarine Research Reserve in these NYSDEC and NOAA websites.

What’s in store for MA, RI after 2003 Bouchard Barge 120 oil spill?

Tonight our New England staff are meeting with southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities around Buzzards Bay to share our proposal to use $4.8 million in oil spill settlement funds to fund projects restoring public access and recreational use of natural resources and restoring some shoreline and aquatic areas.

“I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to work with our partners and the public to improve the quality of Buzzards Bay and surrounding natural areas,” said Tom Chapman, the head of our New England Field Office.

Bouchard oil spill settlement funds of nearly $1 million would provide the critical remaining money necessary for the Buzzards Bay Coalition and multiple land conservation partners to protect nearly 450 acres of coastal habitat in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, Mass. Credit:  Buzzards Bay Coalition

Bouchard oil spill settlement funds of nearly $1 million would provide the critical remaining money necessary for the Buzzards Bay Coalition and multiple land conservation partners to protect nearly 450 acres of coastal habitat in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, Mass. Credit: Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Here's an aerial view of Round Hill Marsh in Dartmouth, Mass. The central portion was filled nearly 100 years ago. Under the proposal, fill would be excavated from the historic salt marsh and tidal flow would be re-connected to restore up to 12 acres of salt marsh. The opportunity to reclaim this valuable coastal ecosystem is only possible because of a partnership and cost-sharing effort utilizing Bouchard oil spill settlement funds, New Bedford Harbor NRDAR settlement money, and a grant from the DOI Hurricane Sandy Resiliency effort. Credit: Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration.

Here’s an aerial view of Round Hill Marsh in Dartmouth, Mass. The central portion was filled nearly 100 years ago. Under the proposal, fill would be excavated from the historic salt marsh and tidal flow would be re-connected to restore up to 12 acres of salt marsh. The opportunity to reclaim this valuable coastal ecosystem is only possible because of a partnership and cost-sharing effort utilizing Bouchard oil spill settlement funds, New Bedford Harbor NRDAR settlement money, and a grant from the DOI Hurricane Sandy Resiliency effort. Credit: Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration.

Check out the below post from another one of the natural resources trustees in the proposal, our partner NOAA.