|(Wellfeet, Mass...December 12, 2012) At last night's Board of Selectmen meeting, Mass Recycle announced that Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc. (SPAT), producers of the Wellfleet OysterFest, along with The Town of Wellfleet, received the Municipal Innovation Award at the 17th Annual Mass Recycle Awardsheld on November 13.
The award recognized the combined recycling and habitat restoration efforts of SPAT, the Wellfleet Shellfish Department, Department of Public Works and Wastewater Committee. This collaborative effort is further supported by contributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service and the Mass. Oyster Project.
"The Town of Wellfleet and their partners are to be commended for this innovative approach to managing this part of their traditional waste stream," says Meg Morris, President of Mass Recycle. "Not only are they reusing and recycling these shells, creating a large economic value to the Town, but they're saving disposal costs at the same time."
"This award speaks to the amazing creativity that comes from working in partnerships," says SPAT president Mac Hay. "We made this program happen as a team and couldn't have done it without the significant contributions of brain power, time and effort from the Town, NOAA, our other collaborators, and all the OysterFest volunteers who painstakingly make sure that shells are recycled properly."
OysterFest Shell Recycling
During the 2012 OysterFest on October 13 and 14, organizers recaptured 5.2 tons of oyster shell which removed 43 percent of the solid waste stream.While about 100,000 oysters and 10,000 clams were consumed at OysterFest, recycling the shell, allowed 600,000 baby oysters, called spat, which remained on the shell, to be returned to the harbor.Over the past three years, the OysterFest has recycled 15 tons of shell. This year alone, an estimated 1 million oysters were returned to the harbor under a special exemption from the Mass Division of Marine Fisheries. For the first time, shellfishermen were not required to scrape the spat off of the shells, which meant that more spat was returned to the harbor.
With a name that credits an oyster's beginnings, Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT) is a non-profit organization devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the town's shellfishing industry, the history and traditions of its aquaculture and wild fisheries, and to enhancing the Town of Wellfleet by supporting its community. SPAT produces the annual Wellfleet OysterFest, proceeds from which support its educational mission including a Nauset Regional High School scholarship program and community grant awards to people pursuing careers in shellfishing or whose creative and educational work increases awareness of Wellfleet's shellfishing industry, an important part of our community life. To date SPAT has awarded more than $118,000 between the high school scholarship program and its community grants
Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT) would like to invite you to a free screening of a new documentary film, By The Waters. This 40-minute film, directed and photographed by Marnie Crawford Samuelson and edited by Shane Hofeldt, is about growing up and growing Wellfleet oysters.
By the Waters features Wellfleet oystermen Clint Austin and his mother Barbara. It is a story about family and connection to place, and about a way of life dependent on the tides. After years of working alongside his mother, Clint now has his own oyster grant and is finding his place in the lineage of Wellfleet oystermen. He rolls the dice, betting that he can survive storms, disease, icebergs, and, now, pressure from other oystermen who have won an old lawsuit and have title to the beach.
If you miss this viewing, there will be two other opportunities to catch By the Waters at the 12th Annual Wellfleet OystersFest. The film will be shown at Wellfleet Preservation Hall on Saturday, October 13 at 5:30 pm and Sunday, October 14 at 3:00 pm . The filmmaker will be present at each screening. Don't miss this poetic depiction of shellfishing in Wellfleet Waters.
Join us for the Cape Cod debut of By the Waters on Saturday, September 29 at 7:00 pm on W.H.A.T's Julie Harris Stage. Reserve your tickets for your free screening by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of Curt Felix
Support the 'Fest
Wellfleet OysterFest is looking for like-minded businesses and sponsors that want to reach its 20,000 attendees and support the good work that SPAT contributes to its local community with proceeds from the 'Fest.
Unique promotional opportunities are available and all contributions are
For further information,
Twelfth Annual Wellfleet OysterFest
Saturday and Sunday
October 13-14, 2012
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Call for Volunteers
Have a fun and rewarding volunteer experience at the OysterFest this year.
Donate four hours of your time and receive a souvenir to take home!
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WELLFLEET SHELLFISH PROMOTION AND TASTING
ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY GRANT AWARDS
(Wellfleet, Mass...May 7, 2012) Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT) is distributing over $15,000 in the local community this year. The non-profit organization is able to do this with proceeds from the production of the annual Wellfleet OysterFest, which will take place October 13 and 14, 2012. This popular event raises money to support SPAT's educational mission dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of the town's shellfishing industry.
Monetary awards are distributed through the Nauset Regional High School(NRHS) Scholarship Program and through community grants to those whose work supports preservation of the region's historic shellfishing traditions. Grants are distributed annually each spring. The deadline for next year's grant applications is March 1, 2013. To apply for a grant, download an application from the Scholarship and Grants;page. Graduating NRHS seniors will find scholarship information through the NRHS Guidance Department. SPAT will announce its 2012 NRHS scholarship winner in June.
SPAT Awards Eight Community Grants (For more information see links on Scholarship/Grants page)
This year, the SPAT Board of Directors awarded eight grants to community organizations whose educational and creative contributions increase awareness of Wellfleet's shellfishery, an important part of our community life. To date, SPAT has distributed over $90,000 between the high school scholarship program and grants in the local community.
The Town of Wellfleet Comprehensive Wastewater Planning Committee has been awarded $5,000 in support of the town's Oyster Propagation and Habitat Restoration effort. This project is designed to increase native oyster populations, providing critical breeding habitat for fish, turtles and other organisms, which significantly improves;water quality. "This project ensures that Wellfleet's water, fish and shellfish will remain as exceptional and plentiful as they were over 150 years ago," says committee member Curt Felix.
SPAT awarded $3,800 to help Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary bring its Coastal Ecology of Wellfleet Harbor curriculum to the 5th graders at Wellfleet Elementary School. Many families in Wellfleet are involved in the shellfishing industry, and this educational program offers students an understanding of the sensitive ecosystems right in their backyards and the coastal issues that impact them.
Safe Harbor Environmental Services is restoring the barrier dune of Ballston Beachat the headwaters of the Pamet River estuary. SPAT contributed $2,580 toward this project, which will safeguard habitat for a wide diversity of birds, mammals, vegetation and bi-valves. Safe Harbor Director, Gordon Peabody remarked, "We are humbled to receive this supportive SPAT grant, which provides significant affirmation for the coastal restoration tools we have developed."
SPAT awarded the Wellfleet Public Library an unrestricted grant of $1,000 to recognize the Library's vital role in the community. Library Director Elaine McIlroy has already earmarked the funds for the Outermost Sustainable Development Reading Group Project, which will focus on learning about long term and sustainable economic development, including shellfishing.
The Wellfleet Community HarborFest is a celebration of the fishing industry in Wellfleet. Event organizers are producing a guide-map featuring main points of interest around the harbor and pier. SPAT contributed $1,000 toward the production of this guide, which will benefit boaters, visitors and marina users.
The Friends of the Herring River has been given $535.46 to create digital signage explaining the importance of restoring tidal flow to the 1,100-acre salt water marsh of the Herring River estuary, and its impact on Wellfleet Harbor and the shellfishing industry.
The final grants in this cycle have been given to the Wellfleet Shellfish Advisory Board and Wellfleet Blossoms. Each organization received a $500 contribution from SPAT. The inaugural Wellfleet Blossoms festival was held on April 13-15 and highlighted young and emerging artists from the Outer Cape working in a wide range of mediums.
The Wellfleet Shellfish Advisory Board will use the funds to create an informational brochure about vibirio, a foodborne bacteria. Advisory Board member Barbara Brennessel commented on the importance of this publication, "Shellfish are food items and must be handled and prepared safely, just like many other types of food (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, etc.). Some shellfishermen have not been formally trained about safe handling and storage practices, so the brochure is meant to raise awareness and provide guidelines."
Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT)
Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting is SPAT, a name that honors the oyster, which begins life as a free-swimming larva called spat. SPAT is a non-profit organization that fosters greater understanding of the town's shellfishing industry and the history and traditions of its aquaculture and wild fisheries, and is committed to enhancing the Town of Wellfleet and supporting its community. SPAT produces the annual Wellfleet OysterFest and proceeds support its educational mission, including a Nauset Regional High School scholarship program, and grant awards to people pursuing careers in shellfishing or those whose creative and educational work increases awareness of Wellfleet's shellfishery, an important part of our community life.
by Sally Rose
Posted Oct 19, 2009
OysterFest is embracing its environment by expanding it recycling efforts. An oyster shell recycling program got a strong start last year led by Kathy Stetson and Tracy Vanderschmidt. “Kathy Stetson was really instrumental in getting it off the ground,” says Alex Hay, one of OysterFest’s organizers, of the shell recycling effort. This year the efforts will redouble. In fact, OysterFest is teaming up with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to try to expand the recycling.
NOAA Fisheries has participated in the past but only to the point of having a booth on Main Street. This year it will increase its presence with seafood inspection outreach and demonstrations, including skits to educate kids, and a beach clean-up at Mayo Beach in partnership with CoastSweep.
This year’s shell recycling is the pet project of Carli Bertrand, senior marine policy advisor at NOAA Fisheries. Bertrand, who was raised in Wellfleet, notes that it will be tough to beat last year’s effort — Stetson and her team succeeded in achieving 60 percent recapture.
“We’re trying to meet or beat that,” says Bertrand. Bertrand says she noticed Stetson’s shell recycling effort last year, as she was manning NOAA’s booth at OysterFest, she says, and thought “this is exactly what the Fisheries Service should be doing.” So she set out trying to figure out “how we could add value” to the recycling effort, she says. Toward that end, NOAA has put funds into buying shell recycling bins, creating signs marking the bins and providing outreach throughout the festival.They plan to use the same model for the shell recycling as last year, says Bertrand. The reclaimed shells will be set out in piles to weather and season, then half will be made available for town grant holders and the other half will be used by Audubon. “Our goal is to work in tandem with Audubon,” and, she adds, for the future, partner in their research on oyster reefs, in addition to building on the OysterFest partnership in years to come.
Audubon has been working on restoring wild oyster reef habitat for a couple of years. Bob Prescott, director of Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, says that while there is no shortage of Wellfleet oysters, “the wild oyster habitat is missing in the harbor, so we wanted to restore the oyster reef that once existed here.”