Making Waves in Coastal Conservation: Dorie Stolley

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Date - 02/13/2016
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Brewster Chapel, Plymouth MA

O is for Osprey: A Conservation Success Story

Dorie is rarely without her binoculars

Join us for the third presentation in our winter speaker series, featuring Dorie Stolley, Goldenrod Foundation’s Program Manager, who will speak about a familiar Plymouth summer resident: the Osprey or fish hawk.

A predator at the top of the food chain, Osprey were devastated by the use of the pesticide DDT, which caused reproductive failure. From 1,000 nests in 1940, the number of nests in New England (between Boston and New York City) plummeted to 109 by the early 1970’s. In the mid-70’s the trend began to reverse and as of 2014 southeastern Massachusetts alone had over 1,200 nests. (1)

Plymouth Osprey on their nest. Photo credit: Gene Harriman

Plymouth Osprey young on their nest. Photo credit: Gene Harriman

So, how were Osprey brought back from dangerously low numbers? What lessons can they teach us? And, what new technologies are being employed to learn more of their secrets? Those are the topics of Dorie’s presentation. She will reveal the combination of one woman’s heroic literary effort, an outraged and impassioned citizenry, science, legislation and the ongoing service of ordinary (and extraordinary) people that served to make the Osprey plentiful enough to be featured in alphabet books.

O is for Osprey by Emily Taylor

O is for Osprey by Emily Taylor

Dorie’s presentation will also showcase the innovative work of the Beach Ambassadors, Goldenrod’s volunteer corps members, who run an Osprey Viewing Station at Nelson Park in Plymouth in the summer.

Beach Ambassador Lisa Meeks helps a young visitor use the spotting scope at the Osprey Viewing Station

Beach Ambassador Lisa Meeks helps a young visitor use the spotting scope at the Osprey Viewing Station

Aiming a spotting scope at the nest, the volunteers invite park visitors to get close up and personal looks at the Osprey family from nest building and incubation through the chicks’ growth and first flight. The initial “gee wow!” reaction often leads to the desire for more information, which the Beach Ambassadors are happy to provide, along with games and activities to promote nature appreciation, discovery and understanding.

Beach Ambassadors at Nelson Park. Photo by Mara Delgado

Beach Ambassadors at Nelson Park. Photo credit: Mara Delgado

Dorie holds an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University and an M.A. in Communication from Johns Hopkins University. She worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a refuge biologist for 12 years before leaving to return to school and start her own business, Three Birds Consulting, which specializes in outreach, education and community engagement in environmental conservation. Her main client is Goldenrod Foundation, a nonprofit committed to coastal conservation.

Dorie serves on the Town of Plymouth’s Open Space Committee and is secretary of her local watershed association. Her hobbies include birding, kayaking, puppetry and spending time with the Three Birds – the youngest of her nephews and nieces.

Pre-register for the talk to receive an email reminder about it a few days before and a message if it is postponed due to snow.