Herring, mackerel and other small schooling fish are food for the whole ecosystem, including marine mammals, birds, and larger fish like tuna and striped bass. But the expansion of industrial-scale fishing is jeopardizing these key prey species and the marine environments and coastal communities they support.
In Virginia, Friends of the Rappahannock organizes students to restore oyster beds and control streamside erosion.
In Rhode Island, volunteers scoop nets full of migrating river herring up and over an obsolete mill dam.
In Maryland, citizen-scientists don hip waders to take samples of the aquatic life in Mattawoman creek.
These groups and dozens of others like them are the very epitome of "grass roots," community-level conservation, and the Herring Alliance is proud that they are members.
The postcards started arriving at the Herring Alliance office in late July. In neat handwriting they said things like, "how refreshing to hear a bit of good news about our oceans," and, "thank you for having the foresight to limit the amount of menhaden to be caught."