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Merit Award Scholarship

The Merit Award Scholarship was established to celebrate the lives of Margot Boote and William & Ruth Heath, who were all committed to environmental issues and protection of the natural world.

Application requirements and process:

1. WRWA offers two merit scholarships: a first place award of $2000 and a second place award of $1000 to two graduating high school seniors. To qualify, you (a) must be planning to pursue a college degree in a field that benefits the environment such as natural sciences, environmental engineering, education, law, etc. and (b) have demonstrated an interest in the watershed and/or environmental protection.

2. Applicants must live in the Westport River Watershed communities of:  Little Compton and Tiverton in Rhode Island or Dartmouth, Fall River, Freetown, or Westport in Massachusetts.

3.  A committee of WRWA staff and education volunteers review applications and select winners.


4. The funds shall be awarded to the winners by a WRWA representative at the school's award night.


5. Relatives (children & grandchildren) of staff and present Board Members are ineligible.

6. The winners will be selected on the basis of the following criteria: 

a. Commitment to environmental issues as demonstrated through extracurricular activities, community service, work experience and/or participation in the WRWA or other environmental organizations.

b. Essay

c. Academic record



Complete the online application 

The application deadline is April 15, 2024. WRWA will contact the winner’s school by the end of May.


Before you begin, make sure you have all of the required information and documents ready.
These include:

1. A transcript of school record;

2. Three references from individuals who know you well.  At least one of them should be a teacher.  Relatives and friends are not appropriate references.  

3. A completed essay based on one of the options below.

4. A list of your job and volunteer/community service experiences, name of the college you plan or hope to attend, and area of study you are pursuing.


Essay options:
1. How has your involvement in WRWA’s Watershed Education Programs or other environmental education programs influenced your interest in the environment, the Westport River, or your chosen area of study?

2. Describe an experience that shaped how you became interested in protecting the environmental health of our watershed.

3. What are your concerns about climate change in your community? Describe ways you have tried to make a difference or hope to in the future.

If you have any questions about the Merit Scholarship for graduating seniors or the GG Scholarship for summer programs, please contact

Kim Botelho, Education Director

at or call 508-636-3016 ext. 1006

GG Summer Scholarships

In honor of Gay Gillespie, who has done so much for WRWA a scholarship fund has been created to provide funds to families in need so they can attend the summer Watershed Discovery Programs free-of-charge or at a reduced rate. This scholarship is available to students who live within the watershed towns of Westport, Dartmouth, Fall River, Freetown in MA and Tiverton and Little Compton in RI.  Any donations received for this fund will go directly towards this initiative.  

Scholarships are provided on a first come, first serve basis while funding is available.  To qualify, families must make 80% or less than the state median income range for your family size.  After you fill out a simple application, you will be asked to show us (we do not keep copies) a letter accepting your child into the school lunch program OR the summary page of your 2023 taxes.  We also make special exceptions.  To see the full details and income ranges, please download the scholarship application.  We are also offering discounts for families who wish to register multiple children.  Simply email Kim at with the names of your children and weeks you want to register for and she will send you a discount code to use during registration.

Note: All scholarships and discount codes must be requested beforehand and used at the time of registration.  We will not give reimbursements.

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