Volume II, Issue I. These few words, in fact, speak volumes. Estuary’s Volume I, Issue I, better known as Spring 2020, came out, arguably, at the worst possible time for a new print magazine. The publishing industry had long since administered last rites to print magazines in general, so why did we think we could succeed with Estuary?
One concern: would we have enough significant material to interest our readers every quarter?
This issue, Volume II, Issue I, aka Spring 2021, signifies the start of our second full year. This issue blossomed into maturity at our “quarterly story acquisition meeting” on October 17, 2020. Twenty-one persons attended this 90-minute meeting via Zoom. We began by introducing participants. Next, Estuary’s Creative Director, Chris Zajac, previewed Winter 2020 (on its way to the printer at the time), including the giant moose on the cover and selected stories. We then turned to this issue, Volume II, Issue I.
Had it not been for the pandemic, I confess we might never have seized upon a Big Zoom meeting for story acquisition and content planning, but it has worked well for us. I expect we will continue this approach in some form long after COVID-19 recedes from memory. When the time came to “go around the room,” this group of professionals bounced ideas around like colliding molecules in a chemical reaction, releasing constructive energy. Following this meeting, we had enough good ideas, not only for Spring 2021 but also for structuring content well into the future, balanced in terms of time, geography, and subject matter.
Another concern: can we attract readers across a broad spectrum of ages?
In this issue, Leslie Tryon, widely acclaimed author and illustrator of books for young readers, has written and illustrated chapter one of her ongoing series about JJ the Ferryman, inspired in large measure by her antecedents who piloted ferries across the Connecticut River. Will Estuary find its way into the hands of young readers? We shall see.
In another nod to youth, Nadia Goodman is our first teenage author, writing about learning to sail at an early age. Nadia is proof that it pays to learn certain things in life as early as possible, in this case sailing. Those who learn to sail later in life...say, in their twenties…may never gain the level of self-confidence as one who learns to sail, as Nadia did, at ten. We may give other aspiring young authors an opportunity to publish from time to time, especially concerning their views about the environment, water quality, a scientific experiment, wildlife, skiing, camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and rock climbing. Parents and grandparents take note.
Thirdly, we believe a successful print magazine today should have a noble purpose.
Estuary’s purpose is to increase awareness and understanding amongst a wide audience about the challenges that lie ahead for our environment, especially within the Connecticut River watershed. We believe the more people who become aware of important challenges to our local ecology, the more people who will contribute time, talent, and other resources to the care and well-being of our environment...and tell their friends.
This issue contains a public service announcement by First Light Power concerning safety in and around the water. The pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the number of people heading outdoors to take advantage of our natural surroundings. Necessarily, with more people hiking in the woods and kayaking on the water, more people twisted ankles or got soaked and dangerously cold after capsizing unexpectedly in small watercraft.
We are also pleased to announce, on page 60, a $50,000 grant to help, specifically, with the future of the Connecticut River watershed. This grant, awarded to a Connecticut non-profit affiliated with Estuary, CIME, will be used to assess the need for a much larger, long term grant. Should it come to pass, this larger Master Watershed Grant will encourage and reward collaboration between the hundreds of non-profits in the watershed, small and large…cultural, scientific, and educational. Estuary will track and report on progress of this pilot effort throughout this year and, hopefully, beyond.
Publisher & Editor