“I started sailing when I was about two years old,” he said. “Over my early years and my early adult life, I sailed a lot on Narragansett Bay, and I fished, swam, and quahogged. I have always been part of the water.”
As an adult, he moved to Marion and began to discover Buzzards Bay’s beauty. He became a member of the Coalition in 1995, participating in the Baywatchers water quality monitoring program, collecting water samples in Blankenship Cove. And within a few years, he was immersed in the effort to preserve the watershed lands most critical to the health of the Bay, as a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors.
“To protect the Bay, you need to protect the land around it,” Hayes said, explaining the Coalition’s Bay-focused land protection and restoration strategy. The biggest threat to water quality in Buzzards Bay—nitrogen pollution—comes from residential septic systems, fertilizer, runoff, etc, all due to development in the watershed.
“As of today, the Coalition has preserved more than 9,000 acres of watershed lands around Buzzards Bay, and we’re still at it. That’s just an amazing accomplishment, and it’s the kind of thing that will benefit our future generations.”
Planned giving allows people to create a legacy for themselves, in supporting a cause that is important to them. It also can offer tax savings for donors and their heirs. Legacy gifts can be made in a variety of ways, from naming the Coalition as a beneficiary in a will or life insurance plan, to financial instruments such as charitable gift annuities that earn income during your lifetime and deliver the remaining funds to organizations and causes that are important to you afterward.
“Making a bequest to the Buzzards Bay Coalition in my will and trust is a way to continue my support of an organization and mission that I care about,” Hayes said. “I began my association with BBC in the mid-90s, and I have watched it grow and prosper over the last 25 years. My bequest will allow me to continue my commitment to the organization’s future success and to the health of our beautiful Bay.”
His legacy gift is targeted to the Coalition’s endowment, which Hayes considers essential to ensuring that the organization can continue its commitment to protect the Bay and watershed lands under its stewardship far into the future.
“It’s important because the endowment is a foundation for the future and the longevity of the organization,” Hayes said. “It goes along with making the long-term commitment to protecting lands that are critical to the Bay’s health.”
Hayes cherishes the entire Bay, and certain places hold special appeal. When he heads into Vineyard Sound, for example, Menemsha Pond beckons. “My favorite place on the Bay? Quicks Hole—the wildness of it, the pristine water quality, the variety of birds and fish there, and of course, the beauty of the Elizabeth Islands.”
For more information about making a legacy gift to the Coalition, contact Jennifer Downing, Vice President for Engagement.