The M.V. Senior Center hosted a record high turnout Thursday night for a meeting of the All-Island Selectmen’s Association. Leading off the agenda was a striking presentation by VCS board member Phil Henderson on local impacts of rising sea levels. You can view the presentation by simply clicking the play button at right. (Special thanks to Martha's Vineyard Productions for creating the video.)
Phil discussed a variety of issues relating to climate change and sea level rise, but the most attention grabbing element was a series of maps specifically outlining what areas of our island will be completely submerged in the future. So attention grabbing, in fact, that the Gazette’s coverage of the meeting includes reproductions of the maps on their website. Depicting areas inundated at both 1 meter (yellow) and 2 meters (red) of sea level rise, the maps paint a stark picture of valuable land and critical infrastructure lost outright in the not-too-distant future. What the maps do not reveal is the much broader area subject to flooding due to storm surges and the ongoing effects of coastal erosion.
Phil will be giving an encore performance of the Rising Seas presentation at the M.V. Commission’s meeting this Thursday, May 16 at 7:00 PM at the Stone Building in Oak Bluffs. The meeting is open to the public.
Special thanks to Chris Seidel at the MVC for creating the map projections.
21st Annual Earth Day Beach Clean-Up
Kids and Crafts at West Chop
Slideshows of some of our other walks can be found at the Events page.
How can humankind manage to balance our needs for basic shelter and the experience of living in a natural, biotic world? Can it even be done in an urban area, with high population density, or in a rapidly developing rural area such as our island? This March, VCS, in collaboration with the M.V. Film Society, presented the new film Biophilic Design, which seeks to answer these questions and more.
We were joined at the screening by Executive Producer Stephen Kellert, who is the co-originator (along with E.O. Wilson) and a primary developer of the Biophilia Hypothesis, a broader theory describing the interactions between humans and nature that draws on biology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and other disciplines. The concepts of biophilia form the underpinnings of Professor Kellert's study of architecture and design presented in the film.
In an effort to dig a little deeper into the world of biophilia, VCS staffer Jeremy Houser recently conducted an interview with Dr. Kellert. Check out the interview to learn more about biophilia in general, Dr. Kellert's efforts to develop a code of ethics drawing on biophilic theory, and even why we are (perhaps unreasonably) afraid of spiders.
Edible Wild Plants of Martha's Vineyard
Now back in stock!
Back in stock after a year's absence, new VCS members can choose to receive a free copy of Edible Wild Plants of Martha's Vineyard by Linsey Lee when they join. This beautifully illustrated guide to our wild bounty of edible plants includes descriptions of plants and their habitats, with fascinating information about traditional medicinal and folklore uses.
There's never been a better time to join than today!
Edible Wild Plants is also available for purchase at Alley's General Store, Bunch of Grapes, Felix Neck, Morning Glory Farm, the M.V. Museum, and the VCS office.
Walking Martha's VineyardGet outdoors this off-season and enjoy the tranquility with the new 4th edition of Walking Trails of Martha's Vineyard featuring several new trails!
Available for $15 at many Island locations, including The Bunch of Grapes Book Store, Edgartown Books, Alley's General Store, Cronig's, Brahmhall and Dunn, The Secret Garden, Felix Neck, Allen Farm, and the Vineyard Conservation Society office. Or, order through our donation page (by choosing the $20 option) and have it shipped to your door.
You can find the book at many Island stores and farms, including Bunch of Grapes, Cronig's, Larsen's Fish Market (Menemsha), Allen Farm, Morning Glory Farm, Mermaid Farm, Nip N' Tuck Farm, and Fiddlehead Farm Stand
Two locally produced videos help make sense of this complex issue ---
Building and Island Understanding
Video of the entire presentation was recorded and professionally produced by Martha's Vineyard Productions for VCS and MVTV. Click the link below to watch!
An Island in Conflict:
What to do about Climate Change
Longtime VCS friend Marnie Stanton has produced a new video, funded by the Edey Foundation, that looks at some of the most important local climate change issues. Marnie's 15-minute video features an extensive interview with Islanders Chris Murphy and Liz Durkee, along with shorter excerpts from other local opinion leaders. She touches on a variety of issues, but really focuses on the difficult decisions the Island faces as sea level rise and increased erosion complicate the business of coastal planning and managing development. Where should hard armoring of the coast be allowed, and where should we allow beaches to grow and recede naturally? How do we manage the competing interests of private business and property with the public good?
Nurturing the Natives: Vineyard Lawns and Edible Landscapes featured at this year's annual meeting
Thanks to all who came out for this year's Annual Meeting, with a special thanks to presenter Kristin Henriksen. Kris, a a landscape designer and native plant specialist, entertained the crowd with a passionate plea for protecting our water resources through a reevaluation of what we've been led to believe is "beautiful" in a lawn. Her presentation offered options and practical advice for two versions of the Vineyard Lawn, as well as introduced her newest interest, edible gardening.
The VCS Recycling Initiative, led by former board member David Nash, recently conducted a survey of recycling efforts on Martha’s Vineyard. The team’s report explores the recycling methods available to government, restaurants, caterers, and other small businesses, with special attention to impacts on our marine environment and the challenges of recycling “on the go.”
The survey found that while recycling is already quite widespread and effective on the Vineyard, many areas for improvement remain. Suggestions are provided based on the results of the survey, ranging from the simple (reminders on the office fridge) to the ambitious (town-wide mandatory recycling). In addition, they identified setbacks, such as reductions in curbside pickup, and other obstacles to expanding recycling efforts that could be addressed with future advocacy.
The most important, longest running, and most costly campaign in the Vineyard Conservation Society’s 45-year history involves environmental legal defense at Moshup Trail. The lawsuit isn’t over, but we have registered a significant win.
On August 12, 2010, Judge Charles Trombley, Jr. of the Land Court Department of the Trial Court ruled in favor of VCS and co-defendants in a long-running case involving developers’ efforts to force access through conservation holdings at Moshup Trail, Aquinnah.
VCS has always taken the long view of land protection in this area.
For more, click HERE