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Almanac Archive 3/14/2011

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Save The Date!

19th annual
VCS Earth Day
Beach Clean-up!

April 16, 2011
10:00 - 12:00 p.m

Choose your favorite beach! Volunteers will be there with everything you need.
State Beach, Bend in the Road
Fuller Street
Wilson’s Landing
South Beach
State Beach, Little Bridge
Town Beach (SSA to Pay Beach and Inkwell)
Marinelli Beach
Eastville Beach
VH Harbor, at Tisbury Texaco
Lagoon Pond, Town Landing
Tashmoo Opening
Owen Park Beach
Lake St. Landing
Lambert’s Cove Beach
Squibnocket Beach
Lobsterville Beach
Menemsha Beach
Cedar Tree Neck
Moshup Beach
Join VCS for a lunch party at SBS following the Beach Clean-Up!
Free kids raffles for gift certificates to Riley’s Reads!

Quotes of the Week

Remains of Swan Pond on Chappy

"The coastline is primarily made up of a matrix of beaches and salt marsh plant communities which must be able to move and change shape to stay vibrant, healthy and diverse." By Seth S. Wilkinson, Restoration Ecologist

"While various private protective structures can be effective in temporarily protecting shorelines and associated buildings, none will be permanent."
-Great Lakes Commission

Conservation Calendar

Eco-Toilet Summit: “From Waste to Wealth”
Saturday March 19, 12:30-4:30 P.M.
East Falmouth Elementary School, FREE
The hidden cost of land development is coming home to roost. Nitrogen from septic systems is polluting surface waters. Towns on the Cape and Islands are scrambling with multi-million dollar sewage treatment remediation choices.
Most people are unaware that more than 80% of the nitrogen in the waste stream comes from urine. One promising approach to tackling the nitrogen challenge therefore involves new toilet designs that separate nitrogen from the waste stream. This program will be moderated by former state Rep. Matt Patrick, and include speakers from the alternative system manufacturers Clivus Multrum, Ecovita, along with Earle Barnhart from the New Alchemy Co-housing/Green Center. Contact Hilde Maingay/Earle Barnhart TheGreatWorkInc@comcast.net

Martha's Vineyard Commission
Public Hearing
Thursday, April 7, 2010, 7:00 P.M.
Place: Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Stone Building, 33 New York Avenue, Oak Bluffs
Island Wind DCPC of proposed regulations to govern the Ocean Zone in the Town of Edgartown 

Martha's Vineyard Commission
Public Hearing

Thursday, April 7, 2010, 7:15 P.M.
Place: Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Stone Building 33 New York Avenue, Oak Bluffs
Town of Aquinnah DCPC
Conformance of proposed
amendments to regulations

Organic Lawns Workshop
Thursday, April 7
UMASS is sponsoring "Organic Lawns for Homeowners" workshops at various locations around the state, including New Bedford and Hyannis, starting April 7. Each workshop is three hours long and taught by an accredited professional. For information, contact Kathy Litchfield at Kathy@nofamass.org

In Season Recipe

Baked Perch with Parmesan

  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 pound local perch
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika and basil. Brush fish fillets with butter, then dip into the crumb mixture. Place in a greased baking pan. bake, uncovered, at 500 degrees F for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
March 14, 2011

Local News


Dynamic natural processes at work          
Painting by Kara Taylor

Natural resources on the Vineyard are not immune from the impacts of global climate change. VCS is undertaking a year-long project aimed at inventorying climate change impacts on Martha’s Vineyard and the effects of likely adaptation and mitigation measures. The goal is to identify and advocate for strategies that will protect natural resources and conservation values. Part of our task is to identify nature-based alternatives to conventional adaptation strategies. This mean, for example, finding alternatives to armoring coastlines with stone, concrete and steel.


The very visible revetment on Sengekontacket Pond
A property owner on Tisbury Great Pond’s Middle Cove is going to great lengths to build a coastal revetment to protect a 3.7 acre property, purchased in 2006 for $13 million dollars. There is a 6,739 square foot house on the site.
The ongoing legal fight, being watched in the press (MV Times; Gazette), sheds light on the interplay between science and regulation concerning coastal (in this case pond-shore) armoring. Current rules don’t permit the building of revetments just to protect undeveloped land, but do allow revetments to protect structures. The local Conservation Commission determined that there was no imminent threat to the house, so rejected the revetment request. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) overruled their decision.

Click HERE for a copy of the local Conservation Commission’s original denial and HERE for the state DEP’s Superseding Order of Conditions approving a revetment.
The ConComm. has filed an appeal of DEP’s decision. The revetment DEP approved is shorter than the one the Commission denied, so the landowner will still need to return to the local ConComm for a permit to proceed.
To read about “The Problem with Revetments and Other “Hard” Structures”
Click HERE


Elbow from North Neck Highlands (Chappy)
photo by Dana Gaines

A report that provides analysis and details on historical erosion rates for the U.S. coastline from Maine to Virginia has been released by The U.S. Geological Survey. Click HERE for more on the National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change along the New England and Mid-Atlantic Coasts.


Coastal armoring on the North Shore

An overview of climate change impacts on the natural and built environments in marine and coastal North America is the subject of a new report entitled, “The State of Marine and Coastal Adaptation in North America: A Synthesis of Emerging Ideas”. It also provides a review of an array of adaptation options and a survey of adaptation projects from different regions. Click HERE for an abstract.