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Almanac Archive 3/28/2011

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Quote of the Week
“95% of Vineyarders surveyed said protecting the Vineyard’s environment
and character is a HIGH PRIORITY.” -Island Plan

Conservation Calendar

Trophy House Date

Monday April 4, 5:30 pm
MVC offices, Old Stone Building, Oak Bluffs. Should very big houses be reviewed by the MVC? The Land Use Planning meets to continue their discussion.

Resilience 101

March 30 & 31, 2011
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Waquoit Bay Reserve
Two day course on “Smart Growth” planning for coastal communities
Registration deadline TODAY, Monday March 28
Click HERE for information

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

Every Fish in the Sea:  
Major Findings of the First Census of Marine Life

Monday April, 11 7:00 PM
Vineyard Haven Public Library
Census of Marine Life lecture, see Local News.

In Season Recipe

Local Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

 Local lamb available at:

421 South Road, Chilmark, 645-9064

9 Middle Road, Chilmark, 645-3492

State Road, West Tisbury, www.allenwhiting.com

Road to Great Neck, off New Lane, West Tisbury, 693-5685

Northern Pines Road off Lambert’s Cove Rd, Tisbury, 693-7354

Katama Farm, 14 Aero Avenue, Edgartown, 627-7007

    * 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
    * 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 4 local lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)*
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 1/4 cup minced shallots
    * 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
    * 3/4 cup chicken broth
    * 1 tablespoon butter

In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.

Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. If you don't, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.

March 28, 2011

Local News


Large scale development now dominates
on Edgartown Harbor

Each year, about 600 acres of land on Martha’s Vineyard are developed, and about 150 acres are conserved as open space. If this trend continues, the MV Commission projects that about 80% of the “available” land on the Island – 18,000 acres of woods and fields that we now take for granted as part of the Island’s open space – would end up being developed.

Martha’s Vineyard’s population has increased from 6,000 in 1970 to about 15,500 today. The Island has about 15,600 residential houses and 1,500 guest houses. Under current zoning rules, as many as 7,400 houses and more than 4,600 guest houses can be built, an increase of 70%. This translates into an increase in the year-round population to about 26,000 people, as detailed in the Island Plan HERE.

We are all painfully aware of the cumulative impacts of all this change. The wastewater from houses polluting our ponds poses a multi-million-dollar challenge. Development and landscaping practices are fragmenting natural habitat with buildings and roads. Native vegetation is being displaced with “exotic” plantings and large mono-culture lawns of low ecological value.

The Island Plan calls for the Island community to “conserve enough of the Vineyard’s distinct ecological regions to retain biodiversity, protect the Island’s scenic character, and support recreational uses”. But increasing the rate of open space preservation is no easy task, and public sources of funding alone will not “save” the Vineyard. Ultimately, it will require private landowners actually sitting down and deciding, as individuals and as families, to conserve their land for the future.

Click HERE for one Vineyard family's story

Click HERE to learn how you can protect the land you love from future development.

Click HERE to see a map (produced my the Martha's Vineyard Commission) highlighting land that is available for development.


WT agricultural land conserved for future generations

Accountants, attorneys, appraisers, assessors, abatements, surveyors, estate planners, taxes… Vineyard landowners thinking about conserving land are often overwhelmed with the complexity of the task.

Click HERE for a handy road-map to begin to sort out the necessary steps!

Click HERE for a more detailed publication: “Your Land, Your Legacy: Deciding the Future of Your Land”.

Every Fish in the Sea:  
Major Findings of the First Census of Marine Life

Jesse Ausubel

A presentation given by the co-founder of the Census of Marine Life project, Jesse Ausubel, will be held at the Vineyard Haven Public Library on Monday April 11, 7:00 PM. This will be a great learning experience for older children!

Involving more than 500 expeditions during 2000-2010, the international research program Census of Marine Life created the first integrated view of the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life ranging from microbes to whales in all ocean realms. The Census showed that life in Planet Ocean is richer, more connected, and more altered by human activities than previously imagined.  Ausubel will highlight findings of the program, including newly discovered species and some of those whose abundance is plummeting. Click HERE for more information on the Census.

Permanent Endowment funds VCS' 'A Vineyard Way' Public Outreach Campaign

Kids play safely on a chemical-free 'Vineyard Lawn'

VCS is pleased to announce the award of $2,800 from the Permanent Endowment Fund to support our environmental public outreach radio ad campaign called “The Vineyard Way”.  The campaign will address issues like water quality, invasive species, excessive development, and resource conservation. The goal is to use radio to reach Island residents and offer information on environmentally responsible behaviors. Subject matter will range from choice of building materials to energy conservation to lawn care. The idea is to flag bad behaviors and identify practical actions homeowners can take for more environmentally responsible living on Martha’s Vineyard.

Other News


BioMap2 is a conservation plan to protect the state's biodiversity. Developed by the state and the Nature Conservancy, it is designed to focus land protection and stewardship on those areas that are most critical for ensuring the survival of intact natural systems: “biological diversity”.

Click HERE for more detail.