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Almanac Archive for August 18, 2015

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Quotes of the Week
”If children yet unborn are to see any land in its natural state, we who are living today must save it for them"
"A watchdog group is essential…all that would be necessary are enough interested people to support and run it."

--VCS co-founder Richard Pough. Read more in our 50th anniversary retrospective newsletter (caution: very large file)
Conservation Calendar

Art Event: "A Wild Love"

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Aquinnah
Art show and event at the Gay Head Gallery to benefit the Center for Biological Diversity, featuring a talk from CBD Executive Director Kieran Suckling and artworks by Jim Brandenberg, Lois Gold, Phil Lichtenhan, Barbara Norfleet, Karen Philippi, Peter Roux, Joel Sartore, and Matthew Smith. RSVP via email or call (520) 345-5704. More info at Gay Head Gallery.

Mill Brook Watershed Discussion
Thursday, Aug. 20, 5:00 pm, West Tisbury
A public forum with the Mill Brook Watershed Management Planning Committee to provide updates, discuss progress, and answer questions on the Mill Brook Watershed Study. Free, at the West Tisbury Library.

Saturdays on Sengie
Saturday, Aug. 22 (and 29th), 9:30 to 10:30 am, Oak Bluffs
A Felix Neck program that explores a different aspect of Sengekontacket Pond each week. From the birds above, to the creatures below the water's surface, this program includes hands-on activities for all ages. Free, sponsored by Friends of Sengekontacket. For more info, call (508) 627-4850 or see Felix Neck website.

Panel: Lawns, Farms, & Ponds
Monday, Aug. 24, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Edgartown
A free lecture and panel discussion about the challenges of balancing the competing desires for green lawns, productive farms, and healthy ponds. At the Old Whaling Church, see press release for more info. (For more on the lawn fertilizer regulations passed this year, check out our new brochure)

Tiny Animal Tracking
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10:00 am to noon, West Tisbury
Naturalist Charley Eiseman leads a presentation and field exploration for gallmakers and leafminers, two fascinating groups of tiny insects that leave behind distinctive signs as they feed inside their host plants. At the Polly Hill Arboretum, $15 ($10 for members), more at website.

Farm Club
Saturday, Aug. 29, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, Katama.
The Farm Club, a year-round program held on the last Saturday of the month, presents a lower-cost option to experience what the FARM Institute has to offer. Membership costs ($10 per session) are matched and placed into an account to be used for projects and trips. For more information see website, email, or call (508) 627-7007.

West Tisbury Farmers' Market
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 to noon at the Grange Hall, West Tisbury.
Fresh picked produce from local farms, flowers, delicious baked goods and prepared foods from Island kitchens and more.
Local News

Celebrating Fifty Years of Fighting to Protect the Island

An amazing setting in any season, a perfect evening in August made for a memorable fiftieth birthday party for the Vineyard Conservation Society (Photo by Brendan O'Neill)

Many thanks to all who attended our 50th Birthday Party on August 5th, and everyone who helped make it happen, including our wonderful auctioneers, musicians, volunteers, staff, and sponsors.

An extra special thank you goes out to our participating artists. They not only donated their art to support VCS, but many also invited the public to view them at work!

So, what has VCS been doing all these years?
It's not a question easily answered in this space, but for starters check out
this very nice story and the accompanying slideshow from last week's Vineyard Gazette, built around quotes from artist Allen Whiting (who participated in the Fresh Paint event) and Executive Director Brendan O'Neill. Or, for a deeper look into the 50 year history of VCS, take a look at the most recent newsletter (caution: very large file), a historical retrospective full of interviews with early leaders and selections from the news archives.
Other News

Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Climate Change?

If you’ve ever wondered where the thriving multitudes of 2016 Presidential candidates stand on climate change, Yahoo News has a helpful roundup. Through quotes and inference from previous political actions, the story does a nice job of going beyond the candidate's self descriptions and presenting what policies they might support if elected.
Far more entertaining, though, are their 1 or 2 word synopses of the candidates' take on the scientific consensus that human activity is driving global climate change. On that level there’s not much diversity on the Democratic side, but the Republicans provide the full menu of options, from “real” (Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and Lindsey Graham) to “hoax” (Donald Trump and Rick Santorum), with lots of “science inconclusive” in between (Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal), and just a touch of “pseudoscience” (Ted Cruz) for the more intellectual climate deniers. Most interesting was Ben Carson’s philosophical take of “irrelevant,” while the most concerning (for a politician) is probably Scott Walker’s “opinion unknown.”
Solving the Sustainable Seafood Riddle
Making sustainable choices when buying seafood is complicated, even with all of the information that has been collected, reviewed, and organized by sources such as the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and the Environmental Working Group. But in a recent interview in Grist, Seafood Watch's Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly argues that while their work may be complicated by necessity, it doesn’t need to be so difficult for consumers:
"When I go to a restaurant and I order a bottle of wine, I’m presented with a wine list that tells me what year the wine is from, what vineyard, what kind of grape; I know whether it’s a blend, I know where it’s from, sometimes I even know down to the specific region. If I knew half of that information about my seafood, we’d be getting someplace."
Even if the comparison is a bit tenuous (wine grapes aren’t harvested in international waters, poached with impunity, and mislabeled as they pass through multiple countries of origin), it’s a reasonable point: for consumers to make informed decisions using the info from Seafood Watch they will need accurate product descriptions from stores and restaurants. And since that information won’t be forthcoming without consumer pressure, the only solution to this chicken-and-egg (fish-and-egg?) problem is for all of us to just keep asking where the fish came from – even when you know you might not get a good answer.
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Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.