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Quote of the Week
". . .efforts to mitigate erosion problems should work in concert with, and
not against, natural processes. Management strategies need to be
adaptable to changing conditions to ensure preservation for future
--Marine Extension Bulletin, Woods Hole Sea Grant & Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Nursery School Naturalists
Thursdays, Feb. 4 and 18, 10:30 to 11:30 am, Edgartown.
Nature program for ages 3-5 at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Look for
signs of winter and enjoy stories, crafts, walks, live animal
presentations and more. $9 ($6 for Mass Audubon members),call (508)
627-4850 or see website
for more info.
Long Point Nature Programs
Saturday, Feb. 6, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, West Tisbury.
Head down to the Long Point Visitor Center for a variety of educational
programs for children and families. Trustees of Reservations staff will
be available to answer questions and assist with getting started on the
right activity. Snacks and hot drinks are provided, $10 per child ($5
for TTOR members), for more info see website
, call (508) 693-7662, or email
Land Bank Walk
Sunday, Feb 7, 1:00 pm, Oak Bluffs.
Land Bank staff lead a guided walk at the Pecoy Point Preserve on
Major's Cove/Sengekontacket Pond. The walk will last approximately 1.5
hours, and happens rain or shine, so dress for the weather. For
directions and more information, see the property website
or call (508) 627-7141.
Arboretum Winter Walk
Saturday, Feb. 13, 10:00 am, West Tisbury.
Join Polly Hill staff to explore the Arboretum grounds in the
off-season. Winter is when bark patterns and architectural structure
become evident as deciduous trees lose their leaves, the conifers stand
out with their many textures and shades of green, and even some fruits
and flowers appear. Tours run for a little over an hour. Meet at the
Visitor Center and dress for the weather. Free. More info at website
or call (508) 693-9426.
In Season Recipe
Egg Drop Soup
No matter the season (except maybe high summer, at peak demand), there
is one local food always readily available: the amazingly versatile
chicken egg. Here’s a novel idea, quite opposite to the usually heavy
dishes of winter – learn to make your own egg drop soup
, starting with this recipe created for Island Grown Schools by chef Robin Forte.
Walk Through History at the Edgartown Harbor Wetlands and Lighthouse
very different structure, the original Edgartown Light was surrounded
by open water, with land access via a long wooden causeway (Photo: 1905, the Rotograph Co., click to see postcard) Alternate view, circa 1830 (US Coast Guard/Photo Archive)
Our next Winter Walk continues the VCS 50th anniversary
celebration of landmark conservation successes with a visit to the
Edgartown Harbor beach and lighthouse. Please join us Sunday, Feb. 14 at
1:00 in front of the Harbor View Hotel for a special Valentine’s Day
adventure through Island conservation history. VCS is partnering with
the MV Museum to provide access to the lighthouse during the walk, and
with the Harbor View, who will host us for refreshments afterwards. The
walk is free and open to the public.
Edgartown Lighthouse History
The original Edgartown Lighthouse dates to 1828, but the structure
sustained massive damage in the 1938 Hurricane and was torn down the
following year by the U.S. Coast Guard. It was never rebuilt, strictly
speaking; rather, it was replaced by dismantling the Ipswich Range Light
(from Crane Beach, north of Boston) and sending it by barge all the way
to Edgartown Harbor.
That 45-foot cast-iron structure was originally built in 1881. It was
refurbished in 1985 by the Coast Guard, and in 1990, solar-powered
plastic optics were installed. The lease of the tower was transferred to
the Dukes County Historical Society (today the MV Museum) in 1994, and a
children’s memorial was established there in 2001.
More History . . .
The Harbor View Hotel and nearby Lighthouse Beach were central to a
fierce land use dispute that began 40 years ago and ran for nearly a
decade. Read all about it.
Plastic Bag Ban Info Sessions
With support from Selectmen, Boards of Health, and Conservation
Commissions in each town, VCS has put an article on 2016 Town Meeting
warrants that would ban the use of disposable plastic bags at checkout
counters. In the interest of getting the word out and answering
community questions and concerns, we're holding four info sessions
(consisting of a short presentation followed by Q&A) over the next
Please come hear more about why this is an important move toward
sustainability for our community, learn how it would affect you and have
the opportunity to voice your questions and concerns. We hope that even
those who already support the bylaw and know all about it will find time to come out for one of the sessions: it would be very nice to have some sympathetic voices in the audience!
All info sessions start at 6pm
Feb. 3 (tomorrow!), West Tisbury Library
Feb. 10, Vineyard Haven Library
Feb. 16, Oak Bluffs Library
Edgartown, details to be determined
Barrier Beaches: Creation, Migration, and Sea Level Rise
11,000 years ago, dry land
extended over much of Georges Bank. While the eastern shore of outer
Cape Cod was not too far from where it is presently, it would not have
received the strong wave energy it now does.
from the Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension is a
must-read for anyone seeking a concise summary of the science behind
barrier beaches: their glacial origins, historical migration, and the
current challenges of erosion and sea level rise. The short report
covers several issues well, including lateral spit migration as a
locally important process (using Norton Point as an example), and the
gradual landward and upward movement of barrier beaches through the
creation of inlets and tidal shoals.
One point that comes through clearly in the bulletin is that while sea
level rise due to climate change is the dominant factor in coastal
erosion in the long run, it’s of secondary importance in the short term:
“Over typical planning time frames of 30
to 50 years even increased sea level rise would not significantly
change the actual observed rates of shoreline change in those areas
experiencing the most severe erosion . . . In most cases, our most
severe erosion problems are caused by disruptions in the transport of
sand, due to either natural processes or human activities (such as the
building of seawalls).”