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Almanac Archive for July 18, 2016

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Quote of the Week
". . . it's always seemed that when you have an economic system whose major tenets are planned obsolescence and conspicuous consumption, which is American climax capitalism's major litany, you basically are dealing with an economic system that's run on a formula for planetary suicide." --John Nichols, quoted in Jack Loeffler's Headed Upstream

Conservation Calendar

Sheriff's Meadow Walk
Thursday, July 21, 9:00 to 11:00 am, Chilmark.
SMF staff lead a walk through the mixed deciduous forest of the Middle Road Sanctuary in Chilmark. Views from the ridgetop extend over the ponds to the south shore, and large boulders along the trails mark the endpoint of the last glacier's advance about 18,000 years ago. Free, no reservations required, for more info and directions see website or call (508) 693-5207.

Saturdays on Sengie
Saturday, July 23 (and 30th), 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.

Cedar Tree Neck: A "Virtual" Tour

Monday, July 25, 7:30 to 9:30 pm, West Tisbury.
Experience all four seasons of Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary in just two hours with this armchair tour. Adam Moore and Kristen Fauteux of Sheriff's Meadow will share the beauty, history, flora and fauna of this popular nature walk through a multimedia presentation geared toward all ages. At the Grange Hall, free, for more info call (508) 693-5207 or see website.

Eelgrass Restoration

Wednesday, July 27, 5:00 to 6:000 pm, Chilmark.
Eelgrass, the foundation of our estuaries, is threatened in many of our coastal ponds. While we work toward reducing nitrogen inputs, which will allow the eelgrass to better thrive on its own, it also makes sense to try restoring it actively. Chilmark Shellfish Constable Isaiah Scheffer will discuss restoration projects in Menemsha and Quitsa Ponds. At the Chilmark Library, free, for more info call (508) 645-3360.

Climate Change and Permafrost
Thursday, July 28, 7:00 pm, Edgartown.
Arctic scientist Susan Natali of the Woods Hole Research Center presents a talk on the complex interactions of permafrost and climate change. One troubling example? The positive feedback loop where warming causes a loss of permafrost, which then releases even more CO2 into the atmosphere. At the Edgartown Library, free. 

Menemsha Beach Bio-Blitz
Saturday, July 30, 1:00 to 2:30 pm, Chilmark.
Northeastern University hosts a bio-blitz: a scavenger hunt to document as much biodiversity as possible within a short period of time. Free, at the beach in Menemsha, it is recommended to use the shuttle and town parking lot off Tabor House Road. More info and other Northeastern events at website
New Novel Supports VCS
Long-time summer resident and VCS supporter Holly Eger will be reading selections from her novel, Split Rock, at the Edgartown Library on July 27th at 7:00 pm. Released just this month, a portion of the profits from the new novel will be donated to VCS -- Thank you, Holly!

Set on Martha's Vineyard, the poignant and funny Split Rock is about forgiveness, acceptance, and the power of love and family. Pick up your copy today at Bunch of Grapes or Edgartown Books, or grab the Kindle Edition online.
VCS News

Annual Meeting Kicks Off Major Fundraising Campaign

Capacity: to protect our Island, to anticipate the storm (Photo by Brendan O'Neill)

Thanks to all who came out to the West Tisbury Library for the recent VCS Annual Meeting. Prior to Vineyarder Neal Rantoul's presentation of his amazing aerial photography, the packed house heard a recap of the year’s major accomplishments by Executive Director Brendan O’Neill, a farewell to outgoing Board President Richard Toole, and some forward-looking remarks from incoming President Jim Athearn. If you missed it, you’re in luck: MVTV was there and has video available on their website (type “6.29.16” into the search bar here).
After Richard's introduction, in which he impressed upon the group the importance of community action in the face of modern environmental and economic challenges, and a short video recounting the history and present role of VCS, Linda Jones and Larry Hohlt announced the launch of our 50th Anniversary Capacity Campaign. This major fundraising campaign, in which we are seeking to raise $2 million, was named in recognition of the need to expand our capacity to protect the defining qualities of the Island in the face of increasing challenges and more urgent demands. To learn more, and to give to the Capacity Campaign, please contact our office!
VCS Featured in Martha's Vineyard Magazine

Still image from the film Bag It

Not to toot our own horn too much, but we’d like to bring to everyone’s attention this recent story in M.V. Magazine, a feature by Mollie Doyle exploring the work of VCS – recent accomplishments, such as this year’s plastic shopping bag bylaw, along with some of the older history of fighting to protect this Island. Many thanks to Mollie and editor Paul Schneider for their interest and enthusiasm!
Other News

Create Your Own Monarch Habitat

Monarch caterpillar among the milkweed (Photo by Giuseppina Croce for the Monarch Joint Venture)

The monarch butterfly is an ideal flagship species for wildlife conservation. This well-known and very showy little creature faces significant threats and is declining across most of North America; yet, it remains common enough that most people can still expect to see them in the wild (with a little bit of effort). Even better, any measures taken to make your backyard or garden more monarch-friendly will also improve habitat for the many other equally important, if often invisible, native pollinators.
To learn all about what you can do, check out the Monarch Joint Venture, a partnership created to sustain the butterfly’s population and protect their amazing migration phenomenon. The website has a wealth of information on the threats the species faces, in particular habitat loss, and how you can help. For example, with much of America's natural prairies lost, first to farmland, and more recently to modern industrial agriculture, where routine herbicide spraying kills all the native “weeds” that pollinators need to survive, it’s now crucial to create or improve monarch habitat elsewhere. The MJV has several brochures to help, from the smaller-scale approach of Gardening for Monarchs, to mowing tips for maintaining a healthy grassland ecosystem.

Thanks to Ginny Jones for the tip for this story
Composting Study to Explore Better Waste Disposal Options

With funding from the M.V. Vision Fellowship, the proposed Island-wide food waste and composting study we described back in January is now off to a great start. Read all about the project's current progress in this week's Vineyard Gazette, then for more background on the big picture issues of food waste, click that Almanac Archive link.

Compostable material (food and yard trimmings) makes up about a quarter of all municipal solid waste, and the majority of the waste that can't be easily recycled (chart and data from EPA, 2009)
Submit your conservation news to: almanac@vineyardconservation.org

Copyright (C) 2016 *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.

Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.