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Quote of the Week
"You don't have an erosion problem until you build something too close to the water."
--Attributed to coastal geologist Orrin Pilkey in this article on the spending of $240 million in federal funds to preserve Texas Gulf Coast beaches.
Creature Feature: Scallops
Tuesday, July 9, 10:00 to 11:00 am, Edgartown.
Program offering young naturalists a close-up look at native animals of
Martha's Vineyard, combining a story, craft and a look at the "creature"
of the day. For children ages 3 - 5 with a parent/guardian. At Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
, $9 ($6 for members).
Ground Covers and Lawn Alternatives
Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 pm at the Polly Hill Arboretum.
Join horticulturist Dan Benarcik for an introduction to the use of
ground covers in our garden designs. Learn how to incorporate these
plants into our landscapes for both garden aesthetics and to provide a
sustainable alternative to a monoculture of turfgrass. $10 ($5 for PHA
members), for more info call (508) 693-9426.
Saturdays on Sengie
Saturday, July 13, 9:30 to 10:30 am, Oak Bluffs
A free 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 and
engages all ages. Meet at the Little Bridge (north end of State Beach).
Sponsored by Friends of Sengekontacket. For more info, call (508)
Community Farm Day
Monday, July 22, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, V.H.
Community Farm Day at Thimble Farm: visit the farm and learn about the
Island Grown Initiative. Light refreshments served. Thimble Farm is
located at 80 Stoney Hill Road (map
Farm Tours and Animal Visits
Wednesdays, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Chilmark
Native Earth Teaching Farm is open for tours and animal visits Wed.,
Sat. and Sun. throughout the summer. Also, Weds. mornings are Toddler
Time, where toddlers and their adults can meet and play in a fun and
unfettered environment. For more info, see website
or call (508) 645-3304.
Volunteers Needed for Vineyard Habitat Network
Fridays, 10:00 am to noon, West Tisbury
Vineyard Habitat Network (a program of The Nature Conservancy) hosts
volunteer days every Friday, weather permitting, at the Hoft Farm Native
Plant Nursery. Tasks include planting, watering, weeding, pruning, and
collecting seed; work is outdoors, so be prepared for bright sun and
biting insects. Volunteers may receive seeds and cuttings and will gain
experience with native plant identification and ecology. For details email
or call (508) 693-6287.
In Season Recipe
Swiss Chard Demystified
A staple of the Vineyard farmstand, but relatively unimportant to the
modern supermarket, swiss chard can be a bit of a tantalizing mystery.
With it's attractive brightly colored leaves, readily apparent
healthfulness, abundance and low price, it would surely be more popular
if more people knew what to do with it.
Under-appreciated Island treats are when we turn to Ginny Jones' cookbook Fresh from the Vineyard
. Her entry on chard has serving ideas, but also tips on care, cleaning and storage.
Fresh from the Vineyard, by Virginia Jones, features recipes
that take advantage of our bounty of local produce, meats, and seafood.
Proceeds from sales of the book (see VCS website
for locations) will benefit both VCS and the Island Grown Initiative,
two organizations that – in very different ways – have helped promote
and sustain local agriculture.
|Monday, July 8, 2013
Annual Meeting Double Feature Packs Wakeman Center
VCS Board Member Phil Henderson entertained over 70 early arrivals with an encore of his popular Rising Seas presentation (Photo by Brendan O'Neill)
Thanks to presenters Phil Henderson and Paul Goldstein, and the well
over 100 members (and future members) who came out for a memorable
Annual Meeting. Special thanks to staff and board volunteers who helped
create an engaging evening of discussion of sea level rise,
biodiversity, and the many important issues relating to conservation on
Entomologist and evolutionary biologist Paul Goldstein of the
Smithsonian Institution closed out the event with an engaging tour of
several of our most unique, fascinating, and threatened species and
their habitats. If you missed Dr. Goldstein's talk (or would just like a
better look at his many great photos and graphs), check out this video by Dan Martino's M.V. Productions.
Dynamic Coastal Systems: Wasque as a Model
The ever-changing locations of
Norton Point and the Chappy spit. Four months worth of movement in early
2012 is drawn in over an aerial image taken in May 2010. Graphic
created by Woody Filley (click to enlarge)
Contributed by Terry Appenzellar, who just completed an accomplished term as VCS Board President -- Many thanks!
Currents ... tides...waves...storms... surge... shoaling sands... it
remains something of a mystery exactly what is driving the openings and
closings of the inlet at Norton barrier beach and the frequency and
magnitude of changes at Wasque on Chappaquiddick. But it is not for lack
of caring local observers, or for that matter, of a dedicated team of
scientists who are currently documenting the comings and goings of water
and sand at this iconic Vineyard location. And, apparently, the answers
are of national importance to our Department of Defense! We Vineyarders
are blessed that the Office of Naval Research thinks Wasque might be a
model for other dynamic coastal systems; they are funding a team of
research scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to prepare
long-term data studies of this complex system.
All of this intriguing information was presented Thursday, June 20th
at a conference cosponsored by Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone
Management, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, and Woods Hole Sea Grant. A
full conference room at the Harbor View Hotel listened and learned as a
variety of speakers presented interesting graphics and amazing
photographs, including satellite images of the opening over the last
decade and maps documenting the changes going back several hundred
years. . . continued at VCS website
Libraries Help Spread the Word About Local Conservation, Restoration, and Monitoring Work
Contributed by Luanne Johnson, coordinator of the Research, Monitoring, and Restoration Poster Project.
If you regularly visit the Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, or Vineyard
Haven Libraries, you may have noticed a new display project: The
Research, Monitoring, and Restoration Poster Project. Each month a new
poster arrives at these libraries, with topics varying from wildlife
monitoring projects to shellfish biology investigations to statistics on
the annual VCS Beach Clean-up.
Every poster circulates to each of the four libraries, completing the
full circuit in four months. So, if you miss a poster, you can always
visit it at its next location. Island librarians have been very
welcoming and are helping engage visitors by rounding up relevant books
and media from the shelves for supplementary learning.
For July, Chilmark is hosting a BiodiversityWorks poster on Belted
kingfisher and swallow nest burrow monitoring; Edgartown has a poster on
Dragonflies and Damselflies by TNC’s Matt Pelikan; Oak Bluffs has a
poster on VCS’s Earth Day Beach Clean-up results by Jeremy Houser, and
Vineyard Haven has Shelley Edmundson’s research poster on the effects of
temperature on development of juvenile whelk. Click here
for the complete schedule, and mark your calendars and be sure to visit
some of these posters when they come to a library near you!
Send in the Clowns: Climate Policy as a Laughing Matter
President Obama’s recent announcement that he would take executive
action (outside the purview of Congress) to regulate greenhouse gas
emissions was greeted by the Washington press with a lack of scrutiny
the president is not likely accustomed to receiving. No cable news channels covered the address live (though a transcript is available here).
Then, the Sunday morning news discussion shows, long considered an
arbiter of what “mattered” in the news in a given week, all ignored this
major change in federal climate policy. But fortunately the TV viewers
of America were not kept entirely in the dark, as our intrepid late
night comedians rode to the rescue. In addition to the Daily Show, which
typically features political humor, the traditional late night shows of
David Letterman and Jay Leno also found the new climate policy to be
newsworthy (thanks to Climate Progress for the catch).
Maybe it’s just as well given that the format of the “Sunday shows” is
adversarial political discussion, where loyal soldiers of the two
parties square off by trading scripted talking points. There is little
doubt that discussion of what Obama’s plan actually entails would be
quickly dispensed with in favor of another partisan FUD-fight
over whether climate change is real, human-caused, and/or a problem at
all. But sour grapes aside, it is disheartening to see climate deemed a
non-issue yet again.