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Quote of the Week
"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."
— Eeyore, from A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh
Land Bank 20th Annual Cross-Island Hike
Saturday, June 2, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Each year since 1993, the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission
observes National Trails Day – the first Saturday of June – by
conducting a day-long hike across the island to expose people to the
network of trails that connect the island’s many conservation lands and
public properties. For more information, see the MVLB website
Guided Birding Tours
Saturdays, 9:00 to 11:30 am, starting at MV Reg. High School.
Visit birding hot spots with your guide Robert Culbert. Carpool will
depart from the high school faculty parking lot at 9:00. Cost is $30 per
adult, $15 for under 18. For more details, call 508-693-4908.
Magnolias -- Majestic Flowering Trees
Thursday, June 7, 10:00 am, at the Polly Hill Arboretum.
Join PHA Director, Tim Boland, on a talk and walk through the Polly Hill
Magnolia collections. As a special bonus, there will be a raffle for a
big leaf Magnolia collected in the wild by Tim on one of his plant
collecting expeditions! $5/free for PHA members. For more information,
Saturday, June 9, 9:00 to 10:00 am, State Beach, OB/Edg.
Walk the beach with a Felix Neck shorebird biologist to record field
data, search for birds and nests, and identify bird and mammal tracks in
the sand. Meet at the State Beach access trail on the Oak Bluffs side
of Big Bridge. All ages, FREE, no registration req'd.
Felix Neck also has several kayak trips in the coming weeks -- see their program catalog
for more information.
Now Playing on MVTV
Rising Water, Rising Concerns: Climate Change Effects on People and Plovers
MVTV Channel 13 is currently running a recording of geologist Rob
Thieler's recent presentation sponsored by the Library Friends of Oak
Bluffs and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. His talk introduces the
fundamentals of climate change and sea level rise, and describes what
the future may hold for both people and plovers in the coastal zone.
Check their schedule
for times (the next showing is 9:00 pm Wednesday), or watch online by clicking "watch now" on the schedule page.
DIVE! The Film
A Special Presentation from the
Friday, June 15, 8:00 pm, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
MV Film Society and VCS
Each year, Americans discard around 96 billion pounds of edible food,
and send it directly to landfills. Dive! explores "dumpster diving" in
the back-alley receptacles of L.A.-area supermarkets and addresses vital
questions about why such waste continues to occur while numerous
overseas populations starve.
Admission to the screening is $8 ($5 for MVFS and VCS members and
children under 14). For more information, and to watch the trailer, see
the film's website
|Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Nurturing the Natives at the VCS Annual Meeting
Swallowtail butterfly visiting Swamp Milkweed, just a few doors down from the Wakeman Center (click for full-size).
What Climate Change Means to You
Join us Tuesday, June 26, 5:00 pm at the Wakeman Conservation
Center off of Lambert's Cove Road for the Annual Meeting of the Board
meeting features a presentation by landscape designer and native plant
specialist Kristin Henriksen. Kris will address lawn and landscape care
that nurtures native plant species and protects natural resources like
our coastal ponds. All are welcome. FREE. For more information, see our events page
VCS Board Member and Oak Bluffs Conservation Agent Liz Durkee has
researched and written an excellent, accessible introduction to climate
change issues as they pertain to life here on our island. Originally
published in the Vineyard Gazette as a 14-part series, we are proud to archive them for posterity on our website. From the first of the series, What Climate Change Means to You:
“On a global level climate change is overwhelming. On the Vineyard, a
finite unit, it is less so. The impacts are clear; the human,
environmental and economic connections are vivid . . . It is a local
problem. It is our problem, not that of our children or grandchildren.
We can cope with climate change . . . if we act soon.”
A Glimpse of Challenges to Come
Waves batter the coast of Matunuck Beach. (Photo by Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times, see slideshow here.)
The challenges of coping with rapid erosion are explored in a recent N.Y. Times article
about Matunuck, Rhode Island, a village located on a south-facing shore
similar to some of our most quickly-retreating beaches. Parts of the
Matunuck shoreline have lost about 20 feet in a twelve-year period (or
an average of 1.3 ft/yr, as per Wikipedia), causing considerable controversy over how to address the problem.
These tough questions – and hard choices, in which someone always loses –
are beginning to be raised on our island, but will only becomes more
pressing in coming years. Do you protect an individual building from
certain destruction at the cost of negative impacts down-current? How do
you balance likelihood of risk with the breadth and magnitude of
damage? And who gets to make that call?
Why Bambi Must Go
Had enough of exploding deer populations? You are not alone: Biology
professor and animal behaviorist Dan Cristol describes in a recent editorial
the impact of deer on songbirds and the broader devastation wrought
upon forest flora and fauna. To a large extent, the increase in deer is
due to laws and management techniques intended to promote their numbers
for recreational hunting, a practice that seems unwise in light of the
better-understood ecological impacts and greater awareness of tick-borne
diseases, and possibly outdated, if the popularity of hunting – for
sport or food – declines in future generations.
Coastal Seagrass: A Crucial Carbon Sink
As further evidence of the central importance of coastal waters and
wetlands to climate change, and vice-versa, a recent international study found that coastal seagrass stores more carbon,
per unit of land area, than forests. Seagrass beds were found to store
up to 83,000 metric tons per square km (or, more impressive-sounding,
740,000 pounds per acre), and some have been holding that carbon for
thousands of years.