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Quote of the Week
"Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”
― economist Kenneth E. Boulding
Open House at Island Alpaca
Friday, May 9 to Sunday, May 11 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Island Alpaca hosts an open house this weekend, where you can tour the
facilities and visit the alpacas. Suggested donation of $5. Near the
roundabout, see website
for directions. For more info, call 508 693-5554
Mytoi Spring Planting and Garden Clean-up
Saturday, May 10, 9:00 am to noon,
Celebrate Spring by helping care for Mytoi Garden
Spend the morning with The Trustees of Reservations at the Island’s
only public Japanese-style garden. Bring your own work gloves, rakes,
and shovels. For more info, call 508 693-7662.
Pollinator Plant Out
Saturday, May 10, 10:00 am to noon, West Tisbury.
Also that Saturday, the Trustees host another volunteer day at Long
Point, where they will be planting out endangered native plants, such as
New England Blazing Star and Orange Milkweed. Additionally, pollinator
boxes will be built and installed to encourage the pollination and
reproduction of these flowers by native bee species. For more
information, call 508 693-7662.
Eat Wild at Felix Neck
Saturday, May 10, 9:30 am to noon, Edgartown.
Learn to recognize and prepare wild edibles with director Suzan
Bellincampi. $30 ($25 for members), for more info call 508 627-4850.
Spring Walk at Felix Neck
Tuesday, May 13, 10:00 to 11:00 am, Edgartown.
Guided walk of the Sanctuary grounds to take in the sights and sounds of
spring. $5, free for members. For more info, call 508 627-4850
Plants, People, and Opportunities
Wednesday, May 21, 10:00 am to noon.
Hear about volunteer opportunities at the Polly Hill Arboretum with
executive director Tim Boland and other staff. Participants will tour
the plant collections, review Arboretum history, and learn what goes on
behind the scenes at PHA. Free and open to all. Call to register, 508
Nature's Nest: Sassafras Program for the Little Ones
Fridays, 10:00 am to noon, Aquinnah.
Nature program for newborns through 5 years old, accompanied by parent.
Donation by choice. To RSVP, and for more info and directions call 508
Saturdays, 9:30 to 11:00 am, Katama.
Visit the animals and help plant the Friendship Garden at the FARM
Institute. For ages 2-5, must be accompanied by adult. $15 per session.
For more info, see website
or call 508 627-7007.
|Monday, May 5, 2014
Showing this Weekend:
The Art of Conservation, the first nature-themed art contest sponsored
by VCS, is drawing to a close. Entries (nearly a hundred) are in and the
judging is done – and the first opportunity to view the results of our
students’ skill, creativity and passion is finally here!
Join VCS this Saturday (May 10) in the Feldman Family Artspace at the MV Film Center (in Tisbury Marketplace)
to enjoy and appreciate the winning students' works, share their
enthusiasm as they receive their awards, and enjoy
a terrific documentary short film. The art opening begins at 3:30, with
awards presented at 4:30. The 30-minute film Inocente – the
story of a high school student pursing her art against all odds – starts
at 5:00. Entry to all parts of the event is free.
We would like to thank everyone who has helped make this event such a
success: Educomp, DaRosa's, the Scottish Bakehouse, Mocha Motts,
Tisberry, The Martha's Vineyard Film Center and Martha's Vineyard
Earth Day 2014: A Sunny Beach Clean-Up
Pioneers of the early days of the Beach Clean-up, Penny Uhlendorf and Margaret Curtin excavate the Outlaw, once someone's prized vessel, now mere beach garbage. Photo by Nancy Weaver. For more photos, see our slideshow.
Probably due to the beautiful weather, the 22nd annual VCS
Earth Day Beach Clean-up saw a record turnout. Approximately 250 people
ventured out from the shadows of a long winter to visit treasured
Vineyard beaches on a sunny day, collectively removing a few tons of
trash. The annual oddities were a bit subdued this year (no couches!),
featuring only a few TVs on the “biggest and weirdest” list. The more
important “mundane-yet-terrible” category shaded away from balloons a
bit this year, in favor of that old standby, bottles and cans (see last story here for why balloons are so harmful). A modest improvement for wildlife, at least!
Thanks to all who attended, the volunteers who helped organize the
event, and our sponsors. For the second year, the after-party was hosted
by the Harbor View Hotel and featured their own great food and donated
treats from the Scottish Bakehouse. Other major sponsors included Bunch
of Grapes, Comcast Cares, MV Savings Bank, S.B.S., and WMVY (who
broadcast live from Eastville Beach).
Interstate Air Pollution
Air pollution does not observe political boundaries. The particulate
matter (such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides) that causes smog and health
problems easily crosses local, state, and national borders, fanning
outward from point and non-point sources wherever the wind and air
currents takes it. Thus, regulation and attribution of responsibility
for the effects of air pollution are especially vexing legally, as the
source may be in a state less concerned with air quality than industry,
and the destinations multiple and varied.
In a recent Supreme Court ruling,
the justices voted 6-2 in favor of restoring an EPA regulation that
would require power plants in 28 states to lower their emissions because
of their impact on downwind states. Further, due to the impossible
complexity of accurately parsing blame for the impacts on downwind
states, the amount of reduction required would be based in part on how
much (or little) a given state had itself done to address their
pollution to date.
It is potentially an enormously important ruling for at least two
reasons. The first is relatively straightforward: significant gains to
public health, and the environmental issue surrounding it. Restrictions
on these particulate emissions will hit coal-fired power plants the
hardest, further pushing out coal in favor of natural gas and renewable
sources for electricity generation. Accompanying the respiratory health
benefit is an improvement in carbon emissions as well, though that could
be short-sighted if it largely means replacement of coal with natural
gas (see final story here).
But the other significance of the ruling is that it appears to be an
endorsement by the Court of the Obama Administration’s efforts to use
the Clean Air Act more broadly, including as a backdoor avenue for
reducing carbon emissions. The simple fact that it was not a
tremendously close call (6-2 in favor, rather than 5-4) suggests that in
the near-term other environmental regulations may get a fair hearing
and not be rejected on purely political grounds. And the greenhouse
effect is an entirely global phenomenon: where you live may matter quite
a bit in regard to the results of climate change – sea level rise,
changed rainfall patterns, new diseases and invasive species – but your
proximity to a sulfur-belching carbon-burning coal plant is irrelevant
in regard to the causes of those effects. We’re all in that boat together.