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Almanac Archive for Nov 10, 2012

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Green Tip of the Week
BYOB. Last year Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles. Fill up a reusable water bottle at home and bring it with you. Don't like the taste of your tap water? Buy a filter! (Remember, much of the bottled water sold today is filtered tap water anyway . . .) Original text from World Wildlife Fund
Conservation Calendar

Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, Nov 17, 10 am to 1 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.

The winter market takes place every other weekend inside the Ag Hall. Check website for more information.

Felix Neck Fall Festival

Friday, Nov 23, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Edgartown.
This celebration of fall, held every year the day after Thanksgiving, features hayrides, face painting, live music by The Flying Elbows, food, wreath making, crafts for kids and other fun for the whole family. $4 member, $7 nonmember, children under 3 free. For more information, or to volunteer to help at the festival, call Felix Neck at 508 6274850.

Sandy Leaves Her Mark
(click photos to enlarge)

A small crowd gathered the day after to survey the damage at Lucy Vincent Beach.

Flattened grass, new flows of red clay, and a new Easter Island face for the cliff greeted the visitors.

Menemsha harbor: Fill 'er up!

Wave power at Squibnocket tore the parking lot in two (close-up of the split here).

Exposed conduit along the Squibnocket access road

Washover at Norton Point, Chappaquiddick

Flattened beachgrass on the last remnant of dune remaining for the entire beach (Chappy photos by Dana Gaines)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Local News

Winter Walks Are Back!

Honk if you love VCS Winter Walks

The year’s walks will focus on some historic land usage crossroads, crises averted, and the favorable conservation outcomes facilitated by VCS.

All walks are FREE and start at 1:00 pm. Cider and cookies will be served. Times and locations may be subject to change, please call in advance or check our website for details. (Slideshows of some of our previous walks can be found at the Events page.)

2012 - 2013 Winter Walks

November 11: Katama Farm
December 9: Eastville Beach, V.H. Harbor
January 13: Katama Airpark
February 10: Mary Black Sanctuary, Edg.
March 10: West Chop Beaches

First Walk Tomorrow: Katama Farm

Today in Katama, agriculture and residential development co-exist. Learn more about the history, and what could have been, at the VCS Winter Walk. (Click to enlarge)

We kick off this year's winter walks Sunday, November 11 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm with an interpretative hike around the agricultural land and outwash plain at Katama Farm.

The land on which Katama Farm lies could have easily come to a much different fate, but the community united to prevent development of possibly hundreds of building lots. Leadership from the town, smart land use planning, and successful fundraising resulted in permanent conservation of 162 acres, today leased to the non-profit FARM Institute.

Walk participants should gather at the FARM Institute parking lot near the barn. Bob Woodruff, who helped facilitate the Katama conservation outcome more than thirty years ago, will co-lead the walk.

Non-Native Bullies Shake Down Local Flora

A lush green blanket, creating a deceptive image of ecological health.

The eleventh installment of Liz Durkee's 14-part series on local climate change impacts focuses on the effects of invasive species on native plants. Will the changing climate further heighten their impressive ability to overwhelm everything in their path?

“The natural world is in a climate change flux and even the lush, green foundation beneath our sandy feet is shifting – invasive species are quickly and quietly changing the local landscape.”

[Note: the Almanac piece about the invasive species debate that is referenced near the end of Liz's article can be found here]

Other News

Warrants Mentioning: Climate Change Makes a Rare Appearance in President's Victory Speech

It was just one sentence, and only a portion of it really – “We want our children to live in an America that . . . isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet” – but this brief mention in the middle of Barack Obama’s speech late last Tuesday night was, by far, the strongest public statement on climate change from the President in months. The subject was notably absent during the President’s re-election campaign, which to be fair was a sound strategy regarding job one – winning. But perhaps now, with the election in the rearview mirror, it isn’t too crazy to hope for greater leadership on climate and other environmental issues.

Outside of the rhetoric, the President has actually done more on climate in the past four years than he gets credit for (which, again, may be by design – much of this “credit” would be more accurately termed “blame”). Instead of pursuing legislation through Congress to curb carbon emissions, a difficult battle that – win or lose – would have garnered much more attention, the administration chose to more quietly direct their own agencies to take action. As a temporary stand-in for pricing carbon (through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade market), the EPA was simply given the authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act; the move was challenged but ultimately upheld in federal court. In a less controversial move (because industry groups agreed with it), much more ambitious fuel efficiency standards were announced in August, requiring the U.S. auto fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

But as pragmatic as making changes at the EPA may be, there is a downside: it’s just as easy to change thing back when a new, less environmentally concerned (or more climate-skeptical) administration takes over. In the long run, trying to slow global warming through executive order is a perilous plan; hopefully, the President’s words on Election Night suggest a renewed willingness to spend some political capital on climate legislation.
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Copyright (C) *2012* *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.

Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.