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Quote of the Week
Secretary of State John Kerry, yesterday at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change:
"Today, we can see climate refugees. We see people fighting over water
in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and
challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and otherwise. The
acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us.
And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we
are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other
things, those are immediate. This also has an immediacy that people need
to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences
that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and
the security of the world."
Arboretum Volunteer Day
Thursday, Oct. 2, 9:00 am to noon, West Tisbury.
The Polly Hill Arboretum holds their last grounds volunteer day of the
season. Interested volunteers can learn about the Arboretum and lend a
helping hand. Dress appropriately and bring gloves; necessary tools will
be provided. Please call ahead if planning to attend, (508) 693-9426.
For directions and more info, see website
Film Screening: Open Sesame
Friday, Oct. 3, 7:30 pm, Vineyard Haven.
Free screening at the MV Film Society's theater in Tisbury Marketplace
serves as the opening event of the 2014 Living Local Harvest Festival.
Co-hosted by Living Local MV, the FARM Institute, Island Grown Schools, the West Tisbury Library, and MV Community Seed Library
. For details, see MVFS 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.
West Tisbury Farmers' Market
Saturdays, 9:00 to noon
, West Tisbury.
Fresh picked produce from local farms, flowers, delicious baked goods
and prepared foods from Island kitchens and more. Outside of the Grange
Hall in West Tisbury. For more info, see website
FARM Institute Fall Programs
Saturdays at Katama Farm in Edgartown.
Kids programs at the FARM Institute are every Saturday in Sept. and Oct.
Wee Farmers (age 2-5) from 9:30 to 11:00, $15 per session, must be
accompanied by adult. For older kids, it's "Farmer for a Day" from 1:00
to 3:00, $35, may be accompanied or not. For more info, call (508)
|Monday, September 22, 2014
Join VCS for the Living Local Harvest Festival
The annual Living Local Harvest Festival was founded by four Island
organizations -- VCS, the MV Agricultural Society, the Vineyard Energy
Project, and Island Grown Initiative -- to promote sustainable living on
our island by encouraging local food production and the local economy,
renewable energy, and resource conservation.
Saturday, Oct. 4, the festival returns to the Ag Hall with an all-day
event featuring live music, activities and games for kids, educational
demos and panel presentations, a wide variety of food vendors (some with
free tastings!), nonprofit informational booths, and much, much more.
Check out the poster for more info, or see the complete schedule.
To kick off the festival in style, at 7:30 on Oct. 3rd, the MV Film Society will be hosting the opening event, a free screening of the documentary Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds.
And following Saturday's festival, there will be a community supper and
dance beginning at 5:00 featuring Island-raised pork and local veggies
($15 per person). Living Local is a Zero Waste event, so please bring
your own place setting for the dinner.
Plum Island Study Reveals Excess Nutrients Can Lead to Physical Destruction of Salt Marsh
Protecting our fragile coastal ponds has been a VCS priority for many
years. We have long known that eutrophication – the pollution* of
waterways through excess nutrient inputs – is a significant problem.
Most eutrophication processes are well-understood: typically, the first
effect is rapid algae growth, followed by a variety of negative
consequences. The suddenly abundant algae reduce water clarity and light
availability while causing wide swings in oxygen content. During the
daytime, oxygen levels rise as the algae is photosynthesizing, but then
fall at night as the other organisms that eat the algae are busily
respiring. At the most extreme (typically following a sudden die-off of
an algal bloom) oxygen can crash to levels that kill fish and shellfish.
If anaerobic bacteria (some of which produce toxic byproducts) then
become dominant, the resulting “dead zone” can be difficult to ever
As if that wasn't reason enough to curb our nitrogen and phosphorus use,
a study led by scientists from the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole
has added a new dimension to the threat posed by these nutrients: that
in addition to lowering the quality and diversity of estuaries, it could
actually cause salt marshes to disappear altogether. Or, more
precisely, for salt marshes to be converted to something more like a mud
flat, and in surprisingly short order. Read more about the study in this article for the MBL website, or watch this short video interview where the study’s lead author Linda Deegan explains the process (original paper here, journal sub. req’d.).
* It does feel strange to call simple elements like nitrogen and
phosphorus “pollution,” as they are essential building blocks of all
life on Earth. But in a world where humans have the ability to greatly
alter the chemical makeup of our own environment, that is exactly what
they have become (see also “carbon pollution” for another impressive
example of fouling one’s own nest with common, necessary elements).
Record-Setting, Globe-Spanning Climate March
On Fifth Avenue, a 3,000-pound ice sculpture makes an effective, if unsubtle, point (photo by Joshua Bright for NY Times)
An estimated 311,000 people took to the streets of New York City Sunday,
joining hundreds of thousands more in cities around world in what
organizer Avaaz has called the biggest climate march ever. The Manhattan march
was actually halted at one point because the entire 2.2 miles of
planned route was already stuffed with people. As described by the Times
article, the march was not only impressive in scale but well-timed,
leading into a series of high-level diplomatic meetings being held in
the city this week regarding international cooperation on climate change
mitigation measures (also see story in the Guardian).