|Visit our Website
Support Vineyard Conservation
Find us on Facebook
Quote of the Week
"This is an old reactor, and like old people such as myself, it requires a lot of money and maintenance"
Mary Lampert, director of Pilgrim Watch, an activist group opposed to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.(Quote from Boston Globe
Island Grown Story Time
Thursday, Sept. 10, 10:30 to 11:00 am, West Tisbury.
Three guesses as to the Island Grown Initiative Harvest of the Month for September . . .
IGI's Nicole Cabot will share stories and a love of tomatoes during
story time at the West Tisbury Library. Free and open to all ages.
Ecological Landscaping for the Home
Saturday, Sept. 12, 1:00 to 2:00 pm, West Tisbury.
Polly Hill hosts Michael Talbot of Talbot Ecological Land Care for a
presentation on creating an ecologically sensitive home landscape. Learn
how to transform your outdoor living spaces into reflections of the
natural world, while attracting birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
$5 (free for PHA members), call (508) 693-9426 or see website
for more info.
Saturday, Sept. 19, 9:00 to 11:00 am, Edgartown.
Join Sheriff's Meadow Foundation for a free walk covering a variety of
habitats all within a small area of Edgartown, including Ox Pond Meadow,
Little Beach, and SMF's eponymous Sanctuary. The walk will begin at the
trailhead for the Ed and Ruth Brooks Trail on Plantingfield Way.
Parking is limited so people are encouraged to park in town and walk to
the trailhead. More at website
or call (508) 693-5207.
Wee Farmers at the FARM Institute
Saturdays, 9:30 to 11:00 am, Katama.
Visit animal friends and help with the fall harvest as the off-season
Wee Farmers program resumes in September: For ages 2-5, $15 per session,
must be accompanied by adult. For more info, call (508) 627-7007 or email
In Season Recipe
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Last year at this time, we shared Island chef Chris Fischer's recipe
for oven roasted tomatoes. While oven roasting is a great method for
its reliability and simplicity, one reader did point out that running an
oven for an hour, especially in September, is not the most sustainable
approach. Point taken!
Possibly the best compromise between simplicity and energy usage would be a food dehydrator (one method here
). But instead, let's try the traditional method and make the real thing: sun dried tomatoes. It's not actually difficult
, just variable from batch to batch and day to day. Try it and see what happens!
Public Meeting Thursday: Local Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Plan
room with a view: the new MV Hospital, built at a cost of $48 million,
opened five years ago on a site known to be vulnerable to impacts of
This Thursday (Sept. 10) at 6:00 pm, the Oak Bluffs Library will
host an important public meeting relevant to all Islanders, not just Oak
Bluffs residents. With Town funding, the O.B. Conservation Commission
hired a consulting firm (Kleinfelder
of Cambridge, Mass), who together with another consultant (Woods Hole Group
conducted a climate change vulnerability assessment and created an
adaptation plan for the Town. Thursday’s meeting will include an
overview of the mapping used to determine coastal vulnerabilities and a
review of potential adaptation measures.
The time to plan for the impacts of climate change is now, and with so
much shoreline and coastal infrastructure (and so little elevation) Oak
Bluffs may be something of a bellwether for the rest of the Island. The
results of the new study, which used computer models to map storm surge,
flooding, and sea level rise predictions for the years 2030 and 2070,
indicate that the most vulnerable sites in Oak Bluffs include the
harbor, Sea View Avenue by Farm Pond, East Chop Drive by Crystal Lake,
and Beach Road by the hospital.
All six towns will be forced to deal with the environmental impacts of
climate change, such as increased shoreline erosion, drought, declining
wetlands, and loss of biodiversity. The crucial task right now is to
craft adaptation and mitigation strategies to address these changes that
are not just practical and cost effective, but also ecologically
sustainable and consistent with broader conservation values. A
scientific vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan is a vital part
of that process.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Thin Ice
A far cry from the quintessential image
of a modern nuclear power plant, a drab brown building in Plymouth
houses one of the nation's 3 least safe nuclear plants. (Photo by Steve
Haines, Cape Cod Times)
With the recent news
of the downgrade of its safety rating by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, the much-maligned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth,
Mass. has finally justified its reputation among environmental
activists as one of the worst-managed nuclear plants in the nation. The
NRC maintains a list of performance rankings organized into several
categories. After the recent downgrade (for repeated unplanned shutdowns
and insufficient efforts to address their causes), Pilgrim now ranks in
the bottom 3 of the nation’s 99 nuclear plants. Those three plants, all
owned by the same company, Entergy, are the only occupants of the
lowest meaningful NRC category. (There are no plants in the bottom
category because that one requires immediate governmental closure.)
Pilgrim will now face increased oversight and inspections that could
result in a future forced closure.
There is an important debate to be had over the role of nuclear power in
the transition to a lower carbon energy supply. Like hydroelectric,
offshore wind, and natural gas (which merely emits less
and noxious gases than coal and oil), nuclear power presents trade-offs
for the environment, and some combination of these methods will be used
in the transition. The troubles of the Pilgrim plant suggest that
regardless of the type of energy source, the most immediate need is to
fight for responsible management and oversight of industry to temper the
omnipresent profit motive with sincere concern for public safety and