You are on page 1of 8

Atlantic CoastWatch November/December 1999

Tussle Over Site 104


In their quest to keep Baltimore’s port competitive, Maryland Port News For Coastal Advocates
Administration officials have long sought clearance to maintain and improve the
50-foot shipping channels that give it a competitive edge. Existing sites to dump z
dredging materials can accommodate silt and sand from maintenance dredging,
the state’s Transportation Secretary John Porcari has stated. But adding safety Dredging Tussle 1
features on approaches to Baltimore Harbor, and improving the nearby, 35-foot-
deep Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, would require new dump sites.
NC Flood Aftermath 1
One such is a four-mile open-water trench, north of the Chesapeake Bay
Bridge, called Site 104. For years before 1975, dredged materials were deposited Sayings 2
there. With no dumping over the past quarter century, though, the area has
become an important habitat for many forms of wildlife including striped bass,
shellfish, and vegetation. Last winter, anticipating the reactivation of Site 104, the Books and More 3
US Army Corps of Engineers issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement
(DEIS) claiming that 18 million cubic yards of dredged material could be dumped Lead Sinkers Surface 4
there without serious environmental consequences.

A quick and strong reaction ensued. A Chesapeake Bay Foundation


Key L.I. Ruling 4
position paper argued that the DEIS simulations had “grossly underestimated”
nutrient releases from Site 104, that its toxicity had been “trivialized,” and that Bridge Overkill 5
criteria for choosing between various disposal options had been developed without
regard for environmental considerations. The Foundation warned that the dredged
Maine Votes for Land 7
material would “cover oysters and crabs and habitat and presents a real threat to
the Bay’s ecology and economy.” Large quantities of polluted sediments could drift
off the site, moreover, and jeopardize a bigger area. z
(Continued, p. 7)

NC Flood Aftermath: Plus Ca Change? Recurring:

Eastern North Carolina staggers toward recovery after three successive People; Awards; Products;
hurricanes this fall brought devastating flooding and an unprecedented “witches’- Grants; Report Cards;
brew” of water pollution to the region. Attention remains concentrated on immedi- Restorations;
ate concerns: cleaning up, the urgent needs of owners of some 58,000 homes that Species & Habitats;
were destroyed or damaged, the 2,000 small “Down East” businesses brought to a
standstill, getting sewage plants and other infrastructure back up and running, and
Job Openings;
disbursing the first installments of the total $6 billion or more in expected state and Upcoming Events
federal relief money.

But in Raleigh and beyond, thought is also being given to the longer-term
question of what new policies and programs might better protect the state from
similar disaster in the future. The rainfall could not be helped, it is often said. But Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
the extent of the flooding was doubtless exacerbated by the vast changes humans nonprofit newsletter presented by
have wrought on the Eastern North Carolina landscape in recent years: the wet- the Sustainable Development
lands drained, rivers and streams rearranged and channelized, roads and bridges Institute, free of charge, to those
built, construction in the river bottoms. All weaken natural drainage patterns. interested in bringing about the
environmentally sound develop-
It would be a “tragedy,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the North ment of the coastline from the Gulf
Carolina Coastal Federation, “if things just got put back the way they were.” of Maine to the Eastern Caribbean.
“We can’t stop the flood plains from flooding,” said Jane Preyer and Tim The newsletter is available on paper
(Continued, p. 6) and at http://www.susdev.org
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 3, No. 5 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable Devel- “Clean Living Not an Easy Job,” headlined the November 7 Providence
opment Institute, which seeks to Journal above a column by Peter Phipps, deputy managing editor. Excerpts from
heighten the environmental quality of Phipps’ text:
economic development efforts, in the
Atlantic coastal zone and in tropical “John Chafee, hogs and hurricanes.
forest regions, by communicating
information about better policies and The connection is a vast swath of eastern North Carolina that has been
practices. SDI is exempt from federal flooded by a small ocean of pig waste. Long regarded as one of America’s big
income tax under section 501(a) of the winners, North Carolina now smells like a sewer..
Internal Revenue Code as an organiza-
tion described in section 501(c)(3). It’s hard not to gloat.

Board of Directors The state that made Rhode Island look like a third-world country has finally
gotten the bill for several generations of laissez-faire government.
Robert J. Geniesse, Chairman
Roger D. Stone, President Before the flood, Rhode Island had to hang its head in any comparison with
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer North Carolina.
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary
Edith A. Cecil In the last six years alone, North Carolina has added an incredible 525,000
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr. jobs—more jobs than exist in Rhode Island. Since 1960, North Carolina has man-
Gay P. Lord aged to create 67,000 new jobs a year. Likewise, North Carolina’s population has
grown by almost 2 percent a year.
Advisers
Willliam H. Draper III Rhode Island, in contrast, has been stagnant. From 1960 to 1998, employ-
Joan Martin-Brown ment and population have grown at just one-fourth of North Carolina’s rate.

Scientific Advisory Council These were the Chafee years, a time when the late John Chafee served
Rhode Island with distinction as its governor and senator, a time when Rhode Island
Gary Hartshorn cleaned up its bay and its beaches while preserving its farms and woodlands.
Stephen P. Leatherman
Jerry R. Schubel When others clamored for more jobs, more housing and more develop-
Christopher Uhl ment, Chafee worked to protect the air, the land and the water.
Staff And during the years when Chafee worked to write and pass the country’s
Roger D. Stone, Director and most important environmental laws, Rhode Island fell further and further behind in
President the race for America’s great bounty.
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contributing
Editor Was our praise for Chafee misplaced?
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent Until three hurricanes swept through the Southeast, most Americans
would have said that North Carolina had got it right, that growth was more valuable
1999 Major Donors than preservation, that jobs were more important than the environment.
Avenir Foundation But in my mind those storms vindicated a generation of environmental
Mad River Foundation protection and government regulation. The cleanup will cost billions of dollars. The
Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust governor and the legislature had been warned. Yet they did nothing to save their
Mad River Foundation state from ruin.
Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
Mrs. Edward Esty Stowell To be honest, what North Carolina did in the 20th century, Rhode Island did
th
in the 19 century. The Industrial Revolution began here, and for generations the
Sponsored Projects mill owners dumped their waste in the state’s bay and rivers.
Environmental Film Festival in the
Nation’s Capital Rhode Island learned its lesson. In North Carolina, Governor Jim Hunt
March 16-26, 2000 now promises to rebuild eastern North Carolina “using environmentally sound
practices.” That sounds good. But Hunt has been saying the right things for years.
Trees for DC
Maybe now the people of North Carolina can see where greed got them.
Printed by Ecoprint on 20% postconsumer waste paper And maybe now a leader of John Chafee’s stature will arise to push aside Jim Hunt
using vegetable oil based inks free of toxic metals.
and his ilk.”
3
People

Among the many tributes to the late


Books and More Senator John H. Chafee (R-RI), an
especially moving one was Provi-
Natural Capitalism, by Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky dence Journal staff writer Peter B.
Mountain Institute (RMI) and Paul Hawken of The Natural Step, was published Lord’s account of all that Chafee had
by RMI this fall. This globetrotting, breezily written book, say the authors, is “about done to make his state “a green and
integration and economics, a systems view of our society and its relationship to the pleasant land.” All over it, Lord wrote,
environment.” More specifically, the book promotes new ways of designing, using, “You can find beaches, forests,
and thinking about things in ways that ”harness the talents of business to solve marshes and parks that are there for
environmental and social problems” and counter the depletion of resources—the people to enjoy because Chafee had a
planet’s “natural capital.” Crammed with interesting case studies and pithy apho- passion for conservation and the
risms (“design is really just applied foresight”), the book offers challenges and energy and clout to make it happen.”
opportunities to all of us. You can either buy the book or download most of it. URL: Among Chafee’s legacies: multiple
www.rmi.org purchases of land to preserve as open
z space, $11 million in federal financing
for the Blackstone Valley National
In Surfcaster’s Quest (The Lyons Press 1999), journalist Roy Rowan Heritage Corridor, bike paths and train
blends the sharp eye of a reporter and editor and the passion of a committed angler stations, saved lighthouses, a far
to tell tales of surfcasting for striped bass along the beaches of Block Island, NY. cleaner Narragansett Bay, support for
Local characters, fierce fish, Indian lore, and near-poetic descriptions of weather, federal legislation that helped with the
sea, and wind all find their way into this compact and highly readable book. Pop this remarkable recovery of the Atlantic
one into the Christmas stocking for anyone into fishing, the seashore, or life. striped bass population. Often, wrote
Lord, Chafee would “look out at a
beautiful spot he was working to
z preserve, shake his head, and say
something like, ‘Look at that out there.
In carrying out a NOAA-funded project to develop a curriculum for adults Isn’t that something? Just beautiful.”
on nonpoint source pollution, researchers at Washington state’s Padilla Bay National
Estuarine Research Reserve quickly established that failing septic systems were a Optometrist Benji Brumberg of Fort
primary issue of concern among educators and managers since the release of Lauderdale has been named as
contaminated wastewater can have severe health, environmental, and economic Florida’s public advocate and ombuds-
consequences. The result is the innovative, homeowner-oriented Septic Educa- man on air and water quality, within
tion Kit, a multi-media toolbox containing everything an educator needs to set up the Department of Environmental
and promote a program on the subject. Originally released in 1997 in a limited Protection. “This guy has dealt with
quantity, the kits were an instant hit. Now the US Department of Commerce is the public directly, by looking at them
producing an improved version for national distribution. E-mail right in the eye,” spokesman Bob
cangell@padillabay.gov. Tel. (800)553-6847. Sparks told the Miami Herald.

z Theresa Pierno has joined the


Chesapeake Bay Foundation as
Oshus and Shelly Save the Bay (Bay Media 1999), a sprightly children’s executive director of its Maryland
book by the Annapolis, MD author Jennifer Keats Curtis, gives kids a bottom-up office. Peirno previously worked at
look at the problems facing the Chesapeake Bay’s hard-pressed oyster population, the state’s Department of Natural
and at the restoration efforts currently underway. Curtis thought up the story built Resources and as a county-level
around the lead oyster characters, then recruited watercolorist Christie Sauer elected official. Maryland’s “Smart
Fifer to do illustrations. In return for a share of earnings to support its oyster Growth” program was one of Pierno’s
recovery program, the nonprofit Severn River Association sponsored the principal concerns when she work for
publication and arranged corporate underwriting from Baltimore Gas & Electric the state DNR, and will also be among
and the Mills Corporation, developer of a shopping mall near the Baltimore- her responsibilities in her new
Washington Airport. For K-5 teachers, a lesson plan is posted on URL: capacity. Also now at CBF is Execu-
www.oysterbook.com. Tel. (410) 626-8904. tive Vice President Steven Kallan,
formerly of The Wilderness Society.
z
After six years of service, John
Filmmaker Christopher Seufert of Chatham, MA has already won DeVillars will leave his position as
awards for two no-nonsense documentaries about New England fishermen, head of EPA’s New England office in
Lobstering on the Benjo and Longlining on the Bad Dog (for dogfish). Now January. He will go into business and
Seufert has completed the third film of his trilogy, Weir Fishing in Nantucket teach at the Massachusetts Institute of
Sound. In the film he follows veteran trapper Paul Lucas, one of the few people Technology. DeVillars was previously
still in the business, over the course of his last season in it. All three films are a top assistant to former Governor
available. URL: www.mooncussers.com Michael Dukakis.
4
Awards
Key Dock Ruling on Long Island
Of eight scientists honored this year
with NOAA’s Walter B. Jones For years Burt and Cheryl Stutchin, of Lloyd Harbor, NY, have been
Memorial Awards for excellence in seeking permission to build a dock extending 115 feet from their shorefront prop-
coastal and marine graduate study, erty. The dock would enable them to walk from their house to their 36-foot Trojan
seven work in the Atlantic coastal zone. motorboat and avoid the dinghy ride now required to reach the vessel at its
They are: Tracy Hart, University of mooring.
Maryland; Daniel Hudgens and
David H. Shull, University of Massa- At the outset, reads a 68-page decision recently handed down by US
chusetts; Catherine M. Wannamaker District Judge Arthur D. Spatt, the Stutchins expected that they would encoun-
and David Robinette, North Carolina ter “smooth sailing” after approvals to build the dock had been received both from
State University; Jill Fegley, Univer- the NewYork State Department of Environmental Conservation and from the
sity of Maine, and Christopher US Army Corps of Engineers.
Nietch, University of South Carolina.
The late Congressman Jones, longtime But both these permits were contingent on compliance with local regula-
chairman of the House Committee on tions, and the Stutchins’ application “ran aground” locally. In 1998 the Village of
Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Lloyd Harbor, which allows docks no longer than 75 feet in length in the constricted
arranged for NOAA to present these part of the harbor where the Stutchins live, and forbids them from extending
awards “to honor people and organiza- outward past the point where mean low water depth exceeds 2 feet (the yacht
tions who dedicated countless hours draws 3 feet), thumbed down the request. The Town of Huntington, within which the
and energy to preserving coastal and Village is located, will not approve an application that fails to meet Village stan-
ocean resources.” dards.

Environmental activist and science Among further efforts that the Stutchins then made to get approval for
teacher Barbara A. Johnson was their dock was a “takings” appeal to Judge Spatt’s federal court claiming that the
honored by the Maryland Associa- local ordinances are “unconstitutional, illegal, and invalid,” and “arbitrary and
tion of Science Teachers for instruc- capricious.” But court testimony documented the fragility and environmental
tional excellence. Johnson rarely turns importance of the portion of Lloyd Harbor in question, a shallow area containing
down an opportunity to get her stu- tidal flats and saltmarshes, and the damage that a long new dock for a large yacht
dents out of the classroom at the could do. In his carefully stated ruling, the judge held that the local dock rules serve
Chesapeake Bay Middle School in “the rational purpose of preserving...cherished natural resources,” and support
Pasadena and into the real world. “It’s navigational and aesthetic concerns as well. They “pass constitutional muster,” he
not my goal to have them all be tree- concluded.
huggers,” she told the Baltimore Sun.
“But if they don’t have an appreciation In throwing out the plaintiffs’ case, the court significantly placed the public
of the impact man can make, then I’m interest above littoral rights claimed by an upland owner. According to Steven
not doing my job. Being outside brings Resler of the New York State Department of State’s Division of Coastal Re-
out the best in people. You realize sources, who supplied much of the evidence leading to the decision, it enhances the
you’re a part of something much bigger ability of government to limit riparian rights in order to protect ecologically impor-
than just you.” tant areas even when “relatively minor individual activities” are involved. E-mail
sresler@dos.state.ny.us
Products

Great deals on lobster boats and other


small craft are to be found in Nova
Lead Sinkers Issue Surfaces
Scotia, reports Steven L. Waterman in
Working Waterfront/Inter-Island News, In American Sportfishing, Mike Horak of the American Sportfishing
the monthly newspaper published by Association highlights a “conundrum” now confronting fishing tackle manufactur-
Maine’s Island Institute. The Cana- ers.
dian dollar is low, Waterman says, and
“there is no US duty or tax on a used “What is at stake for the industry,” he wrote, “is the continuing use of lead,
commercial boat bought in Canada” for a versatile, malleable and abundant metal, high in density, that is ideal for the
commercial fishing purposes. Pleasure manufacture of sinkers and jig heads. But lead ban proponents ...cite studies
boaters pay a nominal fee. Near Cape indicating that lead tackle is ingested by waterfowl, resulting in lead poisoning and
Sable island, Waterman and Maine eventual death.
lobsterman Danny Burch found a well-
built and fully equipped 35-footer for While the results are far from conclusive, some studies indicate a particu-
under $30,000 US. Burch bought her. A lar link between lead tackle and mortality of the common loon. One New England
200-boat sampling of what’s available researcher concluded that lead tackle accounts for as much as 50 percent of loon
may be found on Yarmouth, NS boat deaths in that region.”
dealer Carson Messenger’s website,
www.boatsandrealty.com (Continued, p. 6)
5
Grants
Bridge Overkill
Matching grants for wetlands restora-
tion, acquisition, or enhancement are
An antique 1930s “swing” bridge connects the mainland of Virginia’s
available through the North American
Eastern Shore with the resort island of Chincoteague, gateway to the Chincoteague
Wetlands Conservation Act that is
National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague National Seashore. For years debate
administered by the US Fish and
has raged locally about how to replace this modest structure, which lands shore-
Wildlife Service. Proposal deadlines
bound traffic right in the heart of the town’s compact downtown. A locally unwel-
are March 31 and July 20, 2000. Click
come solution appears imminent.
on Wetlands, Waterfowl and Habitat
Grants at URL: www.fws.gov.
Some years ago, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) came
up with the idea of replacing the existing bridge with a monster one, providing 65
feet of clearance for boats transiting the Intracoastal Waterway beneath and
Report Cards
returning to earth halfway across the island. “The people went nuts,” said local
activist Blake Early. “That one got creamed.” In its 1999 report rating states on their
programs to counter sprawl, the
Now on the table are two alternatives. One is a new “lift” bridge to Sierra Club examined four criteria:
downtown Chincoteague to be located well south of the present bridge. The other open space protection, transportation
is a mile-long bridge to the north that would bypass the downtown and feed directly planning, land use planning, and
into the beach road. Local people oppose both of these schemes. The proposed community revitalization. Of Atlantic
new bridge to downtown would involve dredging and loss of wetlands, and dump coast states, Maryland fared the best,
traffic right across the street from the volunteer fire station, hampering its opera- scoring no worse than third out of 50
tions. The bypass, according to Early, would cost $5 million more, destroy twice as in any category. South Carolina’s
much tidal wetlands and generate double the contaminated stormwater runoff into best score was 28th in community
areas rich in marine resources. revitalization, and the state ranked 48
out of 50 in open space protection.
Early and many other townspeople want VDOT to reconsider a third option Rhode Island, New Jersey, Geor-
that has been discarded: build the new bridge as close as possible to the existing gia, and Maine won generally high
one, involving no loss of wetlands, no dredging, and less runoff than the bypass marks; Connecticut and North
bridge. But the member of the Virginia Commonwealth Board of Transporta- Carolina scored relatively poorly.
tion who is the most concerned about Eastern Shore projects favors the bypass URL: www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/
option, says Early, and seems “pretty well dug in.” There remains a “glimmer of report99.
hope,” he continues. Action alerts are out. Nonetheless, what seems most likely is
that the Board, which has the final say, will overrule local sentiment. Echoing the Sierra Club’s low rating,
the North Carolina Coastal Federa-
Early blames himself and fellow opponents for not having begun their tion gave the administration of
efforts early enough to stave off what he views as an “aesthetic and cultural Governor Jim Hunt a low D+ this
disaster” with serious environmental consequences. Shirley J. Ybarra, Virginia’s year—down from B in 1998. The
Secretary of Transportation, assures Atlantic CoastWatch that “extra steps” had Federation noted that environmental
been included in the decision process to give citizens “additional opportunity” to health in the state had declined
comment, and that “VDOT remains committed to working with the concerned “dramatically” due to lax permitting
citizens and visitors to Chincoteague to ensure the best possible transportation and enforcement as well as to the
system for the community.” ravages of Hurricanes Dennis and
Floyd, and reminded the governor that
he had but one year left to “salvage a
With Appreciation good environmental legacy.” “Read
this report and weep,” said NCCF.
This year, once again, we asked our readers to volunteer their financial “Then get mad. Then go do some-
support for the publication and free distribution of this newsletter. To date, this thing.” The Raleigh News-Observer,
appeal has generated almost $26,000 in support from 97 donors—more than triple noting that “legislators have stymied
the response to our initial appeal in 1998. We extend warm thanks to these readers some of Hunt’s best intentions,”
and institutions who have recently contributed: awarded him a supplementary E for
Walter W. Arensberg Elizabeth L. Newhouse effort. URLs: www.nccoast.org,
Milo and Robin Beach Mrs. Jefferson Patterson www.news-observer.com
The Bernhill Fund Prince CharitableTrusts
David and Mary Callard Elliot L. Richardson
Marion M. Dawson Carr Charles Raskob Robinson Atlantic CoastWatch welcomes tax-
Thomas C. Clarke David Rockefeller Jr.
Lawrence Coolidge Roy Rowan
deductible contributions of any size,
Florence B. Fowlkes Anne and Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff from friends and readers. Your check
Kathy Flood Frederick A. O Schwarz, Jr. can be made out to “Sustainable
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Henderson RobertT. Snyder Development Institute,” and mailed to
David P. Hunt Kenneth B.Tate
W. Barnabas McHenry C. Lawson Willard 3121 South Street NW, Washington,
Leigh M. Miller Tim and Wren Wirth DC 20007.
6
Restorations
NC Flood Aftermath, (Continued from p. 1)
Close to midway through a ten year
project to make the Boston area’s Searchinger of the Environmental Defense Fund in a Christian Science Monitor
long-suffering Charles River once article. “To avoid disaster, we simply must work to move our concerns to higher
again “fishable and swimmable” by ground.” “Time to ante up,” said River Notes, a publication of the Neuse River
Earth Day 2005, EPA-New England Foundation. “Floods Force North Carolina to Reassess Growth Policies,” headlined
was able to report considerable the Washington Post. What are the prospects for policy reform? The box score:
progress. It raised the river’s rating
from a D to a B-. Working with many Hogs. Even before the flooding struck, citizen anger had mounted about
public and private sector partners in pollution, threats to freshwater supplies, and odors from coastal North Carolina’s
the region, EPA claims that it has used burgeoning number of loosely regulated hog factories. Several spills from open-air
“sound science, cutting-edge technolo- “lagoons,” where farmers store treated hog waste, had generated much public
gies and, when necessary, strong attention. The floods drowned some 100,000 hogs and polluted the entire water-
enforcement” to achieve “remarkable shed with large amounts of hog waste from breached or swamped lagoons. The
progress tackling storm overflows, state’s emergency response has shown what it calls “balance,” tightening many of
illicit sewer connections and other the rules but also allowing farmers to spray wastes on fields that cannot absorb
pollution sources to the river.” Rob- them rather than reduce herds, and letting many hog farms be rebuilt in the 100-
ert Zimmerman of the Charles year flood zone. Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker, campaigning to replace Governor Jim
River Watershed Association notes Hunt next year, advocates accelerating the completion of Hunt’s lagoon phase-out
that stubborn challenges remain. program from 2009 to 2005, and endorses an existing moratorium on new hog
Among them are coping with runoff operations. But, state officials warn, the powerful North Carolina Pork Council
after heavy rains and removing toxics will almost surely mount court challenges to any further restrictive measures.
such as mercury from the river’s
sediments. But, he adds, “There is no Development. An obvious way to lessen damage from future floods is to
doubt that the water quality has prohibit new construction, or reconstruction of previously existing buildings, within
improved dramatically. The current the 100-year floodplain. Because of inadequate flood maps, however, permitting
effort is the biggest and best run at it authorities in many communities have limited information about where the flood
ever.” URLs: www.crwa.org; zones are. And while developers eagerly ravaged wetlands and other environmen-
URLs: www.epa.gov/region01/charles tally important areas during the accelerating resort boom of the 1980s and 1990s,
many houses as well as junkyards and other sources of pollution also gravitated to
the river bottoms where land was cheap. The current emergency buyout program
The Anacostia, once a favored Indian
being mounted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reclaim
thoroughfare but in recent times a
some floodplain land. Bill Holman, state environment secretary, told the Charlotte
neglected dumping ground, is another
News & Observer that “we hope” the region will be rebuilt in a way that’s more
river on the rebound. Under an
environmentally sustainable.” But with the state yet to come up with a major new
agreement reached this year, both the
initiative to push development up onto higher ground, skeptics foresee business as
District of Columbia and the State
usual at the town level. The $76 million in federal funds requested to replenish
of Maryland have launched a ten-
eroded beaches (in many cases re-replenish them), says Miller, could far better be
year effort to restore or create
spent on moving people up out of the floodplain.
wetlands and aquatic habitat, reduce
trash and monitor illegal dumping
Wetlands, which once predominated the “Down East” landscape, do much
more closely. A spirited private sector
to soften the effects of flooding if left in their natural state. They also provide
organization, the Anacostia Water-
habitat for many forms of wildlife. But in the development process they have been
shed Society, is also an increasingly
drained, bulkheaded, flattened, and trampled. Armoring is especially perverse,
effective agent for change. It engages
since it inhibits the migration of marsh grasses and “freezes” marshes in place.
in a variety of volunteer efforts to
Though the state forbids the construction of such structures on the oceanfront,
improve conditions within the water-
permits to build them away from the seacoast are legal and easily acquired.
shed, which extends from western
Nothing in the emergency program suggests improvement in this sector. URLs:
portions of Maryland’s Montgomery
www.hogwatch.org; www:enhr.state.nc.us.
County to the Chesapeake Bay.
Recently the AWS has also taken legal
action against EPA, alleging it has Lead Sinkers (Continued from p. 4)
failed to fix critical pollutant limits
(Total Maximum Daily Loads or Susan Hitchcox, loon coordinator at the Maine Audubon Society,
TMDLs) for District of Columbia confirms the 50 percent estimate, adding that lead sinkers account for some
waters as required by the Clean Water mortality in as many as 26 other bird species. A law limiting lead sinker use in New
Act, and is accusing the District’s Hampshire will go into effect this coming January 1. Maine will follow suit in 2002
Water and Sewer Authority of thanks to a law passed this year. Other states are considering regulation, posing
breaking both federal and District laws problems for the industry since each local law sets different standards. Though
in its management of wastewater. EPA ran into congressional flak when it tried to establish federal regulations in
URL: www.anacostiaws.org 1984, Horak reports, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has established lead-free
zones in 13 national wildlife refuges. (Continued, p.7)
7
Species & Habitats
Land Measure in Maine Wins Big Construction has begun on a “fish-
way” for shad and six other anadro-
mous species at the 12-foot Little Falls
In 1987, Maine’s voters approved a $35 million bond issue to establish the Dam on the Potomac, reports Bay
Land for Maine’s Future Program to buy land for conservation with an emphasis Journal. Weirs connected to a notch in
on water access. The funds were used to acquire 65,000 acres, including 171 miles the dam, just north of the District of
of waterfront. Columbia, enable fish to swim
through and spawn along a 10-mile
In hard economic times during the early 1990s, voters twice turned down stretch of river from which they have
ballot opportunities to replenish the fund, and until this year the only additional been blocked since 1959. This
increment received was $3 million awarded by the state legislature in 1998. But Potomac fishway is one element in a
this fall, after a spirited campaign by the Natural Resources Council of Maine broader mid-Atlantic shad restoration
and many similar groups, a whopping 69 percent of the state’s voters approved a effort that also includes dam openings
new $50 million for the program provided a matching $25 million can be secured on the James and Susquehanna
from other private or public sources. Program board member Alice Rand called Rivers. On the Potomac, says Bay
the outcome “just thrilling.” Mark DesMueles, who runs the program all but Journal, the total shad catch in the
singlehandedly from his desk at the State Planning Office, told the Portland 1830s was about 22.5 million fish.
Press-Herald that he was expecting a “healthy flow” of new acquisition proposals Currently the river supports only
from local land trusts as well as other sorts of groups. 10,000. URL: www.bayjournal.com
Consumer seafood guides proliferate
as more and more commercial fish
Site 104 (Continued from p. 1) populations suffer from overharvest-
ing and face other threats. One choice
Complaints about the DEIS came also from EPA and from the US Fish that the National Audubon Society
and Wildlife Service, many citizens’ groups and individuals, and especially from will recommend in its new entry,
the office of Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-MD). Arguing that the dredging reports the Miami Herald, is tilapia.
project was not needed and the environment would be harmed by dumping on Site The species is easy to raise on farms,
104, Gilchrest sponsored legislation calling on the Corps to conduct “an exhaustive eats anything, grows fast, and actually
analysis” of the plan. That bill is now law and the Corps has gone back to the books. tastes pretty good.
URL: www.audubon.org
The time needed to complete this work, and then subject it to public review In western portions of Long Island
and comment, means that the Site 104 project can begin no sooner than next Sound during the fall, fishermen
summer. Skirmishing continues in the meantime. The Citizens Against Open Bay began finding highly unusual numbers
Dumping has launched a TV advertising campaign. Port advocates continue to of dead lobsters and crabs. No one
insist that the dredge spoil destined for Site 104 is clean, and stress the importance could figure out why. Now, reports the
to the Maryland economy of the $2 billion a year in salaries that the port generates. New York Times, it appears that the
cause was an infestation of a small
How the issue will play out is hard to tell. Jenn Aiosa, staff scientist at parasite called a paramoeba, lethal to
the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has no doubt that opposition will persist no matter crustaceans but not harmful to people.
what the Corps’ new impact statement says. “The more information comes out,”
she says, “The more concerns get raised. There’s a real question about whether the News from Hudsonia, the newsletter
104 capacity is needed at all. There are numerous alternative upland sites to be published by the environmental
more seriously considered, and there is a real question about the economic research and education institute at
justification for deepening the C&D Canal. There’s a state law prohibiting open Bard College in Annandale, NY,
water disposal in deep trough areas. There’s a lot of opportunity to be creative published a spirited defense of the
here.” The pro-Port Baltimore Sun conceded that “opponents’ whining might delay much maligned purple loosestrife
permission to use Site 104.” Surely, added CBF commentator John Page Williams, (Lythrum salicaria). Author Erik
“We are smart enough to find a way to protect the Port without sacrificing a Kiviat, Hudsonia’s science director,
valuable part of the Bay.” admits that the plant is “invasive,”
sometimes drives out native species,
and threatens biodiversity. But
Kiviat’s article also features a full-page
Lead Sinkers (Continued from p.6) illustration showing the variety of
plants and animals that find loosestrife
Maine Audubon and other advocacy groups, meanwhile, are working not an asset for “food or other support,”
only for tighter rules but also to persuade tackle manufacturers to switch to non- and advises managers to think
lead alternatives (some have) and encourage consumers to use them. As pressure carefully before embarking on
mounts, Horak cites a forecast from an industry leader, Doug Crumrine of Bullet controls to inhibit the spread of this
Weights in Alda, Nebraska: “I think what will happen is the feds will allow as many striking plant. He is neither for nor
as 10 states and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to enact different bans, and then against loosestrife, says the author—
they will come in and say we need to clean this up and impose a uniform federal ”simply trying to tell the whole story.”
standard.” URLs: www.asafishing.org, www.maineaudubon.org URL: www.hudsonia.org
Atlantic CoastWatch Nonprofit Org
Sustainable Development Institute US Postage
3121 South Street, NW PAID
Washington, D.C. 20007
Permit #1400
Tel: (202) 338-1017 Silver Spring, MD
E-mail: susdev@igc.org
URL: http://www.susdev.org

Job Openings
Upcoming Events
The Marine Fish Conservation
Network needs a Washington, DC January 24-28. 10th Biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting, San Antonio, Texas,
intern. E-mail sponsored by the American Geophysical Union and the American Society of
mfcn@mindspring.com. Limnology and Oceanography. URL: www.agu.org/

The American Oceans Campaign, February 2-5. Aquaculture America, New Orleans, Conference and exposition, co-
Washington, DC seeks an office sponsored by National Aquaculture Association, US Aquaculture Suppliers
manager/administrative assistant. Association and US Chapter of the World Aquaculture. URL: www.was.org
Contact Barbara Jeanne Polo, FAX
(202) 544-5625. February 11-20. Conference on Sustainable development in Cuba, Pinar del Rio
University, Cuba. E-mail jaula@upr.edu.cu or mcasas@upr.edu.cu
The Marine Biological Laboratory,
Woods Hole, MA, offers professional March 19-23. National Shellfisheries Association annual meeting, Seattle ,
science writers a variety of science Washington. URL: www.shellfish.org.
writers’ fellowship opportunities. E-
mail pclapp@mbl.edu April 3-7. International Commission on Remote Sensing of the Interna-
tional Association of Hydrological Sciences Remote Sensing Symposium
The WaterKeeper Alliance, White 2000, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Plains, NY is looking for a develop- URL: http://hydrolab.arsusda.gov/
ment director. E-mail
kmadonna@keeper.org May 22-28. Conference on “Sustainable Use of Estuaries and Mangroves:
Challenges and Prospects”, Recife, Brazil. URL: www.ufrpe.br/~debarros/
A reminder: The Chronicle of Philan- mangrove2000hellfish.org
thropy provides a search capability for
its lists of job openings in fund raising, May 28-31. Aquaculture Canada, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The
giving, managing, and technology. millennial meeting of the Aquaculture Association of Canada. The theme -
URL: www.philanthropy.com acquaculture in the millennium: innovation and sustainability. URL:
www.aac2000.org