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Atlantic CoastWatch January-February 2000

RI Oil Spiller Pays Dear

News For Coastal Advocates
During a fierce January 1996 storm, the tug Scandia caught fire. This
vessel and the oil barge it was pushing, the North Cape, grounded on Moonstone
Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. 828,000 gallons of home heating oil RI Oil Spill 1
spilled, killing some nine million lobsters and doing severe harm to many species of
shellfish and birds as well as to the local economy. It was the worst oil spill in the Wild Atlantic Salmon 1
state’s history.

In a series of recently announced settlement agreements the barge’s Sayings 2

owner, Eklof Marine Corporation, agreed to hand over substantial sums to
compensate for the damage it caused. Over and above a record-breaking New Institutions 3
$8 million criminal fine, the company will pay a total of $10 million to affected
lobstermen and at least $18 million for lobster restoration and other efforts to
benefit affected wildlife and habitats.
Publications 4

Among the innovative aspects of the deal, says maritime lawyer Dennis Keys’ Coral Damaged 4
Nixon of the University of Rhode Island, was the willingness of the company and
its insurers to pay for off-site mitigation measures far from the afflicted beach. Base Wars
Acquisition of land that is not coastal, protection for migratory bird nesting areas in
Maine, and lobster restoration efforts in Narragansett Bay as well as throughout
Block Island Sound, are all included. “I was surprised that the parties came to- Fishers’ Risks 5
gether on this,” says Nixon. “I can’t say for sure why it came out this way. But it
wasn’t a pretty case, and there may have been the feeling that if it dragged on it Hog Rights 6
would get worse for the companies.”

For Rhode Island’s South County, the settlement protects some key pieces Rare Parrot Protected 6
of open space that, in this sprawl-prone region, might otherwise have soon been
developed. More broadly, says Narragansett Baykeeper John Torgan at Save Jersey Open Space 6
the Bay, “The settlement puts the whole industry on notice. It makes it very clear
that we have a very low tolerance for oil spillers. Rhode Island feels it simply
cannot afford another disaster like that.” URL: Canadian Oil Stir 7

Heavy Weather for Wild Atlantic Salmon
People; Awards; Species &
Last summer Trout Unlimited and the Atlantic Salmon Federation
jointly filed legal action to win Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for wild Habitats; Products; Grants;
Atlantic salmon. Where once as many as 500,000 wild Atlantic salmon may have Report Cards; Job Openings;
spawned in New England rivers, no more than 150 currently return to spawn in Upcoming Events
eight Maine rivers that are the focal point of the lawsuit. Extinction looms ahead,
say the conservationists, if stronger measures to protect these tiny numbers of fish
are not taken soon (Atlantic CoastWatch, September-October 1999). Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
nonprofit newsletter, free of charge,
In November the Fish and Wildlife Service and several other federal for those interested in the
agencies posted a proposal to list the “Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment” environmentally sound develop-
of Atlantic salmon as endangered under the ESA. As part of the determination ment of the coastline from the Gulf
process, the agencies scheduled three public hearings in Maine to get local reac- of Maine to the Eastern Caribbean.
tions to the idea. These were heavily attended despite icy weather and described The newsletter is available at
by Trout Unlimited spokesperson Maggie Lockwood as “very emotional” and
“pretty rough.” (Continued, p. 7)
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 4, No. 1
Because of PCB-laden sediments stemming from now-idle General Electric
A project of the Sustainable capacitor plants at two sites along the Upper Hudson River, a 200 mile stretch of it
Development Institute, which seeks remains an EPA Superfund site. EPA advisories recommend that citizens severely
to heighten the environmental quality limit their consumption of fish from the river. Even as continuing EPA research
of economic development efforts, in suggests that PCB contamination in the Hudson River Valley will remain above
the Atlantic coastal zone and in forest acceptable limits for the entire 40 year period it is studying, founding Hudson
regions, by communicating informa- Riverkeeper John Cronin warns of a new threat to the river’s environmental
tion about better policies and prac- quality: massive reindustrialization.
tices. SDI is classified as exempt from
federal income tax under section No fewer than six new power plant proposals seek to draw water from the
501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code river, says Cronin in a New York Times op-ed piece. Other projects proposed
as an organization described in section include a gas pipeline, a garbage terminal, and shoreline paper, cement, and
501(c)(3). chemical recycling plants. The problem, the author continues, is that Hudson
reindustrialization is “an issue that has no venue,” with decision-making responsi-
Board of Directors bilities spread widely between federal, state, and local agencies. The solution he
advances: compulsory regional planning built around “a new commission or other
Robert J. Geniesse, Chairman entity that can give the river the comprehensive protection it needs.”
Roger D. Stone, President
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer z
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary
Edith A. Cecil In January, the Washington Post ran a compelling expose about stealth
David P. Hunt collusion between South Florida sugar growers anxious to hamper US Army
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr. Corps of Engineers plans to take their Everglades land out of cane production,
Gay P. Lord and a nonprofit recipient of their financial support, the Citizens for a Sound
Economy. In Florida, meanwhile, conservationist Nathaniel Pryor Reed told the
Advisers Miami Herald that worse times may lie ahead. “Without a plan and a consensus as
to what should happen next,” he said, “the 700,000-acre Everglades Agricultural
William H. Draper III Area stands poised to become South Florida’s version of the Los Angeles valley: a
Joan Martin-Brown carpet of condos far more damaging than the carpet of cane fields.”

Scientific Advisory Council z

Gary Hartshorn To Atlantic CoastWatch:
Stephen P. Leatherman
Jerry R. Schubel RE: your November/December story concerning the court rejection of Mr.
Christopher Uhl and Mrs. Stutchin’s dock proposal: I thought I would offer some insight since I was
the environmental consultant who submitted the application in federal court.
It is absolutely true that the applicant needed a variance from the Village’s
Roger D. Stone, Director & President ordinance that limits the seaward extent of docks to 75 feet or a point where the
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager depth of water is 2 feet at low tide. The mitigating circumstances: 1) while the dock
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contributing was longer than 75 feet, there are several docks on either side of applicant’s
Editor property that are longer than proposed, 2) these other docks are of the floating
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent variety and were directly responsible for the loss of tidal wetland since they rest on
the harbor bottom at low tide—the applicant’s dock was designed to protect tidal
Sponsored Projects wetlands by not resting on the bottom, and 3) the Village permitted a floating dock
two years earlier, longer than the applicant’s and without requiring an Environmen-
8th Annual Environmental Film tal Impact Statement.
Festival in the Nation’s Capital
In retrospect, it may have been better to appeal a Village denial in State
The festivalwill
The festival will take
take place
place all
all over Court before proceeding to federal court. At the hearing, it was interesting to have
town town from 16
from March March 16 through
through 26. the State of New York Division of Coastal Resources (NYSDOS) testify how the
26. Feature,
Feature, documentary,
documentary, archi-
archival, applicant’s dock (a total of about 690 square feet) having similar effects as 200,000
val, animated,
animated, and children’s
and children’s films all films square foot platforms that were built over the Hudson River in Manhattan, New
all included.
included. MostMost
events events
free offree of
charge, York. But then, governments have always been good at taking away personal
charge, many
many include include discussions.
discussions. URL: rights. Unfortunately, I was not able to convince the judge, but that was my fault
URL: and that is life.
Joseph Enrico, Ocean Consulting
Trees for DC Oceanside, NY

Ornithologist William B. Robertson

New Institutions Proliferate II, 75, died at his home in Homestead,
FL. His pioneering scientific efforts
In January the University of Rhode Island, whose Coastal Resources ranged from measures to save
Institute is already well established as a leader in the field, announced the launch of portions of the Everglades National
a new environmental sciences center to share space on the South Kingstown Park from wildfires by burning them,
campus. The new center, already the beneficiary of $1 million in federal money, will to careful studies of sooty terns in the
focus on land use, growth management, and other aspects of sustainable develop- Dry Tortugas. He especially loved
ment. fieldwork, reported the Miami Herald.
Out there he could hide from bosses
Rhode Island thus became another of several Atlantic coastal states with by pretending his radio did not work.
officials creating or proposing major new entities to address coastal and marine
management issues. Others: Mary Doyle, formerly dean of the
University of Miami School of Law and
z New York’s Governor George Pataki floated what he referred to as the counsel to Interior Secretary Bruce
Hudson River Valley equivalent of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Babbitt, has been named head of the
The Henry Hudson Institute for Riverine and Estuarine Research, he new South Florida Ecosystem
said, would need an annual budget of some $50 million and a 500-person Restoration Task Force. This entity
staff to study the river valley’s ecology. Next step: approval and planning will coordinate the massive, $7.8
money from the state legislature. billion, 20 year Everglades restoration
effort. Ms. Doyle is an expert in water
z The University of Massachusetts is forming a new Graduate School law. Her late husband Jim Webb,
who died in 1997, was for many years
of Marine Sciences and Technology that, according to Dean Brian J.
a leading activist in the struggle to
Rothschild, will establish the school as a “major player” nationally and
protect the Glades.
internationally. Citing the role that universities had played in improving
U.S. agriculture during the nineteenth century, Rothschild said that a critical
New Executive Director of the
current need is a “blue revolution” featuring a blend of aquaculture and
Association for the Preservation
better protection of natural coastal and marine resources.
of Cape Cod (APCC) is the biologist
Margaret A. Geist. A long-time Cape
z A new Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, initially to be headed by the resident and environmentalist, Geist
state’s former Governor Harold Hughes, will help protect the Chesa- sees her principal challenge as that of
peake Bay by supporting research to improve farming and forestry finding ways to slow growth and
practices in the watershed. Funding is expected to come from private as preserve open space.
well as public sources.
Rhode Island is the only Atlantic
coastal state with an environmental
ombudsman, a position created last
With Appreciation fall by Jan H. Reitsma, new director
of the state’s much-criticized Depart-
ment of Environmental Management
Atlantic CoastWatch expresses special thanks to the Fair Play Founda-
(DEM). The winner from among 27
tion of Wilmington, Delaware, for renewing its major support for our publication.
applicants was Thomas D. Getz, a
We would like also to extend our appreciation to these individual donors who made
former DEM administrator who more
most welcome donations in December, 1999 and early 2000:
recently had worked and lived in
Richard W. Angle, Jr. Ellen H. Kelly
Wendy W. Benchley Hunter Lewis Ending a 30-year Coast Guard career
Douglas H. Banker Caroline Macomber that included a number of environ-
Louis W. Cabot Enid C.B. Okun mental assignments, Vice Admiral
Edith A. Cecil Eric Ostergaard Roger Rufe recently took the helm as
Leslie Cronin Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. president of the large and influential
J. Winston Fowlkes III Simon Sidamon-Eristoff Center for Marine Conservation.
James L. Gault Ellen I. Sykes
Ellen H. Kelly Mary M. Thacher After a tour of duty as administrator
for EPA’s mid-Atlantic Region III, W.
115 readers generously responded to our 1999 solicitation, donating a total
Michael McCabe has become the
of $30,643, almost quadruple the $8,465 received from 58 readers in 1998.
agency’s deputy administrator.
McCabe previously held several
Fully tax-deductible contributions remain an urgent need, and may
positions on Capitol Hill, most recently
be sent to Atlantic CoastWatch, 3121 South Street NW, Washington, D.C.
as an aide to Senator Joseph Biden.


Northeast Florida Sierra Club Publications

chairman Maurice Coman received
the Mimi and Lee Adams Environ- The tri-state Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which for 30 years has been
mental Advisory Board Award on striving to protect the Bay and its resources, is being cited by the World Bank-
December 10 for his work on numer- managed Global Environment Facility as a guide for how environmental non-
ous projects that resulted in reduced governmental organizations in other nations might fashion “viable, successful
air pollution and in preservation of the programs of their own.” Available to NGOs seeking assistance is a CBF report,
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. “Building Blocks for Environmental NGOs: Lessons from the Chesapeake
Bay Foundation.” E-mail: or
The South Carolina Wildlife
Federation recognized accomplish- Reefkeeper International, the coral reef conservation organization, has
ments in protecting the state’s issued an updated version of its 103-page Conservation Action Guide, “The Case
environment. Charleston resident for Marine Fishery Reserves in Fisheries Management.” The guide is based on
Mary Pope Hutson, the first woman 33 scientific papers covering 24 no-take zones around the world. Tel. (305) 358-
named to the S.C. Department of 4600. E-mail
Natural Resources, was cited as a role
model for her concern for and forti- Muddy Waters: The Toxic Wasteland Below America’s Oceans,
tude in pursuing the protection of Coasts, Rivers, and Lakes (1999) offers graphic descriptions of the contaminated
natural resources. Tibwin Planta- sediments accumulated there and suggestions as to what citizens can do about it.
tion, becoming an observation The book’s principal author is Beth Millemann, former executive director of Coast
destination for conservation and Alliance; Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, provides case
school groups, received the land studies from the New Jersey shore. The two organizations published the report in
award. The industrial award was partnership with the American Littoral Society. Tel. (202) 546-9554; E-mail
given to Santee Cooper for its
commitment of more than 18,000
acres as state wildlife management Voyage to the North Star (Carroll & Graf 1999), is a starkly violent novel
area. Norfolk Southern was about a doomed Depression-era cruise, from Long Island, NY to Baffin Island off the
recognized for work to provide habitat coast of Labrador, aboard a miscast 225-foot luxury yacht. Author Peter Nichols
for endangered red-cockaded wood- loads up this fragile craft with a vivid cast of characters including a bloodthirsty,
peckers. Other award winners hunting-crazed owner, his libidinous daughter, an incompetent British captain, and a
included Elizabeth Pickens, conser- gloomy hero signed on as a coal stoker who tries vainly to avert disaster. Rave
vationist of the year, Robert reviews cite Melville and Conrad in describing this finely wrought tale, which
Gooding, Wes Cooler, the Wilson displays keen knowledge of the sea and the powerful emotions a dangerous
Family, and among organizations, the voyage arouses.
Mountain Chapter of the National
Wild Turkey Federation. URL: In the children’s book Grouper Moon (Aurelia Press 1999) author Cynthia Shaw traces a Nassau grouper’s course toward the species’ annual spawning
aggregation, and a local boy’s fascination with the fish and suspicion of skindiving
The Virginia Department of Envi- tourists. Scientifically sound and artistically attractive, the book offers insights
ronmental Quality and the Chesa- about fishery management and Caribbean island development. E-mail
peake Bay Program recognized
Virginia members of Businesses for
the Bay for steps to prevent Bay
pollution. Winners were: Siemens
Automotive Corp., Newport News;
Groundings Damage Keys’ Coral
Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Manufac-
turing, Scottsville; Denise Jeffries, On January 5, the Florida Park Patrol told the Miami Herald, the 96-foot
commercial recycling coordinator for megayacht Caluha 2 was cruising on autopilot near Basin Hill Shoals off Key Largo
Newport News; and Newport News within the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The captain had gone below to
and Fauquier Counties. URL: bandage up a passenger who had stubbed a toe. Soon after he returned to the helm, the ship plowed into what a sanctuary biologist described as a “very pro-
fusely decorated reef.”
The recipient of the inaugural Sus-
tainable Florida Award for Out- No one was injured aboard the vessel, which was soon pulled off the coral,
standing Performance from the but the reef itself was badly wounded. The grounding was one of many that
Governor’s Council for Sustain- occurred within the hard-pressed sanctuary during the New Years weekend holiday
able Florida was the Regatta Point season—and one of about 550 recorded each year. Damage from such events joins
Marina, first in the state to provide pollution, coral smuggling, storms, bleaching, and stress from rising seawater
free sewage pumpouts at every slip. temperatures as a reason for deterioration in one of the nation’s most beautiful and
URL: most vulnerable ecosystems.
Species & Habitats

Last season biologist Paul Spitzer

Explosion on Cape Cod, Deal on Vieques counted about 300 migrating loons
along Maryland’s Choptank River,
Early in January, the EPA dealt another blow to military authority over the reports Bay Journal, the Chesapeake
22,000 acre Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) on Cape Cod. Already deep Bay Newspaper. The total was an
in negotiation about a plan to shift control over most of the base to civilians (Atlantic improvement over 1998, when Spitzer
CoastWatch September-October 1999), the MMR’s top brass has now been rocked counted only about 200 loons, but was
by EPA’s new order to clean up longstanding accumulations of unexploded shells, three to four times below the numbers
missiles, and bazooka rounds at various sites on the base. EPA, alleging that toxic of a decade ago. Spitzer attributes the
contamination from the ordinance was leaking into the Cape’s aquifer system, acted loon decline, as well as reduced
under provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. numbers of nesting ospreys in recent
years off Gardiners Island at the
What alarmed the military was not just that the cleanup would further eastern end of Long Island, NY, to
curtail training activities on a single base. It was also that the EPA’s order set a reduced numbers of the small, young
national precedent that could involve outlays of billions of dollars to clean up menhaden on which they feed.
unknown quantities of unexploded ordinance at military installations all over the URL:
No one knows why, but Long Island
Some expected that Puerto Rico’s Vieques island, a U.S. Navy bombing Sound’s lobster population has
range since World War II and recently the subject of heated debate and a temporary undergone a massive dieoff since last
bombing halt, would become the next high-profile cleanup target (Atlantic September. Catches from the Sound,
CoastWatch, September-October 1999). usually the nation’s third largest
lobster fishery after Maine and
Instead, in a deal recently struck between the Puerto Rican government Massachusetts, are down by over 50%
and the White House, the people of Vieques will get $40 million in return for as researchers scramble to identify
allowing the Navy to resume bombing part of the island with dummy weapons for a the cause.
limited period. URL:

In a referendum to be held sometime before February 2002, they will then Thanks to efforts by the South
choose between granting the Navy full use of the bombing range and getting an Carolina Coastal Conservation
additional $50 million, or rejecting the money. Should they vote “no,” the Navy League and Ducks Unlimited, a
agrees to halt all training on Vieques by May 1, 2003, and clean up the bombing permanent conservation easement
range. now protects the entire eastern tip of
Kiawah Island from development.
Much of this land, known as Little Bear
Island, had been slated to become 18
homesites. It is an important nesting
New England Fishers: New Rules & Risks habitat for the painted bunting, one of
North America’s more colorful and
Tightening catch limits and regulations compel New England fishermen to less abundant birds.
take greater risks. One example is the chilling tale of Portsmouth, N.H. fisherman URL:
John Rosa, as reported the Boston Globe.
Relief for the horseshoe crab, a
On Christmas Eve when nobody else was working, Rosa steamed aboard species relentlessly harvested in
his 37-foot Bella Julia to fishing grounds 70 miles out to sea and hauled aboard a recent years for use as bait by eel and
good, legal catch of cod and pollock. conch fishermen, is at last at hand.
After years of protests by the Na-
His transmission quit on Christmas morning. No one heard his radio call tional Audubon Society and other
for help as breaking waves threatened to swamp the drifting boat. Activating his conservationists, the Atlantic States
EPIRB (emergency radio beacon) brought out a Coast Guard cutter, which tossed a Marine Fisheries Commission
line to Rosa and began towing him back to port. The trip took 14 hours, during which recently ordered a Coast-wide 25
the cabin-bound Rosa was repeatedly smashed into the ceiling and floorboards as percent reduction in harvests. Addi-
his vessel was tossed in tow. tional protection for Delaware Bay,
where migrating shorebirds gather
Once ashore, the battered Rosa slept for 20 hours straight. On New Year’s annually to feast on horseshoe crab
Eve he headed out again as captain of a borrowed boat, the Cherry L. Again he eggs, was also recommended. The
broke down in bad weather and was towed into Cape Cod. environmentalists had argued for a
50% cut, but came away half satisfied
Hopping mad at the regulators, fellow fisherman Dave Damon told the after a long battle.
Globe he was cutting expenses and would quite likely take as many risks as Rosa URL:
has: “You put anyone in a corner and they’re going to go extreme.” horseshoe

Scientists at the Salk Institute for

Biological Studies in San Diego
Hog Rights for Sale
have found a way to make grass grow
less quickly by manipulating a gene A major headache for North Carolina during last fall’s period of heavy
that regulates production of a steroid flooding was that many hog farms and accompanying waste lagoons lie within the
hormone. It stimulates plant growth in 100-year floodplain. Overflowing or breached lagoons launched torrents of pollu-
the same way that steroids work with tion into the watershed.
animals and athletes. Air and water
quality stand to benefit when Salk Now the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources
grass goes commercial. (DENR) has embarked on a program to reduce the problem’s dimensions by buying
up permits to operate feedlots from willing hog farmers located within the 100-year
In South Carolina, reports Associated floodplain. Conservation easements will enable such farmers to continue some
Press, Clemson University profes- forms of low-intensity farming and livestock raising if they also develop soil and
sor Serji Amirkhanian has devel- water conservation plans and accept the state’s help in implementing them and in
oped a way to keep used asphalt shutting down the lagoons.
shingles out of dumps by recycling
them for use as pavement. DENR’s goal is to buy out 15 low-lying hog factories by means of this
$5.7 million program, funded by the federal Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
Grants Tel. (919) 733-2302.

In Jacksonville, FL, reports the Daily

News, city staff members had the
bright idea of converting an old New Protection for Rare Parrot
wastewater treatment facility into
“Sturgeon City.” The old sewage In Dominica, the West Indies, authorities recently declared the world’s first
tanks would provide new homes for year 2000 national park at Morne Diabotin, straddling the highest volcanic peak in
endangered shortnose sturgeons and the eastern Caribbean. This wooded site is the last remaining nesting and foraging
threatened Atlantic sturgeon—the area for the Imperial Amazon Parrot or Sisserou, the rarest Amazon parrot on earth.
latter a species still found at the mouth Less than 200 individuals remain alive.
of the nearby New River. Other plans
for the 27-acres downtown site include For many years international conservationists have struggled to save this
an environmental education center, a habitat from deforestation and agriculture. But no proposal came to fruition until a
restaurant, a marina, and a shellfish tiny nonprofit organization, the Rare Species Conservation Foundation (RSCF)
nursery. By last November, said the in Loxahatchee, Florida, resolved to put itself deep in hock to save the bird.
paper, Sturgeon City had garnered
$73,000 in state and federal grant Under the $1,086,000 plan to acquire 1301 privately-owned acres within
money. the reserve that RSCF Director Paul Riello hammered out, the Dominican govern-
ment supplied $336,000 as well as more than 7,000 acres of adjacent parrot habitat.
Funding to restore coastal habitats is
now available as a result of a new Grants to RSCF toward the acquisition total $545,000. The balance of
collaboration between NOAA $205,000 that it forwarded to complete the deal leaves RSCF $205,000 in debt, but
Fisheries and the American Riello expressed no regret about taking prompt action that his institution can ill
Sportfishing Association’s Fish afford. He acted just in time. No sooner had the ink dried than the government
America Foundation, reports the declared snap elections. Negotiations with the new government, already in place,
EPA newsletter Coastlines. Initial would have started from scratch. E-mail
grants support eight restoration
efforts including an oyster reef in the
Lafayette River near Norfolk, VA. Tel.
Chris Doley, (301) 713-0174. Open Space for Jersey
Supporting The Nature Two years ago New Jersey’s Governor Christie Whitman announced
Conservancy’s work in New Jersey, the bold goal of protecting a million acres of the state’s land—300,000 of these
as well as that of the Trust for Public before she leaves office in 2002. Already the program, involving private as well as
Land and the New Jersey Conserva- public sector projects, is 100,000 acres along the track.
tion Foundation, are new land
conservation grants totaling $9.35 The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey scored one notable victory by
million from the Doris Duke Chari- convincing a retirement-community developer to hand over 4,160 wooded acres in
table Foundation. In December the the biologically important Pine Barrens in return for the right to expand an existing
foundation also announced $4.7 complex elsewhere. Putting together the deal, worth some $2.5 million, cost
million in grants for land conservation “infinite time and patience,” says the Conservancy’s Michael Catania. It is also a
in Rhode Island. model that he hopes to replicate elsewhere. Tel. (908) 879-7262

According to the American Planning

Salmon, Continued from p. 1 Association, six states warrant top
ranking as “exemplary models“ for
Speakers at all three sessions expressed fears that federal protection for growth management planning.”
the salmon populations would also give federal agencies more authority to regulate Included among the six are Rhode
aquaculture, blueberry and cranberry cultivation, and logging—all important Island, New Jersey, and Maryland.
elements in the eastern Maine economy. In Machias Senator Olympia Snowe,
who is running for reelection, delivered a barnburning 25-minute speech. She In a report recently issued by Trout
argued that the “irresponsible and deeply flawed” listing proposal would “cast a Unlimited, Friends of the Earth
long and dark shadow” over the region. Senator Susan Collins expressed and American Rivers, nature is
similar thoughts in Machias, and Governor Angus King chimed in at the Ellsworth thriving as a consequence of fast
hearing, warning of federal intrusion into private lives and property. growing numbers of dam removal
projects around the US. As one
Some participants stood up for the fish. Trout Unlimited’s Jeff Reardon example, the groups cite the
noted that despite numerous ESA salmon listings in the Pacific Northwest, Washing- Soudabascook Stream in Maine, to
ton and Oregon are still there. A student delegation showed up in Machias wearing which spawning salmon returned for
fish costumes and bearing a banner reading “Can Angus, not Salmon.” But conser- the first time in 200 years after a dam
vationists admit they were outgunned at the hearings. They say this was not was removed last fall.
unexpected and that the hearings were “rigged” in favor of anti-wild salmon forces.
Paul Nickerson, a Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, argues that much of
the fearmongering is exaggerated and in some instances “just drivel.” There has By declaring Centredale Manor in
been some progress in protecting the Maine populations, he adds, including an North Providence, Rhode Island a
outright ban on wild salmon fishing, replacing the previous catch-and-release rule. Superfund site, the EPA has expe-
dited the cleanup and restoration of
After the end of the public comment period on March 15, the agencies will the long-suffering Woonasquatucket
review all comments and developments and later determine whether to list wild River. Additional federal cleanup
Atlantic salmon as endangered, drop the listing to the “threatened” category, or funds allocated to the project will
withdraw the proposal. Despite the heavy shelling, Trout Unlimited’s Lockwood expedite hazardous waste cleanups
remains “pretty confident” about the final outcome. from a barrel reclamation facility and
a chemical plant, says EPA, and the
URLs:; seeding of vegetated caps on
riverbanks will control the migration of
dioxin contamination into the river.

Canadian Maritimes Oil Stir In the Rhode Island town of Coventry,

reports the Providence Journal, the
cleanup of some 16,000 barrels of
Hearts are beating faster in eastern Canada, reports the Halifax Herald, hazardous chemicals illegally dumped
about the prospects for major oil and gas discoveries off the coasts of Nova Scotia on a pig farm began more than 22
and Newfoundland. One well off Nova Scotia’s Sable Island is already producing years ago. The farm, which belonged
gas, and more than $700 million worth of licenses to explore the Scotian shelf have to the late Warren V. Picillo, was the
recently been issued. The paper cites a prediction that “within 10 years the New- state’s first Superfund site. Complet-
foundland wells will be producing over half of Canada’s light and medium crude oil.” ing the cleanup of chemicals and
contaminated soil and water is so
Debora Walsh, East Coast manager of the Canadian Association of complex a task, EPA project manager
Petroleum Producers, says that the amount of exploration now under way Anna Krasko told the paper, that she
represents a “significant commitment” on the part of the industry. But, she adds, it expects it to take another 20 years.
is premature to believe, as some people now would like to, that the reserves will
prove to be sufficient to trigger a boom equivalent to the one in the North Sea, EPA, other federal agencies and
transforming the traditionally have-not provinces of eastern Canada into “the Saudi General Electric have achieved what
Arabia of North America.” “At the moment, this is all making more people nervous the company calls a “landmark
than excited,” Walsh admits. “Next year we will be in a lot better a position to settlement” to clean up PCBs in the
assess where we really are, after companies have undertaken further seismic Housatonic River and its floodplain.
initiatives. It’s a wildly exciting piece of business as usual.” As part of the settlement, the com-
pany has also pledged $45 million to
Despite the uncertainties, conservationists were quick to warn of threats to clean up and revitalize a contaminated
lobster, salmon, and herring fisheries, and criticize authorities for handing out 250-acre property in Pittsfield, MA.
exploration permits too quickly. Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club of Canada This is said to be one of the nation’s
said she was “flabbergasted” by the official actions. URLs:, largest “brownfields” investments.
Atlantic CoastWatch Non Profit Org.
Sustainable Development Institute US Postage Paid
3121 South St., NW Washington, DC
Washington, D.C. 20007 Permit 1291
Tel: (202) 338-1017

Job Openings

Save The Bay needs an environmen- Upcoming Events

tal attorney, a member of the Rhode
Island Bar. Contact Maureen Fogarty, March 5-11. Subtropical Ecology of the Florida Keys Workshop, Pidgeon Key. URL:
Save The Bay, 434 Smith Street,
Providence, RI 02908.
March 9-12. 29th Marine Benthic Ecology Meeting, Wilmington, North Carolina,
ReefKeeper International, Miami, hosted by the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. URL:
Florida , is conducting a search for a
full-time Florida conservation associ-
ate. E-mail April 10-14. 25th Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop discussion on Coral Reef
Disease, Plymouth, Massachusetts. E-mail
The National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration, has April 14-17.Third Annual American Wetlands Conference, San Francisco, and
job opportunities at its Milford, CT, May 6-8. Boston, sponsored by the Terrene Institute, the national coordinator of
Washington, DC,Taunton, MA, Woods American Wetlands Month. URL:
Hole, MA, Miami, FL, Silver Spring,
MD, Camp Springs , MD, Suitland, MD, April 15-19. 15th Annual Symposium U.S. Chapter of the International
Pasagoula, MS, Charleston, SC, Association of Landscape Ecology and 2nd Conference of The Walt Dineen
Norfolk, VA, and Sterling, VA, offices. Society, Fort Lauderdale. URL:
wfj April 17-19. National Watershed Outreach Conference, San Diego, sponsored by
EPA, the University of California, and the County of San Diego Watershed
The World Wildlife Fund, Washing- Working Group. URL:
ton, DC seeks a full-time communica- aprilconf.html
tions officer. Five years experience in
public relations, journalism, or May 15-18. 3rd Annual Agro-ecology Conference: Eco-tourism on Public & Private
broadcasting desired. URL: Lands in Florida, Palm Beach Gardens, sponsored by The Florida Center for Environmental Studies. URL: