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Atlantic CoastWatch November-December 2000

Voters Tiptoe Toward Managed Growth


News For Coastal Advocates
At the ballot box in November, voters registered sharply divergent views
on whether to approve measures to control sprawl, preserve open space, and
VotersTiptoe 1
protect natural resources. Nationally about half of all measures presented, includ-
ing some 35 statewide as well as hundreds of local ones, were approved. The other
half were rejected, in some instances by whopping margins of 70% or more voters ACW Policy Change 1
saying NO.
Sayings 2
Significant approvals along the Atlantic shoreline included separate $400
million proposals to protect open space in Broward and in Leon Counties, Florida,
and an overwhelmingly positive response in Rhode Island to a $34 million measure Bluffton Battle 3
to purchase lands for farmland preservation, open space and water protection, and
recreation. Hudson PCBs 3
But in Maine, by a comparably wide margin of 71 to 29%, voters rejected a
proposal to tighten rules governing clear-cutting by loggers. By 2,711 to 1,770, Publications 4
voters in the Maine town of Topsham turned down a proposal to limit the size of
retail stores. A 205,000 square foot Walmart will consequently soon adorn the Crabing Crackdown 4
Topsham Fair Mall. In New York, an ambitious transportation measure that would
have provided ample support for public transportation, bikeways and intermodal
systems went down by a 53-47% margin.
Wild Salmon Listing 5

In the East as elsewhere in the US, results were affected both by the Malling the Meadowlands 6
intensity of promotional efforts by one side or the other, as well as by the some-
times intricate specifics of the proposals. Voters in Colorado and Arizona sharply
Pigeons for Balloons 6
rejected growth management measures that seemed to have a negative effect on
supplies of affordable housing. “Smart growth that deserves the name will
address both issues at once,” commented the Washington Post. Vieques Dispute 7
(Continued p. 5)
NC Oil Leases 7
Atlantic CoastWatch: Policy Change
Sea Turtle Protection 7
Since 1997, when the Sustainable Development Institute began to publish
Atlantic CoastWatch, our bimonthly publication has been distributed through our Recurring:
World Wide Web site, www.susdev.org, and has also been mailed free of charge to
anyone wanting to receive it.
People; Awards;
Starting with our January/February 2001 issue, we are shifting in the Species & Habitats; Products;
direction of an all-electronic format. We will continue to prepare issues every other
month and post them, as we have, on our website. Visitors will be able to read
Funding; Report Cards; Restora-
each issue on-line, article by article, or retrieve the entire eight page issue as an tions; Job Openings; Events
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will continue to send an e-mail notification describing each issue’s contents. Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
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We will mail each of our existing donors a black-and-white printout of the interested in the environmentally
newsletter. We will be happy to provide the same service to anyone else who sound development of the coastline
wants it, in return for a donation of $25 or more. Those preferring not to donate will from the Gulf of Maine to the
no longer receive our newsletter by mail, and will need to sign-up for electronic Eastern Caribbean. Available at
notification of each issue’s contents, through our web page. www.susdev.org
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sayings
Vol. 4, No. 6
One of the chapters in Death of a Hornet and Other Cape Cod Essays by
A project of the Sustainable Robert Finch (Counterpoint 2000) is entitled “The Once and Future Cape.” It reads
Development Institute, which seeks in part:
to heighten the environmental quality
of economic development efforts, in “There is a point, a very definite and noticeable point in our relationship
coastal and in forest regions, by with a place, when, in spite of ourselves, we realize we do not care so much
communicating information about anymore, when we begin to be convinced, against our very wills, that our neighbor-
better policies and practices. SDI is hood, our town, or the land as a whole is already lost, that what is left is not some
classified as a 501(c)(3) organization, injured yet still viable and salvageable entity, but merely a collection of remnants no
exempt from federal income tax. longer worth saving. It is the point at which the local landscape is no longer
perceived as a vital other, a living, breathing, beautiful counterpart to human
Board of Directors existence, but something that has suffered irreversible brain death. It may still be
kept technically alive—with sewage treatment plants, ‘compensatory’ wetlands,
Robert J. Geniesse, Chairman shellfish reseeding programs, lime treatments for acidified ponds, herbicides for
Roger D. Stone, President hypereutrophic ponds, beach nourishment programs, fenced-off bird sanctuaries,
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer and designated ‘green areas’—but it no longer moves, or if it does, it is not with a
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary will of its own. Many of our Cape Cod towns have already passed that point; the
Edith A. Cecil rest are fast approaching it.
David P. Hunt
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr. “Yet in spite of what I know is good for me, in spite of the palpable risk in
Gay P. Lord loving something so vulnerable, I know that I will continue to walk...over this land, as
I know the birds will continue to sing, the fox to hunt, the shy arbutus to bloom, the
Advisers frogs to congress and clamor, undampened and undefeated, until the bulldozers
arrive. After that, well...
William H. Draper III
Joan Martin-Brown “We all adapt to change, like it or not. Some of us do it by changing our
manner of living, reducing expectations, others by changing location, migrating.
Scientific Advisory Council Some simply disappear. Oaks shade out pines, starlings and English sparrows evict
bluebirds, gulls push out terns, dogfish replace the overharvested cod, houses
Gary Hartshorn dispossess meadowlarks and screech owls. It is called succession. Some of it is
Stephen P. Leatherman natural, some of it is not. But if I have learned anything as a writer, as a chronicler
Jerry R. Schubel of this extraordinary, doomed place, it is this: There is only so much fascination in
Christopher Uhl watching something beautiful die.”

Staff Not long after writing the foregoing, Finch moved from the town of
Brewster on the Cape to Wellfleet, closer to its tip.
Roger D. Stone, Director & President
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent
With Appreciation
Lisa Shooner, Assistant
We extend our warmest thanks to the Fair Play Foundation, of
2000 Major Donors Wilmington, DE, for once again stepping forward with major support for this
publication. We also offer great appreciation to these other donors of tax-deduct-
Avenir Foundation ible contributions received since October 20, 2000:
The Fair Play Foundation
The M.O. & M.E. Hoffman Foundation Milo & Robin Beach Nicholas Millhouse
Mad River Foundation J. Carter Brown Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Moore Charitable Foundation Edith Cecil Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation Robert J. Geniesse Leslie B. Stone
Elinor Hallowell Mary M. Thacher
Sponsored Projects Mr. & Mrs. Montgomery Harris Christopher M. Weld
Mad River Foundation Elsa B. Williams
9th Annual Environmental Film
Festival in the Nation’s Capital Appeal
March 15 - 25, 2000
Trees for DC
Fully tax-deductible contributions to the Sustainable Develop-
Printed by Ecoprint on 20% postconsumer waste paper
ment Institute, earmarked for Atlantic CoastWatch, are urgently needed.
using vegetable oil based inks free of toxic metals. They may be sent to us at 3121 South St., NW, Washington, DC, 20007.
3
People
Clean Water Battle in Bluffton The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
announced the appointment of Steve
Surrounded by real estate development, the town of Bluffton, on the South McCormick as its new president and
Carolina mainland across from Hilton Head Island, remains a clean-water oasis. CEO, replacing the late John Sawhill.
Nearby creeks and rivers retain high levels of water quality. Swift tides scour near- A lawyer with a B.S. degree in agricul-
pristine Calibogue Sound. tural economics, McCormick has
mostly worked for TNC since 1977,
In such a setting, it was disturbing to some in the community when the most recently as director of its
South Island Dredging Association, composed of business and property owners on powerful California chapter. URL:
“green” Hilton Head, proposed to dump toxic dredge spoils from one of its marinas www.tnc.org
not out in the ocean but onto Bluffton’s beaches and into Calibogue Sound. High
ground around the marina, originally designated for the disposal of dredged In Grist, an Internet magazine, author
materials, has been sold off, and a new dump site was needed. The group hired a Gail Krueger profiles James Hol-
scientific consultant to argue that the dumping can be accomplished without land, a down-home former crabber
environmental damage. determined to protect the water
quality in the Altamaha river basin,
The way things have traditionally worked in the area, says Jacob Preston, Georgia’s largest watershed. In 1996,
a Bluffton artist, newspaper columnist, yachtsman and environmentalist, the dismayed by declining crab harvests
permitting process for this dumping would have been “a done deal” accomplished in the once-pristine ecosystem,
“all behind closed doors” and with only cursory attention from overworked state Holland and other crabbers founded
officials. But now Preston, who is also a member of the town Planning Commis- an organization that, writes Krueger,
sion with a mandate to bring greater order to its development, has helped to “build “embodies the new environmental
a constituency for this water quality situation.” In response to letters from citizens, movement in the Deep South” in its
“several local politicians have gotten behind the need to open up the permitting grassroots, bottom up approach.
process and have the local community be part of it at an earlier stage,” Preston Instead of catching crabs, Holland in
continues. Now in prospect is at least one public hearing at which the dumping his capacity as Altamaha
idea’s proponents will “have to answer some hard questions.” Riverkeeper measures water quality
and monitors polluters. He is not
“Regardless of how the political process plays out,” wrote Preston in the hopeful about the future. But, he told
Bluffton Packet, “inshore dumping of marina spoil is a bad idea. Even if the Krueger, with his organizatiom’s
proposal by the South Island Dredging Association is supported by the science in vigilance and help from citizens,
this case, even if it is an absolute ‘textbook case,’ it is still a bad idea. If this project “maybe we can turn some of it
goes forward, it becomes precedent for other, perhaps less ‘textbook’ projects up around.”
and down the coast. Combined with the unfortunate fact that ‘science,’ more often
than not, reflects the values of its sponsor, we just can’t afford this blatant cost The American Water Resources
shifting from the private to the public.” URL:www.blufftonpacket.com Association announced the election
of two high officials for the year 2001.
President is John S. Grounds, III, a
senior engineer with Halff Associ-
EPA Plan for Hudson PCBs ates, Inc. in Houston, TX. President-
elect is Kenneth J. Lanfear, coordi-
Decades of study and controversy culminated in EPA’s December nator of the Gateway to the Earth
announcement of a brave plan to remove from the upper Hudson River some Program at the US Geological
100,000 pounds of polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs). General Electric, which Survey in Reston, VA. URL:
dumped these unhealthy contaminants into the river over a 30-year period ending www.awra.org
1977, would bear the $490 million cost of this ambitious Superfund cleanup, the
largest of its kind ever proposed. Awards
Whether it will happen is another question. GE will continue to fight the
The State of Maryland is one of ten
proposal tooth and nail, arguing that the dumped contaminants are better off where
winners of the Innovation in American
they are than stirred up by dredging. In a radio interview, a GE spokesman
Government award in recognition of
referred to the cleanup project as an act of “environmental butchery.” Before the
its statewide Smart Growth effort to
final order can be issued, the company will stridently advance these and other
curb sprawl. The award, sponsored
arguments during the public comment in effect until February 16. After that, the
jointly by the Ford Foundation and
matter will rest in the hands of the Bush Administration EPA, which may be less
the John F. Kennedy School of Govern-
enthusiastic about the project than incumbent Administrator Carol Browner.
ment at Harvard University carries
On the other hand, New York’s Republican Governor George E. Pataki has
with it a $100,000 grant that will be
announced his support for the mammoth project. Despite the many remaining
used to promote the concept nation-
obstacles, Scenic Hudson staff member Rich Schiafo told The New York Times
wide. URL: www.op.state.md.us/
that he felt “cautiously victorious.” URLs: www.epa.gov, www.scenichudson.org,
smartgrowth
www.ge.com
4
For its accomplishments over three
decades, the Maine Coast Heritage
Trust has received the Governor’s
Award for Environmental Excellence. Publications
MCHT has helped with permanent
protection for 105,000 acres on or z Those interested in the delicate relationship between people and nature on
near Maine’s coastline since 1970, and or near Cape Cod will much appreciate the sensitive writing of Robert Finch in his
provides free advisory services to Death of a Hornet And Other Cape Cod Essays, from which we have pub-
landowners and public officials. URL: lished a passage in the “Sayings” section on Page 2. Also newly available is By
www.mcht.org Monomoy Light: Nature and Healing In an Island Sanctuary by North T.
Cairn (Northeastern University Press 2000) that describes the author’s three
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation summers as a working naturalist living alone in an abandoned lighthouse at a
had to work hard to win various nature preserve on that remote, foggy, and alluring place.
waivers and building and zoning code
exemptions in order to make its new z Wooden boat aficionados will welcome two recent titles from Nimbus
Philip Merrill Environmental Center Publishing Limited in Halifax, NS. One is The Man Who Loved Schooners by
the model of environmentally sensi- R.L. Boudreau. Both the author and his late father, the subject of this biography,
tive behavior and practices it aspired roamed the world aboard sturdy Nova Scotia schooners and have many rollicking
to build. Features include rooftop tales to tell. Confessions of a Boat Builder is the autobiography of James
cisterns for rainwater collection, an Douglas Rosborough, a former employee of the provincial telephone company
innovative stormwater management who launched a second career building boats—and ended up building more than
system, solar panels for energy 150 of them at three different yards.
conservation, and flushless
composting toilets. The 32,000 square z The Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) has
foot building in Herndon, MD, recently launched a newly revised web site offering users a wide variety of information
inaugurated, has won the first-ever about delivering environmental education training to education professionals, ways
platinum rating from the US Green to get students interested and up to speed, and resources available both to teachers
Building Council. and to K-12 students. URL: www.eetap.org.

Species & Habitats z “With more than 1.4 million members,” writes its senior public relations
manager Kathleen S. Greene, “Care2.com is the largest global community on the
Web for environmentally conscious consumers.” The organization offers no fewer
Snow geese, once reduced to 50,000,
that 21 environmental channels providing information about greener life styles and
now number some 800,000 despite
the environmental issues involved. URL: www.care2.com/channels
pressure from hunters. Each winter, in
a spectacle of great beauty, swarms of
these white birds with black wingtips
descend from Arctic breeding Crackdowns on Crabbers
grounds onto the marshes and
croplands of Delaware and Maryland’s Just as the Chesapeake Bay states of Maryland and Virginia were ap-
Eastern Shore. There, according to a proaching a consensus about reducing the blue crab offtake by 15% to restore
recent Baltimore Sun report, their declining stocks (Atlantic CoastWatch September-October 2000), firmer measures
feeding habits “are rapidly destroying to study and protect the horseshoe crab were also being put into place.
the marshes that provide habitat for
black ducks and egrets and protect the Once thought to be worthless, the horseshoe crab has emerged as a
adjacent land from erosion. They are valuable resource in several respects. A chemical called LAL, extracted from this
tearing up fields of winter wheat and ancient creature’s blood, has high biomedical value. Fishermen have long har-
barley.” Both states and Canada, vested horseshoe crabs for use as bait for the eel and conch fisheries. During each
having extended hunting seasons and spring migration season, millions of ruddy turnstones, red knots, and other
increased bag limits, now seek shorebirds pause along Delaware Bay to feed on protein rich horseshoe crab eggs.
additional ways to hold down snow
goose populations. URL: Until recently, nevertheless, the horseshoe crab fishery along the Atlantic
www.sunspot.com Coast has been poorly monitored and regulated, in some areas without limits on
the catch. Now, however, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s
Mute swans, imported from Europe to Horseshoe Crab Management Board, which includes representatives from 15
decorate ponds, pose similar prob- states, has adopted a plan calling for a 25% overall reduction in annual harvests.
lems for the Chesapeake Bay, where Last summer the US Department of Commerce declared a 1,800 square mile
some 4,000 of them now reside year- horseshoe crab sanctuary extending seaward from the mouth of Delaware Bay. The
round. Each one of these birds can sanctuary encompasses the beaches used by the migrating shorebirds. Funds for
eat as much as 8 or 9 pounds of fragile research on the horseshoe crab, about which little is known, have also come forth.
underwater grass a day, and can easily New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware have chipped in a total $125,000 for data
wipe out seedlings planted in efforts collection, and further support is expected from other sources.
to restore the Bay’s decimated supply (Continued p. 5)
5
of these grasses. Environmental
groups have long recommended
shaking the swans’ eggs or coating
Wild Atlantic Salmon Listing them with vegetable oil to prevent
hatching. Firmer measures, including
In one of many remarkable environmental actions taken by Federal officials lethal ones, are currently under
during the Clinton Administration’s waning days, on November 13 Interior consideration. Wildfowl expert
Secretary Bruce Babbitt listed the tiny wild populations of Atlantic salmon found William Sladen prefers capturing
in Maine streams and rivers as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The same-sex pairs and relocating them
eight waterways affected, lying between the Kennebec and the Canadian border, onto household ponds in need of
are the Dennys, East Machias, Machias, Pleasant, Narraguagus, Ducktrap, and ornamentation.
Sheepscot Rivers and Cove Brook, a tributary of the Penobscot.
Exterminators in south Florida,
“Less than 10% of the fish needed for the long-term survival of wild reports the Miami Herald, seek ways
Atlantic salmon are returning to Maine rivers,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, to cope with a rare and aggressive
director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Without the protection and termite species, Haviland’s subterra-
recovery programs afforded by the Endangered Species Act, she continued, the nean. These insects recently arrived in
chances are that this population, currently at an all-time low, would die out com- Key West aboard infested vessels
pletely. After thirty days on the Federal Register, says Bill Taylor of the Atlantic arriving from elsewhere in the
Salmon Federation (ASF) the listing became official and therefore “bulletproof.” Caribbean. Able to chew through
With the listing in place, FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service are coral rock and cinderblock, the
now obliged to prepare recovery plans for the species. Haviland’s can wreak major damage
on wooden houses in short order.
As reported previously in Atlantic CoastWatch (September-October 1999), Early pest-control experiments failed,
the listing is far from universally popular. Opponents have included leaders in but one exterminator, Bill Duma of
Maine’s $75 million aquaculture industry, and blueberry farmers who irrigate their Pestmaster Services in Key West,
lands with water from the salmon rivers. Citing the large numbers of hatchery- told the Herald he was optimistic
raised fish released in these rivers, Maine Governor Angus King insists the about prospects for the most recent
salmon in the eight Maine rivers do not constitute a “distinct population segment “ strategies.
stipulated by the Act and has appealed the listing in US District Court in Portland.
Even as President Clinton and
Taylor says that ASF stands ready to work with anybody to achieve the Florida Governor Jeb Bush were
goals of the listing at the least possible cost to others affected. Though the dangers celebrating the benchmark Everglades
of aquaculture to spawning wild stocks are well and widely known, Taylor adds, restoration agreement, bad news was
“We’re not looking to shut down the industry—just to get it to clean up and become coming from elsewhere in the state. In
more sustainable.” URLs: www.asf.ca, http//endangered.fws.gov its Fisheries magazine, the American
Fisheries Society published a list of
82 saltwater fish species in North
America that are facing extinction. Of
Voters Tiptoe, Continued from p. 1 five “hot spots” with the gravest
threats three are in Florida: the Keys,
“We don’t have a magic bullet,” says growth management advocate and Florida Bay, and the Indian River
analyst Phyllis Myers of the Urban Center at the Brookings Institute. “These lagoon which runs 150 miles from
extreme debates push and prod the process. But through it all, I still see interest Stuart to Daytona Beach. URL:
mounting for change in how we manage our land and space.” In an article noting www.fisheries.org
that smart growth has become a “hot issue” nationally, University of Maryland
professor Roger Lewis noted: “More willing to put their money where their
mouths are, voters finally are approving new taxes and legislation aimed at acquir-
Products
ing critical land in the path of urbanization.” Urbanist Jane Jacobs echoes these
thoughts. “We of course live in the best and the worst of times,” she said. “But I Under construction in Harrisonburg,
think the best may be gaining a little.” URL: www.brook.edu/es/urban VA is a $7 million plant that will
convert poultry waste to steam that
will generate energy and produce high
grade fertilizer as a byproduct. “It’s an
Crabbers, Continued from p. 4 extremely eco-friendly process, better
than natural gas,” says Rick Wirth of
“We still have no idea what’s going on with the horseshoe crab population DukeSolutions, one of several
out there,” says Virginia Tech horseshoe crab researcher Jim Berkson. “Now that partners in the enterprise, “No one
we realize how important this crab is to the ecological balance of our coastline as before has been able to take poultry
well as to human health,” he added in an Environmental News Service interview, litter and gasify it in this way. The
“we are going to have to work overtime to get the information we need to effec- chemical makeup is something of a
tively manage this resource. Fisheries journals have virtually no studies on the challenge.” The Virginia poultry
horseshoe crab. Only the ecology and invertebrate-physiology journals contain industry is the team’s first customer.
scientific studies on the species.” E-mail jberkson@vt.edu or heatherm@vt.edu Perhaps 200 such plants, half of them
6
in the US, may eventually be built.
“We’re talking to the major food
companies,” says Wirth. URL:
www.dukesolutions.com Malling the Hackensack Meadowlands
The high speed ferry boat Mangia As even-handedly described in The Meadowlands by Robert Sullivan
Onda was recently delivered to Venice, (Atlantic CoastWatch, April 1998), the stretch of salt marsh across the Hudson from
Italy, reports Ocean Navigator. As the New York City is a hotspot both for pollution and for biodiversity. This mosquitoey
name implies, the high-speed 65-foot 21,000 acre tract of swampland has long been a notorious destination for rusted-
catamaran “re-circulates and diffuses out refrigerators, derelict cars, even pieces of the old Pennsylvania Station dumped
the wave-making energy produced by there while that terminal was being razed. It has also served as a habitat for a
the hull as it speeds through the remarkable number of wildlife species and as a curiously popular recreational site.
water,” producing no wake. URL:
www.oceannavigator.com Even as its ecological attributes have come more sharply into focus along
with the idea that ecological healing over time is possible here, grave threats to the
Funding Meadowlands crop up intermittently. Latest of these is the $1 billion Meadowland
Mills, a proposed shopping mall that would cover 204 acres of the swamp and
The Doris Duke Charitable Foun- inflict far more of it with new pollution from the site’s human occupation. The
dation awarded a whopping $10.5 Virginia-based developer, the Mills Corporation, promises environmental renewal
million to the Open Space Institute as part of its package. Others including notably the Hackensack Riverkeeper
of New York and its land acquisition warn of further degradation in an area that has already suffered more than its
affiliate the Beaverkill Conservancy. rightful share of environmental indignities.
Most of these funds, to be granted
over three years, will be allocated to The permitting process, involving both the much-criticized US Army
the purchase of forest lands in Corps of Engineers and EPA, is nearing completion amid lively speculation
northern sections of New York, about the high-stakes politics surrounding the decision about whether to allow the
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. project to proceed. Strange bedfellows are forming up. Should the traditionally
The coastline will benefit from the dig-we-must Corps switch signals and turn down the proposal, for example, a
acquisition of lands in the upper partnership of environmental and other private organizations has pledged to
watersheds of such rivers as the intervene on its behalf if the developer sues.
Penobscot and the St. John’s River
that drain into the sea. For every As speculation continued, Sullivan chipped in with an op-ed comment in
dollar granted, the recipents are The New York Times. “Even if you don’t live in New Jersey, there is a Meadowlands
expected to leverage $4 in counterpart near you,” he said. “Your local Meadowlands is that old swampy area down by the
funding. URL: www.ddcf.org river where the railroad comes in, the no-man’s land near the city airport. Your
Meadowlands does not look like the Colorado River as it runs through the Grand
The small but spirited Westport Canyon, but that doesn’t mean that it’s worthless or lacks a beauty of its own or
River Watershed Alliance, of should be covered over by a mall. In fact, if you can love that tract of new swamp,
Westport, MA, announced a hand- that abused and neglected former remediation zone (rats and all), you might just
some bequest of $200,000 to launch begin to love the Grand Canyon even more.” URL: www.hackensackriverkeeper.org
an endowment fund. The endowment
will help sustain the organization’s
overall program and enable it to
continue giving merit awards to high Pigeons for Balloons
school seniors who have shown an
interest in the environment. The donor In an effort to raise $5 million for a World War II memorial with a price tag
was the recently deceased Margo of $100 million, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) asked
Boote, a longtime member and friend mortuaries across the country to sponsor balloon releases in which families of
of the Alliance. URL: wrwa.com World War II veterans would pay $10 to immortalize their loved one’s names on a
red, white or blue balloon. The Association’s effort met opposition from environ-
Report Cards mental groups such as the Center for Marine Conservation (CMC) on the
grounds that balloon debris can be harmful or even fatal to marine life, especially
More than half of Maryland’s 9,000 sea turtles, dolphins and whales. In response to environmental concerns, some
miles of nontidal streams are in poor local mortuaries have explored alternative ways in which to honor veterans, such as
condition, according to a new report the release of homing pigeons, or Savannah Peace Doves as they are being called
issued by the Maryland Department by the Sipple Mortuary and Mighty 8th Air Force Heritage Museum in Georgia.
of Natural Resources after a three-
year study. Entitled “From the The NFDA told the Savannah Morning News it learned of CMC’s concerns
Mountains to the Sea: The State of too late to alter its national balloon release plan. Emily Morgan, citizens’ outreach
Maryland’s Freshwater Streams.” This director for CMC, expressed dismay at the Association’s balloon release plan. “We
analysis takes biological as well as thought everyone was educated about balloon releases. We are sorry to have to
chemical factors into consideration. A fight this battle again.” The Association’s effort to raise $5 million dollars would
thorough summary of the report, by mean the nation-wide release of roughly 500,000 balloons.
7
SDI consultant André McCloskey, is
published in the December 2000/
January 2001 issue of Audubon
Vieques Vote Dispute Naturalist News, the publication of the
Audubon Naturalist Society.
A year ago (January-February 2000), Atlantic CoastWatch reported that URL: www.AudubonNaturalist.org.
before February 2002, voters on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques would have an The full report is on the EPA website,
opportunity to vote pro or con the continuation of Navy practice bombing that www.epa.gov/maia/assets/pdf/
resulted in the accidental death of a civilian security guard in 1999. md.streams.pdf.

Now, the Navy has firmly scheduled the referendum for November 6, 2001. Increasing pollution from stormwater,
According to Navy Secretary Richard Danzig’s plan, the 33,000-acre island’s inadequate law enforcement, and
9,300 voters can either ask the Navy to leave the island by May 1, 2003, or permit a impacts from a fast-rising population
continuation of live ammunition training in return for annual payments of $50 are leading factors prompting the
million for economic development. President-elect George W. Bush has stated North Carolina Coastal Federa-
that he would honor the islanders’ decision. tion to hand out generally poor
grades in its annual State of the Coast
At yearend Puerto Rico Governor-elect Sila Maria Calderon countered report. Governor Jim Hunt won a
with a vow to disregard the Navy proposals and set up a local referendum that C+, the state senate a C, the state
would allow Vieques voters to say they want the Navy out immediately. Calderon house a C-, local governments a D+.
also reportedly threatened to withdraw local police now guarding the Navy’s Citizens working hard to maintain
bombing range against protesters. environmental quality won the only
high grade, a B+. “Perhaps we should
adopt the persistent mosquito’s
strategy—swarming until we get what
Last NC Oil Leases Dropped we want,” wrote the Federation’s
executive director, Todd Miller. URL:
Back in 1981, the Reagan Administration began selling drilling rights to www.nccoast.org
blocs of sea floor off the North Carolina coast. Mobil and three other oil compa-
nies bought leases. According to a new study issued by
the Urban Forest Center at American
But when Mobil announced plans to start drilling, reported the Raleigh Forests, more trees can lessen the
News-Observer, a coalition of opponents including local politicians, seashore amount of runoff during storms, and
property owners, and environmentalists swung into action. Federal legislation decrease the costs of urban
temporarily blocking the drilling led to a federal moratorium on drilling not just off stormwater management. The group
North Carolina, but anywhere along the Atlantic Coast. analyzed ten plots of land in Garland,
TX with varying degrees of tree cover.
The incoming Bush Administration could overturn the moratorium. But In its report, American Forests notes
meanwhile, all the oil companies holding leases off North Carolina’s Outer Banks that trees can also filter some pollut-
have lost heart. This fall Conoco, the last holdout, dropped its North Carolina ants found in stormwater. URL:
leases and announced that it would shift new exploration to the Gulf of Mexico. www.amfor.org

“All the leases on the East Coast have been very controversial,” a Conoco Restorations
spokesman told the News-Observer. “It was frankly not worth the effort.”
Approval from a federal judge in
Boston’s US District Court paves the
Key Sea Turtle Habitat Protected way for a massive PCB cleanup and
restoration of the Housatonic River
and other parts of Berkshire County in
Fully half a mile of Florida oceanfront that is heavily used by nesting
western Massachusetts. GE, whose
loggerhead, green, and leatherback turtles will come under permanent protection
former facility in Pittsfield generated
thanks to a particularly significant new donation by the Richard K. Mellon
much of the contamination, will pay for
Foundation.
most of the cleanup. Mindy S.
Lubber, regional administrator for
The 35-acre parcel, which will be owned by the US Fish and Wildlife
EPA, which orchestrated the deal,
Service, will nearly double the total acreage of the Archie Carr National Wildlife
called it “the green light we’ve been
Refuge.
looking for to bring about a cleanup
that is aggressive, comprehensive,
Established in 1990, the refuge protects critical beaches along 20 miles
and fully protective of public health
extending southward from the town of Melbourne Beach. It is the world’s most
and the environment. We now have a
important nesting beach for loggerhead turtles. Other species that will benefit from
golden opportunity to erase this PCB
the Mellon donation include the Florida scrub jay and the eastern indigo snake.
chapter in western Massachusetts and
URL: www.sdncenter.org/grantmaker/rkmellon
the Housatonic Valley once and for all.”
Atlantic CoastWatch Non Profit Org.
Sustainable Development Institute US Postage
3121 South St., NW Paid
Washington, D.C. 20007 Permit #1400
Silver Spring, MD
Tel: (202) 338-1017
E-mail: susdev@igc.org
URL: www.susdev.org

The 9th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital will take place from March 15-25.
Feature, documentary, archival, animated, and children’s films are all included in the program.
Most events are free, and many include discussions with filmmakers or other experts.
The Festival is presented under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Institute.
URL: www.capaccess.org/eff

Job Openings
Upcoming Events
Florida Technical Institute invited
applicants for a faculty position in January 15-17. The Underwater Intervention 2001 Conference will be held
Marine Biology/Ecology. Contact Dr. inTampa, Florida. URL: www.diveweb.com/ui.
Jon Shenker, Department of Biological
Sciences, Florida Institute of Technol- January 26-27. Long Island Fishermen’s Forum, by the Cornell Coopera-
ogy, 150 West University Blvd., tive Extension of the Suffolk County Marine Program. Tel. (631) 727-3910.
Melbourne, FL 32901.
January 29-February 1. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
The National Park Service and meeting, Arlington, VA. URL: www.asmfc.org
Wildlife Conservation Society
seek four Herpetology Field Techni- January 29-February 2. Two seminars in Philadelphia, PA: Environmental
cians. E-mail: Jbehler@wcs.org. Chemistry and Applied Soil Science for Low Cost Remediation of Con-
taminated Soils and Groundwater. URL: www.enviroone/envsearch/kencon/
The Graduate College of Marine ListOfCourses.ASP
Studies at the University of Dela-
ware has an opening for a tenure- January 30-February 2. 3rd Annual Southern and Caribbean Regional
track faculty member in the Marine Meeting, NOAA, Charleston, SC. E-mail csc@csc.noaa.gov
Policy Program. Contact Lee G.
Anderson, College of Marine Studies, February 11-13. The Clean Water Network will hold its Clean Water Week in
University of Delaware, Newark, DE Washington, DC. E-mail: kmcarthur@nrdc.org
19716.
February 16-18. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for
The Center for Marine Conserva- Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) will host the first International
tion (CMC) seeks a sea turtle Conference on Marine Environmental Challenges in Plymouth, MA. URL:
Research Scientist, for its www.umassd.edu/cfpa/mef/hotel.htm.
Washington, DC Office. URL:
www.cmc.org April 9-11. The Second International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions
to be held in New Orleans, LA. URL: http://massbay.mit.edu/exoticspecies/conf2.