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Atlantic CoastWatch MAY - JUNE 2001

West Nile Virus: Silent Summer?


News For Coastal Advocates
From Raleigh to Bangor reaction to the latest threat of mosquito borne
West Nile Virus encephalitis (WNV) has been diverse.
z
For most people living in WNV endemic areas, risks are very low. One in a
thousand mosquitoes carry the virus, having drawn blood from infected birds. One WNV: Silent Summer? 1
in 300 people bitten by WNV infected mosquitoes shows any sign of illness, usually
a mild flu and skin rash. In 1999 and 2000 eight people, most between the ages of 67
and 87, died of WNV in the New York metropolitan region with its population of 7 Return of the Shad 1
million. Notwithstanding, media-driven calls for action and controversial public
health campaigns have ensued, pitting environmentalists, wildlife related agencies Sayings 2
and concerned citizens against the actions that health agencies, local and state
governments feel obliged to take. At issue is whether the risk from WNV warrants
broad scale applications of pesticides. Keeping Space Open 3

A signal of broader problems possibly stemming from counter-WNV Saving the Shells 3
pesticide use came in the fall of 1999 when 90% of western Long Island Sound’s
lobsters inexplicably died. EPA and the states of New York and Connecticut
funded research to examine whether pesticides, particularly pyrethroids, temephos Publications 4
and methoprene, played a role. Lobstermen filed a $125 million class action lawsuit
against manufacturers. Observed Hans Laufer, an expert in crustacean hormones, Wiring the Seafloor 5
in a Hartford Courant interview: “In mosquitoes, it (methoprene) acts as an anti-
hormone, and that’s what’s killing them. It’s doing exactly the same thing to
Beach Business 5
lobsters.” University of Connecticut researcher Richard French found a
paramoeba at work, pointing out “the insecticide probably lowered their immune
system, allowing the infection to overwhelm the population.” Bee Stings Enviros 6
Other recent findings document the negative role of mosquito control Dredge We Must 7
pesticides in ecosystems. EPA, for example, has determined that many of the same
chemicals used for mosquito control, widely present in key Washington state
(Continued, p. 7) Upcoming Events 8

z
Return of the Shad
Untold millions of the anadromous American shad, a two-foot herring Recurring:
species much prized for its tasty red roe, used to run Atlantic coastal estuaries and
rivers during the annual spawning season. The species was once the most impor-
tant recreational and commercial fish in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. The decline, People; Awards; Species &
from overfishing and from dams that the fish could not surmount, began in the late Habitats; Restorations; Products;
1800s and peaked in the 1970s with zero harvest in many regions. Since then Funding; Job Openings
remarkable gains have been scored.
Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
Recovery methods launched in the 1990s have included hatchery programs, nonprofit newsletter for those
fish passageways past dams, and catch-and-release programs. The shad run in the interested in the environmentally
Susquehanna has doubled since 1999 to more than 200,000 fish. If all goes well, sound development of the coastline
authorities expect to achieve goals of 2 million fish a year in the Chesapeake and up from the Gulf of Maine to the
the Susquehanna, and a recreational offtake of 500,000 of them. Similar increases Eastern Caribbean. Available at
are expected for the Hudson, the Delaware, and other rivers in shad country. URL: www.atlanticcoastwatch.org
www.dnr.state.md.us
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sayings
Vol. 5, No. 3
I read your piece on salmon aquaculture in Maine (Atlantic CoastWatch,
A project of the Sustainable March-April 2001) and there are a few errors.
Development Institute, which seeks
to heighten the environmental quality In spite of the many millions of hybrid and European aquaculture salmon
of economic development efforts, in raised in Maine over the past 10 years, of which there have been escapes, there are
coastal and in forest regions, by no distinctive European alleles found in wild fish in Maine rivers. To put it another
communicating information about way, there is no scientific evidence through DNA analysis or other means that show
better policies and practices. SDI is any introgression of Maine aquaculture fish into wild stocks, and there has been
classified as a 501(c)(3) organization, extensive looking. The evidence to date is clear that this risk has not materialized.
exempt from federal income tax.
You can not mass produce food with artificial systems. Forget about any
Board of Directors significant food production in greenhouses or land based pumped fish farms.
Salmon farming in Maine and in reality most of the world utilizes a natural process
Robert J. Geniesse, Chairman and is comparable to organic farming. Tides and currents work the same as a
Roger D. Stone, President farmer’s manure spreader or allowing farm animals to graze in a pasture. Farmed
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer salmon use the least amount of antibiotics of any farmed animal. I haven’t used
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary any in 6 years now, and I am not an exception. Very few antibiotics are available to
Edith A. Cecil salmon farmers and at least one has been removed - for lack of demand. And fish
David P. Hunt densities are far lower in net pens than in pumped systems.
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr.
Gay P. Lord All terrestrial farming dramatically alters the natural landscape. Even the
best organic farming environment does not even remotely resemble the original
Advisers wild landscape, and the flora and fauna are completely replaced with the farmers
crops and weeds. The very best organic farmer could not comply with the stan-
William H. Draper III dards imposed on fish farmers in this regard. By law, the flora and fauna around
Joan Martin-Brown my farm can not be significantly altered and we are closely monitored for this.

Scientific Advisory Council Salmon farms also create a localized enrichment zone, but on most Maine
farms, diversity in increased. The structures form an artificial reef, and the enrich-
Gary Hartshorn ment increases the abundance of marine worms. With that we see an increase in
Stephen P. Leatherman both species of fish around our farm as well as larger fish. In Cobscook Bay, near
Jerry R. Schubel the pens is the place to go to catch flounder.
Christopher Uhl (Continued, p. 4)

Staff
With Appreciation
Roger D. Stone, Director & President
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
Major support for Atlantic CoastWatch has recently been received from the
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
Avenir and Mad River Foundations. We extend deep appreciation to those
Anita G. Herrick, Correspondent
donors, and our warm thanks also to these others who, between April 20 and June
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent
25, kindly made contributions of $50 to $1,000:
2001 Major Donors Gayle Bauer Leigh M. Miller
E. U. Curtis Bohlen Frani Blough Muser
Avenir Foundation Nicholas Brown Elizabeth L. Newhouse
The Fair Play Foundation James C. Calvert Anna Maria Palmer
The Curtis and Edith Munson John S. Chatfield Frederick H. Osborn, III
Foundation The Chesapeake Bay Foundation The Otter Foundation
Mad River Foundation Anne S. Davidson Mr. and Mrs. S. Buford Scott
Helen C. Evarts John A.H. Shober
Sponsored Projects Mrs. Charles B. Flood Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff
Florence B. Fowkles Mr. and Mrs. Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff
Trees for DC AileenT. Geddes Donald B. Straus
Environmental Film Festival in the Nina Rodale Houghton Tilia Foundation
Nation’s Capital, 2002 Edward L. Hoyt Sandra I. van Heerden
David P. Hunt Louisa C. Watson
Update: www.atlanticcoastwatch.org The Julliani Foundation The Whitehead Foundation
Coastal News Nuggets - Maria Matthiessen Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Zagoreos
Daily Headlines posted weekly. David McGrath
3
People
Keeping Space Open The Alliance for a Livable Ocean in
New Jersey has selected Jessica
Little, as citizens on Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are Kubida as its new executive director.
currently discovering, is so bruising as a community fight to maintain open space Kubida, a lifelong resident of the
and rural values via efforts to keep out the big-box stores. There the central issue is Jersey shore, has extensive experi-
whether Lowes and Home Depot should be permitted to build macro stores near ence working in non-profit and for-
the town of Easton. Opponents this spring succeeded in petitioning to delay action profit environmental organizations.
until November 2002, when voters are scheduled to decide the matter directly by
referendum. Support for the chains was also strong. One county councilman told Nancy Klingener was named
the Baltimore Sun that this battle has been the most divisive issue he has faced. program manager for the Florida Keys
office of the Center for Marine
Rather than face the seemingly inevitable polarization involved in trying to Conservation. Klingener, a resident
plan and zone to preserve open space, private groups and public environmental of the Keys, has worked as a freelance
agencies are increasingly turning to a less contentious set of strategies: trading or writer, journalism professor, and
buying the development rights to choice parcels, or purchasing them. Examples: environmental reporter. URL:
www.cmc.org
z On Long Island’s East End, the Long Island Farm Bureau is agitating to
Dennis Puleston, founding chairman
persuade the sprawl-prone Town of Southold to borrow $25 million against funds
of the Environmental Defense
generated via a 2% real estate transfer tax, and buy up large increments of farmland
Fund (now Environmental Defense),
and open space. The nearby Town of Southampton has already embarked on a $30
died June 8 at his home on Long
million program of this sort. In the Farm Bureau’s view, doing it this way is feasible
Island, NY, at age 95. In 1966, while
and far less controversial that pressing for zoning adjustments. Many Virginia
working at Brookhaven National
voters favor following a similar course.
Laboratory, Puleston and a group of
citizens brought local legal action
z Having already established Maryland as a land-preservation and growth against DDT, the pesticide that had
management leader with his administration’s Smart Growth and Rural Legacy devastated the population of local
initiatives, Governor Parris Glendening this year added GreenPrint. This effort ospreys and many other birds and
will never match in size such billion-dollar land preservation programs as those in that was eventually banned nation-
place in Florida and New Jersey. Distinctive about GreenPrint is its emphasis on wide. War hero, seafarer, writer, artist,
mapping and acquiring interconnected corridors of forests, wetlands, and water- teacher and naturalist, the Great
ways that form critical portions of the entire state’s natural habitat. Britain-born Puleston spent many of
his latter years as indefatigable
z Private organizations have scored major victories of late. One was the lecturer and tour guide aboard Sven
New England Forestry Association’s acquisition of development rights to Lindblad’s far-ranging mini cruise
762,192 acres of privately held timberland in Maine ( Atlantic CoastWatch, March- ship Polaris. You could never beat him
April 2001). A significant recent acquisition in Maryland was the 300 acre Holly to the bridge in the morning, said his
Beach Farm at the western end of the Chesapeake Bay bridge. frequent shipmate, science teacher
Art Cooley: “he never tired of the
wind and the waves and the wildlife.”
Wrote his granddaughter Carin
Saving the Shells Clevidence:

Society finds many reasons to recycle oyster shells. Some use them as a We’re lucky you were here, gracing the
mineral component of poultry feed. Others find them new homes in media for world
orchid cultivation or as a permeable and attractive surface for driveways. “Tabby,” a With your full heart. I remind myself
time-honored building material in the southeast US, blends oyster shells into dried of this
mud. Out in shellfish waters, loose shells bolster living oyster reefs, providing At evening, when the trees are full of
better habitat for such restoration efforts as the Chesapeake Bay Program’s birds.
ambitious plan to increase the oyster population tenfold by 2010. Bagged in a
South Carolina project, oysters offer a better footing for live baby oysters than Awards
loose shells that wash away thanks to tidal currents or boat wakes.
The 2001 recipient of the T.B. “Happy”
With such users of oyster shells facing mounting scarcities, welcome
Fraser Award, the Atlantic Salmon
news comes from that the city of Hampton, Virginia. It is making a new effort to
Federation’s top prize, is John M.
collect and grind up commodes, sinks, and bathtubs in order to beef up a live
Anderson of St. Andrews, New
oyster reef on the Back River. “Anything porcelain will do,” reported the Richmond
Brunswick. Anderson, a former
Times-Dispatch, adding that public authorities, Boy Scouts, and plumbers are all
president of the University of New
involved in a community effort that helps oysters and eases pressure on landfills.
Brunswick, served as ASF’s vice
One dedicated housewife is chipping in her grandmother’s china. Tel. Hampton
president of operations and chief
Public Works Educational Programs: (757) 727-6325.
scientific advisor. URL: www.asf.ca
4
Shirley Reynolds, of New Smyrna
Beach, FL, won a National Conserva-
tion Achievement Award from the
National Wildlife Federation for
her efforts to protect sea turtles as
Publications
required by the Endangered Species
Act. URL: www.nwf.org z Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American
Boatyard by Michael Ruhlman (Viking 2001) is a rich source of information about
Brian Cousin, video producer at the the revival of interest in building yachts the old way. The story centers on two men,
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Nat Benjamin and Ross Gannon, who after footloose earlier careers joined
Institution in Fort Pierce, FL, won the forces to found the now-famous Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway in
Media Communications Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. In the author’s sometimes gushy text you learn a
Association’s Silver Reel award for lot about how to build, restore, operate, and love these treasures—and about the
his entry, “Marine Bioluminescence: dedicated potpourri of people who work in the field.
Secret Lights in the Sea.” The video
spotlights living sea creatures that z Circling the globe alone by sailboat, now a commonplace if still hazardous
create visible light to survive in the pastime, was first accomplished barely more than three decades ago at the conclu-
ocean. URL: www.hboi.edu sion of a race called the Golden Globe. In A Voyage for Madmen (HarperCollins
2001), Peter Nichols deftly sets forth the drama of this adventure and the nine
The Discovery of Coastal Environ- participating men and boats, most very poorly equipped for such a challenge. Once
ments (DOCE) website, conceived and shipwrecked near the end of his own solo attempt to cross the Atlantic, Nichols
developed by Gail Scowcroft, tells the tale with style and authority. Much of the action occurs in Atlantic waters.
associate director of the University
of Rhode Island’s Office of z With the advent of New Urbanism and broadening interest in managing
Marine Programs, has been chosen urban and suburban development, the business of making public spaces work
as a finalist in the Environment, better for people has also become a growth industry. “Now,” writes Washington
Energy & Agriculture category of the Post columnist Neal R. Peirce, “comes a places recipe book, self-help for every-
Computerworld Honors Collection. one who wants friendlier or more livable home turf. It’s called How to Turn a
The DOCE project offers virtual tours Place Around, and it’s published by Project for Public Spaces” in New York
of coastal environments while City. The publication brims with examples of how to make urban cores work better,
integrating the use of GIS maps, the in some instances inhibiting coastal degradation in the process. Case studies from
cultural history, and physical charac- Charleston, SC, Baltimore, New Haven and a number of New Jersey towns are
teristics of the regions. URL: http:// included. URL: www.pps.org
omp.gso.uri.edu/edu/doce/doce.htm
z No state has suffered from disorderly development more acutely than
Stephen Colwell, founder and Virginia, with sprawl rampant from Virginia Beach to the traffic-clogged beltway
executive director of the Coral Reef country adjacent to Washington, DC and even along the approaches to elegant
Alliance (CORAL) was selected as Charlottesville. Now comes a road map pointing toward better times in the form of
the recipient of this year’s Stanford Better Models for Development in Virginia by Edward T. McMahon (The
Sloan Fellowship. The Fellowship Conservation Fund 2000), a no-nonsense handbook on how to do it. URL:
allows leaders of non-profit organiza- www.conservationfund.org
tions to attend the Sloan Fellows
Program at the Stanford University z Thinking of alternative energy? The US Department of Energy and
Graduate School of Business. The North Carolina Solar Center teamed up to create the Database of State Incen-
Program is designed to enhance the tives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE). DSIRE is described as the most comprehen-
business management and leadership sive database describing federal and state level incentives, regulations and invest-
skills of experienced executives. ment programs. URL: www.dcs.ncsu.edu/solar/dsire/dsire.cfm
Founded in 1994, CORAL now has over
10,000 members and an annual
budget of over $1 million. URL: Sayings, Continued from p. 2
www.coral.org
PCB and Dioxin contamination peaked right after WWII. Today they are
Species & Habitats declining at about 5% a year and can be found anywhere. Farmed salmon are quite
low in these contaminants relative to other fish. All farmers reflect the state of the
The need for tighter controls on environment. Farmed fish, according to the Maine DMR, are very low in environ-
horseshoe crab harvesting was mental contamination.
highlighted this spring with reports of Erick Swanson
reductions of as much as 95% over a Trumpet Island Salmon Farm, Blue Hill Bay, Maine
decade in the numbers returning to
traditional spawning grounds. This We are pleased to present Mr. Swanson’s views. We should note, however,
year migrating red knots and other that we carry no opinions and make no claims. The article to which Mr. Swanson
shorebirds, which pause in Delaware refers digested information, some concerning salmon aquaculture generally rather
Bay to fatten up on horseshoe crab than just in Maine, gathered from reliable sources. —The Editors
5
eggs, suffered when the ancient
creatures failed to show up in suffi-
cient numbers for the annual rendez-
Wiring the Seafloor vous. According to Clive Minton, a
shorebird specialist with Delaware’s
According to Governor Jeb Bush, Florida is as keen to be the new- Fish and Wildlife Division, overhar-
economy gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America as it has long been the vesting of horseshoe crabs for conch
gateway in the old economy. A key way to pin down the new-world linkage, the Jeb and eel bait may have triggered the
Bush administraton thinks, is for private telecommunications companies to supply decline of red knots from 140,000 in
the fastest, cheapest and best fiber-optic cable service out to the region from south the 1980s to a current 50-60,000.
Florida via the ocean floor (See Atlantic CoastWatch, March/April 2001). Horseshoe crabs caught for the
medical industry, which uses their
The environmental hitch is how to lay such cable in ways that avoid blood for several purposes, are bled
damage to extensive coral-reef systems that are already highly stressed. Early in and then released unharmed.
June the Bush cabinet announced a plan whereby the companies would install
cables not as random spaghetti, but within corridors 5 to 10 miles wide. When The recovery of striped bass popula-
environmentalists complained that corals within the corridors would still be subject tions in northeast US waters, widely
to damage, the state tightened the rules, specifying that the cables would have to hailed as a wildlife management
fall into desirable locations within the corridors, zigzagging between coral heads triumph, also has its downside. For
and reefs. the past several years Chesapeake
watermen have been accusing the
Mapping these meandering routes is “absolutely feasible,” reports Paul stripers of eating excessive numbers
Johnson of Reef Relief. Whether the companies will pay to use the state-owned of young blue crabs and helping to
land over which the cables will be laid, or pay to conduct the mapping, remain reduce the numbers of this commer-
open questions to be decided in coming months. Johnson says it is in the compa- cially valuable species. Not so, says a
nies’ interest to follow the state’s leadership in laying out the routes: “If they were report issued this spring by the
to disturb over 30 square feet of coral they would not qualify for a general permit to Virginia Institute of Marine
continue operations.” Tel. Paul Johnson, (850) 926-7439. Science. Though stripers ate some
73.5 million small crabs last fall, the
study concludes, this was only 4.6% of
the numbers of blue crabs estimated
to inhabit the Bay’s underwater
Big Business on the Beaches seagrass beds. URL: www.vims.edu

$1.8 billion for beach renourishment along the Outer Banks in North Artificial reefs attract marine life.
Carolina’s Dare County. $20 million to suck sand from the ocean floor and dump it Authorities are finding imaginative
along six miles of Virginia Beach. $165.4 million, over the next 50 years, to restore ways to create them. In search of a
the beaches of South Carolina’s Grand Strand after the sand washes away. $16 new home for its older red-colored
million more, on top of major previous renourishment allocations for Miami Beach, subway cars, New York City found a
to resand an “erosion hotspot” called Sunny Isles Beach. customer in Delaware. The state will
acquire 400 of them and place them in
Headlines abound, especially as the summer height of the beach nourish- the Atlantic, 16 miles east of Indian
ment season nears, about these and other similar efforts. Some succeed. The River Inlet. The project has been
economic revival of Long Branch, New Jersey, an old-time beach resort that fell deemed to be environmentally sound.
onto hard times during the 1960s and 1970s, is said to be based in large part on the In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, cited
millions of cubic yards of sand dumped there in recent years. Other renourishment by one source as “the wreck diving
efforts vanish with the next storm. Residents of Vero Beach, Florida have expressed capital of the world,” officials are
doubts about an Indian River County plan to nourish 2 miles of the town’s preparing three foreign-flag ships for
shorefront. “I’ve seen them put $17,000 worth of sand there in front of the Ocean sinking offshore to make reefs. These
Grill on Wednesday,” one skeptic told the Press Journal. “By Friday, it was gone.” vessels, ranging from 78 to 185 feet in
length, had been seized for cocaine
50 to 65% of the cost of such ventures has traditionally been borne by smuggling.
Federal allocations to the US Army Corps of Engineers. This year the Bush
Administration is attempting to place more responsibility on local shoulders by For a century and a half, since the first
limiting the Federal share to 35%. But Congress, many of whose members love the settlers arrived, free-spirited Key West,
Corps, will quite likely choose to put more Federal money in the pipeline and keep FL has hosted flocks of free ranging
the sand flying and the dollars flowing briskly. chickens. But with the flock now
increased to some 2,000 wild birds,
In the long run it will all be academic, said professor and longtime residents increasingly complain about
renourishment foe Orrin Pilkey, a coastal geologist at Duke University, in a recent noise, droppings, and flower bed
Washington Post op-ed article: “I predict that in a couple of generations, the barrier invasions. Accordingly, in what has
islands now being nourished will fall below the horizon of society’s concern. By been dubbed Operation Chicken
then, our descendants will be preoccupied with protecting Manhattan, Boston,
Miami and other sea-level cities from the rising waters.”
6
Snatch, the city is rounding up 200 of
the birds, mostly noisy roosters, and
shipping them to the Suncoast
Seabird Sanctuary. Bee Stings Big Enviros
New Jersey’s Department of In researching an extensive and widely reprinted recent series, Sacramento
Environment Protection has Bee reporter Tom Knutson unearthed much to criticize about the way large
described most of its coastal streams environmental nonprofits conduct their business.
and rivers as “impaired” waterways.
The evaluation, based on bottom- He noted plush office spaces, large executive salaries and lavish
dwelling organisms at 213 stations fundraising events. He charged some groups with bending the truth and scaring
between Raritan and Delaware Bays, people in their efforts to attract new members. And he hit hard on the practice of
documented an increase to 64% of “joint cost accounting” allowing “nonprofit groups to splinter fund-raising expendi-
waterways impaired, from 49.7% in tures into categories that sound more pleasing to a donor’s ear—public education
1995. The worst waterway conditions and environmental action—shaving millions off what they report as fund-raising.”
were found in Monmouth and Cape One group, he reported, classified as “public education” $1.3 million of a $1.5
May counties. URL: www.state.nj.us/ million direct mail campaign to generate membership.
dep/dsr/watershed/waterteam.htm
Knutson also reported dramatic changes in the environmental community:
A fourteen year study by New York’s a new emphasis on acquiring land rather than trying to influence public land-use
Department of Environmental policy (see p. 3 of this issue), doing without memberships and seeking support
Conservation found that Hudson instead from foundations or corporations, forming partnerships with private
Valley bald eagles get pummeled by landholders and natural resource users previously regarded as deadly foes,
high speed trains running at 110 or working in rural areas rather than within the power centers.
more mph. Of sixteen carcasses
examined, ten had been victims of Publishing excerpts from the series, the Raleigh News & Observer also ran
“rail kill.” Most were juveniles killed a sidebar exempting North Carolina’s strong, grassroots-flavored environmental
during periods when other food movement from most of the shortcomings the Bee found elsewhere. Similar
sources become scarce, during fall reports came from other localities whose environmental groups still do not seem to
and winter. At last count, New York act like large corporations. URL: www.sacbee.com/news/projects/environment
had 349 bald eagles. 87 of them were
in the Hudson Valley. New Jersey’s
Press of Atlantic City reports many
types of birds are still being killed by
Dredge We Must
chlordane, a pesticide banned in 1986.
Along the coastline, the spring air has been blue with debate about the
that was applied to combat beetles
merits and demerits of dredging projects. Voices demanding environmental
long resistant to its effects. Robins,
protection are pitted against others stressing job creation and economic benefits
starlings and grackles eat the toxic
from deeper channels. Venues under heated discussion have included small Nova
beetles and then fall victim to birds of
Scotia harbors, badly-silted New Jersey stretches of the Intra-coastal Waterway,
prey, of which 27% those autopsied
Florida’s Fort Pierce Inlet and Miami River. Two contrasting examples:
also died from it. Most affected were
Cooper’s hawks, of which 39% died
z Nowhere has the dredge vs. no-dredge struggle been more intense than
from chlordane. URL:
along the Delaware River, whose ship channel the US Army Corps of Engineers
www.dec.state.ny.us
has for two decades been planning to deepen from 40 to 45 feet. Involved would be
the removal of some 33 million cubic yards of channel bottom right away, and
Restorations annual further dredging of 6 million cubic yards to maintain the new channel depth.
According to the Corps and the Delaware River Port Authority the $300 million
Few places along the Atlantic sea- project would attract more large container and dry bulk ships to the Port of Phila-
board ever reached the environmental delphia, lower costs for oil refineries along the shore, create 1,600 jobs, and
nadir of the ironically named Paradise increase tax revenues. Proponents issue the usual claims that the job can be done
Creek in Portsmouth, VA that is with “no significant impact” on the environment.
straddled by the Norfolk Naval
Shipyard. For decades a 5.5 acre field Critics worry that the dredging will stir up toxics, disrupting river-bottom
sloping toward this creek served as a habitats and threatening the blue-crab and oyster fisheries. They argue that a
dumping ground for a Superfund-level deeper channel will not attract the hoped-for mega ships, and that a 40-foot depth is
assortment of toxic debris. Last fall, enough for Philadelphia to remain a viable port. Among the oil companies said to
says the Virginian-Pilot, the Navy be the principal beneficiaries of the scheme, one called Motiva Enterprises has
launched a clean-up effort that has a also opposed it, citing an “adverse economic impact” from shoaling near its
novel twist to it. Contaminated soil refinery that the dredging would provoke. Economic and environmental aspects of
was removed. Instead of filling the the project are currently under review at the federal General Accounting Office.
excavation hole back up, the Navy Delaware still has not issued a permit to enable the dredging to go forward. The
planted seagrasses, added clean soils, Corps wants to start this fall. (Continued, p. 7)
7
and created a new 2-acre tidal wetland
in the shadow of the shipyard. Money
has been saved. And, said Marjorie
Dredge We Must, Continued from p. 6 Mayfield of the nonprofit Elizabeth
River Project, “There’s a lot of
z A different sort of a dredging story comes out of the Chesapeake Bay. opportunity to make Paradise Creek a
Once 1,200 acres in size, reports the Baltimore Sun, the Bay’s Poplar Island has model for urban restoration.”
been reduced by storms and sea-level rise to a mere 85 acres and was destined
soon to disappear entirely. But in a massive $427 million restoration effort, a 20- Atlantic CoastWatch (February 1998)
foot dyke has been built around the perimeter. 33 million cubic yards of clean reported an innovative NC program in
dredging materials, which need to be removed from the Bay’s siltation-plagued which recreational small-plane pilots
shipping channels if they are to remain open, are being pumped behind the dyke. monitor the Neuse River’s environ-
mental quality. Now comes the bi-
When the work is completed 9-14 years from now, the island will regain state Potomac Conservancy with a
almost all its original size and will become home to many wildlife species of which recreational approach in which groups
some are already returning or growing in numbers. Said project manager Scott of canoe and kayak paddlers patrol a
Johnson of the US Army Corps of Engineers: “Creating habitat on this scale 50-mile stretch of the river. Each
just hasn’t been done; that’s why it’s looked on as a model. We’re hearing from survey team will look for illegal tree-
people all over the country.” School groups have started visiting the site. URLs: cutting and other violations within its
www.sunspot.net/news; www.nap,army.mil; www.delawareriverkeeper.org. designated area. URL:
www.potomac.org

Silent Summer?, Continued from p. 1 Products

When the father-in-law of one of the


watersheds, harm salmon and aquatic habitats. Yet EPA had taken no steps to
founders of Reefballs International
protect endangered salmon from 48 “legal” but harmful pesticides, while USGS
requested that his cremated remains
found 13 in watersheds above levels set to protect fish and other aquatic life.
be memorialized in a reef, he helped to
start a new company, Eternal Reefs.
Monitoring birds for WNV also turned up a surprise. More die from
With ashes entombed in various sizes
pesticides, herbicides and lead than from WNV according to a study conducted by
of Reefballs, Memorial Reefs are for
New York’s Department of Environment Conservation. While 1,263 birds in
use only in marine sanctuaries and to
the sample died of WNV in fiscal year 2000, 1,953 died of toxins from pesticides and
support fish and diving reef programs.
herbicides such as the now banned Dursban as well as Diazinon, to be banned in
URL: www.eternalreefs.com
2003. Though some of the deaths were attributed to intentional poisoning or
pesticide and herbicide mis-application, many more resulted from the ingestion of
prey containing high levels of toxins. William Cooke of Audubon-NY told Funding
Newsday: “I was rocked… If they are whacking birds, I think it’s reasonable to
assume they’re doing a job on butterflies and others.” The US Fish and Wildlife Service
has $28 million available under the
According to a report by the Maine Environmental Policy Institute Cooperative Endangered Species
(MEPI), all pesticides used to control mosquitoes have well established detrimental Conservation Fund to help communi-
impacts on human health and on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and are of ties and landowners preserve species
limited efficacy killing mosquitoes. Pesticide companies claim an 80% kill rate from habitat. Four program areas: Recov-
spraying. MEPI cited studies in New Jersey and Texas suggesting that a more likely ery Land Acquisition Grants; Habitat
level is 30% and suggested repeated spraying leads to pesticide resistance. Conservation Plan Grants; Safe
Harbor Grants; and, Candidate
State and local responses have varied. In Long Island’s Suffolk County, Conservation Agreement Grants.
homeowners concerned about health impacts can have their homes listed next year URL: endangered.fws.gov/landowner/
as no spray zones, with a 150 foot buffers extending from their property. The grants.pdf
county is also setting up committees to deal with aerial spraying. At the same time,
pesticides are showing up in 25% of Suffolk’s public wells and 35% of its private Royal Caribbean Cruises Ocean
wells, according to the New York Daily News. In New Hampshire, state agencies Fund granted $770,000 with the lion’s
are divided over what measures to take, if any, beyond monitoring. Said Karen share ($450,000 over three years)
Cleveland, NH Fish and Game Service, “When you spray, you kill mosquitoes but going to the National Audubon
you also kill other insects at the same time, as well as fish and amphibians.” Society’s Living Oceans and Coastal
Island Sanctuaries programs. Other
In most states, it is county and municipal authorities that decide whether Atlantic beneficiaries: Florida Interna-
to spray or not, using state developed guidelines. On Maryland’s eastern shore tional University, MAST Academy
spraying is available for communities that request it, with an estimated 40,000 (Miami); Mote Marine Laboratory; and,
acres slated to be covered in June. South Carolina’s war on mosquitoes is per- the Ocean Research and Education
petual. WNV has yet to arrive. URLs: www.cdc.gov; www.pesticide.org; Foundation. URL: biz.yahoo.com/
www.meepi.org; www.cfe.cornell.edu/risk/WNV/ prnews/010507/flm012.html
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sustainable Development Institute
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Washington, D.C. 20007

Tel: (202) 338-1017


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www.atlanticcoastwatch.org

Tax-deductible contributions to the Sustainable Development Institute,


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Job Openings Upcoming Events


The Wildlife Conservation July 10 - 11. Breaking New Ground: The Benefits of Ecological Enhancements in
Society needs a coral reef Brownfield Development & Superfund/RCRA Remediation Projects organized by
ecologist, coral reef invertebrate the Wildlife Habitat Council, to be held in Washington, DC. E-mail: rcra@wildlifehc.org
ecologist, and a fisheries
community specialist. URL: July 15 - 19. Coastal Zone 01, Cleveland, OH. URL: www.csc.noaa.gov/cz2001/
www.wcs.org/wild/ conference.html

The EPA in Stamford, CT July 20 - 22. Ducks Unlimited’s 8th International Waterfowl and Wetlands
is offering summer employment Symposium in Washington, D.C. A Latin American and Caribbean Waterfowl Conference
opportunities for students to Workshop will be held prior to the Symposium on July 19. E-mail: bcarlson@ducks.org
work on the Long Island Sound
Study. Fax: (203)977-1546. July 22 - 28. Reef Awareness Week in the Florida Keys. URL: www.reefrelief.org

The School for Field Studies July 25 - 27. Council of State Governments offers Working at a Watershed Level
Center for Marine Resource Training Course at the North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC. URL: www.csg.org/ecos/
Studies at the Turks & Caicos working.htm
Islands, British West Indies,
requires a director. URL: July 29 - August 1. Society for Conservation Biology Annual Meeting in Hilo, HI.
www.fieldstudies.org. Co-hosted by the University of Hawaii. URL: www.uhh.hawaii.edu.

The School for Field Studies, July 30 - August 2. Managing River Flows for Biodiversity. A Conference on
Beverly, MA is looking for a Science, Policy, and Conservation Action in Fort Collins, CO. E-mail: nsilk@tnc.org
program dean. URL:
www.fieldstudies.org August 4 - 8. Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) will host its SWCS
2001: Conservation from the Mountains to the Sea in Myrtle Beach, SC. URL:
The Center for Biodiversity swcs.tripod.com/2001agenda.html
and Conservation of the
American Museum of Natu- August 19 - 23. The American Fisheries Society presents the 131st Annual Meeting
ral History seeks a biodiversity 2001 in Phoenix, AZ. URL: www.fisheries.org
assistant. E-mail:
brumba@amnh.org
September 16 - 19. Mid-Atlantic Governors’ Conference on Greenways,
River Network needs a Blueways, Green Infrastructure, Arlington, VA. URL: www.dcr.state.vs.us/prr/
watershed program manager in 2000conf.htm
Washington, DC. URL: September 17 - 19. Marine & Ocean Technology Network host the 3rd Ocean
www.rivernetwork.org Technology Workshop in Plymouth, MA. E-mail: www.motn.org/workshop