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Atlantic CoastWatch NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2001

Ferry Flurries News For Coastal Advocates

Take steps to lessen summer traffic woes on Cape Cod? Make it easier for
visitors to get to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard from Boston and New York?
Save energy? Add convenience? All these benefits might accrue, one would think,
from the inauguration of high speed ferry service from New Bedford on the main- Ferry Flurries 1
land, to supplement ferries now running from Woods Hole and Hyannis on the Cape.
Troubles in Paradise 1
Nyet, said many residents and politicians on the Cape and on the Islands in
gatherings to discuss a New Bedford proposal to launch the new service. Some in Sayings 2
the town of Falmouth near Woods Hole feel that the heavy traffic is an asset that
helps local businesses. Islanders recognize the traffic problems on the Cape, but
Whitman OKs GE Cleanup 3
claim that the root cause is not island-bound tourism, but ill-planned development
on the Cape itself. Many of them feel that their summer tourism has already
reached the saturation point, and that additional ferry service from anywhere would Much Wind about Wind 3
overcrowd beaches and the islands’ narrow roads and minimal port facilities.
Publications 4
There is also concern that the state-chartered Island Steamship Author-
ity, which would operate the new 55-minute service, might lose money on it, as it Decomposition Times 4
long has on a slower steamer that now serves the New Bedford route. When the
Steamship Authority loses money, Falmouth, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard tax Courts and the Seashore 5
dollars must make up the difference.
(Continued, p. 6)
Wandering Reef Tires 5
Troubles in Paradise Sprawl Hurts, Nature Helps 6

Paddlers were thrilled in the mid-1980s when the Maine Island Trail The Show Went On 6
Association (MITA) was formed. Its original mission was to delineate and publi-
cize a chain of public and private islands, from Casco Bay to the west to Machias
Golf Gets Even Greener 7
Bay near the Canadian border, each about a day’s row from the next, where sea
kayakers could legally camp out overnight. Owners and the state’s Bureau of Public
Lands expressed enthusiasm. Droves signed up. Trawler Helps Turtles 7

So much so that new stresses have been imposed on the chain of beautiful Upcoming Events 8
properties. It now encompasses 120 islands and mainland campsites in Maine and
in Canada. Summertime overcrowding, vegetation loss, erosion, and human waste z
problems have become commonplace on the system’s 49 public islands. They are
open to all comers, not just MITA’s 3700 members, whose dues enable them to use
the private islands as well. Not just paddlers, but increasing numbers of power and Recurring
sail boaters, visit the public sites.
People; Awards; Species &
MITA has long felt an obligation to help manage and conserve these Habitats; Restorations; Products;
properties, a task now requiring the presence of summer caretakers at very heavily
Report Cards; Funding
visited sites such as Jewell Island in Casco Bay. Further measures are in prospect
since use of the sites, says MITA executive director Karen Stimpson, continues to
Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
be “a strong growth industry” with substantial increases each year in every cat-
nonprofit newsletter for those
egory. Such is the situation that, ironically, winter is in many respects the busiest
interested in the environmentally
time of year for MITA. Early in 2002 the organization’s board and staff will undertake
sound development of the coastline
a retreat to decide whether its mission should continue to be public recreation, or
from the Gulf of Maine to the
whether it should formally become a conservation group and arrange its staff and
Eastern Caribbean.
budget accordingly. URL:
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 5, No. 6 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable In the December issue of Working Waterfront, the Island Institute’s
Development Institute, which seeks monthly chronicle of Maine coastal activities, editor David D. Platt expressed
to heighten the environmental quality these thoughts in an editorial entitled “Optimism:”
of economic development efforts, in
coastal and in forest regions, by Students in a Vinalhaven school woodworking course sharpen their chisels
communicating information about to cut timbers for their new shop. Engineers at a University of Maine laboratory
better policies and practices. SDI is test composite materials they hope will solve old problems in marine construction.
classified as a 501(c)(3) organization, Lobster dealers, facing a holiday market that would discourage anyone else, press
exempt from federal income tax. gift certificates and a promotional campaign to make up for lost sales.

Board of Directors On Swan’s Island, a young music teacher begins preparing dozens of
singers and instrumentalists for an ambitious concert. On North Haven, a class
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chairman builds an electric car to get out twin messages of sustainability and energy conser-
Robert Geniesse, Chairman Emeritus vation. The Maine Seacoast Mission undertakes a new telemedicine effort that
Roger D. Stone, President links isolated people with mainland help. If ever one needed to find examples of
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer optimism in the face of terrible events, these small happenings in a scattering of
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary Maine communities should provide them.
Edith A. Cecil
David P. Hunt The events of Sept. 11 proved two things, among many others: that we are
Gay P. Lord all linked inextricably, and that in this country at least, optimistic thinking will assert
Lee Petty itself, even in the fact of disaster. The linkages were immediately evident, of course,
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff from the moment disaster struck—grounded airplanes meant a halt in air ship-
ments, meaning a sudden interruption in a seafood market that in a quarter-century
Advisers has become truly global. Heightened security continues to affect everyone, putting
civil liberties at risk.
William H. Draper III
Joan Martin-Brown Yet as we responded to new threats with legislation, executive orders and
military action, Americans’ instinctive optimism began to re-emerge. We looked at
Scientific Advisory Council our problems, old and new, and went back to work on them as we always have. We
asked questions, and we began to craft answers to them.
Gary Hartshorn
Stephen P. Leatherman We know now, having been brutally reminded, that we can no longer feel
Jerry R. Schubel shielded from the rest of the world. But because we are essentially optimistic, we
Christopher Uhl can face the future confident that we will meet its challenges. It’s not a holiday
message anyone would have chosen, but it’s one that inspires us all the same.
Roger D. Stone, Director & President
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
Sarah Verhoff, Program Associate
Anita G. Herrick, Correspondent
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent We extend very special thanks to the Fair Play Foundation, of
Wilmington, Delaware, for renewing its major support for our newsletter program.
2001 Major Donors So far this year we have also gratefully received a total of $34,952.82 in smaller but
essential donations from 129 individuals and family foundations and institutions.
Avenir Foundation Among them are these donors who, between October 16 and December 20,
The Fair Play Foundation contributed between $50 and $1,000:
The Curtis and Edith Munson
Celia F. Crawford Cecilia V. Nobel
Thomas J. Devine Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
Mad River Foundation
Louisa C. Duemling Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
Alexander Farman-Farmaian Mrs. A.J. Smith
Sponsored Projects
Jonathan J. Ledecky Foundation Mary M. Thacher
George G. Montgomery, Jr. Henry S. Ziegler
Trees for DC

Environmental Film Festival in the In the mercurial post-September 11 climate for charitable contributions,
Nation’s Capital, March 14-24, 2002 expressions of confidence such as these are most especially appreciated. They
alone enable us to move forward.

The North Carolina Coastal

Whitman OKs Hudson Cleanup Federation retained Frank Tursi,
recruited from the Winston Salem
Environmentalists in Washington have had little to cheer about in recent Journal’s environment desk, as the
months. Legislative priorities have shifted in the aftermath of September 11. A run new Cape Lookout CoastKeeper. His
of sub-cabinet level appointments in key government bureaus has positioned foxes range extends from the New River in
to guard chicken coops. Oil drilling within the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Onslow to the Pamlico, bordering the
remains a presidential fixation. In that context, the surprise of the autumn was regions of the Neuse and New River
when EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced a major pro-environ- Keepers.
ment decision on removing PCB pollution from the upper Hudson.
NOAA’s first National Seabird
The agency, she said, would move forward with its previously announced Coordinator is aptly Kim Rivera, who
plan to remove from the riverbed some 150,000 pounds of these highly toxic has worked since 1997 on this Food
materials dumped there over a 30 year period. and Agriculture Organization
initiative to reduce avian by-catch.
General Electric, the principal offender, would have to pay almost $500 Said Rivera: “I’ve spent most of my
million to get the job done. The effort, reported the New York Times, would be “one career dedicated to seabird conserva-
of the largest and most complex environmental cleanup projects in the nation’s tion, trying to figure out how it can be
history.” achieved in balance with fisheries.”

In reaching her decision, Whitman waved aside arguments from the The new head of the Barbados-based
company and some politicians in the affected area that the mud-stirring dredging Caribbean Conservation Associa-
would provoke more environmental problems that it would solve. Though the new tion (CCA) is environmental scientist
plan included some concessions favoring the company, Scenic Hudson Presi- Josh B. Singh from Trinidad and
dent Ned Sullivan called it “everything we hoped for.” At yearend, conservative Tobago. At the association’s recent
groups awarded Whitman a D—lowest grade for any Cabinet member—for this and annual general meeting, CCA also
other EPA actions during the year. announced receipt of a 9.1 million
euro grant for environmental educa-
Ironically, analyst Lawrence Horan told the Associated Press, the tion programs throughout the region.
company’s future earnings will not be affected: it has already set aside reserves to URL:
pay the bill.
The National Fish and Wildlife
Service has appointed Fernando
Nunez-Garcia project leader for the
Much Wind About Wind Power recovery of the Puerto Rican parrot.
Nunez-Garcia has studied the highly
In November the Boston-based Energy Management Inc. (EMI) and a endangered bird for two decades.
local partner announced plans to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm on Fewer than 200 of them exist any-
Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. The company proposes to build 150 to 200 where, only some 40 in the wild.
windmills on the shoal, 5 miles off the south coast of Cape Cod. Each tower would
be 250 feet in height. The $500 million system would generate 420,000 megawatts a After service as New Jersey’s commu-
year—enough power to supply the same number of homes. nity affairs commissioner, Jane
Kenny has become the administrator
Developer Jim Gordon, EMI’s president, advocates the concept on several for EPA’s New York-based Region II.
grounds: reducing US dependence on foreign oil and our contribution to global The office covers New Jersey, Puerto
warming from burning fossil fuels, and harnessing an inexhaustible supply of free Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as
wind. well as New York state, with a budget
of $760 million.
Advocates from Denmark, some 20 % of whose energy comes from wind
power, and from the Pacific Northwest, support the idea with near-religious fervor. Awards
Skeptics worry about the 28 square mile farm’s reliability, price tag, and its effects
on fishing, birds, and tourism. Another concern is the route of the underground For overseeing multi-species research
cable between the system’s underwater turbines and the Cape’s power grid. between Maine and Virginia, Michael
Sissenwine, director of the NMFS
At a November meeting, the Barnstable town council decided not to take a Northeast Fisheries Science
firm position on the proposal. Instead, it will seek advice from several local and Center, was presented with the
state agencies. The US Army Corps of Engineers, among others, will have to Meritorious Presidential Rank Award
approve it because of its location in navigable waters. For all the road blocks lying by President Bush. There is no
ahead, Gordon plans to complete construction and begin generating in 2004. URL: higher commendation for a federal government executive.
Andrew Stout was given the
Atlantic Salmon Federation’s
highest honor, the Lee Wulff Conser-
vation Award. Known for his handi- Publications
work along the Connecticut River,
Stout was founder and president of z The Great Remembering, by Peter Forbes (Trust for Public Land 2001),
the New England Salmon Federa- is a compact and beautifully designed and illustrated book about the ethics and
tion. practicalities of land conservation. The author thinks along the lines of Wendell
Berry and Donella Meadows about “the citizenship of place,” and expresses
Species & Habitats compelling “thoughts on land, soul, and society.” URL:

At a University of Maine facility in z In Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage (Norton 2001), science writer
Franklin, aquaculture researchers Deborah Cramer hits all the main points about pollution, overfishing, and other
placed 25-gram halibut in tanks last ailments besetting the western Atlantic. The narrative thread for her wide-ranging
May. The fish, harvested from the story about impacts of human origin, as well as the region’s biology, chemistry, and
wild, are expected to reach market oceanography, is a ride from Cape Cod to Barbados aboard a research sailboat.
weight in mid-2003. Captive breeding,
a tricky business with this species, is z In the manner of Red Tails in Love, a charming account of New York City
also being attempted along with cod hawks, author David Gessner has pieced together a new tale of triumph and
experimentation. While the future is tragedy surrounding another highly visible bird species. Return of the Osprey
hard to predict, station operations (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2001) says much about this bird’s dramatic
manager Nick Brown told the recovery from near-extinction from DDT, its habits—and also about the author’s
Portland Press-Herald, he does not own quest for understanding what both the osprey and he himself are all about.
rule out the possibility of large-scale,
commercially viable and environmen- z New from the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation is New
tally sound farming programs for England’s Ocean News (Neon), an electronic newsletter to cover “New England
these species—and haddock and tuna marine affairs and inform people about developments that affect the marine
as well. environment. The inaugural issue focused on fishery issues. URL:

Along Florida’s northeast coast, says z The Wave (Raggedtooth Press 2001) is a novel about the physical and
the Environmental News Service, Sea health effects of a killer tsunami, originating near the Canary Islands, that sweeps
Grant extension agent Maia McGuire up Delaware Bay, inundating Philadelphia, and does equal damage elsewhere along
will soon have in place 100 recycling the US shoreline. The book is oceanographer-author James Powlik’s third enviro-
stations for monofilament fishing line. thriller. Reviewer Jim Cresson, in the Delaware Cape Gazette, calls it “a must read
Too often this substance has been for anyone living along the Atlantic coast.”
lethal to turtles, pelicans, and mana-
tees. It is a danger also to scuba z Smart growth websites proliferate. EPA has a new and comprehensive
divers and motorboaters. Not all such one. Another, more specific new site, put up by the Office of Marine Programs at
line is actually recyclable. But, says the University of Rhode Island, explores the biological wonders of Narragansett
McGuire, the first step is to get as Bay. URLs:;
much of it as possible out of the
environment. URL:

The National Audubon Society and

Decomposition Times
the American Bird Conservancy
have put 270,000 acres of the Dela- How degradable is what gets left on the beach? Here are some recent
ware coast in their highest priority figures, from the Mote Marine Lab of the National Park Service:
category as a “globally” important
area for birds. Based upon scientific Glass bottle 1 million years
data, the classification carries no Monofilament fishing line 600 years
legal status but is designed to raise Plastic beverage bottles 450 years
awareness of the vital link the area Disposable diapers 450 years
plays in the migration of thousands of Aluminum can 80-200 years
shorebirds, coinciding with horseshoe Foamed plastic buoy 80 years
crabs spawning in these waters in the Foamed plastic cup 50 years
spring. While Delaware’s Coastal Plastic film container 20-30 years
Zoning Act protects these areas from Plastic bag 10-20 years
industrial development, there are no Cigarette butt 1-5 years
laws to protect the two thirds of this Wool sock 1-5 years
land not owned by federal, state, or Waxed milk carton 3 months
private conservation organizations Newspaper 6 weeks
from heavy pressure for residential Orange or banana peel 2-5 weeks
development. Paper towel 2-4 weeks
In a recent report, the Center for
Coastal Studies (CRC) in
Provincetown, MA, found no signifi-
Courts and the Seashore cant alterations in the marine system
in Cape Cod Bay as a result of a year’s
After nearly 3 1/2 years, NJ/NY Baykeeper won its Clean Water Act citizen operation of the Boston Harbor outfall.
lawsuit against Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority (RVSA) for dumping A major concern had been the
sewage into the Rahway River and Arthur Kill tributaries that feed Raritan Bay. The possibility of nitrogen altering the
penalty: a $50 million overhaul of its plant to come into compliance, $725,000 to marine system’s food chain. After
New Jersey for illegal discharge, and $240,000 to Baykeeper for its legal expenses. monitoring zooplankton and
At issue: of four sewage outflows serving 12 municipalities in Union and Middlesex phytoplankton as well as nitrogen,
Counties, two were illegal, discharging raw sewage every time it rained, regardless scientists found no significant
of volume. Joining Baykeeper in the litigation was its affiliate the American changes. Said CRC: “Although the
Littoral Society, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Pro- analysis continues, preliminary
tection, which had failed to act prior to the suit. URL: indications of the outfall’s influence
lead us to be guardedly optimistic.”
Lawsuits were dismissed in two separate cases where developers sued
towns that capped growth by limiting building permits. Rhode Island’s Supreme Restorations
Court delivered a technical ruling on a South Kingston case, describing it as moot
because “none of the Plaintiffs ever had applied for or had been denied any request Since it was first drained for salt hay
for a building permit,” and according to the Providence Journal, suffered no back in the 1800s, Weskeag salt marsh
damages. This did little towards settling whether Rhode Island towns have the right in SouthThomaston, ME, had existed
to legislate growth by ordinance, or via comprehensive plan. In Mount Pleasant, as an elevated mud flat. The Maine
South Carolina, town officials needing to slow their late 1990s population growth Department of Fish and Wildlife
rate of 8-9% down to 3-5% to tackle infrastructure bottlenecks, regulated via new began to purchase parts of the marsh
building permits. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, although the town in the 1960s. New excavation machin-
sought to have its ordinance ruled constitutional, the plaintiffs won a dismissal ery has made plugging the twelve
when the building slump left a surplus of permits for 2001. The lawsuit is unlikely drainage ditches feasible (wooden
to be re-applied next year, as the extra 306 spare permits for single family homes barriers attempted earlier were not
from 2001 will be added to the 2002 limit of 865. With the expansion of such effective). Three years ago a federal
ordinances, coupled with an economic uptick, expect further legal definitions. permit was obtained to restore the
marsh to its natural state. Water
The International Maritime Organization, with 159 member states, has entering at high tide is retained,
successfully created a global agreement that bans toxic ship paint, an Agenda 21 providing wading pools for shore
goal set at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The pact becomes a new law of birds and a substantial increase in the
the sea one year after 25 countries that carry 25% of global shipping tonnage sign insects, small invertebrates and fish
off. Significant in the development of the “International Convention on the Control on which they feed. The results are
of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships” was the involvement of environmental apparent according to USFWS
groups, the cooperation of shipping companies, and numerous scientific studies biologist Ron Joseph. Bird sightings
highlighting the damage to coastal species and habitats from these toxins. have increased significantly.

In November the EPA, under the Clean Water Act, set new rules governing
power plants use of cooling water to minimize environmental damage, especially to
fish and shellfish. One rule covers design issues at an estimated 121 new power
In London the 258-store supermarket
plants to be built in the next 20 years, based on the plant’s size and degree of water
chain Asda recently announced that it
use for cooling, with an estimated annual cost of less than $47 million, and no
was recycling chicken waste and used
impact on the nation’s energy production. Dramatic reductions in mortality are
cooking fat to power its delivery
cited as among the benefits. The second of 3 rules to be released in the next 3
trucks. In Ashfield, MA, reports the
years will cover existing utility plants with high levels of water use. The last deals
Associated Press, Tom Leue cooks up
with smaller plants. URL:
a soup of restaurant grease trap oil
collected from restaurants, wood
alcohol, and lye in his backyard. With
Wandering Reef Tires this mixture he powers the diesel
engines on his two cars, his pickup,
Thousands of tires, used as artificial reef material, have shown up on a and his tractor. Daytona Beach, FL
beach nourishment site at Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina. The offshore artificial biker Harold Benich finds this sort of
reefs were made of tens of thousands of tires lashed together with chains accord- goo too dirty. But he has adapted the
ing to a North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries official. Corrosion of the diesel on his Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
chains and hurricanes have broken up the reefs and spread the tires onto borrow to burn soybean oil, doubling the
areas for the nourishment project. As more than 100 tires a day are vacuumed up, mileage he got from conventional
expenses are mounting and threatening the project’s budget. Statewide an esti- diesel fuel. He likes the smell too:
mated 350,000 tires have been “reefed.” “like you were cooking French fries,”
he told a News-Journal reporter.
Customers would pay a premium of
12 to 18 percent, figured the Chesa-
peake Bay Foundation and several
partners, to buy milk from farmers Sprawl Hurts, Nature Helps
taking extra environmental precau-
tions. The extra money would flow Add health to the list of reasons to avoid suburban sprawl. When Dr.
back to them to cover their extra William H. Dietz moved from medical work in Boston to a research position at the
costs. In practice, though, the group Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, reports the Boston Globe, he was quick
found that it cost a premium of 18 to to note a major difference in personal habits. People walked to the stores in
40 percent above conventional milk to Newton, the Boston suburb where he lived. Kids walked to school. Not so in
get the “green milk” to market, and Atlanta, where “it’s difficult to walk anywhere.”
that few consumers were willing to
pay that much more. After a 14-month Result: lack of exercise pointing toward obesity, already afflicting 60
trial period the “Chesapeake Milk” percent of all Americans, and the complications of flab and sedentary lifestyles.
experiment quietly folded. About These include heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. In his current work, Dietz
$1000 had been distributed to partici- not only seeks more precise understanding of these correlations, but also ways for
pating farmers. URL: new forms of community design “to make physical activity part of everyone’s life.”

Report Cards “I would not go so far as to say that suburban sprawl makes us couch
potatoes.” Dietz told the Globe. “But it’s a promising avenue to explore.” Con-
The highest grade in this year’s North versely, according to a Cornell University study, a home surrounded by nature
Carolina Coastal Federation report can measurably improve a child’s ability to focus attention and maintain mental
card: a C earned by the state Senate. health. Interviewed by the Environmental News Service, project manager Nancy
Tarheel citizenry rated a lowly C- for Wells said, “The power of nature is indeed profound.” URLs:,
their failure to “turn up the heat.” The
House of Representatives, as well as
local governments bottomed out with
solid Ds. Spared was Governor
Mike Easley and his new administra- The Show Went On
tion, but the report indicates their
early efforts don’t look promising for There were a few dropouts. But almost the entire cast of Islands, the now
next year’s grade. Said NCCF presi- famous musical written and directed by Broadway veteran John Wulp and per-
dent Todd Miller: “Environmental formed by a substantial percentage of the entire population of North Haven, Maine,
challenges facing our coast are weathered September 11 and made it to a previously scheduled September 29 New
increasing at the same time our ability York City performance of the show.
to manage those challenges is
declining – a lethal combination for An audience of 500 made it too, and they loved it. Wrote cast member Lisa
the health of our coast. It is high time Shields: “The current of support and affection that flowed back and forth between
for citizens to let their passion for the the audience and the stage was almost palpable.” The same was subsequently true
coast be felt by the people who in Portland, where this spirited look at the island community’s people, tensions, and
represent them.” URL: foibles played to 1900 hastily assembled people and several smaller audiences.

The Sierra Club ranked New York On This Island, a 57-minue documentary about the making of Islands by
City best in nation in its “Clearing the Stephanie Schluka, was subsequently shown on Maine public television. The
Air with Transit” study of public transit video will have its premiere in Washington, DC on March 18 as one of more than 115
spending and smog in 50 US cities. productions to be shown in the annual Environmental Film Festival in the
The Big Apple emitted the least smog Nation’s Capital. Other screenings are in prospect. The show lives on.
per capita of all cities. It earned an A
for its spending on public transit,
compared to that for roads and
highways, a B+ for its effort to clean Ferry Flurries, Continued from p. 6
air through transportation spending,
and a C+ for the level of smog emitted When the three Steamship Authority governors met recently to review the
from cars and trucks. Other Atlantic proposal, they voted 2 to 1 against it. Only J.B. Riggs Parker, the Martha’s
cities fared far less well, most receiv- Vineyard representative, favored the plan. But shortly thereafter Parker, accused by
ing Ds and Fs. Two recent California the Vineyard Gazette of “political thuggery” because of his relationship with New
studies suggest a strong correlation Bedford politicians, was voted out of office.
between air pollution, smog, and birth
defects and children’s respiratory In retaliation, New Bedford official George Leontire scuttled a plan to run
disease. Said Sierra Club director the high speed service on a trial basis next summer. He also trumped the islanders
Carl Pope: “If cities invest in public by denying the authority access to the town’s State Pier for freight service from the
transportation, clean air will come.” mainland to the islands. URLS:,,
Little change from 2000, according to
the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s
2001 State of the Bay report. Despite
Golf Gets Even Greener localized fluxes in species abundance
or environmental quality, bay-wide
In June 1998, Atlantic CoastWatch reported a rapid upswing in interest, indices show neither improvement
among golf course managers and golf club boards, in adopting greener practices nor decline in wetlands, underwater
on the links. Reductions in chemical and water use, and increases in habitat for grasses, water clarity, phosphorous
wildlife and in the use of native plants, were spreading fast across the industry. In and nitrogen, toxics, dissolved
prior years, equal energy had been spent on looking good for the TV cameras— oxygen, rockfish and oysters. Down-
sometimes at a heavy environmental cost. graded: the annual rate of open land
loss, which increased, and the
Growing numbers of courses were enrolling in the Audubon Cooperative dwindling crab population. Improve-
Sanctuary program run by the private, nonprofit Audubon International with ments: increases in miles of forested
support from the United States Golf Association (USGA). More than 100 of stream buffers (Maryland has already
them had been certified as meeting high standards measured across a broad range attained its 2010 goal) and a record
of criteria. The USGA was beginning to study habitat issues in partnership with the shad population. URL:
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Two recent studies support the
What was beginning to look good then has accelerated over the past three hypothesis that fully protected marine
years. Well over 2000 of the nation’s 17,000 courses are now sanctuary members, reserves can replenish fisheries well
and at last count 313 of them were fully certified. Adding wildlife habitat acreage by beyond their boundaries. Waters
decreasing managed turfgrass, choosing native plants and phasing out exotic within 62 miles of Florida’s Merritt
species, and adding gardens to attract birds and butterflies have been among the Island National Wildlife Refuge,
most commonplace measures. Water and pesticide costs have dropped for according to a recent article in
sanctuary members. Science, were found to have yielded
more world record size gamefish than
What’s more, both the golf course managers and the players favor the all the rest of Florida put together. In
shift. According to a recent Audubon International survey, 66% of superintendents badly depleted waters near Soufriere,
have become happier in their work because of the changes. 99% of the courses St. Lucia, fishers closed off 35% of
reported that golfer satisfaction had improved or, at worst, remained the same. their former fishing grounds. Within 5
“Program participants,” the report concludes, “Have been able to effectively years, stocks nearly doubled and the
integrate environmentally sound maintenance practices without sacrificing golfing catch is up 46-90%. URL:
priorities.” The task is eased since golfers actually use only about 30 acres of
courses encompassing 150 acres.
The EPA Inspector General’s office
Of all states the leader is Delaware, 19 of whose 35 courses have signed up has found that the way states punish
for the sanctuary program and where a goal of 100% participation has been set. In water quality violators is only “mar-
other less advanced states, authorities are applying the stick. Commissioners in ginally effective,” according to a
Lake County, Florida recently approved a measure calling on the two dozen local Florida Specifier article. The General
courses to conserve water and meet state regulations on chemical use. Non- Accounting Office concurs, stating
complying courses will lose their water-use permits. URLs:, that proposed cuts in federal environ- mental enforcement and the delega-
tion of authority to the state level
would be harmful overall. Maryland
became the nation’s first state to take
Trawler Helps Turtles a direct hit from such findings, when a
court ruled in favor of plaintiffs calling
Sea turtles jeopardized by dredging operations at the mouth of the Chesa- for actions to correct longstanding
peake Bay recently got help from an unexpected source: the 92-foot trawler Captain shortcomings in the state’s air
Tuck. pollution control programs. URL:
At the outset of a dredging operation to replenish Virginia Beach, reported
the Virginian-Pilot, four migrating loggerhead turtles had been caught and died in Funding
the dredge’s “massive suction arms.” Because these and other sea turtle species
are threatened or endangered, federal regulations required action before dredging With a senator from home on the
could resume. Appropriation Committee for the
District of Columbia, Louisiana
The Captain Tuck, whose crew is trained to avoid sea turtles, not catch State University was awarded $2.25
them, came to the rescue. Chartered by Weeks Marine, the dredging company, million to design the Anacostia River’s
the fishing vessel rose to the new challenge. In one recent sortie, her crew cleared clean-up. Robert Boone, President
11 turtles—including a highly endangered Kemp’s Ridley—from in front of the of the Anacostia Watershed
dredge. The project was hailed as a “tremendous success.” Society commented on Senator
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sustainable Development Institute
3121 South St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

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earmarked for Atlantic CoastWatch, are urgently needed.

Mary Landrieu’s coup de

main for her alma mater, Upcoming Events
“You have pork flying all
over the place and little January 6-9. Phragmites Australis: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing? sponsored by the USGS,
going to the cleanup.” The in Vineland, NJ. URL:
Anacostia is “probably the
most studied river in the February 11-15. 2002 Ocean Sciences Meeting, organized by the American Society of
world. Now it needs some Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) and the American Geophysical Union, in
honest funds that will be Hawaii. URL:
directed to the cleanup.”
February 23-27. Watershed 2002 by the Water Environment Foundation, in Orlando,
As part of the $7.8 billion FL. URL:
Everglades restoration
program, $5.9 million will be February 25-March 1. 33rd Annual Conference of the International Erosion Control
applied through a 5 year Association, in Orlando Florida. URL:
Florida Bay and Florida Keys
Feasibility Study. It will February 26-March 1. Eleventh International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species,
examine upstream impacts hosted by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, VA.
of land use and water quality URL:
on Bay health, with the
purpose of restoring the February 27-March 1. 5th National Mitigation Banking Conference, by the Terrene
ecosystem. A study on Institute, in Washington, DC. URL:
nutrient runoff effects on
Florida Bay by Larry Brand March 7-8. Sustaining Seascapes: The Science and Policy of Marine Resource Manage-
of the Rosentiel School ment, lecture series at the American Museum of Natural History. URL:
of Marine and Atmo-
spheric Science, (Atlantic
CoastWatch, September/ March 18-20. Sixth Marine and Estuarine Shallow Water Science and Management
October, 2000), had called Conference, in Atlantic City, NJ. E-Mail:
into question the value of
restoring the Everglades at March 30. 7th International Wildlife Law Conference, by the American Society of
the expense of the Bay. International Law, Washington, DC. URL:

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