You are on page 1of 8

Atlantic CoastWatch September-October 2002

Views Vs. Volts: Offshore Fan Disputes News For Coastal Advocates
Advocates of offshore wind farms such as the extensive 176-tower spread
proposed for Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound by Cape Wind Associates
(Atlantic CoastWatch, November-December, 2001) cite reduced pollution as the z
concept’s principal advantage. They allege special benefits in regions where the air
is already becoming unbreathable as well as where prevailing winds are strong.
According to Gary Gallon of the Canadian Institute for Business, the Cape Views Vs. Volts 1
Wind Project will replace enough power-plant electricity annually to eliminate 4,600
tons of sulfur dioxide, 120 tons of carbon monoxide and 1,566 tons of nitrous oxide Open Space and Water 1
as well as reducing greenhouse emissions by more than a million tons.

Cape Cod and Massachusetts residents polled by Opinion Dynamics Sayings 2


Corporation at the request of Cape Wind Associates responded that they sup-
ported wind power because it is clean. Overall a majority of residents favored the Jersey Coast Wounds 3
project. Several environmental groups, while showing concerns about possible
harm to migratory birds, mammals, and fish, support the concept overall. Publications 4

A dozen offshore wind farms are operating in Europe with two dozen more Chefs Campaign Anew 5
under construction. Sure Engineering of Dublin is preparing construction on the
first of 200 wind turbines off the coast of Ireland slated to generate 1,000 mega-
Trolling with Milk Bones 5
watts—double the Cape Wind project’s output. European engineers voice surprise
at adverse reactions to offshore wind farms in the US. They attribute it to lack of
familiarity and point out that those near Copenhagen are a tourist attraction. NPS & Chesapeake Bay 6

Horseshoe Shoals opponents assert that the proposed towers, only 4 1/2 Skeeter Wars 8
miles from the nearest point of land, constitute an eyesore by day. Overall, in fact,
view in the daytime is the primary objection to marine-based windpower. A pro-
posal to put turbines near Montauk Point on Long Island, NY was halted after z
residents claimed that would spoil the viewscape. Among the Cape Cod and
Massachusetts residents polled by Opinion Dynamics who were opposed to the
project, the primary objection was view-related.
(Continued, p. 7) Recurring
People; Awards; Species &
Open Space and Water Quality Habitats; Restorations;
Report Cards; Products;
14 million people a year visit the Highlands region, a greenbelt area Funding; Rulings
stretching from eastern Pennsylvania to northwest Connecticut. 25 million can drive
there in an hour or less. More than 11 million, including residents of New York City Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
and Philadelphia, rely on the Highlands for their drinking water. Yet the pressures nonprofit newsletter for those inter-
on this 2 million acre area, resulting from a growing population, suburban develop- ested in the environmentally sound
ment, and pollution, grow ever more acute. While 20% of the region is protected development of the coastline
from development, 5,000 acres a year fall victim to the bulldozer’s blade. from the Gulf of Maine
to the Eastern Caribbean.
This year, in recognition of the “national significance” of the area and the
current threats to its environmental health, Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R- Coastal News Nuggets, our weekly
NY) and Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) sponsored the Highlands Stewardship Act to news headline service, is available
provide federal support to protect it. The bill authorizes up to $25 million in annual through the Atlantic CoastWatch web
funds to pay for half the cost of projects to conserve Highlands land through site: www.atlanticcoastwatch.org.
(Continued, p. 6)
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 6, No. 5 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable The following was contributed by Jim Price, president of the Chesapeake
Development Institute, which seeks Bay Ecological Foundation, a former waterman and charter boat captain who
to heighten the environmental quality of has fished the Choptank for over 50 years. URL: www.chesbay.org
economic development efforts, in
coastal and in forest regions, by Striped bass recovery in the Chesapeake Bay is facing one of the most
communicating information about better
challenging ecological dilemmas fishery managers and scientists have ever
policies and practices. SDI is classified
as a 501(c)(3) organization, exempt from encountered. The Bay’s striped bass population is suffering from poor nutrition and
federal income tax. disease, causing a high rate of mortality in young fish and reducing the number of
fish that survive and migrate coast-wide. As the Bay’s forage base has collapsed,
Board of Directors fishery managers have made no attempt to reduce the harvest of Atlantic menha-
den, historically a vital source of food for striped bass.
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chairman
Robert Geniesse, Chairman Emeritus The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) wants to
Roger D. Stone, President
guarantee large striped bass for recreational anglers coast-wide. Unfortunately
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary given that quest, the Atlantic striped bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) fails to
Edith A. Cecil consider the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem or the Bay’s forage fish. In
David P. Hunt the Bay, fishery managers have protected young striped bass by raising their
Gay P. Lord minimum size limit from 12" to 18" creating extensive pressure on the Bay’s forage,
Lee Petty including declining menhaden, Bay anchovy and blue crab populations.
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
As striped bass in the Bay have become emaciated, fishery scientists and
Staff
pathologists at University of Maryland and Virginia Institute of Marine
Roger D. Stone, Director & President Science (VIMS) and MD Department of Natural Resources have warned
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager fishery managers that mycobacteriosis (fish tuberculosis) may be increasing
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor striped bass mortality, with 50-75% of the Bay stock infected. The health and
Anita G. Herrick, Correspondent mortality of the Bay’s striped bass population may be closely associated with the
Laura W. Roper, Correspondent abundance of juvenile Atlantic menhaden. The recruitment of menhaden has been
poor since 1993, contributing to the local depletion within the Bay of this valuable
Major Donors forage fish eaten by many top predators.
Avenir Foundation
The Fair Play Foundation Exacerbating that trend, the Bay’s industrial fishery has harvested an
The Curtis and Edith Munson average 300 million pounds of Atlantic menhaden each year since 1970, when the
Foundation harvest jumped 300% according to the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS). Not only is menhaden the largest commercial fishery on the East Coast;
With Appreciation their harvest from the Bay is equal to five times the combined Maryland commer-
cial seafood harvest of finfish and shellfish.
Atlantic CoastWatch extends special
thanks to the Avenir Foundation for
Beyond providing essential forage for striped bass and other apex preda-
renewing its major support for our
program, and warm appreciation to tors, menhaden also play a vital role by removing Bay nutrients. Between the
these others who made significant and striped bass FMP, poor menhaden recruitment and this intensive fishery, the Bay’s
much needed contributions between ecology has and continues to be altered in ways not fully understood. The ASMFC,
August 25 and October 17 of this year: responsible for both menhaden and striped bass FMPs, refuses to recognize or
accept that a localized depletion of Atlantic menhaden has occurred in the Bay. Nor
Edith Cecil does the ASMFC take responsibility for the consequences. Maryland pound net
Louisa C. Duemling landings and juvenile finfish survey clearly point out Bay-wide menhaden depletion,
Helen C. Evarts
as do NMFS landing records.
Alexander P. Farman-Farmaian
Aileen T. Geddes
David P. Hunt Currently, the ASMFC is proposing a new FMP for striped bass, Amend-
Bucky Mace ment 6, which has several failings given the current status of young striped bass
Decatur H. and Sally S. Miller and menhaden in the Bay. First, Amendment 6 does not incorporate the increased
Cecilia V. Nobel natural mortality of striped bass in the Bay due to poor diet and mycobacteriosis,
David Rockefeller increasing the likelihood for over-fishing.

Sponsored Projects Nor does Amendment 6 permit flexibility for managers to lower size limits
and change quotas in the Bay, when large year-classes occur. Fishery managers
Environmental Film Festival in the need to take into account and be aware of the inter-related changes in striped bass
Nation’s Capital, March 13-23, 2003 and menhaden populations in the Bay which may pose a serious health threat that
could devastate the fishery coast-wide.
(Continued, p. 3)
3
People

Jersey Coast Wounds Pioneer ecologist Harold Odum died


in Gainesville, FL at age 78. The cause
was cancer. After earning a zoology
Recently the American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, and Save
degree from Yale in 1951, Odum
Barnegat Bay issued a scathing report stating that “in no category” is the state of
taught environmental science at a
the 127-mile New Jersey coast “up to par.” Here is the succinct overview the
succession of universities including
report provides about this “wounded” shoreline:
the University of Florida, where he
founded the Center for Wetlands.
Issue Overall Grade Synopsis
Odum was especially known for
research into the relationship between
LAND USE F GOING, GOING
ecology and economics.
Growth F It’s called sprawl
Coastal Hazards F Unprepared for big storm
COASTAL HABITAT D Stressed, diminished Awards
Wetlands D Too much filling going on
Wetlands Buffers D Narrow, often compromised Notable among this year’s winners of
Open Space D+ Chopped up, shrinking Governor Excellence Awards in Maine
Stream Flows D They’re dropping are a cluster of gas stations. Included
Submerged Vegetation D Turbidity spells doom among them is the St. Peter’s Country
COASTAL POLLUTION D+ Good news, bad news Store in Guerette, a small town in
Nutrients D Inshore is over-enriched northern Maine. “The lakes keep us in
Dissolved oxygen B Getting better business,” proprietor Jules St. Peter
Toxics - told the media. “We need to protect
In Water C Needs work them.” For its efforts, the store earned
In sediments F Needs lots of work the right to post an “environmental
In fish, shellfish D Too many advisories leader” sticker on its pumps.
Bathing beach quality B Good monitoring
LIVING RESOURCES D Running out of habitat Species & Habitats
Fish C- Habitat damage
Shellfish D Beds closed or sour Off the coast of Nova Scotia, 25
Other Wildlife D Needs more room species of deepwater coral are to be
OCEAN HABITAT C Competition for resources found. For the first time, reports the
Resource Extraction C Nearshore threat Halifax Daily News, scientists working
Oil, gas, windmills C In the offing near Sable Island have discovered a
OCEAN POLLUTION C- Still some dirty water species called Lophelia pertusa
Ocean Dumping D Remains a threat (spider hazard coral) that builds reefs
Ocean Outfalls D Water going to waste similar to those in warmer waters. It
Beach Litter C Key word “plastics” is capable of creating reefs up to 35
STATE MANAGEMENT F An urbanizing coast meters in height, but at a growth rate
Land Use F Call it sprawl of a mere 1.5 millimeters a year the
Transportation D- More roads=more congestion task takes hundreds of years to
Shore Access D+ Try to get there complete. A severe hazard is the
Enforcement F Ineffective, understaffed intense bottom trawling that commer-
Information and Access D Too little, hard to get cial fishermen commonly practice in
the area.
FINAL GRADE D
In Rhode Island it was a great season
URL: www.alsnyc.org for piping plovers, according to the
Block Island Times. 56 birds found this
year on 11 beaches that state officials
monitored fledged 113 chicks. They
Sayings, Continued from p. 2 said the productivity rate in RI was the
highest since protection efforts began
The public has been told that the striped bass recovery is an example of in 1993, attributing the success in
good fishery management and the ASMFC can take credit for past FMPs that large part to careful measures to
helped rebuild the population. However, because of its species-specific focus, the protect the eggs from predators,
ASMFC may have taken striped bass recovery to its brink. The ASMFC is unwilling especially skunks. The RI record was
even to consider or incorporate the ecological effects the FMPs for striped bass and welcome in the light of breeding
menhaden are having on the health of the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem. The failures elsewhere including Massa-
results of this short-sightedness have been devastating. They help to create chusetts, where a June northeaster
conditions that threaten even the possibility of restoring the Bay -- let alone fish, wiped out many birds.
vital to fishers, that migrate coast-wide.
4
A recent University of Florida study
highlights the importance of creating
or preserving wildlife corridors,
reports Environmental News Service. Publications
Researchers planted non-native holly
trees in forest patches, some linked z In his latest collection of essays about people and ecology, The Nature of
and some not. Hollies in the con- Design (Oxford University Press 2002), Oberlin College environmental studies
nected patches consistently bore more professor David W. Orr takes us all to task for not thinking broadly enough about
fruit than those that were isolated, an how we live and what we build. For the sake of achieving a more sustainable world,
indication that insect pollinators Orr pleads that we adopt the principles of ecological design in planning our use of
preferred the corridors. energy and materials, abandoning the prevalent idea that technology will save the
day. “We are lost,” he laments, “And must now find our way home again.”
Many observers including Atlantic
CoastWatch have applauded initiatives z In his work Orr habitually slams academia for its failure to embrace whole-
to irrigate lawns and golf courses with systems thinking and its stubborn adherence to the practice of offering students
treated sewage. But now, says the information in narrowly compartmentalized packages. He implores the nation’s
Orlando Sentinel, come suggestions colleges and universities to consider themselves as systems, and plan and build
that the practice helps spread para- according to the principles of ecological design. Such ideas he dwells on further in
sites such as cryptosporidium and Sustainable Education: Revisioning Learning and Change (with co-author
giardia that cause human sickness but Stephen Sterling), Green Books 2001.
whose presence in treated sewage is
not measured in Florida. Officials z New from Island Press is Oceans 2020: Science, Trends, and the
claim that there is no documentation Challenge of Sustainability. In large part, this collection of essays by distin-
of any disease. Citizens urge tighter guished authors reviews the challenges facing deep-sea researchers and managers
controls and more ostentatious over the coming decades. Separate chapters, however, discuss the sustainable
warnings to children not to play in—or development of the coastal zone, fisheries science and management, and marine
drink—treated sewage water. information for shipping and defense.

Following on recent US efforts to z Both in Delaware and in New York, state environmental agencies have
protect migrating northern right recently launched Environmental Navigator web services to help citizens identify
whales from collisions with ships and locate sources of air emissions and water discharges, superfund sites, location
(Atlantic CoastWatch, May/June, of large animal farms, and the like. User reactions have been positive. URLs:
2000), Canadian authorities have also www.dec.state.ny.us; www.dnrec.state.de.us.
taken steps to protect them during the
summer months when they congre- z Bill Bellesville’s Deep Cuba: The Inside Story of an American
gate to feed in the plankton-rich Bay Oceanographic Expedition (University of Georgia Press, 2002) logs the recent
of Fundy. New shipping lanes moved month-long social, scientific and political voyage of NOAA’s temporarily dual
toward the Nova Scotia side of the flagged RV Seward (yes, Cuban and American) along the island’s south side. Even
bay give the whales safe passage El Commandante was awed by their discoveries upon visiting the Seward in
closer to New Brunswick’s Grand Havana, displaying impressive first-hand knowledge of his marine ecosystems, and
Manan island, where scientists have determination for their ongoing protection.
found large numbers of them. URL:
www.coastalstudies.org z In the wake of the demise of Maine Times, which long covered environmen-
tal news for downeast readers, a new publication has come on the scene this year.
Canada has charged the captain of a Northern Sky News, “covering the environment of New England & the Maritimes,”
bulk carrier with creating a 116 offers generous monthly portions of material aimed at what Editor & Publisher
kilometer long oil slick off the coast of Murray Carpenter calls the “general-interest environmentalist” element in the
Newfoundland. Previously, Canadian region’s 14 million population. URL: www.northernskynews.com
authorities relied on chance sightings
from aircraft sweeps, or evidence of z In support of November 18th as the first National Water Monitoring Day, the
birds washed ashore, for evidence of EPA web site sold citizen water testing kits ($16.75) to measure temperature, clarity,
such dumping. Now a satellite pH and dissolved oxygen. The USGS National Environmental Methods Index
operated by the Canadian Space provides a clearinghouse of monitoring methods. University of Virginia’s
Agency detects flat surfaces in the Institute of Environmental Negotiation published a Stream Corridor Protec-
ocean created by oil, says Ray tion Strategy for Local Governments as a freely downloadable Adobe PDF file.
Browne of the Department of An easily accessible reference for those seeking paths to greener living is Green
Fisheries. Brown estimates that Adviser by Environmental Defense. The site offers tips on subjects ranging from
300,000 birds are killed annually in the machines to food choices, places to go, and how to shop online for green products.
Maritimes and he points out that in Newly launched within the Natural Resources Defense Council’s site is The
winter a spot of oil the size of a dime Green Squad, an educational service targeted at fifth to eighth graders that
can kill birds. The satellite’s first explores relationships between school and health and environmental issues. URLs:
success occurred only nine days after www.epa.gov/water/yearofcleanwater/; www.nemi.gov; www.virginia.edu/
the program’s launch. ~envneg/IEN_home.htm; www.greenadviser.org; www.nrdc.org/greensquad
5
Restorations

Chefs Campaign Anew Thru Food In waters off Florida’s Broward


County, faculty and students from
Southeastern University have
With juvenile stocks of swordfish on the rebound, in part as a result of the
developed an innovative way to
Chefs Collaborative’s “Give Swordfish a Break” conservation campaign the
restore coral reefs damaged by
toques blanches are not about to rest on their laurels. Rather than boycott another
storms or ship groundings. They
endangered species, the Chefs now seek to highlight environmentally friendly
search the seafloor for loose pieces of
fishing methods by serving only hook caught Chatham cod. Cod caught by using a
live coral, retrieve them, and cement
baited hook line anchored across the bottom, rather than dragging nets that catch
them to an artificial reef. When a
everything else and destroy habitat, is fresher, more flavorful, and has a different
natural reef gets damaged, the team
texture. It is also up to 50% more expensive than normally served netted fish.
repairs it with coral pried off from the
Says Chefs Collaborative Chair Peter Hoffman: “I want to support local fishermen
nursery. In the past 18 months,
and producers who are doing the right thing and give consumers a positive mes-
marine biology graduate student
sage about choosing sustainable seafood. And it tastes better, too.”
Jamie Vernaccio told the Miami
Herald, 220 pieces of loose coral have
Joining the Chefs on this round are the Cape Cod Commercial Hook
been saved with a 90% success rate.
Fishermen’s Association and the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). Says
CLF’s Marine Resources Project Director Priscilla Brooks, noting tougher ground-
For the past 26 years The Nature
fish regulations, “We will not have done our job if we rebuild fish stocks but elimi-
Conservancy has waged a lonely
nate a way of life that is environmentally friendly.” To date, roughly 20 restaurants
struggle to protect a string of barrier
in the Boston/Cape Cod region are participating. Two distributors, including
islands that it owns between
EcoFish (Atlantic CoastWatch, September-October 1999), have also signed on.
Assateague island and Cape Charles
on Virginia’s remote eastern shore.
In a separate campaign based on the pending approval by the Food and
Once apparently destined for develop-
Drug Administration (FDA) of gene altered fish, the Center for Food and
ment, these islands have been spared
Safety (CFS), Friends of the Earth and Clean Water Action have enlisted 454
that fate. But their health has been
chefs, purchasers and restaurants in a national campaign against “frankenfish.”
damaged by frequent storms and by
Bolstered by an August National Research Council report doubting that sufficient
water-borne diseases that decimated
regulations will protect natural stocks against cross-breeding, in this case sterile
the marshy area’s once-abundant
salmon that grow twice as fast as wild salmon, the CFS led boycott takes aim at a
populations of large oysters and other
product that will not become available for consumption for at least two years.
shellfish. Now at last Virginia is
mounting a comprehensive, $1.3
AQUA Bounty Farms in Massachusetts uses a technology that inserts
million restoration and ecotourism
salmon eggs with genes, shortening the time to reach maturity from 36 months to
program. The Conservancy’s Barry
18. The FDA therefore classifies these eggs not as a food, but an animal “drug” that
Truitt, longtime manager of its
requires far more stringent testing. Potential toxic and allergic reactions will be
Virginia Coast Reserve, expressed
evaluated. Hormone balance, molecular and nutritional analyses and environmen-
great enthusiasm about the new
tal safety approvals will also be needed. Elliot Entis, Aqua Bounty Farms presi-
program, “This is huge,” he told the
dent points out “We know more about our salmon than anyone knows about wild
Virginian-Pilot.
species.” Says Tracie Letterman, fish program director at CFS: “If you look at the
science, it’s very dangerous and could destroy an entire population of species. This
campaign shows that consumers don’t want genetically altered fish.” Nonetheless, Report Cards
many wholesalers and food chains are waiting for clearer science to emerge prior
to passing judgement. URLs: www.clf.org; www.centerforfoodsafety.org 2,010 miles of vegetative buffers have
been built in the Chesapeake Bay
watershed since 1996, reports the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF).
Trolling with Milk Bones The goal set for 2010 has thus been
reached 8 years early, thus prompting
Sport fishermen Tyler Savage and Brian Cook recently spotted a assertions that it had been set too low.
Staffordshire terrier in the water two miles off Block Island on a foggy day. The But more than 1 million acres of land
three-year old Boo Boo had run off chasing seagulls from owner Rachel Lemoine in the watershed still need to be
on a walk on the island’s north end and entered the water. The dog responded to preserved if another 2010 goal for the
the fishermens’ calls and swam to their boat but only after they shut off the engine. watershed is to be reached. And for
overall health, said CBF, it could award
Hoisted aboard she was taken to Jamestown where she posed as “catch of the Bay no better than 27 points on a
the day” at Zeek’s Creek Bait and Tackle. Rechristened “Lucky,” her adoption by scale of 0 to 100 in its fifth annual
Cook was short lived. According to the Providence Journal, Cook had called the State of the Bay report—the same
Coast Guard after rescuing Lucky, and the desperate Lemoine had, in canvassing score as for last year. The principal
the island, encountered someone who had heard that call on the marine radio. She negative: nitrogen pollution from
came and claimed her pet from a saddened Cook. multiple sources. URL: www.cbf.org
6
In its State of the Environment report,
the Ministry of the Environment,
Energy, and Natural Resources in
Barbados noted that agricultural land NPS & Chesapeake Bay
is being converted for other uses at a
rate 5 times faster than was estimated Already the National Park Service (NPS) had expressed special interest
in 1988. Consequences include higher in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Its Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network,
danger of erosion, flooding, and approved by Congress in 1999, links 110 existing trails, parks, and historic sites
landslides. A positive aspect is the within the watershed to promote public interest in the region’s history, culture, and
resurgence of natural vegetation on ecology. Now comes a new NPS initiative: the Chesapeake Bay Special Resources
some abandoned farms. URL: Study, which is examining the possibility of adding portions of the Bay to the
www.environment.gov.bb national park system.

Maine’s much-frequented Acadia The study, exploratory in nature, begins with the premise that the Chesa-
National Park ranks 5th worst in the peake area is a very significant national resource. Federal officials are currently
nation in terms of air pollution, says asking whether, and if so how, portions of the Bay might fit into the national park
the National Parks Conservation system. Four workshops within the Bay area have already been held to refine the
Association. The park’s rocky soils concept. This discussion continues via the project website. Further workshops built
provide “little defense against acid around a draft report will be held early in 2003, and a final report to Congress
rain, fog, and snow,” says the NPCA presented at midyear. While current policy does not favor the addition of new units
report, which describes scenic views to the national park system, says NPS, “the study will provide a framework for the
from such vantage points as Mount Congress and the administration to consider when and what, if anything, will be
Cadillac as “impaired.” URL: done.”
www.eparks.org (Continued, p. 8)

Products
Open Space and Water Quality, Continued from p. 1
Cornell University researcher Anil
Netravali is “edging closer,” says purchases or conservation easements, and offers many creative forms of support
GreenBiz.com, to developing fully- for public-private partnerships to help preserve the region’s open space. All but one
biodegradable composites made from of the region’s 8 senators have joined as sponsors of the bill, as have 28 congress-
natural fibers that could replace men on the House side.
nondegradable plastics in many
applications. The green composites In announcing his bill, Gilman was careful to note that “the ongoing drought
blend soy-based resins with fibers has heightened public interest in protecting water supplies and offers an excellent
from such plants as bananas, pine- opportunity to respond” to what he called the “crisis” abroad in the Highlands.
apples, kenaf, and the Asian perennial Thus did his initiative (not yet law) become the most prominent, but far from the
shrub called ramie. only, example of the tightening links between drought and water supplies and the
popularity of measures to preserve forests, streams, and watersheds.
Funding
Other examples from the northeast US that connect open space to water
On Great South Bay, once the center supply or water quality issues include the New Jersey initiative to preserve one
of oyster production on the south million acres, launched by former Governor (now EPA Administrator) Christie
shore of Long Island, NY, Bluepoint Whitman and pursued by her successor James E. McGreevey. This year Wash-
Oyster Company gave The Nature ington Township in southern New Jersey moved to limit development close to
Conservancy an 11,500 acre chunk of wellheads tapping into an aquifer that flows very close to the earth’s surface.
its bottomland, valued at about $2
million. This acquisition, said the Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection seeks to lock
Conservancy, is its “most recent and up fully 21% of the state’s entire acreage. Criteria for lands to be preserved under
biggest effort to expand land acquisi- the state’s open space protection program, funded with $6.5 million for the first half
tion to marine conservation.” Activities of FY 2003, prominently include those that enhance or conserve water quality or
to be initiated on the site, covering help protect watersheds.
30% of the bay, will include restora-
tion, education, aquaculture, and the Such measures might have been taken if water quality and supplies had
creation of a nature sanctuary. URL: not been issues, but their prominence on the agenda has surely increased the
www.tnc.org political appeal of open space initiatives. Says Tim Dillingham, assistant director
of the American Littoral Society: “The need to protect the Highlands has been
A partnership between American well recognized for more than a century. The relationship between healthy forests
Rivers and NOAA will provide some and water supplies is evident. But the drought this summer really brought the issue
$2.6 million for river restoration, dam to the fore and made people realize that without the forest there was simply not
removal, and fish passage projects. going to be clean water. The timing was just right to propose a big shift in public
Recently announced was the first policy.” URLs: www.highlandscoalition.org; www.alsnyc.org
7
group of projects to receive the
program’s funding. Connecticut,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Views Vs. Volts, Continued from p. 1 Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and
Virginia are among the beneficiary
At night, Horseshoe Shoals foes also argue, lights designed to warn away states. URLs: www.mfs.noaa.gov;
aircraft will not only damage a pristine environment but will constitute a navigation www.americanrivers.org
hazard for shipping. They predict increased noise from the turbines and from
foghorns, diminished tourism, decreased property values, and danger to birds, Rulings
marine mammals and marine fauna. Offshore windpower opponents also object to
a possible lack of bonds to assure removal of towers in the future. Some also hold Two years ago, when the town of fast-
that it is not simply the towers that are undesirable but the platform for handling the growing Frederick, MD imposed a
electricity as well as construction and maintenance efforts. Objections have been moratorium on new development,
raised to what some see as an unregulated taking of federal lands. Some insist on there was plenty of water in the
a moratorium until applicable law and regulations can be put into effect. Monocacy River that supplies most
citizens. With this year’s drought and
Despite such arguments, the US Army Corps of Engineers in August a water supply crisis, town fathers
approved the construction of a data collection tower on Horseshoe Shoal. The took further action. Even when the
ruling carries 16 conditions including a bond for removal, sharing of information, Monocacy recovers enough to allow
and monitoring to insure construction that does not harm marine mammals. Such a new construction to begin again, a
tower is already under construction 2 miles off Martha’s Vineyard, under a five-year panel of city officials will review all
permit issued to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. proposed developments and decide
whether there is sufficient water for
Winergy LLC, of Shirley, NY is proposing 4 sites off Nantucket ranging in them. Such water allocation ordi-
size from 169 to 231 turbines; in August the company filed an initial application for a nances are commonplace in the
data collection tower in a location central to these sites. Winergy is also pursuing western US, Denver water lawyer
another 17 Atlantic Coast locations along the Atlantic coast as far south as Florida. David H. Getches told The Washing-
They range in size from 6 turbines in Long Island Sound to 506 off the coast of ton Post, but almost unheard of along
Maryland. Included are 420 towers in two areas 3 and 5 miles out from Virginia’s the eastern seaboard.
Eastern Shore.
In Washington, DC reports Bay
In August the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) issued a request for Journal, a federal court overturned a
potential developers of 100 megawatts of wind power off the south shore. The LIPA US Fish and Wildlife Service’s
had partnered a study with New York State’s Energy Research and Development “habitat protection plan” for the
Authority showing that up to 5,200 megawatts could be produced from a 314- endangered Delmarva fox squirrel on
square-mile band, 3 to 6 miles offshore stretching to the east of Montauk Point. the grounds that it had been prepared
without sufficient provision for public
Environmental leaders waffle, arguing for clearer policies and more review. Environmentalists had filed
research. Jaci Barton, executive director of the Barnstable Land Trust, holds that suit, claiming that the plan gave
there is a need for a state and national policy about wind farm power develop- insufficient protection for an animal
ment—particularly offshore, industrial-sized projects. John P. DeVillars, former that moves slowly and faces threats
EPA New England region administrator, points to the need for a robust public from cars and predators.
dialogue and decisions supported by sound science and economic analysis, as
these will have generational significance. He feels that it should be the responsibil- A citizen effort to demolish the
ity of government to weigh the issues in order to determine the best location for a Winterport dam across the Marsh
wind farm. stream, a tributary of Maine’s
Penobscot River, was dealt yet
Carol Lee Rawn, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, another blow late this summer.
stated that the issue of ocean zoning for federal lands is very important and should Already (Atlantic CoastWatch Janu-
be addressed. She added that the foundation did not feel it appropriate to delay ary/February 2002) some citizens had
development of renewable energy options “until a new regulatory regime comes protested the initiative, meant largely
into place”. Because of the importance it gives to the conduct of research on the to help anadromous salmon, on the
proper location of wind farms, the Foundation may file a friend of the court brief grounds that the impoundment
supporting the Corps’ Horseshoe Shoals decision while withholding judgement on provided recreation and water for
the wind farm itself. firefighting. Now, ruled state Superior
Court Judge Andrew Mead, those
Wind power is the fastest growing commercial power source in the world seeking the demolition must achieve
according to Reuters. Wind farms dot the countryside in nearly 30 US states. If local shoreland zoning permits from
renewable energy is going to be required by federal mandate, said Myron Ebell of the two towns whose citizens opposed
the Competitive Enterprise Institute, people wherever they live are going to its removal. What lies ahead? “I have
have to get used to it. URLs: www.clf.org; www.capewind.org; no idea what we are going to do next,”
www.capecodonline.com the demolitionists’ dismayed leader
Clinton Townsend said.
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sustainable Development Institute
3121 South St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

Tel: (202) 338-1017


Fax: (202) 337-9639
E-mail: susdev@igc.org
URL: www.susdev.org
www.atlanticcoastwatch.org

Tax-deductible contributions for Atlantic CoastWatch are urgently needed.

NPS & Bay, Continued from p. 6


Some around the Bay have expressed skepticism about the Before 2002 WNV was largely a mid-Atlantic and
NPS initiative. Concerns have been voiced about the loss of New England phenomenon. This year’s drought likely
state’s rights and about what economic benefits a national increased the range of WNV by concentrating birds at
park would bring. Some wonder what a national park could watering holes and reducing the numbers of the mosquito’s
do that myriad public and private institutions are not natural predators such as dragonflies and amphibians. There
already doing around the Bay. But officials from Maryland’s were also relatively few cases in New England, suggesting
Department of Natural Resources, the Chesapeake that a less virulent WNV may be emerging and that resis-
Bay Foundation, and various newspapers reacted tance developed in almost the entire exposed population.
positively—especially, as the foundation’s Chuck Epes put Most showed no ill effects, or at most flu and skin rash.
it, if the creation of a park were to result in “more public
awareness, more public enjoyment, more cash and more Attempts to develop alternatives to insecticide
protections.” URL: www.chesapeakestudy.org spraying, with its many adverse effects, proliferated this
year. Counties in South Carolina reviewed stormwater
retention ponds, which are designed to benefit the environ-
ment by trapping pollutants from nearby housing develop-
Skeeter Wars ments and shopping centers but also host mosquitoes.
Maine’s constructed or restored wetlands and saltwater
In 2002 the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus (WNV) marshes may be redesigned. Colonies of bats, each of which
spread across 43 states, infecting 3,052 people and causing can munch down up to 7,000 mosquitoes a day, are being
164 deaths. According to the Center for Disease Control established along New Jersey’s Hackensack River. Dragon-
(CDC), most victims have been the elderly and immune- flies have been released in Maine and Gambusia holbrookii,
compromised. Also affected and dying are livestock and an aggressive mosquito-gulping guppy sized fish, around
111 bird species including endangered sandhill cranes and Greensboro, North Carolina. Another apparently benign
bald eagles. This year the mosquito issue was gravely alternative that may become available next year is
compounded when mosquitoes bearing malaria, widely Skeetercide, developed at University of Florida‘s Medical
seen as a distant tropical threat, were detected in the Entomology Laboratory by Dov Borovsky. Skeetercide
Washington, DC region. Little wonder then that in addition starves mosquito larvae to death in 4-6 days, before they
to more than $20 million granted by the CDC and Depart- begin biting, using hormones that trick their digestive
ment of Health and Human Services, the US House of systems into shutting down.
Representatives approved $100 million for counties,
providing up to $10,000 per county for mosquito control At least some of such measures will succeed.
programs. The bill is now pending in the US Senate. No Medical authorities suggest that most people will develop
more of a surprise is it that the EPA suspended require- resistance to West Nile Virus without even flu symptoms;
ments under the Clean Water Act for permits prior to next year’s WNV season will almost certainly be less virulent
spraying insecticides on open water. than this year’s. The Vivex strain of malaria recently found
near Washington is the least virulent and most treatable form
Open questions (Atlantic CoastWatch, May/June of the disease. But for all that, malaria’s emergence prom-
2001) include the efficacy of repeated spraying (a 30% kill ises an expansion of skeeter wars in 2003 that will damage
ratio by an independent study vs. industry claims of 80%), far more than just mosquitoes. URLs: www.cdc.gov;
and the severity of its impacts on aquatic species, ecosys- extlab7.entnem.ufl.edu/PestAlert/
tems, and possibly humans.