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Atlantic CoastWatch May-June 2003

Pew Commission Reports


News For Coastal Advocates
After three years of work and expenses of $5.5 million, the private, star
studded Pew Oceans Commission has issued a strongly worded plea for sweep-
ing changes in how the US manages its ocean and coastal resources. The report, z
entitled “America’s Living Oceans,” flatly labels the “crisis confronting our oceans”
as “a failure of both perspective and governance” and “unacceptable.” Pew Report 1

Though the Commission officially terminates its work as of June 30, various Hogs 1
of its members have expressed resolve not to disband but instead “stay together as
a voice” for responsible management, and to oversee the implementation of the 2
Sayings
group’s broad recommendations. Although the report advocates massive increases
in public funding to support its stated goals, it fails to challenge private philanthropy
to chip in as well. “Big Green” Pulls Back 2

In partial response, at the conclusion of a five-day gathering of more than Offshore Windpower 3
100 marine scientists and environmentalists on the Mexican seashore, the non-
governmental Conservation International and its partners announced a $9 Straw Cleanup 3
million, five year “science based international effort to restore and maintain the
health of marine systems.” The organizations will seek implementation of recom- Publications 4
mendations advanced at the Mexico meeting calling for active management of
international waters, an expanded system of marine parks and sanctuaries, the
Pesticide Curbs 4
creation of an “ocean ethic,” and—natch—lots more research. An anonymous donor
has issued a matching pledge of $5 million to launch the effort. www.pewtrusts.org.
Jersey Thinks BIG 5

Cross-Sound Power 5
Hogs, Sludge and Home Rule Vieques 6
With heavy rains resulting in hog “lagoons” becoming overfilled, southeast-
ern states and counties are grappling with hog effluent and local control issues just Courts & the Seashore 7
as the livestock industry is attempting to shift and expand production.
PWC Bans Relaxed 7
Legislators in North Carolina, with 3,000 hog farms raising 10 million swine,
voted 103-11 to extend a moratorium on any expansion of new or existing large hog Feds Jettison Jetties 8
farms using lagoon or spray systems until 2007. The state house is also considering
a 2008 deadline for the pork industry to eliminate its lagoons. The NC Division of
z
Water Quality reports that statewide 400 of 4,000 hog farm cess-pits were filled
above legal levels this spring, risking rupture. Often airborne over the coastal plain,
Rick Dove of the Waterkeeper Alliance said in a Charlotte Observer interview, Recurring
“There are so many violations we don’t even have time to document them all.”
Among those observed: spraying effluent on waterlogged fields during rain storms, People; Species & Habitats;
and piping waste directly into water bodies. As cess-pit levels rise, pork farmers are
Restorations; Report Cards;
trying to change the legal height of wastes percolating within their “lagoons” from
19” from the top of pits, to just 12”. Products; Funding

With North Carolina’s continued moratorium, increasing legislative pres- Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
sure for the expansion of chicken, cattle and hog operations in South Carolina nearly nonprofit newsletter for those inter-
led to passage of a bill that would eliminate the ability of county councils to enact ested in the environmentally sound
tougher farming restrictions than state regulations. After passing South Carolina’s development of the coastline
house, the senate adjourned until 2004 without voting on this “hogs over home from the Gulf of Maine
rule” bill. to the Eastern Caribbean.
(Continued, p. 6)
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 7, No. 3 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable The following passage comes from The Right Side of the River (Wyrick
Development Institute, which and Company 2002), one of several books by Daufuskie Island, SC waterman and
author Roger Pinckney:
seeks to heighten the environmen-
tal quality of economic develop- There are at least two deer and they are out in the high marsh and they
ment efforts, in coastal and in want the acorns, but I am in the way. So I will not move and the wind will not switch
forest regions, by communicating and I will get a shot if I see horns in about an hour when one of them makes a
information about better policies mistake and walks downwind. I’ve had deer do that before, walk right into the gun
and practices. SDI is classified as from sheer impatience. So I wait them out while the past comes welling up and
a 501(c)(3) organization, exempt rolls over me like a great breaking wave.
from federal income tax.
It’s 1956 and I am aboard the Pocohontas, the wheezy old four car ferry
Board of Directors plying Skull Creek between Hilton Head and Buckingham Landing and the island
treelines are a solid deep green and there are no houses along the riverbanks, no
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chair powerlines overhead. But land is being sold and developers are drawing maps and I
Robert J. Geniesse, Chair Emeritus am just a kid and can do nothing about it at all.
Roger D. Stone, President
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer And soon enough there was a four lane bridge and Sea Pines Plantation
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary and I eventually took a job there, writing advertising—spinning lies about environ-
David P. Hunt mental protection and all you Yankees come down and buy a piece of this quick
Gay P. Lord while you still can. The Yankees came and the eagles left and the gators moved into
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff the water hazards and the square mile of nature preserve became a shopping
center and two strip malls. And there are forty thousand where I remember two
Scientific Advisory Council hundred.

Gary Hartshorn But there are still deer where I used to hunt them when we ran them with
Stephen P. Leatherman horses and hounds and shot Smiths and Parkers and Foxes stuffed with double
Jerry R. Schubel ought. But now they browse on ornamental shrubbery and collide with golf carts
Christopher Uhl and are subject of judicial proceedings. Kill them, or even count them, and the
question has kept a tribe of lawyers busy these last eighteen months.
Staff
But I am on the far side of Calibogue Sound, deep, fast, and wide, and all
Roger D. Stone, Director & President that seems another world, a bizarre fantasy that others live by choice, and I look up
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager and there is a deer in the gathering shade of the oaks.
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
Sarah Dixon, Program Associate
Megan Newell, Program Associate
Anita G. Herrick, Correspondent
”Big Green” Pulls Back
Foundation Donors
Early in May the Washington Post delivered one of the hardest media
Avenir Foundation punches ever administered to an environmental group since the movement began
The Fair Play Foundation to gather steam in the 1970s. In a 3 part series, the paper questioned the $3.3
The Madriver Foundation billion, million-member Nature Conservancy’s policies and practices on matters
The Moore Charitable Foundation ranging from land transactions with close friends and allies, the use of its logo in
The Curtis and Edith Munson corporate product advertising, and the amount and nature of compensation for its
Foundation chief executive. The sharply focused articles took little notice of the Conservancy’s
many accomplishments in protecting priceless land and biodiversity, leaving
Sponsored Project instead a vivid impression of “a whirring marketing machine that has poured
millions into building and protecting the organization’s image, laboring to transform
Environmental Film Festival in the the charity into a household name.”
Nation’s Capital, March 18-28, 2004.
Featuring over 100 Documentary, Among Atlantic coastal efforts, the Conservancy’s work to achieve both
Feature, Archival, Children’s and conservation and development along Virginia’s Eastern Shore took an especially
Animated Films. Almost all free of hard hit. What had been started as a well-intentioned effort to give local people
charge. environment-friendly economic opportunities, the Post reported, eventually
became a disastrously unsuccessful set of for-profit initiatives eventually shut down
www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org (Continued, p. 3)
3
People

Offshore Windpower Schemes Proliferate Energetic Kathleen A. McGinty, who


served as chair of the Council on
Environmental Quality under
Controversy continues to swirl around the Cape Wind Associates LLC
President Clinton, has been named
proposal for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Proponents , including Greenpeace
as environmental protection secretary
and newly formed Clean Power Now, assert that this clean source of energy has
in Pennsylvania. A Philadelphia
great potential for weaning the United States away from imported oil. High profile
native, McGinty has worked in
detractors argue the proposed 300 foot windmills are ugly, a blight on the natural
business as well as in government.
landscape, and possibly a danger to local wildlife such as migratory seabirds and
She sees her new agency as “an
whales. This costly permitting dispute drones along.
engine for economic revitalization in
Pennsylvania.”
Undaunted, windpower advocates are advancing similar proposals for
thousands of wind turbines all along the Eastern Seaboard. Winergy LLC, a two-
Award winning freelance journalist
man partnership, seeks to build over 2,000 offshore turbines along six eastern
Michael Rivlin died on May 31. He
states at 21 sites. The company plans to install a test turbine off Long Island, NY in
was an active participant in the
the next few months and apply for a permit to build an offshore wind farm in waters
internet’s Fishfolk discussion list,
off Northampton County, Virginia, the state’s poorest county. As opposed to many
where commercial fishermen often
Cape Codders who prefer wind farms to be as far away from them as possible,
singled him out as the “only lurking
Northampton officials have asked Winergy to move its project nearer to shore,
environmental journalist” but always
bringing it into county waters, and revenues therefore into their coffers.
respected him for his honest, well
researched writing and opinions.
A coastal wind farm in Atlantic County is one of three currently proposed
Early on, he played a vital role in
wind energy projects in New Jersey, where Governor James McGreevey recently
marine conservation, writing for NY/
vowed to “aggressively promote” renewable sources of energy. The Atlantic
NJ BayKeeper’s publications, and
County project, which would power the local utility authority’s massive sewage
later for the Natural Resources
treatment plant, faces opposition from the New Jersey Audubon Society.
Defense Council’s OnEarth.
Significantly, Jamaica early this year announced a $334 million wind power project
that will raise its national use of renewable energy to over 6%.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, founder of
the Ocean Futures Society and son
of Jacques Cousteau, has been
Clampdown on Straws named an official “spokesman” for the
British Virgin Islands on matters
Tidy New Jersey teens Vincent Solomeno, 18 and Lisa Connors, 17 pertaining to its marine life. The
formed a student team to combat litter along a 500-meter stretch of Fisherman’s announcement was made by the
Beach at the north end of Sandy Hook. Soon they had accumulated an astonishing Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, chief
22,000 plastic straws, and identified about half of them as stemming from conces- minister and minister of tourism for
sions within this section of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Presenting their the island nation.
findings to the National Park Service and HB Concessions, Solomeno and
Collins argued that the straws are not only unsightly, but a potential threat for fish Latest among 115 Riverkeeper
and birds. To the students’ surprise, HB owner Edward Segall readily agreed to programs forming part of the
stop distributing the straws except to the elderly and young children. Said Waterkeeper Alliance is
Solomeno in the Asbury Park Press: “It’s good to know you’ve made a difference.” Connecticut’s Housatonic River
Initiative (HRI) formed 11 years ago
to help rid the river of PCBs left
there—as in the Hudson—by General
”Big Green,” Continued from p. 2 Electric. At a recent ceremony
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chief honcho
after losses of many millions. Land deals featured in the series included complex of the Waterkeeper network, praised
transactions on Martha’s Vineyard and on Shelter Island, NY in which prominent HRI for its persistence. In response,
buyers were able to acquire choice tracts in part by making tax-deductible contribu- HRI Executive Director Tim Gray
tions to the Conservancy. noted that is GE not just cleaning up
the river, but “doing a damn good job
In swift reaction, the Conservancy engaged public relations and legal of it.”
counsel in an effort to stave off the threat of congressional investigation. A Post
op-ed article by Conservancy President Steven J. McCormick cited the In May, after 31 years of service to the
organization’s many worthy activities, accused the paper of imbalance, and stated organization, Dery Bennett stepped
that many of the practices featured in the series has been suspended. In mid-June, down from his position as executive
after an all day board meeting, the organization announced that it would perma- director of the American Littoral
nently stop making land deals involving board or staff members or other close Society. The 6,000 member national
associates, and initiate a variety of other “significant and concrete” changes in how organization is based in Sandy Hook,
it does business. www.tnc.org NJ.
4
In an interview with the Barbados
Daily Nation, former World Bank
consultant Nlandu Mamingi
lamented the small numbers of Publications
University of the West Indies students
signing up for his course on resource z More than 30 years ago, the US Congress passed the Coastal Zone
and environmental economics. He Management Act. It features many innovative ideas about managing the coastline
cited lack of awareness and the quest and its resources. Funds to support the law have never been sufficient to enable it
for more lucrative career paths as to come close to fulfilling its promise. Now, The Heinz Center has published The
possible reasons for the poor turnout. Coastal Zone Management Act: Developing a Framework for Identifying
“My teaching is good,” he added. “I Performance Indicators. The Center says their handbook will help coastal
cannot be blamed for the small managers “assess program performance, provide accountability, and measure the
numbers.” progress of government-funded programs.” www.heinzctr.org

T. Marshall Duer, Jr., a keen z Widely published freelance writer Jessica Speart has come up with what
yachtsman and founder in 1967 of the one reviewer called “a new genre—the wildlife mystery thriller.” The heroine in her
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, died novel Coastal Disturbance (Avon Books 2003) is dispatched by her federal
at age 90. His death came at a agency to a steamy stretch of coastal Georgia swampland. Soon she discovers that
moment when the Foundation is people as well as manatees in the region are mysteriously dying, and she herself is
making a major effort to revitalize the not immune to the dangers surrounding her.
flagging tri-state drive to save and
restore the bay. z Punch up www.funonli.com and hit the “outdoor activities” button. There,
in 19 different categories from butterfly watching to beachcombing, you will find
New head of Save the Sound in information about ecotourism sorties promoted by the Long Island Convention
South Norwalk, CT is attorney Nina and Visitors Bureau. It’s a natural for a region whose beaches and other natural
Sankovitch, an alumna of the resources are a major economic asset. Your community doesn’t have to be a
Natural Resources Defense Hampton to replicate this good idea.
Council and the Nathan Cummings
Foundation and an avid swimmer. z Empty Ocean by Richard Ellis (Island Press, 2003) delivers a vivid
“You have to believe in the water you review of commercial fisheries’ effects upon a litany of species, but fails to address
work on,” she said in a Stamford ecological relationships in the important zone where land meets sea. The lowly
Advocate interview. Save the Sound menhaden is primarily described in terms of its commercial harvest and uses
has targeted more than 400 sites for rather than its vital estuarine role as a filterer of nutrients and as forage for
restoration. numerous ocean fish. Similar linkage gaps having to do with coastal pollution,
habitat loss, and the role of land use change render this book more useful for those
Species & Habitats embarking on causes than for those seeking to understand the more complex
ecological situation.
During the new moon each May
horseshoe crabs come ashore on
Atlantic beaches to spawn, with each
female lying up to 80,000 eggs. In
Locals Curb Pesticide Use
recent years, the number of crabs
laying eggs has significantly declined. Evidence of local concern about the effects of pesticides and herbicides on
Affected are not only the crabs, but human health and aquatic ecosystems:
several species of migratory shore-
birds, including the red knot, that z Halifax, Nova Scotia is implementing a lawn chemical ban following a two
depend on the eggs to sustain them year phase-in that restricted pesticide use within 50 meters of schools, playgrounds
during their long journey to the Arctic hospitals churches and other recreational areas. A volunteer program helps
each spring. The decline is attributed gardeners learn to use natural alternatives. Violators face a $100 fine. Serious
to lightly regulated harvesting of infractions can net a $2,000 fine, or 30 days in jail. Similar bans have also been
horseshoe crabs, which serve as bait enacted elsewhere in Canada.
for eel, whelk and conch. This year, in
the wake of a temporary ban reducing z The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection asked
the legal catch by 50% in key areas, citizens to limit pesticide use voluntarily. Said Commissioner Bradley Campbell:
the Atlantic States Marine Fisher- “Homeowners and licensed applicators need to protect themselves and the
ies Commission’s Shorebird environment from pesticide overuse and overexposure. I encourage all residents
Technical Commission will recom- to explore alternative pest control measures that are not only safe, but also help
mend to federal fisheries authorities New Jersey minimize the contribution of pesticides to water pollution.”
that the catch be reduced by 75% in
states from Virginia to New York, to z NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular
stabilize the horseshoe crab popula- Research in South Carolina is quantifying the relationship between land uses and
tion and save the red knot from estuarine contaminant loadings, and damage to sensitive ecologies. The goal: help
extinction. www.csc.noaa.gov golf course managers and policy-makers control their runoff. www.chbr.noaa.gov
5
The Committee on the Status of
Wildlife in Canada recently added
the Atlantic cod to its list of endan-
Jersey Thinks BIG gered species. The Atlantic cod
population in Canada, it says, has
In New Jersey, buildout looms. As the nation’s most densely populated seen a 97% decline in the past 30
state, New Jersey may exhaust its supply of land available for development within years, mostly due to overfishing. The
20 years. Of the state’s 5 million acres, according to the New York Times, more than committee’s decision prompted
4 million are either already developed, protected, or designated for state protec- Canada’s minister of federal fisheries,
tion. Battles about allocating use for the less than 1 million acres remaining, and Robert Thibault, to close commercial
avoiding additional sprawl, tend therefore to be fierce. and recreational cod fisheries in
Newfoundland and Labrador indefi-
Early this year, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection nitely. Labor advocates are fighting
(DEP) entered the fray when on its web site it posted a map entitled the Blueprint this decision, claiming it will devastate
for Intelligent Growth (BIG). In draft form, inviting public comment, the agency’s local economies reliant on the fishing
map divided the state into general areas labeled green for smart growth, red to industry. A federal compensation plan
discourage or forbid growth, and yellow for somewhere in between. for fishermen and plant workers
affected by the closure is in the works.
In the 30 days it was on display, the map generated what one DEP official www.cosewic.gc.ca
euphemistically calls “a lot of interest.” Many local officials and developers per-
ceived the map more as a done deal than a work in progress. Then, when DEP The smalltooth sawfish was declared
began making changes in response to citizen or community comments, the map an endangered species by the US
was accused of being a moving target. Late in April it was shut down while DEP National Marine Fisheries Service
officials launched a series of meetings with all of the state’s counties—and other in early April, making it the first US
state agencies—to feed its ideas about identifying and managing sensitive areas, marine fish to acquire this kind of
and encouraging smart growth, into the broader planning framework. federal protection. A close relative of
sharks, the sawfish was once abun-
After sufficient “cross acceptance” has been achieved, says the DEP’s Rick dant in the Gulf of Mexico and the
Brown, the map will be reposted for further discussion. And the flap over the map, Atlantic from Texas to North Carolina.
he adds, has hardly dampened his department’s enthusiasm for thinking BIG, nor Its habitat is now limited to a small
the governor’s determination to stem sprawl’s tide. stronghold in the waters of Florida’s
Everglades National Park. The 95%
decline in its population is due in part
to the tendency of its long saw-like bill
Cross-Sound Power Lines Stymied to become entangled in commercial
fishing and trawling nets. Though the
sawfish is of little commercial value,
More than a year ago, Cross Sound Cable installed a 24-mile long fishermen often kill it rather than
electric power cable under the waters of Long Island Sound with hopes of meeting painstakingly cut it out of their nets.
the surging demand for power on Long Island. But power has never coursed A recovery plan for the species, which
through the cable, and it might be a while before this happens. The same goes for could take up to a year to develop, is
two proposed gas pipelines that would provide fuel for clean-burning new power in the works.
plants on the island.
Terns, driven out of customary beach
Cross Sound’s cable, laid in May 2002, is not buried to required depths in and lakefront nesting habitats by
certain places. Despite the company’s requests to activate the cable while working human occupation, have recently
on the problems, Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) been observed nesting on graveled
insisted that before being switched on it reach the required depth to allow for safe rooftops. This environment mimics the
navigation, future deepening of the harbor and safeguarding shellfish beds. birds’ traditional nesting grounds at
the end of barrier islands, says Sara
In June 2002, Connecticut imposed a one-year moratorium on any sort of Schweitzer, a tern specialist at the
cross-Sound lines. Later, a task force formed by the state’s General Assembly University of Georgia. But rooftop
proposed strict guidelines for the establishment of underwater cables, stressing habitat is not always ideal, reports the
that power companies should have to prove that underwater cables are generally Charleston Post and Courier, as nests
necessary and not just beneficial for the transmission of power in a given case. are more exposed to wind and rain
Connecticut’s governor John Rowland is expected to sign the bill, which passed and chicks can easily fall or be blown
the legislature by a lopsided margin, extending the moratorium for another year. off. And even this insecure home is
being threatened in some areas as
Connecticut lawmakers “have twisted the issue into an absurd environ- builders are moving away from the
mental crusade,” grumbled Long Island Newsday. The paper called for federal pebbled roofs, prompted by insurance
intervention to moderate Connecticut’s “obstinacy” and stop it from “bottling up the concerns that the pebbles frequently
energy everyone needs.” NY state politicians are citing national security needs as cause damage to windows during
reasons to flip the switch. coastal storms.
6
Restorations
The New Jersey Conservation
Foundation is negotiating the
Vieques: War Not Quite Over
splendid purchase of nearly 15 square
miles of forests, wetlands and cran- On May 1, after 60 years and much controversy, the US Navy shut down
berry bogs in the biologically impor- its base on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Two-thirds of this small island 6 miles
tant Pinelands. The seller is A. R. east of mainland Puerto Rico were acquired by the US in the 1940s. Ever since, this
DeMarco Enterprises, a family- land has been used as a bombing range and training site. In the wake of the
owned cranberry farm. The deal was military departure, new questions about land use are high on the agenda of both
briefly threatened when Mark government officials and activists who fought the Navy’s presence.
DeMarco, one of the three siblings
who co-own the farm, filed a civil suit Under the congressional legislation that closed the base, 15,000 acres of
against his brother Garfield land will be turned over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service creating the largest
DeMarco alleging mismanagement wildlife refuge in the Caribbean. Beforehand, the Navy is slated to conduct and pay
and asserting that the sale of the land for a massive and time-consuming cleanup effort. According to Navy studies,
should be held up pending the out- waters around the island contain heavy metals, such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and
come of the suit. Later, though manganese, at levels hundreds of times above limits set by the EPA. Unmarked
brother Mark kept an amended stray bombs, oil and waste must also be found and disposed of.
version of the suit on the table, his
attorney reported that “We decided Despite vehement Navy denials, residents of the island are convinced that
we want to see the deal go ahead.” these contaminants have been making them sick. They cite high rates of cancer on
the island, and want to be assured that the cleanup will clear the contaminants from
Report Cards the water, air and food chain. Said Luis Rodriguez, state secretary of natural and
environmental resources, in an Orlando Sentinel interview: “ I think the Navy is
American Rivers’ “2003 America’s doing everything possible to reduce its responsibility for the cleanup. This is going
Most Endangered Rivers” list high- to be a contentious process, and we’re going to have to be aggressive. And if we
lights rivers at increasing risk from have to go to court, we will. There’s no doubt about that.”
severe water shortages and destruc-
tion of critical watershed habitat. Many locals are critical of the creation of the national wildlife refuge. They
Atlantic Coast rivers making the list would rather see the land returned to Puerto Rican hands. Ismael Guadalupe, an
this year are the Ipswich in northeast activist who protested the military presence for years, told the Associated Press:
Massachusetts and the Mattaponi in “These lands are ours. We don’t recognize the right of the US Fish and Wildlife
Virginia. According to American Service to administer the land.” Some island residents hope that reclaiming their
Rivers, both rivers face severe water land for development might stimulate tourism and create jobs, reducing the island’s
shortages due to extreme water 12% unemployment rate. Others simply seek the chance to enjoy beaches that
waste. have been closed off to them for decades.

The Clean Beaches Council, a


Washington-based non-profit group
that oversees the “Blue Wave”
Hogs, Continued from p. 1
certification program, released its
Florida’s legislature, arguing the need to streamline agricultural regulations
annual report listing beaches certified
and claiming duplication between state and county rules, may have opened the
as “clean and healthy.” A “Blue Wave”
sunshine state to the needs of migrating mega-farms. With the exception of
certification is based on water quality,
Broward County, home of the Everglades, the Agriculture Lands and Practices Act
safe surroundings and environmental
completely excludes counties from regulating farms. The bill awaits Governor
conservation efforts on the beach. 49
Bush’s signature.
beaches from 8 states nation-wide
made this year’s list, with 40 located in
What prompted North Carolina’s 1997 moratorium on new or expanded
Florida. Other Atlantic states with
hog facilities was a lagoon rupture in 1996 that spilled 25 million gallons of effluent
beaches on the list are North and
into the New River. Many of North Carolina’s nutrient enriched coastal plain rivers
South Carolina, Delaware and Virginia.
suffocate from algal blooms, rendering them useless for humans or aquatic species.
www.cleanbeaches.org
In 2000 Smithfield Foods Inc. committed $15 million for research at the Univer-
An average of 445 pounds of litter per sity of North Carolina into technologies that could replace lagoons and effluent
mile of coastline was collected in 2001, spraying.
according to a study by the Ocean
Conservancy. Beaches certified In two western states, Smithfield is spending $20 million to convert effluent
through the Clean Beaches Council into biodiesel, but the success of that trial project depends largely on the price of oil,
met a standard of less than 100 according to US WaterNews. For the forseeable future in North Carolina, Smithfield
pounds of litter per mile. says, there are no viable technologies to replace lagoons and spraying. As the pork
www.oceanconservancy.org industry launches an “aggressive” new lobbying and public relations campaign, and
local governments draw lines in the sand, the effluent still flows.
7
Recent findings indicate that the smog
problem in New England is getting
worse. The American Lung
Courts & the Seashore Association’s annual “State of the
Air” report gave a record 14 New
The judge responsible for the 1992 consent decree settling the federal England counties the report’s lowest
lawsuit against Florida and its water managers has become the sole roadblock to mark of “F” for their unhealthy levels
recent state legislation extending the deadline for cleaning up and restoring the of ozone, a key factor in creating
Everglades from 2006 until after 2016. US District Court Judge William M. smog. Warm weather and too much
Hoeveler criticized legislation crafted by Florida’s sugar industry and signed by traffic were cited as principal reasons
Governor Jeb Bush, finding it “defective” and “unenforceable.” Arguing that the for the increase in low marks. The
1992 federal/state agreement pre-empts any state legislation weakening the Hubbard Brook Research Founda-
settlement, which was reinforced by state legislation in 1994, the jurist quickly set tion has concluded that nitrogen
about to appoint a federal Everglades “master” to oversee the 1992 terms. In pollution from vehicles, power plants
response the sugar industry filed petitions seeking dismissal of Hoeveler, alleging and wastewater effluent is seriously
bias. Consequently Judge Hoeveler’s hearing to appoint a federal master was damaging the health of Northeastern
postponed indefinitely. forests and waters, as well as people.

Between July 1999 and February 2000 South Carolina’s Tin Products Products
dumped toxic compounds used for vinyl siding, plastic plumbing and jars into the Class-action lawsuits in Washington
town of Cayce’s municipal sewers. Consequences included a fish kill in a nearby state against grocery giants Safeway,
creek, and water use restrictions for 55,000 residents while Lexington County had Kroger, and Albertsons demand the
to find a new source of drinking water. In 2001 the company’s plant was shut down enforcement of an FDA policy obliging
and cleaned up at a cost of $1 million. This spring, as a result of criminal proceed- retailers to label farmed salmon that
ings, US District Court Judge Cameron Currie ordered prison sentences for three has been artificially colored. Wild
Tin Products executives including 18 months for a vice president. Company officials salmon get a rosy color from feeding
also face a civil lawsuit brought by 60 homeowners seeking compensation for on krill and shrimp. Farmed salmon
damages. The sentences, said Department of Justice spokesman Thomas L. are fed fishmeal with the chemical
Sansotti, “should send a strong message to those in the chemical industry, additives canthaxanthin or
especially responsible corporate officers. We will hold individuals accountable for astaxanthin to give them the same
criminal acts that endanger the health of our citizens and the environmental health appearance. Though these additives
of the nation’s waterways.” are negligibly if at all harmful to
humans, the lawsuit claims that the
problem with lack of labeling misleads
Personal Watercraft Ban Relaxed the public into thinking that they are
purchasing wild fish. In reaction, the
grocery chains have agreed to begin
A Clinton-era ruling that led to a National Park Service (NPS) ban on
labeling farmed salmon with the
personal watercraft (PWC) use in almost all national parks was based on criticism
words “artificially colored.”
that they release dangerous pollutants into the air and water, create noise pollution
and can be responsible for disturbing or damaging habitat. That ban on PWCs such
as JetSkis, Sea-doos and Waverunners (which are becoming less noisy and more Funding
fuel efficient) has now been rescinded in at least one park on the Atlantic coastline
In these parlous times, reports the
and is being reconsidered in several others.
Annapolis Capital, the Chesapeake
Bay Trust (CBT) is steadfastly bucking
Already, the NPS has stated it will reopen two areas off Assateague Island:
the general downward trend in public
a 26-acre area adjacent to the Ocean City, MD inlet and the a 226-acre area in the
and private support for nonprofits.
Chincoteague (VA) National Wildlife Refuge. Park officials insist that PWC users will
The Trust’s principal income is derived
be strictly held to half-mile boundaries and restricted areas to beach their machines.
from specialty license plate fees,
Environmental groups are expected to challenge the new policy in court.
including those paid for by the familiar
heron, and a Maryland taxpayer
Assateague might not be the only park facing increased personal water-
check-off option. In addition this year
craft use in the near future. According to the Asbury Park Press the NPS is also
the Trust invaded its own reserves,
considering lifting a one-year old PWC ban in greater New York’s Gateway National
enabling it to increase its environmen-
Recreation Area, encompassing Jamaica Bay (Brooklyn and Queens), waters off
tal grants by 40% this year over 2002.
Crooks Point and Miller Field in Staten Island and ocean and bayside waters at
The Trust can afford to expand its
Sandy Hook, NJ.
grantmaking portfolio, says the paper,
“because it has been smart enough to
A total ban on personal watercraft use in Cape Lookout National Seashore
save money during the good times, a
(NC, SC), implemented in April 2002, is also being reconsidered. The Carteret New
lesson in prudent financial manage-
Times reports that pending a series of public meetings and an “environmental
ment that our state government would
assessment” local officials hope to arrive at a “reasonable compromise” allowing
do well to learn”
some PWC use while maintaining environmental standards.
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sustainable Development Institute (SDI)
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 - payable to SDI - are urgently needed.

Feds Jettison Oregon Inlet Jetties


After three decades of often vigorous debate, the fish, shrimp, and crab larvae washing through the inlet.
Bush Administration has decided not to proceed with the $108 NOAA officials likewise expressed concerns about fisheries
million plan to build long jetties over a mile into the Atlantic and habitats. The National Park Service and the US Fish
from North Carolina’s Oregon Inlet. Along with an expensive and Wildlife Service both worried that increased erosion of
annual dredging program, the jetties were intended to shore shorefront parklands would be another consequence.
up the highly unstable inlet into the Albemarle and Pamlico
Sounds for the benefit of recreational boaters and a commer- With no reconciliation between warring federal
cial fishing and charter fleet of some 200 vessels. agencies in the offing, the Bush Administration’s Council on
Environmental Quality stepped in as moderator and
Consistently, over the 30 years since Congress structured the joint decision not to proceed with the groins. As
approved the project, the US Army Corps of Engineers has its corollary, the federal agencies also committed themselves
hailed its economic and environmental virtues and won to working harder to dredge the pesky, fast-moving inlet. Its
backing from fishermen based within the inlet and from some strong currents and shifting sands have long made it a notori-
politicians. Environmentalists, dismissing the scheme as a ous graveyard for trawlers and other larger as well as smaller
Quixotic boondoggle, cited the harm the jetties would do to boats. Skeptics and fishermen feared more of the same.

With Appreciation
We extend very special thanks to those who, between April 24 and June 26, have provided new support for our Atlantic
CoastWatch newsletter and Internet services. During this period the Sustainable Development Institute received a generous major
donation from Joseph F. Cullman 3rd. Others making most welcome and greatly appreciated increments of support were:

Williiam C. Baker A. Claude Kemper Constantine & Anne Sidamon-Eristoff


Lawrence Coolidge Wingate & Janet Lloyd Donald B. Straus
John C. Cooper III John & Caroline Macomber Kenneth B. Tate
Helen C. Evarts Leigh & Linden Miller Sandra I. van Heerden
Elinor K. Farquhar Frani Blough Muser Sarah T. Wardwell
Florence B. Fowlkes Frederick H. Osborn III Mr. & Mrs. William Blunt White
Robert J. Geniesse Hector Prud’homme Gertrude deG. Wilmers
Betsy H. Hess Hamilton Robinson Jr. Robert G. Wilmers
Edward L. & Sarnia H. Hoyt William D. Rogers Nancy Wilson
Sally Barlow Ittmann Edith Schafer Timothy and Wren Wirth
Peter and Beverly Jost John Shober Alexander Zagoreos