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Atlantic CoastWatch January - February 2004

Beach Nourishment Starved News For Coastal Advocates


Back in the 1950s, reports the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
Beach Nourishment Starved 1
in its Coastal Heritage newsletter, the town of Edisto Beach (pop. 641) completed
an extensive program of beach nourishment and groin construction to hold the
shoreline in place. Dozens of homes built there mushroomed in value during the Wetlands’ Eye in the Sky 1
boom times.
Sayings 2
Now, though, sections of this shoreline have eroded as much as 40 feet
in a single year. One cottage underwent severe damage during a recent north- Cleaner Water in NJ 3
easter. Pilings supporting houses along an 8-block stretch are regularly flooded
at high tide. Consequently, residents and local officials are backing a new Greening Ground Zero 3
nourishment effort that would cost $6 million. $4 million of this would come not
from local sources, but from the cash-shy state. Proponents seek to protect real
estate values and note that beach tourism and coastal growth have done much to
Publications 4
fuel the state’s economy. Skeptics warn that such efforts are often futile and that
the best way to preserve beaches is to let them migrate naturally. Turtle Loophole in Trinidad 4
(Continued, p. 7)
Courts & the Seashore 5

Wetlands’ Eye in the Sky W. Indies Program Expands 5

In Massachusetts aerial photographs have been configured to detect Coastal Groups Celebrate 6
thousands of wetland protection violations automatically. The Christian Science
Monitor reports that by overlaying current and historical aerial photographs New PR Marine Reserve 6
using image processing software, Charles Costello of the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) identified over 3,000 wetland Wind Power Plusses 6
locations, representing 700 acres that had been filled in between 1991 and 2001.
Over half of these actions were revealed as illegal. Close Shave in Nova Scotia 7
The state quickly embraced this newfound enforcement tool and in
December began generating revenues for wetlands restoration: the first two
Alternative Power Gains 7
cases out of some 1,500 under review, reported the Boston Globe, generated
$280,000. In January a Mansfield developer was arraigned for altering five acres Marine Hits at Festival 8
of wetland in 2002, with the attorney general and DEP Commissioner promising
many further prosecutions and the best wetlands protection in the nation. Recurring
Comparing this enforcement effort with that of other states, Eric
People; Awards; Species &
Shaeffer, former director of the EPA=s Civil Enforcement Program, noted in an Habitats; Restorations;
interview with the Monitor that Aif Massachusetts, with its tough protections, still Report Cards; Products;
finds hundreds of acres illegally filled, what might be happening in the two-thirds Funding
of states that don=t even have wetlands regulations?@
Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
Jay Taylor of Virginia=s Wetlands Watch was more enthusiastic: AI can=t newsletter for those interested in the
tell you how excited I am about this,@ he said. “Regulation and enforcement have environmentally sound development
been cut, so we know many acres of wetlands are being destroyed under the of the coastline from the Gulf of
table. This approach would level the playing field. It=s just the kind of thing an Maine to the Eastern Caribbean.
organization like ours could make use of—especially given its declining costs.@
There is wide agreement that the new enforcement tool should revolutionize Coastal News Nuggets, a weekly
wetlands protection, and that new calculations in Massachusetts indicate that news headline summary, is available
national wetlands losses are being way underestimated. at www.atlanticcoastwatch.org.
2
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 8, No. 1 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable What follows was written by John Brady, forest manager of the Black
Development Institute, which Rock Forest Consortium, and first published in its quarterly newsletter. The
seeks to heighten the environ- consortium studies and manages the 3,785-acre Black Rock Forest in New York
state’s Hudson Highlands.
mental quality of economic
development efforts, in coastal Some years back, while tracking (deer) along the road at Sutherland
and in forest regions, by commu- Pond on a beautiful clear day after a wet snowfall of 2 to 4 inches, I approached a
nicating information about better curve in the road with very limited sight distance. As I approached the bend, an
policies and practices. SDI is upcoming coyote met me, probably tracking too. At a distance of about three
classified as a 501(c)(3) organiza- paces our eyes met. This quick moment revealed volumes: the brilliant yellow
tion, exempt from federal income eyes of the coyote were bright, alert, and focused. The wild nature of the glare
tax. froze me in my tracks and my tongue began to swell, choking my throat. With
the hair on the back of my neck standing up, I was in awe.
Board of Directors
The coyote’s reaction was quite different, not comprehending the words
awe or fear. Without breaking its jogging strides, the canine turned onto the
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chair
pond. As it crossed the pond, slush splashed from the front paws, leaving an
Robert J. Geniesse, Chair Emeritus
enlarged print; the hind paw followed in the hole made. My mind was trying to
Roger D. Stone, President
capture everything that was happening: a healthy coyote of at least 40 pounds,
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer
with a coat of black, brown, white, and red, was galloping away on a snowy
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary
Sutherland Pond with blue sky and an ancient backdrop of pine, hemlock, and
David P. Hunt
stone.
Gay P. Lord
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
Realizing the fleeting moment, I did not want it to end. Remembering
being told by a mentor of the coyote’s hatred of cats, I did my best to imitate a
Scientific Advisory Council
catcall. The results were immediate: the coyote stopped, turned, and ran towards
me, faster than before and with tongue hanging and teeth showing. I impressed
Gary Hartshorn
myself, but soon realized, “now what do I do;” my tongue began to swell again.
Stephen P. Leatherman
As the coyote neared, he stopped suddenly at ten paces and must have deter-
Jerry R. Schubel
mined the source of the cat wailing as he turned and resumed crossing the pond.
Christopher Uhl
Further attempts by my sorry calls were met only by a turn of the head,
Staff
then ignored. Upon reaching the far side of the pond, the coyote disappeared
into the forest, and I was standing still in the same footprints trying to figure it all
Roger D. Stone, Director & President
out.
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
He or she went back to being a coyote and I a human. Continuing, the
Sarah Dixon, Program Associate
coyote would reappear on boulders, watching across the pond. Not until I used
the catcall, poorly again, did the coyote vanish for good. This did succeed in
Foundation Donors
giving me the sense of being watched for another mile or two.
Avenir Foundation
The experience lives with me forever; the coyote caused all my senses
The Fair Play Foundation
to peak and I got a glimpse of how old man coyote’s senses are always peaking.
The Madriver Foundation
The Moore Charitable Foundation
The Curtis and Edith Munson
Foundation With Appreciation
Sponsored Projects We extend special thanks to William Bernhard and Catherine Cahill,
Hart Fessenden, and Nina R. Houghton for their leadership in getting our
Environmental Film Festival in the 2004 appeal off to a great start. Other contributors of most welcome support for
Nation’s Capital March 18-28, 2004 the Atlantic CoastWatch program, through February 24, are:

Featuring 90 Documentary, James W. B. Benkard


Feature, Archival, Children’s and Nelse L. Greenway
Animated Films. James Moltz
Clyde E. Shorey Jr.
Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff
www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org
William W. Warner
3
People

Cleaner Water in NJ Last year Maryland legislators


rejected Governor Robert L.
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey and environmental Ehrlich Jr.’s top pick, Lynn Y. Buhn,
commissioner Bradley Campbell recently unveiled what Campbell called “the for the state’s top environmental job.
most dramatic clean water initiative in the country.” New rules ban development As acting secretary of the state’s
within 300 feet of the state’s more than 6,100 miles of rivers, streams, and lakes. environment department, a position
not requiring state Senate confirma-
Editorials strongly supportive of the governor’s action in the Herald tion, he named Kendl Philbrick, an
News and in the Record noted that McGreevey has had mixed results to date in executive from Lockheed-Martin.
his pledge to fight sprawl. The latest regulations, though, would do much to Now Ehrlich has appointed Philbrick
prevent sediment and other pollutants from spilling into surface waters and into as secretary. Hoping for confirma-
the state’s drinking water supply. They would also create 300,000 acres of tion, he has been “trying to burnish
protected green space and form an important obstacle to sprawl in the most his environmental credentials”
densely populated state in the nation. The new regulations will also require according to a Washington Post
builders to funnel stormwater runoff back into their properties, helping to reduce report. Muttering that Maryland
pollution and to recharge the state’s aquifers. Municipalities will need to take deserves better, environmentalists
further steps such as putting screens on storm-water inlets, improving catch- have not aggressively opposed the
ment basins, and increasing street sweeping. appointment. Confirmation is
expected shortly.
Jeff Tittel, executive director of the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter,
called the rules “ a huge victory for our environment.” Some municipal officials New executive director of the Neuse
worried that the $6 million set aside by the state to support the program would River Foundation is Becky Book,
not cover their costs, and fretted about the possibility of a reduction in the future formerly office manager for the
tax base. That would not be a problem in the long run, countered the Record, organization. The foundation sup-
adding that “controlling development and its effects on the environment must ports two Riverkeeper positions and
be a top priority in this overcrowded state.” a variety of education and outreach
activities. www.neuseriver.org

As Washington, DC residents wring


Greening Ground Zero hands over evidence of excessive
lead in municipally-supplied tap
Those responsible for building the new 7 World Trade Center building water, the Washington Post pub-
and the Freedom Tower, reports the New York Times, have set out to build an lished a disturbing report that
environmentally sensitive city within a city. Roofs and tanks are designed to Seema S. Bhat, water quality
catch rainwater and store it for use to flush toilets and boost cooling systems as manager for the District’s Water and
well as to feed the drip irrigation system in a small park. Windows will be coated Sewer Authority (WASA), had been
to reflect heat but harvest natural lighting. Computers will control heating and fired for earlier whistle blowing. On
lighting throughout the office building while power to commercial tenants will several occasions, Bhat told the
be metered to encourage conservation. A system in the office building will paper, she had reported lead prob-
reuse some of the heating steam to generate electricity, and propeller driven lems to the EPA but had been
wind turbines in the Freedom Tower will generate some 10% of the electricity the advised by WASA to respect the
building requires. chain of command and “be more
patient.”
Large diesel engines involved in the construction effort will be fitted
with special filters and use low-sulfur fuel. This has led to a new law mandating After 5 controversial years as head of
the same for all New York City public construction. Developers are encouraged Florida’s Department of Environ-
to reuse materials already on site, recycled materials, and products made from mental Conservation, David
renewable resources. Half of the waste wood, cardboard and metal generated Struhs stepped down to accept a
during construction will be recycled. Construction crews will be encouraged to top job with International Paper.
use corn oil rather than petroleum products to keep concrete from sticking to its This, snorted Mark Ferrulo of the
forms. Florida Public Interest Research
Group, was a “natural career move”
The guidelines, an appendix to the environmental impact statement for for him.
the project, set a new standard for the city. Said Ashok Gupta, director of the
Natural Resources Defense Council’s air and energy program and an advisor Awards
to the group that drew them up: “These buildings should be the best that can be
built.” Although individual buildings in New York and other cities have been built The sprightly Elizabeth River
according to exacting environmental standards, such green goals have never Project, launched 11 years ago
been applied to a project of this size. It is expected that the guidelines will add around a kitchen table and subse-
roughly $10.3 million to the cost. Energy savings will eventually recoup this quently an often-praised champion
amount. of anti-pollution efforts in the
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Norfolk, VA area, announced its
latest round of “River Star” awards
for “exceptional pollution preven-
tion.” Surprise winners were Publications
Mitsubishi Chemical, Giant
Cement of Virginia, and a national a Land Conservation Financing (Island Press 2003) shows public
Superfund site: the Norfolk Naval officials and interested citizens ways that US communities have successfully
Shipyard. This latter was cited for campaigned for ballot measures to protect open space. The dynamics of private
converting an old landfill of paint foundation involvement are also reviewed. Among the model land conservation
chips and grit into a “wildlife mecca.” efforts that authors Mike McQueen and Ed McMahon showcase are ones on
www.elizabethriver.org Cape Cod, MA and in Jacksonville, FL.

A “Best of 2003” award from the a An article of faith at the Island Resources Foundation (IRF), it says in
nonprofit Maine Rivers organization its 2003 annual report, is that “information is the key to informed decision
went to the Sebasticook, a tributary making about the environment.” Accordingly, the organization moderates more
of the Kennebec. The award honors than 30 electronic discussion groups on topics ranging from Caribbean
a three-pronged effort to remove a biodiversity to erosion control and coral reefs. Full information about the
dam, build a fishway, and construct a e-groups is on the website of IRF, which has three decades of experience in the
“river walk” through the town of region. www.irf.org
Newport. A “worst” citation goes to
the West Winterport Dam across the a Heal the Ocean (New Society Publishers 2003) is the latest in a series
northern branch of the Marsh of useful books about protecting the world’s ocean and coastal environments.
Stream, still in place after a three Author Rod Fujita, Oakland, CA based senior scientist for the nonprofit Envi-
year struggle to remove it and ronmental Defense, offers a series of success stories about protecting coast-
enable migrating Atlantic salmon to lines, educating people, and building constituencies. While many examples
spawn upstream. He’ll win eventu- come from the US Pacific coast where he works, the Atlantic coastal reader will
ally, says attorney and Facilitators find them enlightening and good reading.
Improving Salmonid Habitat (and
Maine Rivers) president Bill a For 18 years the Coastal Resources Management Program at the Uni-
Townsend. But a recent court order versity of Rhode Island and the US Agency for International Development
organized by town officials stops have partnered on coastal management efforts in many parts of the world. Case
progress any time soon. studies in the new volume Crafting Coastal Governance in a Changing
www.mainerivers.org World and an accompanying CD offer many useful examples for Caribbean
coastal managers. www.crc.uri.edu
Species & Habitats

In 2003 the bald eagle population in


the Chesapeake Bay watershed grew
Turtle Loophole in Trinidad
to 760 occupied nests–a tenfold
increase since bay-wide counting The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, a leading destination for
began in 1977. Though DDT almost eco-tourists, has signed all major international treaties forbidding the hunting
wiped out the Bay’s eagles, say and trade of endangered sea turtles. The country’s Conservation of Wildlife Law
Chesapeake Bay Program scien- prohibits the hunting of any “mammal, bird, or reptile.”
tists, they have done well since the
chemical was banned and Endan- But because courts have interpreted this law to apply to land reptiles
gered Species Act protections put in only, and because the local Fisheries Act prohibits sea turtle hunting only
place. The watershed also provides between March 1 and September 30, fishermen are legally able for the rest of
an excellent habitat for bald eagles. the year to do as they wish with the 5 species of sea turtles that use local waters
They choose mature trees near open and beaches. As a practical matter, because of the legal confusion, they enjoy a
water. year-round open season.

Brown pelicans have in recent years Recent surveys by the non-governmental organization Save Our Sea-
extended their U.S. Atlantic coastal Turtles” (SOS) Tobago have revealed evidence of increasing slaughters of
range as far northward an New several species on nesting beaches. Last July, reports Trinidad’s Sunday Express,
Jersey, but most return to the the group found the corpses of ten scarce leatherbacks on one single beach.
southeast to overwinter in the Mesh netting on green turtle foraging grounds occurs regularly, the group says,
warmer weather they prefer. During and there are active local markets for sea turtle meat, eggs, and shell.
the January cold snap, wildlife
rehabilitators found numerous A committee formed to improve fisheries management legislation may
waterlogged and shivering pelicans take years to complete its work, the paper added. Asked why the one-sentence
off the Virginia coast. Many, suffer- turtle loophole could not be closed immediately, deputy fisheries director
ing from frostbitten feet, died of Christine Chan-A-Sing replied that there were “considerations.” She did not
exposure. Lisa Barlow of Wildlife reveal what they were.
5
Response has rescued 15 injured
birds and will keep them indoors
until the weather warms up.
Courts & The Seashore “They’re doing pretty good so far,”
she reports.
In South Carolina, following a U. S Supreme Court decision three
years ago, thousands of acres of isolated wetlands, those cut off from rivers and Yet another hazard to marine life is
other waterways, have been developed with little government oversight. How- the abandoned or “ghost” fishing
ever the board of the state’s Department of Health and Environmental net, 500 or more yards in length and
Control (DHEC) recently approved regulations which require developers to stretching from the surface to the
obtain permits before filling as many as 500,000 acres of these wetlands within seafloor. Recently a local fisherman
the state. Business groups vowed to fight the regulations in the General Assem- reported one such net near Six Mile
bly where lawmakers have been reluctant to pass tighter rules. But Elizabeth Reef east of Port St. Lucie, FL. Coast
Hagood, the head of the board, said isolated wetlands have both environmental Guard and local authorities, as well
and business benefits because they enhance residents’ quality of life while as volunteer divers and commercial
controlling flooding. fishermen, managed to remove the
bulky net, which was designed to
A Georgia court, meanwhile, has raised the bar for marshland develop- catch coastal sharks. Trapped inside
ment. For several years, Emerald Pointe LLC has sought to build high-end it were up to 1,000 dead sharks and
homes on three marsh hammocks near Savannah, and permitting to build three fish, as well as one large loggerhead
bridges from them to the mainland. Twice the Southern Environmental Law turtle.
Center (SELC) has legally challenged the bridge permit that the state issued on
the grounds that only the environmental impact of the bridges, rather than that Researchers hope that introducing
of the entire development, had been reviewed. Recently Judge Constance the Asian oyster species Cassotrea
Russell of the Fulton County Superior Court sided with the plaintiff, remanding ariakensis will revive the Chesapeake
the case to the state’s Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee. Her instruc- Bay’s moribund oyster fishery. These
tions, wrote Chris DeScherer, SELC staff attorney, are for that committee “to hopes were dealt a severe blow late
consider whether the project ‘in its entirely’ will harm the public interest by last year when a mystery parasite
unreasonably degrading the marsh resources.” called Bonamia attacked and killed
large numbers of Asian oysters
Automobiles contain light switches that contain mercury. In 2002 the experimentally planted in Bogue
state of Maine, which has some 1.3 million registered cars containing about Sound, NC. The Asian oyster is also
2,300 pounds of mercury, passed a law requiring automakers to pay to prevent susceptible to parasites deadly to
mercury pollution occurring “when recycling and disposing of motor vehicles.” native Bay oysters. Recently,
It was, says the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRC), the nation’s first however, investigator Charles
such state law. Now, in response to a suit filed by the Alliance of Automobile Peterson of the Institute of Marine
Manufacturers arguing that the law should be overturned, federal Judge John Sciences at the University of North
Woodcock upheld a lower court’s rejection of all arguments advanced by the Carolina, brought good tidings.
Alliance and recommendation that the statute remain in force. “A total win for While the Bonomia infected Asian
the health of Maine people and our environment,” crowed NRC staff attorney oysters in high-salinity areas, it was
Jon Hinck. powerless where lower salinity
approximates Chesapeake levels.

West Indies Program Expands “Cape Bretoners may shake their


heads in disbelief,” wrote the Halifax
Herald, “but it’s true.” A trout
In response to growing interest in natural resources management, the
fisherman working the headwaters of
need for environmental impact statements, and greater demand for people
Nova Scotia’s Margaree river hooked
trained in the field, reports the Barbados Advocate, the Barbados-based Centre
instead a small mouth bass, a
for Research and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at the University of
species never before seen on Cape
the West Indies (UWI) plans to expand both its courses of study and the
Breton Island. Scientists at last
geographical spread of its teaching facilities.
report remained uncertain as to how
it got there.
Since its debut in 1986, the program has evolved from 6 students
working toward a BA into offering a masters degree in natural resources man-
Another fish story from Norway
agement with options to specialize in coastal and marine resources and climate
recently reported that Stig Skaar,
change. Future choices will include specialization in solid waste, alternative
after landing a cod, could see that
energy, and water resources management. This academic year the program has
“something wasn’t right.” A filet
also expanded to the UWI campus in Jamaica, and in 2004-2005 it will be offered
knife revealed that the unusually
at the Trinidad campus.
long and skinny fish had swallowed a
Coca-Cola can intact, which blocked
In addition, CERMES conducts research and outreach to non-govern-
its intestinal cavity from digesting
mental organizations and to primary and secondary schools. www.uwichill.edu
real food.
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Restorations

Latest in a long list of dam removals


is the Embrey Dam across the
Organizations Mark Anniversaries
Rappahannock River near
Fredericksburg, VA, a blast that Celebrating its 20th anniversary is New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action.
attracted a cheering crowd. Scien- Formed as a coalition to oppose ocean dumping, the organization more recently
tists expect that numerous fish has become effectively involved in other issues across a spectrum from offshore
species including Atlantic shad will oil drilling to sand and gravel operations. With something else always coming
use the breach to swim upstream up, it seems unlikely that the organization will soon achieved the ultimate goal
and spawn, as have anadromous fish that Cynthia A. Zipf, executive director, stated in an Asbury Park Press inter-
in the aftermath of some 100 dam view: shut down.
removals since 1999. Wildlife
officials are expressing hope that In 1979, in response both to deteriorating conditions along US coastline
North Carolina’s Eno will soon also and the emergence of many new public and private efforts to address the issues,
become another freed-up Atlantic the Coast Alliance was formed with a mandate to “highlight and give greater
coastal river. focus to coastal problems.” Founders included environmentalists, representa-
tives of fishing interests, scientists, and concerned citizens. Some 600 individu-
als and organizations are currently members.
Reports
During its lifetime the Alliance has published newsletters and several
Up to 68% of the fish in the major reports, held many conferences and workshops, launched a website, and
Anacostia River have cancerous liver worked to defend and improve such key pieces of federal legislation as the
tumors, says the US Fish and Coastal Zone Management Act and the Coastal Barrier Resources System.
Wildlife Service. These findings,
echoing those of a similar study The Washington-based organization’s current director, Dawn Hamilton,
conducted in 1996, are the highest sees findings presented in the recent Pew Oceans Commission report and the
ever recorded in a US river and upcoming report from the United States Oceans Commission as new
confirm the Anacostia’s status as the evidence to engage people and legislators in pursuing “what we must do.”
nation’s most polluted. The causes: www.coastalliance.org; www..cleanoceanaction.org.
motor vehicle exhaust and polluted
runoff. www.fws.gov

“Wet” was the operative word for New Marine Reserve in Puerto Rico
2003 conditions in the Potomac River
basin, reports the interstate commis- Recently Puerto Rico’s Governor Sila M. Calderon Serra signed a bill
sion charged with its protection. declaring the Tres Palmas area of Rincon as a marine reserve and allocating
Rainfall as measured in Washington, $100,000 to the preparation of a management plan for it. Tres Palmas boasts
DC was 60.84 inches, just short of the beautiful beaches once slated for resort development, and supports one of the
record 61.33 inches set in 1889 and last healthy populations of elkhorn coral in the Caribbean.
relative to an average 39.25 inches.
It was another good year for striped Three years of pressure from local activists and the Surfrider Founda-
bass and American shad, said the tion short-circuited the development plans and led to the move for the region’s
commission. It also confirmed other permanent protection. Along the way, the group collected over 42,000 signa-
reports of the oyster crisis, a very tures in support of the campaign. www.surfrider.org
low blue crab catch, and reduced
submerged plant biomass.
www.potomacriver.org Windpower Benefits Marine Life
After careful research on the effects
of rural downzoning in four Maryland Since last July, biologists have studied the effects of power plants
counties, a Maryland Center for anchored of the southeastern coast of Sweden. For those interested in offshore
Agro-Ecology team headed by windpower along the US Atlantic coast, the results are heartening.
former Department of Natural
Resources secretary Sarah Taylor- Sweden has approximately 20 windmills in operation along its coastline
Rogers came out with surprising and on land. The scientists report that fish and mollusks have made the struc-
results. Land values in counties that tures’ concrete platforms a home and have created thriving new ecosystems.
had reduced the allowable number
of houses to as few as 1 per 30 acres “It’s almost like an artificial reef”, said Marcus Oehberg, a marine
remained the same or higher than in biologist from Stockholm University. “We’ve seen that it encourages more
comparable counties allowing higher species and that it creates a living environment that wasn’t there before.” He
rural densities. At the outset, admits also said that putting the windmills off the coast reduces complaints from
Taylor-Rogers, she did not believe residents on land with concerns about their views.
7
that the study would come out as it
did. www.agroecol.umd.edu

Beaches Starved, Continued from p. 1 Products

The Edisto Beach scenario applies as well to many volatile stretches of A little known byproduct of the
the Carolinas coastline. At Charleston, NOAA reports, the sealevel continues its recent congressional passage of the
rise–10 inches in the last 80 years. With land subsiding in some places as well, huge “omnibus” spending bill:
the situation promises only to get worse. And while state funds for nourishment seafood labeling at the supermarket
are becoming harder to get, the federal government is also increasingly unwill- will be compulsory as of October 1.
ing to help local communities maintain previously nourished beaches. The appropriate label, stamp, mark,
or placard–on the package or dis-
North Carolina’s projects of this sort get virtually no federal funding in played at the final point of sale–will
the FY 2005 Bush budget, which the American Shore and Beach Preserva- state when the food was caught,
tion Association calls “the worst beach nourishment budget ever offered by where it was processed, and whether
any administration in history.” Geologist Orrin H. Pilkey of the Program for the it is wild or farmed. Consumer
Study of Developed Shorelines at Duke University, a veteran foe of nourish- advocates are thrilled, fishmongers
ment efforts, would call it the best. www.scseagrant.org less so.

Funding
Saved from Icy Death
“Protect our Reefs,” says a new
Lobsterman Adam Clattenburg was pulled to safety last month after a specialty license plate in Florida. The
harrowing experience in frigid waters off Port Medway, Nova Scotia. As the last premium a buyer pays for such a
of the day’s traps were being set at sunset, reported the Halifax Chronicle- plate, newly available this year, goes
Herald, his wrist became wrapped in a tangle of rope he was attempting to to reef protection programs.
straighten, yanking him over the side. Skipper Mike Muise circled and threw Florida’s reef plate is the 13th in the
him a life ring but also managed to swing the boat’s hull over Clattenburg. state’s wildlife protection list that
also includes plates devoted to sea
After he emerged on the other side, Muise and passenger Colin turtles, manatees, and the number 1
MacNeil struggled to hoist the 230-pound Clattenburg and his 100 pounds of seller: the very endangered Florida
wet clothing back aboard. As his arms came across the boat’s railing panther. Reef Relief, the Mote
Clattenburg’s strength failed, nearly pulling the others in with him. Muise got a Marine Lab in Sarasota, and
line from the pot hauler around his wrist but MacNeil inadvertently put the boat Philippe Cousteau (grandson of
into full forward throttle, dragging Clattenburg along in the wake gasping for air. Jacques Cousteau) all worked hard
to bring the coral reef plate into
Brought aboard with the hauler, Clattenburg reported that he “lay on being.
deck like a dead fish” unable even to crawl. MacNeil got him into dry clothes.
Later he managed to put on a survival suit that warmed him until, 45 minutes Connecticut illustrates the power of
later, he arrived near death at a hospital. Discharged at 1a.m., Clattenburg specialty license plate programs. As
headed out again to haul the rest of his traps. of the end of 2003, the state had sold
122,557 Long Island Sound plates,
generating $4.6 million in funds to
support projects that help the Sound
Alternative Power Gains Ground and provide public access to it.

The Office of Greenways & Trails in Florida’s Department of Environ- In January Interior Secretary Gale
mental Protection is breaking new ground in the use of green fuels for its Norton announced 79 grants
vehicles. Recently the office adapted 7 of its heavy-duty trucks, which travel 300 totaling $14 million to 60 Native
miles a day, to use biodiesel, made from used vegetable oil, fats, and grease. American groups under the new
Tribal Landowner Incentive and Tribal
Barbados, by using solar-powered water heaters in homes and public Wildlife Grant programs. Recipients
buildings, is saving $2 million a month. Energy minister Anthony Wood, in a of awards for research and protec-
recent speech, also noted savings achieved through water heater tax incentives, tion projects included the
and the government’s continuing search for renewable energy from wind or the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
sugar cane residue called bagasse. (CT); the Arostook Band of MicMacs,
the Houlton Band of Maliseet
A small windmill and sunlight now provide electricity for the North Light Indians, the Passamaquoddy Tribe,
on Block Island, NY, and heat the building as well. An 80% reduction in usage of and the Penobscot Nation (ME); the
the light’s cranky old generator is expected, as well as a cut of 10 to 15% in Cherokee Eastern Band (NC); and the
heating oil consumption. Boston Light and Rhode Island’s Rose Island Light- Catawba Indian Nation (SC).
house are among other lighthouses using windpower. news.fwsa.gov
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 to support Atlantic CoastWatch are urgently needed.

The University of the


Virgin Islands, which has
2004 Environmental Film Festival in the
campuses in St. Thomas and Nation’s Capital
in St. Croix, has received a
four year National Science
The 12th annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, an event
Foundation grant of $4.5
that functions under the Sustainable Development Institute’s nonprofit auspices, will
million to conduct research
take place from March 18-28 at venues around Washington DC. Films of special
on Caribbean coral reefs.
interest to those concerned with the rivers, coasts, and oceans:
One leading goal: to see
whether protections recently
Turtle World, 3/18 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
put in place actually work.
Captains Courageous, 3/19 at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Another: the establishment
Microcosmos and Winged Migration, 3/20 at the National Geographic Society
at the university of a gradu-
The making of Finding Nemo, 3/21 at the National Museum of Natural History
ate program in marine
Burma’s Forbidden Islands, 3/23 at the National Geographic Society
science. www.uvi.edu
Lords of the Arctic, 3/23 at the National Geographic Society
Dolphins, 3/23 at the National Museum of Natural History
With a grant of $120,000, the
Empty Oceans, Empty Nets, 3/24, American University
Maine Technology Insti-
Spawn of the North, 3/24, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
tute has become the lead
Inheritance: a Fisherman’s Story, 3/25, American University
funder for a Chewonki
Coiba: Savage Paradise, 3/26, National Museum of Natural History
Foundation demonstration
The Yunnan Great Rivers Expedition, 3/26, Woodrow Wilson Center
project to develop renewable
Extreme Engineering: Holland’s Barriers to the Sea, 3/26, Netherlands Embassy
energy systems using
The Anacostia–Restoring the People’s River, 3/27, National Building Museum
hydrogen generators. The
America’s Deadliest Storm: Galveston Island, 1900, 3/27, National Museum of
system, to be installed at
American History
Chewonki’s Center for
The Great Adventure, 3/27, National Museum of American History
Environmental Energy
Flip-Flotsam, 3/28, National Museum of Natural History
building in Wiscasset, will
Deadly Sounds in the Silent World, 3/28, National Museum of Natural History
provide four days of power
My Halcyon River, 3/28, National Museum of Natural History
backup if the power grid
fails. www.chewonki.org
Full details at www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org