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Atlantic CoastWatch March-April, 2009

Major Films Debut

News For Coastal Advocates
Two important films on coasts and oceans made their debuts recently. A
Sea Change, a 90 minute documentary concentrating on the new and ominous
subject of ocean acidification, was directed by Barbara Ettinger and made in !
partnership with Sailors for the Sea. The film, enlivened by spectacular footage
from many sources as well as telling interviews with experts, is especially appro- Major Films Debut 1
priate for family audiences. Information at
Caribbean & Wastes 1
In Poisoned Waters, senior producer and veteran correspondent Hedrick
Smith conveys his own sense of outrage as he discovers the extent of pollution—
and the inadequacy of countermeasures—in the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sayings 2
Sound. Aired April 21 on PBS Frontline, the two-hour film was widely reviewed.
The Washington Post's reporter, complaining that estuarine problems are often Barging Biodiesel 3
barely visible and thus hard to photograph, nonetheless found in it moments of
"crackling journalism" about an important subject. Poisoned Waters' Washington, Conserving Cuba 3
DC preview featured one of the first public appearances by new EPA administrator
Lisa Jackson. “EPA is back on the job,” she said to a large and energized audience EPA Cracks Down 4
at the presentation.
Publications 4

Surprise Catch 4
Caribbean & Solid Wastes
Courts & The Seashore 5
“Marine litter poses a vast and growing threat to the marine and coastal
environment” declares the International Maritime Organization, which has
Cape Wind Fur Flies 6
effectively outlawed dumping in many enclosed and thus vulnerable seas, such as
the Baltic and the Black and Red Seas. A ban was promulgated for the Caribbean in
1993, but it requires “governments to ensure adequate provision at all ports and Anti-Idling Regs 7
terminals for the reception of garbage." It has not been enforced as the islands do
not have the resources or the space to accommodate the waste. Woods Hole Consortium 8

It has been difficult for the islands to forge a common policy as they Bermuda’s Footprint 8
represent, or are represented by a variety of sovereignties. Their economies are
highly dependent on tourism, so they are reluctant to put in effect any restrictions Surf’s Up 8
or taxes that might discourage the docking and landing of the increasingly popular
cruise ships. It is also politically unpalatable to spend money to dispose of sewage
and garbage from “developed countries” suggests Christopher Corbin, an officer !
with the UN Environmental Programme, in an article in the Jamaica Observer.

As the restrictions stand now, ships are allowed to dump ground-up solid
waste (glass, paper, metals) within three miles of shore; food, ground up at 3
miles, not ground up at 12 miles; most anything (except plastic, explicitly forbid- People; Awards; Species &
den anywhere) at 25 miles. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has started installing Habitats; Restorations;
waste water treatment plants on their ships. The new Independence was the first Report Cards; Products;
one to be built with an AWP (Advanced Wastewater Purification) system, and they Funding
will gradually install them in their older ships. The solids are filtered out and put in Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
a holding tank for future disposal, while the water is purified so that it is safe to nonprofit newsletter for those con-
release overboard. According to a company spokesman, their food waste is cerned with environmentally sound
ground to less than 25 mm and then discharged at sea 12 miles from shore. development between the Gulf of
(Continued, Page 7) Maine and the eastern Caribbean.
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 13, No. 2 Blue Vision Field Notes
A project of the Sustainable (What follows is a summary version of notes on the recent Blue Vision Summit
Development Institute, which prepared and distriibuted by conference organizer David Helvarg, founder and
president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, and reprinted with his permission)
seeks to heighten the environ-
mental quality of economic Despite an economy diving faster than a startled seal, over 400 ocean and
development efforts, in coastal coastal leaders from around the nation still managed to descend on Washington
regions, by communicating D.C. for the Blue Vision Summit March 7-10. They represented 200 organizations
information about better policies and agencies ranging in size from a two-diver outfit working on removing aban-
and practices. SDI is classified as doned fishing nets off the sea bottom in California to the National Geographic
a 501(c)(3) organization, exempt Society, New England Aquarium and Google. What they shared was a common
from federal income tax. belief that, even amidst today’s financial and fossil-fuel fired meltdowns, the time
is right and critical for solving the cascading environmental threats to our public
Board of Directors
A healthy ocean, it was agreed, is essential to restoring our economy,
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chair
protecting our security and solving the climate crisis. And what better time to act,
Robert J. Geniesse, Chair Emeritus
than during the first hundred days of a new bodysurfing President?
Roger D. Stone, President
Dale K. Lipnick, Treasurer
The Summit’s first full session on the Ocean and Climate was led by
Gay P. Lord, Secretary
Oceana’s chief scientist Mike Hirshfield. California cabinet member Terry
Nelse L. Greenway
Tamminen warned that “we are powerful enough and have been foolish enough
David P. Hunt
to change the very chemistry of two thirds of our planet,” (through Ocean Acidifi-
Hassanali Mehran
cation) before insisting it’s not too late to turn the tide. “Let’s shape our future
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
before it shapes us,” he argued. “We can make a difference, and thereby inspire
the next generation.” Over the next several hours there were a number of impor-
tant breakout sessions. Our first full day ended with a Presentation on Seaweed
Success Stories. It was agreed that there are no “one size fits all solutions,” but
William H. Draper, III
that each coastal community is unique and has to work to make their own connec-
Gary Hartshorn
tions between coastal health and ocean protection and restoration.
Stephen P. Leatherman
Jerry R. Schubel
On Monday, March 9 we heard what could be the first rippling sound of a
Christopher Uhl
tidal shift in U.S. Ocean policy. Representing our Chief Executive was his Council
on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley. Sutley noted they’d had a busy first
6 weeks in office “with our economic challenge,” and that the administration has
committed $830 million to NOAA. She spoke of an environmental agenda includ-
Roger D. Stone, Editor
ing controlling climate emissions, a mercury treaty and “the numerous issues
Cathy Cooper, Contributing Editor
facing our ocean and coasts such as (climate linked) sea level rise, ocean acidifica-
Anita Herrick, Contributing Editor
tion, coastal adaptation and resiliency.” She also gave a nod to offshore energy
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
development and ocean governance issues. Given her background dealing with
southern California air quality and climate the ocean community will be looking to
Foundation Donors
new NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco (finally confirmed by the Senate March
19) and Sutley aide Mike Boots, recently of SeaWeb, to help bring her up to speed
Avenir Foundation
on non-climate issues impacting our public seas including industrial overfishing,
The Fair Play Foundation
nutrient and plastic pollution and loss of coastal habitat.
The Madriver Foundation
The Marpat Foundation
Congressman Sam Farr reiterated how with 144 different agencies and
The Curtis and Edith Munson
aspects of the ocean divided up by federal bureaucracies we need his Ocean
Conservation, Education & National Strategy for the 21st Century (Oceans 21) Act
to create a common ecosystem-based approach to governance and funding for
the sea.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who’s married to a marine biologist, talked

about oceanic impacts from toxic waste, dead zones and the Pacific garbage gyre,
of hurricanes and climate-linked acidification and how the collapse of the ocean
food chain is a real and grievous threat. Whitehouse appears to be a good candi-
date to become the Senate’s new Ocean Champion just as Claiborne Pell, another
Rhode Island Senator, was in the 1970s.
(Continued, Page 7)

Barging Biodiesel Michael J. Bartlett, former director of

the New England Field Office, U.S.
A single Passaic River barge can move 630,000 gallons (15,000 barrels) of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is
biodiesel from Newark to the New York Harbor, keeping 100 trucks off the road now the president and chief executive
since a truck can carry about 6,500 gallons. Innovation Fuels got the barges going officer of New Hampshire Audubon.
after spending about $18 million to renovate a century-old petroleum storage In his most recent FWS assignment,
facility on the Passaic’s banks, noted the Bergen Record. The paper said that Bartlett worked on wetlands and
improvements in the renovated plant enable the company to handle 950,000 hydropower regulation, habitat
barrels of fuel a year instead of the previous 150,000 barrels. restoration, endangered species
recovery and natural resources
Other “green” features of the company’s use of barges to transport damage assessment at Superfund
biodiesel, the paper added, are that the fuel used has no sulfur and produces less sites and oil spills. Before that,
carbon dioxide and less particulate matter than regular diesel. Though severe Bartlett spent 17 years in the FWS
problems persist, Innovation’s barges are at work on a river where cleanup efforts Northeast Regional Office where he
to get rid of contaminants, including, dioxin, mercury, cadmium and PCBs (poly- was deputy assistant regional director
chlorinated biphenyls) are also making some headway. for ecological services.

J. Charles (Chuck) Fox, former vice

president, Chesapeake Bay Founda-
Conserving Cuba tion, EPA official, and secretary,
Maryland Department of Natural
President Obama’s order to permit family travel to Cuba and the sending Resources, is EPA’s Senior Advisor
of money to relatives, and to allow US telecommunication companies to provide on the Chesapeake Bay and the
phone service and satellite television, augurs a new era of more visitors and more Anacostia River. Currently, the bay’s
money for the island. Cruise ships and airplanes are on the way. Royal Caribbean, ecosystem “remains severely de-
the Miami-based cruise operator, is ready to sail the 90 miles to Cuba, Reuters graded,” Fox noted in a comment on
noted. There will be an “explosion” of new charter flights, and more commercial the Chesapeake Bay Program’s
flights could follow, according to The Washington Post. finding that the bay is at only 38
percent of its desired health, the
An under-studied aspect ot the anticipated political and economic shift is Capital News Service said. He termed
what will be the consequences for a Cuban environment that remains rich in this level of success to be “unaccept-
biodiversity both on land and offshore, where reefs remain in generally better able.” In an even more scathing
condition than those in Florida and around many neighbor islands, when the new reckoning, the Chesapeake Bay
tsunami of development comes ashore. David E. Guggenheim, president, 1 Planet, Foundation awarded the bay only a D,
1 Ocean and senior fellow, Ocean Foundation, observed that presently, “the or 28% of potential quality, in its
backdrop is that 25% of the Cuban reefs are in protected areas.” annual State of the Bay report, calling
progress “pathetically slow.” Even
Current news flashes suggest a goodly measure of environmental with Overseer Fox on the job, predic-
concern. “The good news is that Cuba is taking the issue of protection seriously tions persist of slow death for the
and there are good regulations and restrictions in place to protect the marine Bay. But, said waterman Don Pierce
environment,” Guggenheim said. Cuba was recognized for supporting the Planet in a Larry King interview on CNN,
Earth Commission initiative to promote the study of earth sciences, particularly there remains a glimmer of hope:
for televised classes on those fields, Periodico 26 said. It also noted that Cubans, “Just give the Chesapeake Bay back
without foreign partners, are drilling a 5,000 meter oil well horizontallly rather her 1970 water quality, and we will
than vertically. When pumping it will gush out toward the ocean rather than have plenty of crabs, and plenty of
toward the Varadero tourist resort that had over one million tourists last year, oysters, and plenty of rockfish, and
Periodico 26 noted. we will have a good style of life
again, you know. If we could get our
Cuba was a significant part of the UNEP 2008 international campaign in regulators to work that out ... to
which countries planted over three billion trees. The island was fifth on the list for improve our water quality — the
planting 137,476,771 trees. Recycling scrap metal—306,347 metric tons last year— Chesapeake Bay could heal herself.”
had Cuba saving $95 million. Because the country lacks funds to produce basic
construction materials, recycled scrap metal was the only local source for these Awards
goods, according to Caribbean Net News: Cuba. This is but one of several robust
recycling programs: others involve paper, glass, and plastics. Winner of Duke University’s first
LEAF Award honoring artists for
Guggenheim concluded, “Cuba has the chance to become the eco- lifetime environmental achievement
tourism destination of the hemisphere if they play their cards right.” Cuba is in the fine arts is Robert Redford.
currently the only country on the globe to meet WWF’s criteria for sustainable
development, minimizing its ecological footprint while preserving a healthy
standard of living,” WWF-Canada found. Stay tuned.
The award, from Duke’s Nicholas
School of the Environment, recog-
nizes Redford as an actor, an environ-
mentalist and a director using the Publications
natural world as an integral character
in films. ! In its current issue, The Gulf of Maine Times’ editor Nancy Griffin warns
that this may be their last one on paper. They have been cutting back these past
two years, and had whittled down to two issues a year. The paper is a project of
Species & Habitats the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, and receives additional
support from NOAA. The paper does not publish advertisements, so is dependent
River otters (Lontra canadensis) have on outside grants and donations, which have been terribly reduced. Let us hope
returned to Long Island, NY. They that they will at least be able to continue providing their comprehensive and
were highly valued for their pelts by interesting content on the Web.
the early colonialists who decimated
their population. Farming and recent ! “The iconic power of Marjory Stoneman Douglas endures,” intoned the
more intense development have Miami Herald in its writeup of the first biography of that relentless defender of the
contributed to habitat loss, and it was Everglades, who worked until she was well over 100 to save them. The new book,
thought that they were gone. In the An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Envi-
past couple of years there have been ronmental Century (University of Georgia Press 2009) was written by the Univer-
sporadic sightings, which convinced sity of Florida history professor Jack E. Davis.
Mike Bottini, a wildlife biologist, to
raise funds for a survey which has ! Just out from Island Press is Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and
resulted in his report The Status and What to Do About It by Robert Glennon. The book, says its publisher, “tells the
Distribution of the River Otter on shocking stories of extravagance and waste that are sucking the nation dry”—and
Long Island, New York. He estimates not just in Arizona, where the author is a law professor.
that there are eight otters scattered
around the island, and he speculates
that they may have swum across the
Sound from the mainland. Whether EPA Cracks Down on Chickens
they will find each other to mate is
anyone’s guess. Agriculture is the single largest source of nutrient pollution degrading the
Chesapeake Bay, and within the category few do more harm than Maryland’s 800
Thanks to a new technology called poultry farmers. Unable to store vast quantites of manure in their barns, or use it
ocean acoustic waveguide remote all to fertilize their crops, they bulldoze large amounts of it into large mounds on
sensing, reports the New Scientist, their grounds. The super-rich nutrients then run off the Delmarva Peninsula into
researchers have discovered “mega- the bay, where they stimulate algal blooms, oxygen depletion, and “dead zones”
shoals” of millions of Atlantic herring where marine life can barely survive.
constituting “one of the largest
massings of animals on the planet.” For years Maryland’s Department of the Environment has struggled to
Why this nocturnal phenomenon regulate the state’s poultry industry in the face of heavy political opposition and
occurs remains unclear. But what is widespread noncompliance. Currently draft rules affecting some 200 of the largest
known, said oceanographer Nicholas producers are “on hold because of appeals filed both by farmers and environmen-
Makris, is that near sunset “some talists,” reported the Baltimore Sun. But now the EPA has entered the fray,
brave group will cluster, rise a little announcing its resolve to enforce an old rule requiring large-scale poultry farmers
off the bottom and start to horizon- or livestock operators to “get federal pollution permits if any manure from their
tally converge.” Then other fish join flocks is washing off their land into drainage ditches and streams.”Affected
in and the massive shoal “saunters” chicken farmers are calling the new pressures hooey and complaining of the red
toward shallower waters where tape required to achieve compliance. Scott Edwards of the Waterkeeper Alliance
herring breed. welcomes the new federal stance. “To me it’s a no-brainer,” he told the paper.
“You shouldn’t be dumping your manure within a few feet of a ditch or gully that
Delaware sits on the divide between will carry it to a waterway. They should never have been able to do that.”
the North and the South in terms of
climate. With a foot in each camp, for
its small size the state enjoys a rich
range of flora and fauna. Its southern Surprise Catch Down Island
and eastern parts have higher
humidity and a longer growing In Barbados, Captain Tyrone Prescod was catching flying fish, a local
season than the western part, which delicacy, when a black,1,000 pound whale got caught in his net and drowned. The
is in the Piedmont and more akin to captain brought the animal ashore to be inspected and the “necessary precau-
Pennsylvania, with harsher winters. tions” taken since Bajans do not eat whale meat. On nearby St. Vincent the “black
The global warming trend, which has fish” would have fetched EC$3,000 at the dock, Vincentian Isand Hinds, who lives
already been evident during the past in Barbados, told the Nation-News. “ I just real sorry I’m not the one who caught
century, is predicted to accelerate it. Bajans don’t know good meat. We would cut her up, clean off the fat and roast
during the next one and will likely it. Black fish is money in Vincie and it taste just like beef.”
bring about a northward shift of
Delaware’s transition zone, forcing
out some northern plants and
Courts & The Seashore animals. Whether they will have the
time to adapt is a concern, as the
! Federal regulation of mercury from power plants is on the way to forcing change may not be so gradual. Since
the use of “maximum achievable control technology,” a Clean Air Act require- species are often interdependent, the
ment, and away from the EPA’s more lenient cap-and-trade system. With this failure of one will affect others.
major shift, “They’re probably going to have to remove 90% of the mercury from
stacks,” declared Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Chapter, Sierra Club, Restorations
quoted in the Star-Ledger. The Bush administration’s plan to allow utilities to buy
emission credits instead of reducing emissions violated the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Rewind to 1999, when the develop-
Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, had ruled. The Supreme Court declined to ment company EnCap resolved to
hear an appeal of that decision, filed by electric utility companies. buld a golf course on New Jersey
Meadowlands landfill alongside the
! Fly ash suspected of contaminating drinking water has prompted a12- New Jersey Turnpike. Then came
count lawsuit for over $1 billion filed by nearly 400 Chesapeake, VA, residents plans to add a second golf course,
living near Battlefield Golf Course where 1.5 million tons of the ash from Domin- 2,600 housing units and a hotel. For a
ion Virginia Power was used for contours, reported the Virginian-Pilot. The suit, while the $1 billion project appeared
filed in the Chesapeake Circuit Court, named three defendants: the power com- to be a model for brownfields
pany, CPM Virginia LLC, course developer, and VFL Technology Corp., the power redevelopment. But then things
company’s coal ash management consultant. soured and EnCap filed for bank-
ruptcy, leaving open the question of
! The compromise solution for Maine’s Sears Island decreed by Governor what would happen to the uncapped,
John E. Baldacci in January appears not to have satisfied many of the concerned contaminated landfills that the
groups. On the contrary, judging from comments posted on the web, it has fired company had planned to clean up.
them up. The governor’s executive order had in effect divided the island into 2/3 Attention then turned to the state’s
for conservation easement and 1/3 for port development. There are now three $148.5 million insurance policy with
lawsuits questioning the legality of the decision making. In addition, in letters to AIG for the project. When AIG balked,
the US Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that will be reviewing the Maine reported the Star-Ledger, Governor
Department of Transportation’s current plan, both EPA and PEER (Public Employ- Jon Corzine played hardball, “draft-
ees for Environmental Responsibility) have stated that “the development of the ing a directive that would have
port undercuts any supposed environmental benefits.” blocked all state agencies and
independent commissions from
! The Narragansett Indian Tribe lost its protracted struggle for control of 31 doing any future business with AIG.”
acres in Charlestown, RI. The decision was handed down by the US. Supreme The insurer immediately backed
Court. At issue was the fact that the Narragansetts had gained federal recognition down and promised to pay up;
only in 1983 and they were therefore not under federal jurisdiction when the cleanup is expected to begin soon.
Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934. Thus the Interior Department While no one expects a revival of the
lacked the authority to place the land in trust for the tribe, as it had in 1998. Had EnCap vision, at least there is the
the land remained in trust, it would have been under federal and tribal control and promise of a cleaned-up, strategically
would not have been subject to state and local laws. The tribe would then have located, 780-acre site. Local officials
been able to sell things without state tax and build casinos without local approval. crowed.
! Overruling environmentalist arguments that EPA lacks authority to For years, as the Chesapeake Bay’s
“decide that fish aren’t worth a certain amount of cost,” the Supreme Court ruled oyster havest plummeted to near zero
that the agency can weigh costs and benefits under some portions of the Clean as a result of overharvesting, para-
Water Act. In the case in question, Entergy Corp. vs. Riverkeeper, Inc., the Court sites, and pollution, hope remained in
by a 5-4 vote held that the agency, in regulating existing power plants using some quarters that an Asian species,
natural water to cool facilities, could weigh the benefits of fish conservation Crassotrea ariakensis, could be
against the costs of compliance with stiff water cooling tower requirements. The successfully introduced. Oyster eaters
ruling means that new water cooling towers may not be required at the Indian would benefit and so would the Bay,
Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson. via oysters’ much-heralded filtering
capabilites. Opponents warned of
what one study called the “unknown
With Appreciation and unintended consequences” of
We extend special thanks to Hart Fessenden and Roger W. Sant for major dona- introducing an exotic species. $17
tions recently received, and warm appreciation to these other recent donors: million was spent on carefully
controlled scientific studies of the
Sally Barlow Ittman Edith N. Schafer
Dorothy Miller Clyde E. Shorey, Jr.
question. At the end of the day,
William and Louisa Newlin Mr. and Mrs. Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff caution prevailed this spring when
Cecilia V. Nobel The Hon. and Mrs. Timothy E. Wirth Maryland, Virginia and federal
Pfizer Foundation Matching Gifts Program agencies jointly announced their
decision not to let the Asian animal
get a Chesapeake foothold. Limited
experiments may continue, but major
restoration efforts will focus on the Cape Wind Fur Flies
familiar, still hard pressed native
oyster species.
As predicted by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, lawsuits have sprung up as
a result of the federal Minerals Management Service’s favorable Final Environ-
Report Cards mental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Cape Wind LLC’s proposed complex of 130
wind turbines in Nantucket Sound (Atlantic CoastWatch, Jan-Feb. 2009).
Florida earned an overall grade of C
for 2007 and 2008 coast and ocean The Cape Cod Town of Barnstable and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket
environmental progress in eight Sound have both filed suits challenging the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone
specific categories. The grades were Management‘s finding that the project meets state requirements for activities in
given by the Florida Coastal and federal waters. These suits also hold that the CZM has violated state law by failing
Ocean Coalition in its Policy Report to consult with the Cape Cod Commission and not deferring its ruling until all
Card that assessed how the state had permits required for the project have been issued. In a March 12 letter to the
done in meeting the recommenda- Commission, CZM director Deerin Babb-Brott wrote that, while public notice of his
tions in the Coalition’s 2006 report, agency’s review appeared to meet legal requirements, he was sending his
Florida’s Coastal and Ocean Future: A agency’s federal consistency certification to the CCC ”in an excess of caution” in
Blueprint for Economic and Environ- response to challenges in the lawsuits. The Commission, after further hearings,
mental Leadership. The Card had has now replied with a letter citing a great many objections.
seven authorizing organizations. One
was the The Ocean Conservancy. Its In addition the Commission recently filed motions claiming that the
regional director, David White, state’s Energy Facilities Siting Board, which recently granted a Certificate of
commented, ”Florida is still using Environmental Impact and Public Interest (effectively combining nine state and
19th Century management tools to local permits), lacks jurisdiction to overturn the 2007 CCC denial of the burying of
address 21st Century resource electrical cables on state land. The Commission also contends that the Siting
problems and lags behind other Board cannot nullify a Barnstable County ordinance, and that the FAA’s public
coastal states in implementing notice and notice of presumed hazard should be reviewed by the Siting Board
proactive conservation strategies.” before a final determination is made. However that is all resolved, Cape Wind is
directed by the Siting Board to work with local authorities to develop conditions
There continues to be fluctuation in for town permits. In the event that the parties fail to reach agreement on condi-
the predicted amount of sea level rise tions, the Siting Board says it will set them. It expects to take a final vote granting
associated with global warming, but all state and local permits within 60 days.
between 2 and 3 feet by 2100 is a
frequently cited estimate. Scientists Advocacy organizations are still pitching in. The Cape Cod Times reported
also foresee regional variations that the prestigious Association to Preserve Cape Cod had informed its members
caused by ocean currents. The that ”We find the potential environmental effects on habitats and species from the
northeastern coast of the United proposed construction, operation, and decommissioning of this wind farm to be
States is very much affected by two acceptable.” The association’s letter also called for an independent scientific
fast moving currents, the North advisory board to watch over Cape Wind. In opposition, The Alliance to Protect
Atlantic current and the Gulf Stream. Nantucket Sound is reported by the National Journal to have spent $2 million on
As these currents slow because of federal lobbying efforts if one includes some $620,000 spent by William Koch, a
changes in the temperature of the board member, through his Oxbow Corporation.
ocean, there will be an extra rise in
the water level, with an added 8 Objection to what they view as desecration of Nantucket Sound by the
inches forecasted for the coast from project comes from the United South and Eastern Tribes. The Passenger Vessel
the mid-Atlantic to New England, as Association cites potential danger to passengers on Hy-Line Cruises. The Aircraft
reported by the Associated Press. Owners and Pilots Association remains concerned about flight safety in the area,
particularly since the FAA has not yet made a final determination on the wind-
Among this year’s ten most endan- mills’ effects on radar. And there is continuing opposition to Cape Wind from the
gered rivers, as tabulated this year by town of Barnstable.
American Rivers, are 3 from along the
Atlantic seaboard: Georgia’s Flint Chuck Kleekamp, vice president of Clean Power Now, countered oppo-
River, still flowing free for more than nents’ claims that Cape Wind would double consumers’ costs. As a result of how
200 miles, faces threats from lawmak- the electricity market is structured, wind power will always reduce the market
ers who want to bury 50 of those price both in the short term and over years, he said. He also noted that the FEIS
miles. Mattawoman Creek in Mary- indicated a price for Cape Wind’s electricity, of 12.3 cents/kilowatt-hour as com-
land, still healthy, stands to suffer pared to a current provider’s recent charge of 12.7 cents to residential customers.
from a highway development project.
And more than 500,000 people in Although Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has voiced a favorable opinion of
South Carolina face health threats wind power along the Atlantic littoral in general, he has not indicated how he will
from sewage dumped into act on the “record of decision” on the Cape Wind lease that is pending his
the Saluda River that jeopardizes
drinking water, depletes oxygen, and
kills fish and other aquatic life.
Caribbean & Solid Wastes, Continued from p.1 “Rivers are the arteries of our
infrastructure,” says American Rivers.
The other garbage is sorted so as to be recycled or incinerated and is “Flowing from highlands to the sea,
disposed of at approved sites. Other, smaller companies may not be able to afford they breathe life into ecosystems and
such careful precautions; so what has been put out at sea may in some measure communities.”
continue to foul the waters and wash up on the pristine beaches that bring the
tourists. Top spot in Forbes magazine’s 2009
ranking of “America’s Most Livable
The ships themselves are getting bigger and bigger. The Royal Cities” goes to laid-back Portland,
Caribbean’s 1112-ft, Independence , which recently docked in St, Thomas, is Maine for its “easygoing quality of
longer than the Queen Mary 2, But this vessel will soon be outdone by the same life,” low unemployment figures, high
company’s Oasis of the Seas, scheduled to launch this year, which will accommo- values on the leisure index—and the
date 5,400 passengers and 2,100 in crew. Enabling these ships to come into what quality of small-batch ales at Gritty
might once have been considered small harbors is the development of the McDuff’s Brewing Company. Also in
“Azipod”, a thruster propulsion system that gives a ship remarkable maneuver- the top ten, for US cities with popula-
ability. To accommodate these ships, the islands are scrambling to build bigger tions of 500,000 or more: Bethesda,
and longer docks. St. Thomas just finished work last year on a new 3,150ft. dock. MD, Stamford, CT, Cambridge, MA,
Even Saba (population 1500) is extending its pier, reports the Jamaica Observer. and Baltimore.

Blue Vision Field Notes, Continued from p.2 Becoming commonplace in Europe
but new in the US is the so-called
Whitehouse reminded everyone that Senator Barbara Boxer (D CA) has KOB wood pellet boiler built by
introduced the National Ocean Protection Act (NOPA), that works as a companion Veissman of Austria. It cleanly burns
piece to Sam Farr’s HR21 in the House. Of course more measurable progress has compressed sawdust and keeps
taken place at the State level than at the federal in recent (Bush) years as was emissions to a minimum with
explained by California Secretary of Natural Resources Mike Chrisman, New York assistance from a battery of sensors
Deputy Secretary of State George Stafford and Mass. Undersecretary for Oceans and motors. Recently Maine’s College
and Coasts Deerin Babb-Brott during a follow-up “State and Regional Initiatives,” of the Atlantic installed and fired up
panel moderated by NRDC’s Sarah Chasis. Mike Chrisman talked about the first KOB in the US to go opera-
California’s work establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (marine tional. It provides heat to 4 buildings
wilderness parks), the state’s Ocean Protection Council and a West Coast on the campus as cleanly as the
Governor’s Agreement on Ocean health even as he faces cutbacks from frozen cleanest gas burners. The burner’s
(conservation) bond dollars due to the state’s economic meltdown. George fuel comes in the form of compressed
Stafford explained how the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Act is sawdust pellets from a nearby
being implemented and efforts to determine how and where to site offshore sawmill.
renewable energy projects. Deerin Babb-Brott discussed his own state’s imple-
mentation of a trailblazing healthy oceans law. When asked how the feds can help Funding
the states it was suggested the Coastal Zone Management Act be reauthorized
and updated, federal support be given to state coastal preparedness for climate
The first GoMOOS (Gulf of Maine
impacts and adaptations. “And, It’d be good to have a national (ocean) policy”
Ocean Observing System) buoys
Deerin added. Despite economic hard times that made the trip to D.C. challenging
were deployed in 2001. The system
for many, the Blue Vision Summit demonstrated that there is a diverse and
was envisaged as a prototype for
powerful ocean constituency beginning to work for the restoration of a healthy
what could become a nationwide
ocean and the coastal communities that depend on it from sea to shining sea.
ocean observing system. Since then,
the buoys have been providing hourly
observations both on the surface
Anti-Idling Regs Pop Up (with measurements of wind, wave,
air and water temperatures, and fog)
Idling motor vehicles produce a large amount of carbon dioxide and other and below the surface (with measure-
gases, often unnecessarily. Currently, anti-idling regulations for motor vehicles ments of currents, salinity, turbidity,
are popping up all over. In Pennsylvania, for example, a new state-wide law etc.), invaluable information with
targets trucks specifically and limits their idling time to five minutes in any 60 many applications. Because of a
minute period. Truckers are upset. It is difficult for them to keep track of all the shortfall in funding, out of a total of
different regulations in the regions through which they travel. They are also eleven, three of the buoys have been
mandated by federal law to take driving breaks to be rested. Most of the trucks are removed. Two more are “at risk”.
dependent on the engine running for climate control; if their drivers have to Even with technology, passing
interrupt their rest in order to turn the engine on and off, it is counter productive. vessels face greater dangers from
They are pushing forward national rules. these losses.
Atlantic CoastWatch
Sustainable Development Institute
3121 South St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

Tel: (202) 338-1017

Fax: (202) 337-9639

Tax-deductible contributions for Atlantic CoastWatch are urgently needed.

Checks can be made payable to the Sustainable Development Institute.

Woods Hole Consortium Formed encourage small scale renewable technologies, such as
the installation of thermal and photovoltaic panels on
roofs, and micro wind turbines. Last year Belco set up a
Three prominent Cape Cod scientific institutions have subsidiary, PureNERGY Renewables, Ltd., to promote
formed an alliance to “bring their combined scientific power to small scale technologies to residents and businesses on
bear on some of the major issues facing society today.” The the island. According to Jason Smith, project manager,
members of the Woods Hole Consortium are the Woods Hole these are beginning to elicit interest.
Oceanographic Institution, the Woods Hole Marine Biological
Laboratory, and the Woods Hole Research Center. Though
each will retain its separate identity, the trio will work jointly in Surf’s Up
such critical fields as climate change research, oceans and
human health, and sustainable energy. Not coincidentally, the Out at Montauk, reported the New York Times,
heads of the organizations anticipate that the creation of the battle lines had long been drawn between surfers and
alliance will be good for fundraising and for “scientific growth surfcasting fishermen who thought they had exclusive
and job opportunity on the South Coast of Massachusetts.” rights to stretches of Montauk area beach in their quest
for striped bass, bluefish, and other prized species. With
Bermuda’s Dirty Footprint the North Bar area near the Montauk Point lighthouse also
famous for its curling waves, growing numbers of surfers
began to use it despite a full New York State ban on
Surprisingly, this non-industrial island ranks 15th in surfing in the region and prominently placed no-surfing
the world for its per capita carbon dioxide emission, producing signs. Now, after a period of trying to enforce the ban,
11 tons per person annually, according to the government’s state authorities have reached a sensible conclusion:
own Green Paper on Energy. The chief culprit appears to be share the space. Surfers have access from December 16
electricity production which relies on imported oil. Belco through March 31, the fishermen have the rest of the year.
(Bermuda Electric Light Company) has set itself the goal of
providing 20% of the island’s electricity through renewable At the Reach 8 beach near Palm Beach, FL, the
sources by 2020. But their web-site describes the difficulties of issue was whether an anti-erosion beach nourishment
building large scale renewable energy projects given the project using sand pumped from offshore would disrupt
constraints of an island. The lack of land mass would inhibit formations of reefs and sandbars that make for perfectly
construction of the wind farms or solar panel fields. These shaped surfing waves. Surfers thinking so took the Town
would have to be built off-shore, which would raise environ- of Palm Beach to court, arguing that the nourishment
mental and aesthetic issues. project would not work, wildlife such as sea turtles would
suffer, and everybody would lose. Administrative law
Ocean power - a logical solution for an island - does judge Robert E. Meale agreed, the New York Times said.
not yet have a commercially viable technology. In any of these He criticized its potential environmental effects and
cases, an offshore power source will require a collection and denounced as “worthless” some of the engineering
distribution center on the shore, which could cause disfigure- behind it. Coastal geologists, expressing exhilaration,
ment. For the near future, the best solution seems to be to noted that beach nourishment projects seldom face such