Conservation

Lobster Stocks Found Failing

Due to a combination of climate change creating warmer water conditions and continued pressure from fishing, lobster stocks in southern New England have been badly depleted, and a five-year moratorium is needed for recovery.

This is the recommendation of a technical panel for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in a report discussed last week.

“Overwhelming environmental and biological changes coupled with continued fishing greatly reduce the likelihood of southern New England stock rebuilding,” the report said.

The Value of Forestlands

It is by far the Island’s largest conservation property, more than five thousand acres spread across the Vineyard’s ample middle, spanning the towns of Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury and Edgartown. But as conservation properties go, the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is also largely unsung. It’s that vast swath of trees you drive by on the north side of the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. It’s the corner near the airport where Smoky the Bear reminds all who pass what the level of fire alert is today.

Conserving Lands Great and Small

Lloyd Raleigh is bent double , trying to negotiate his way through a dense thicket of catbriar in the moist wetands of Brookside Farm. As thorns entangle his jacket, a soup of leaf mold and sphagnum moss sucks his boots deeper into the mud.

“I kind of like this spot,” he says. “It tells us a lot about the land.”

Rick

Continuing the Cause to Protect Fragile Habitat

The local chapter of Ducks Unlimited, a conservation nonprofit dedicated to preserving habitat, hosted its 34th annual dinner last Saturday at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. And though turnout may have been the smallest in the organization’s long Island history, the group felt good about the evening, according to chairman Cliff Meehan.

Sustainable Fisheries

Two top fisheries research scientists from South America will deliver a talk on sustainability in small-scale fisheries at the Chilmark Public Library this coming Monday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Ana M. Parma and Jose Orensanz are research scientists working with the Argentine Council for Science and Technology and have both been chosen to participate in the prestigious Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation program.

Henry Beetle Hough Was Lighthouse Champion

Whether or not the con troversy over tearing down Henry Beetle Hough’s historic house is resolved, there is still a need for the Island to honor the memory of this conservation activist in a way commensurate with his role in preserving our lands, beaches and monuments. Adding his name to the official designation of the Edgartown Lighthouse, perhaps calling it the Henry Beetle Hough Memorial, would accomplish this. Without Henry Hough, there would be no Edgartown light, and generations would be unaware of the beauty and history we now all enjoy.

Shattered Peace on North Road

A series of wetlands violations in the town of Chilmark underpin drama which is the stuff of a daytime soap opera, complete with tangled relationships, trespassing orders and bitter class divisions.

A fiery public hearing at a recent meeting of the Chilmark conservation commission revealed more than one layer of problems at the Aerie, a mixed neighborhood of seasonal and year-round residents off North Road which has seen turmoil over prolonged construction projects and multiple environmental abuses.

lighthouse

Let Them Eat Cake at Long Point as Trustees Celebrate 100th Site

On Sept. 30 The Trustees of Reservations announced a significant milestone: the opening of its 100th reservation, Cormier Woods in Uxbridge. The opening celebration at the new reservation will take place on Oct. 18.

As well as a special celebration planned at Cormier Woods, including a ribbon cutting, ranger-led walks and live folk music, The Trustees will mark the 100th reservation with local celebrations around the state throughout the month of October.

Edey Foundation Award Conservation Grants

At its annual meeting last month, the Edey Foundation awarded $82,250 in grants for 2008 to organizations working for conservation on the Vineyard.

Island Land Bank Grows Sepiessa Point Holdings

The purchase of an 18.9-acre conservation restriction last week will expand the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank’s holdings at Sepiessa Point Reservation on the Tisbury Great Pond.

The land bank commission announced that it paid $654,500 for the restriction. The seller is Elizabeth Brown Bayer.

The property includes 2,180 feet of frontage on Tiah’s Cove, and is surrounded by the land bank’s 164-acre Sepiessa Point Reservation. Development on the property will be limited to a single building envelope around an existing home.

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