Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bunker in the Bay, "Long Island Sound," Endangered Species, and Modern Houses

Bunker, Mossbunker, Menhaden ... Big numbers of menhaden have made their way up Narragansett Bay to the Providence River in recent weeks. This has prompted the Baykeeper, John Torgan, to call for a commercial fishing ban:

The commercial seining of menhaden in Narragansett Bay for bait is controversial. Many recreational fishermen object to the presence of the large seine boats all the way up into the city of Providence, scattering if not decimating the schools and ruining the fishing. Many recreational fishers also object to the sight of bycatch such as striped bass and bluefish in the seine nets. Some commercial fishermen, some lobstermen, and the management agencies claim that there is no Bay-dependent stock, that they are not being overfished, and that the seiners support recreational fishing through bait shops.

Whether these seine boats are significantly depleting the Bay's populations is a matter of debate, but it seems reasonable that we should draw a line somewhere to limit the scope of the commercial netting even if just to protect the recreational fishery. My opinion is that the seiners are overfishing the Bay's stocks already. Drawing a line from the Conimicut light to the Nayatt light and prohibiting commercial seining north of that line would be a great start toward conservation and effective management.

Let's Celebrate ... The DC Birding Blog notes that today is Endangered Species day. That reminds me that someone once clicked on my blog after Googling “recipe for bog turtle soup,” which I found rather alarming. Endangered Species day also got me thinking about the threatened or endangered species I’ve seen (some of these have been de-listed since I’ve seen them): bald eagle, peregrine falcon, least tern, roseate tern, piping plover, loggerhead turtle and Kemp’s ridley turtle (the last two were dead, one at Marshlands Conservancy and one in a freezer at the now-defunct Okeanos Ocean Research Center in Hampton Bays). Bog turtles are on my short list of the threatened or endangered species I most want to see.

The Sound ... There’s a sonnet called “Long Island Sound,” by Emma Lazarus, and a bebop song called “Long Island Sound” by Stan Getz. And now the Long Island Music Hall of Fame has its Long Island Sound Award, presented to … a DJ. I guess you have to be a Long Islander to have heard of him.

Directions to Modern Houses ... A fellow in Massachusetts sent me an e-mail late last night:

My wife and I have a modernist home near Boston that we soon will be renovating – working, we hope, with Toshiko Mori. We’re hoping to visit New Canaan later in the month (most likely on the 24th) simply to admire as many modernist homes as we can see from afar (without disturbing the owners). Collectively, your blog posts are the closest thing I can find to a guide to New Canaan’s modernist homes. We’re grateful for the pointers. Can you suggest other resources for locating these homes? If there isn’t such a resource, are you able to tell us which streets or parts of New Canaan would be good to visit?

We share your concern about not disturbing the owners of these homes . . . and we share your love of them and desire to see them. We regularly see people slowly driving by our place (which is on Moose Hill Parkway in Sharon, MA, and was the family home of an MIT trained architect, John Newell, who knew and was influenced by Gropius).

That wasn’t the first time I’ve gotten a similar request, and so I’m posting my answer. All you fans of modern houses take note:

Chichester Road offers some good views from the car; Laurel Road is good too but the views aren’t quite as clear. Edward Durrell Stone’s Celanese House and Philip Johnson’s Alice Ball house are near each other on Oenoke Ridge Road. The Hodgson House is on Ponus Ridge, across the street from the Glass House. There are a couple of interesting houses on Lambert Road and near the Silver Hill rehab center. And you can see the Gores Pavilion at Irwin Park. There are plenty of others too. Don’t trespass.


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