Thursday, November 16, 2006

Watching the Watchdogs and Reviving the Oysters

From Greenwich: Dan Lufkin, who received Audubon’s Environmental Leadership Award over the weekend in Greenwich, knows that the big problem facing the cleanup of Long Island Sound is not only the Connecticut General Assembly but the citizen activists who should be watching the General Assembly:

As helpful as federal spending might be, Mr. Lufkin also has his sights set on local laws. In 2005, he said, the state of Connecticut withdrew its funding for water cleanup, slashing the $50 million it spent each year between 1987 and 2003.

“We as citizens are at fault because we let them get away with it,” Mr. Lufkin said.

And from Clinton: Diseases (presumably Dermo and MSX) wiped out the oyster population of Clinton, Connecticut, in the 1990s. But after a few survivors were found, the town is trying to revive the oyster population:

Working over this past summer, and with the help of the state Bureau of Aquaculture, the commission has discovered healthy oysters in Clinton’s rivers, and believes those oysters may be a disease-resistant species that, with suitable water quality and proper management, can thrive.


Blogger Sam said...

THanks for the trip down memory lane, Tom. I used to live just up the hill from Petri's Dock on Commerce Street (Clinton, CT). Petri was there in the 1960's and probably for decades before. Three large mounds of oyster shell surrounded the front and sides, each over ten tons possibly. Presumably these shells were saved for planting oyster beds, as they require a hard surface for the spat to attach.

Three small rivers or streams contributed to Clinton Harbor: The Hammonasset, Indian, and Hammock. I suppose some oysters are coming back in these areas.

One interesting thing I recall, in addition to immense droves of horseshoe crabs, flounder, bluecrabs, ugly (but yummy) monkfish, and harbor bluefish, were the welks. Old man Petri always kept a bunch of them in a well under his floating dock, hundreds. I never saw anybody take any home to eat but I was fascinated by the welks, or conchs, and the old man let us play around with them.

To the west was the lobster shack and docks, having hundreds and hundreds of wooden lobster pots and a smell that could drive off the devil hisself. Barrels of rotten trash fish were salted down and oozing ominously. Those guys weren't as friendly but they never ran us off - but no playing with their "lobsta" in the live wells.

Ah, the life of a Swamp Yankee in the good old days!

12:06 PM  

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