Friday, September 30, 2011

Pelican in Greenwich

Matt Houskeeper (@soundbounder on Twitter) sent me this photo of the brown pelican in Greenwich. Here's what he said:

It was still hanging around yesterday, feasting on snapper blues.

Nice shot.

Giant Fish Blenders: A Report on How Power Plants Kill Marine Life

The Sierra Club released an informative and interesting report on power plants and their effect on marine life, called Giant Fish Blenders.

It's worth reading in light of Soundkeeper's recent announcement that the organization has received a challenge grant to help in the fight against Long Island Sound's power plants. The Sierra Club report includes a useful list of power plants and how many gallons of seawater a day they draw in and discharge. Click here.

Soundkeeper's Fight Against Power Plants Gets a Funding Boost

Soundkeeper Terry Backer will continue his work to stop power plants on Long Island Sound from killing millions of fish, thanks to a challenge grant that could yield a total of $75,000.

The announcement is here. You can contribute to Soundkeeper's power plant work here


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eating Black Walnuts

I've always liked it that black walnuts grow around here but I've never had a clue about what to do with them. A writer named Elizabeth Keyser, in Connecticut, harvested a bunch and is going to give it a try. But it takes time, not to mention work. Here's what she wrote, in the New Haven Advocate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sewage Spill in Beacon on the Hudson

Riverkeeper found a raw sewage discharge into Beacon Harbor, on the Hudson River, and put out a public notice because - incredibly enough -- there is no state law or Dutchess County law that requires public notification of a sewage spill. Details are here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pelicans in Long Island Sound

Matt Houskeeper was near the mouth of the Mianus River yesterday and managed to snap a photo of a brown pelican, which you can see on his Soundbounder blog, here.

Brown pelicans are hardly common but they also are far from unheard of on Long Island Sound. They breed further south but young birds often leave the nest and fly north to feed along the coast in late summer and early fall. Like ospreys, they were almost wiped out by DDT but have made a strong comeback.

Birders who report in to the Connecticut Ornithological Association have seen brown pelicans this month in Milford, Bridgeport, Fairfield, and New Haven, although how many individuals that represents is hard to know. The reports always refer to "a brown pelican" or "the brown pelican," so it might be just one bird.

In any case, great sighting, Matt!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Should New York Sell Tidal Land for a Private Development? Mamaroneck Residents Say No

Some residents of Mamaroneck are trying to convince their neighbors to write to New York State officials to prevent to sale of a half-acre of state-owned tidal land to the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club, which needs to land to build 23 new houses on its property.

The half-acre lies near the entrance of the Otter Creek Preserve, a tidal creek owned by The Nature Conservancy. As part of its application to build the 23 houses, the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club claimed that it owned the half-acre. But a title search showed that the land is owned by New York State.

Now the beach and yacht club wants to buy the land. One oddity: although it’s tidal land, it has been paved and used by the beach and yacht club for decades for parking.

Here’s the memo that’s circulating in Mamaroneck.

Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club (MB&YC) has applied to the NYS Office of General Services (OGS) to PURCHASE 0.58 acres of environmentally sensitive tidal wetlands from the State of New York directly abutting Otter Creek at the entrance to the Otter Creek Preserve, one of Westchester’s most extraordinary environmental resources and a designated “critical environmental area.” Comments on this proposed sale must be received by OGS on or before October 11, 2011.

MB&YC wants this public land for a real estate development of 23 “seasonal residences” which depends on MB&YC ownership of these public lands. After telling the public, the Village and the New York Supreme Court that it owned the Otter Creek parcel, MB&YC is faced with the fact that the State claims ownership for the benefit of the people of New York. If MB&YC cannot gain control of this land through purchase from OGS, its current plan cannot go forward because it does not comply with the Village’s Zoning Code. If you believe that the MB&YC’s plan is bad for the Village and that this sale would make a mockery of the Village’s LWRP, that it would totally undermine the Public Trust Doctrine as well as the essence of Coastal Zone Management Programs, you need to make YOUR voice heard by OGS.

Many believe that this issues also go to the core of the State’s obligations to protect the public’s natural resources held in “trust” for the public (Public Trust Doctrine) and the Federal as well as New York’s Coastal Zone Management Policies. We believe that MB&YC’s proposal to use this area as a parking lot serving a luxury residential development is NOT CONSISTENT with either the Public Trust Doctrine or Coastal Zone Policies and that there are far better alternatives available to OGS to restore and protect this critical area for and open it up to the public at large.

OGS should actively consider transferring responsibility for the Otter Creek parcel to either the State’s own Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation so that that agency could enter into a long-term management agreement with a responsible Non-Profit Organization to help protect this area and the adjacent Otter Creek Preserve.

In its application, MB&YC argues to OGS that the area has been a parking lot for over 80 years and that they have used if for over 40 years. However, a Ward Carpenter Survey from 1950 shows the area underwater at high tide. So the property appears to have been filled illegally. In 2009 MB&YC entered into a consent decree with DEC that imposed sanctions on MB&YC because of even more recent illegal filling on this very site as well as other illegal acts.

It is imperative that OGS hear from YOU, as a member of the public, that these lands should not be sold for use in a luxury residential development, but should remain in the Public Trust, be restored as tidal wetlands (and a protected entry to the Otter Creek Preserve) and be opened for public access to this historic intersection of tidal marshlands and Mamaroneck Harbor.

We ask you to send our comments to OGS by email or letter to:
Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito
NYS Office of General Services
41st Floor Corning Tower
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12242


All comments must be received on or before October 11, 2011. Please
also send copies of your letter or email or write directly to:

The Honorable Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is Help on the Way for Long Island Sound's Oyster Growers?

Following the back and forth the other day over the question of whether Connecticut's oyster growers are eligible for federal disaster aid for the damages they suffered because of Hurricane Irene, Brendan Smith of the Thimble Island Oyster Co. took to Twitter to explain what he knows and to propose an obvious solution, of not for now than for the future.

Here’s his thread. I added the words within the brackets to clarify his 140-character tweets:

[The issue is] bottom vs off-bottom growing. [I’ve been] told by farm bureau if the shellfish sit on the sea floor at any point, [it’s] not farming [according to] fed law

but if shellfish are grown in cages and/or suspended gear for their entire life cycle, then it's defined as farming.

[Regarding the unavailability of federal disaster aid, it’s] Fine if the answer is clear from the Feds, but i was told this was debated before and off-bottom was [defined] as "farming"

CT is another matter for historical reasons, deeming everyone farmers. Big q will be if farm bureau has it right or not...

{Representative Coutrney’s office,] call CT Farm Bureau. they say this been hashed out before, [they are] very knowledgeable about history of debate at USDA.

And if answer is still "no" from USDA - let's change the law! from every aspect I farm, [I] don't fish

Then in today's New London Day, there's a story about the Noank Oyster Cooperative, which has finally been allowed to sell oysters again. The Day reports that Connecticut's delegation in Washington is indeed trying to change the law to make shellfish growers eligible for disaster aid:

David Carey, head of the Aquaculture Division, said Thursday that some shellfish beds in Fairfield County and other parts of the state are still closed.

"Our goal is to get everything open as soon as we can," he said. "But we had a bunch of conditions we're not used to having."

His office, along with Connecticut SeaGrant, has been working on trying to obtain some assistance for the state's shellfishermen to help with their losses, he said.

On Thursday, an announcement came from the state's Senate delegation signaling that it may be easier to obtain help for the state's shellfishermen for future storm losses.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, both Democrats, introduced the Shellfish Equity Act. It would add shellfish to the list of crops eligible to be covered by disaster relief programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under current rules, they are not eligible.

The state's shellfish industry supports an estimated 300 jobs and generates $30 million in sales annually, Blumenthal's office said in a news release.

"Our shellfish industry - severely damaged by Irene - deserves and needs the assistance that all other farmers receive, so they can recover and rebuild," Blumenthal said. "This measure would treat shellfish farmers on par with other agriculture producers, and ensure that they have the same eligibility for emergency aid."

Lieberman noted that the state's shellfishing industry has long played an important part in the state's economy.

"It is heartbreaking that their crops were hit so hard by Hurricane Irene," he said. "We will work with our colleagues to enact this legislation as soon as possible."

If approved, shellfishermen would become eligible for two USDA disaster relief programs, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees & Farm-raised Fish program.


Maybe It's Time to Try Blue-Claw Crabs?

Regulators are still trying to figure out what to do about southern New England's lobsters, which are nowhere near as abundant as they used to be. The latest idea, discussed the other day among lobstermen and Connecticut officials, is to shut the Long Island Sound fishery down for a period of weeks or months every year, to reduce the number of lobsters caught by 10 percent. The New London Day reported:

The reduction is being sought because lobster populations in southern New England are significantly below what the fisheries commission considers a healthy level, and have been for the last 10 years or more. Lobster populations in Long Island Sound, coastal Rhode Island and southern coastal Massachusetts are estimated at 14.7 million adults, compared to the target level of 25.4 million adults....

There are about 130 active lobstermen in the state. A total of 460 hold commercial lobster permits, but many of those are inactive.

I have a couple of questions:

A 10 percent reduction from what?

How do they estimate how many adult lobsters are in that area and how do they come up with a "target level"?

Given the fact the water temperatures are rising in the area, which is at the extreme southern edge of the lobster's inshore range, and that lobsters are a cold-water species, and that lobsters have been dying and getting hit with diseases anyway, I can't imagine that any of it will work. But I guess it's worth a try.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lobster Die-Off in the Sound?

Via Facebook, Soundkeeper Terry Backer reports that he's hearing of a lobster die-off in Long Island Sound. Here's what he wrote:

Local Lobster fishers report finding dead and dying lobsters in the wake of the incessant rains and hurricane Irene..There seems to be a pattern of stress on the lobsters after large rainfalls 3 inches or so... The lobsters are still ok to eat..We are investigating this ongoing issue.

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Sound Update: The Islands

Organizational newsletters are rarely interesting but one exception is the Sound Update newsletter that’s available now.

It’s a production of the Long Island Sound Study and is edited by Larissa Graham of New York Sea Grant. The issue -- the summer 2011 issue -- is about the Sound’s islands, or some of them: Great Gull and Plum, which are part of the same glacial moraine that forms the north shore of Long Island, and Hart Island, the Thimble Islands, the islands of the McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (including Falkner, Chimon and Cockenoe), and Davids Island, all of which are along the Bronx-Westchester-Connecticut shore.

I wrote the Davids Island piece and it’s not bad but there are others that are better, in particular the piece about Great Gull and its truly awesome tern rookery. I visited Great Gull for an unforgettable weekend in 1987 and wrote a chapter about it for my book but then decided it didn’t really fit so I left it out. I was glad to learn what’s been going on lately (namely, more of the same, which is good).

Here’s a link to the issue.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Are Shellfish Growers Eligible for Federal Aid? Rep. Courtney's Office Clarifies and Explains

Representative Joe Courtney’s staff got in touch with me this afternoon to clarify the question of whether Long Island Sound shellfish growers are eligible for federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and, if so, what kind of aid they might be eligible for.

The call was prompted by two recent posts of mine: one that cited a Connecticut Mirror story saying they oystermen and clammers were not eligible for USDA disaster assistance; and another that cited Brendan Smith, the proprietor of the Thimble Island Oyster Co., who said Courtney was wrong and that he (Smith) was already working with federal agencies to get help. Those posts are here and here.

The issue is particularly important to Smith because, he says, Hurricane Irene killed 80 percent of his oysters and destroyed half his equipment.

I just got off the phone with Courtney’s office. Here’s what I was told:

During a September 12 phone call among federal officials to discuss disaster aid for Connecticut’s farmers, someone asked whether shellfish growers were eligible for USDA disaster aid.

The answer was clear: although shellfish growers are considered farmers in Connecticut, they are not recognized as such in the federal regulations that govern disaster aid to farmers. Therefore they are not eligible for USDA disaster aid.

But that does not mean they are not eligible for other aid, in particular through FEMA and the Small Business Administration. Courtney’s office is working with both agencies to get help for local shellfish growers.

They also may be eligible for assistance if the Secretary of Commerce declares a “fishery failure,” which he can do only if asked by Governor Malloy.

If Malloy asks, and if the Commerce Secretary concurs, then money will have to be made available through the disaster aid bill now being debated in Congress. Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, led by Representative Rosa DeLauro, wrote last week to Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi, asking that shellfish growers be included in that bill, but it is unknown whether they will be.

Thanks to Courtney's office for getting intouch, and kudos to them to keeping an eye on Twitter, which is where this originated.

Oyster Grower Says USDA is Indeed Working to Get Help to LI Sound Shellfish Growers

Brendan Smith of the Thimble Island Oyster Co., is saying via Twitter that this story (about how Connecticut officials are pessimistic about federal grants to help Long Island Sound shellfish growers whose beds and equipment were damaged by Irene) is wrong.

Smith Tweets at @organicoysters. Here are three Tweets from this morning:

Courtney has no idea what he's talking about. spoke with Farm Bureau today and was told article and Courtney totally off base.

Courtney: "They don't qualify for anything under USDA because they're not defined as agriculture." Wrong. met with USDA...

USDA working on several grants for shell fishermen right now in CT. ex:engine green conversion. we're regulated as farmers etc

The 29-Second Hurricane at Stratford Point

The Connecticut Audubon Society set up a camera at Stratford Point during Hurricane Irene and took photos every 30 seconds. They then turned the photos into this short, weird video -- a hurricane in 29 seconds. The whole thing looks like an old movie that somehow was colorized. Click here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Hudson and the Connecticut Aren't the Only Muddy Waters

No huge surprise here but the same kind of muddy plume that turned the Hudson River and Connecticut River reddish brown after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee has descended the Susquehanna River and is now overwhelming Chesapeake Bay. This story, from the Hampton Roads Pilot, in Virginia, indicates that our generation of scientists has never seen anything like it. But it also says that the timing of the storm might mean it won't be quite as disastrous for marine life as feared, perhaps:

Scientists who have witnessed the plume in boats describe it as patchy, with some chunks a half-mile long, and reaching depths to the bottom of the Bay.

"Some of my colleagues who have seen flooding impacts on the Hudson River and the Mississippi River say they have never seen anything so dense, so large, as this," said Michael Ford, ecosystem science manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Chesapeake Bay Office, based in Maryland.

"This is certainly new for our generation," Ford added.

The National Weather Service is comparing the floodwaters to those from Hurricane Agnes in 1972, a storm that devastated aquatic life in the Bay.

But that hurricane struck in June, when baby fish were just learning to swim and underwater grasses were still blooming. Irene and Lee walloped the Bay much later, in late August and early September, when most of these natural cycles were winding down.

So the timing of Irene and Lee is much better ecologically for the Bay than Agnes, scientists say, and the storms will not likely leave such a nasty, lasting mark.

The Chesapeake Bay Program, overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, estimates the impacts to living organisms will be minimal but still cautions that the sediment plume could cover fragile oyster reefs and grass beds under a blanket of mud.

Restoring River Herring Might Require Curtailing the Ocean Bycatch

The incredible amounts of silt that washed down the Hudson and Connecticut rivers after Irene probably didn't do much good for fish in those rivers. I blogged about it here, after asking Tom Lake, of the Hudson River Estuary Program, about it.

The long term affect probably won't be terrible, he told me: "that is why fish have so many thousands of progeny, to account for such unexpected losses."

Then he said, "They'll rebound, as soon as we close the coastal loopholes on their harvesting."

I let that remark pass until just now, when I saw, via Twitter, this piece, published in the Patriot-Ledger, which covers (I believe) the Quincy, Massachusetts, area. It was written by Steve Pearlman, coordinator of the Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts. He wrote that efforts to restore historical spawning runs of blueback herring and alewives (such as the work Save the Sound and the state of Connecticut have been doing to build fish passages on Long Island Sound's tributaries) ...

... won’t truly succeed if river herring continue to be decimated at sea by corporate trawler fleets dragging football field size nets to catch entirely different species of fish: Atlantic herring. Their “incidental” catch of river herring is imperiling commercial and recreational fish such as cod and striped bass that depend on river herring as a key source of food.

A quarter of a million river herring were caught in a single tow by a mid-water trawler in New England in 2008, more fish than were counted in all but one Massachusetts herring run that year.

On Sept. 28, the New England Fishery Management Council meets in Danvers to vote on several approaches to minimize the accidental “bycatch” of river herring. But the few corporate fishing interests that benefit financially from ignoring the bycatch problem will try to stop the council from even considering options that could cost them a bit more to implement. Yet these very options could financially benefit small-scale commercial and recreational fishermen who are harmed by wholesale destruction of this critical part of the aquatic food chain.

The intercept fishery or bycatch fishery have been causing problems for river fish for decades.Let's hopet the fishery management council takes some action.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

NRC Says Japan's Earthquake is No Reason to Hold Off on Relicensing Indian Point

When I covered the Indian Point nuclear power plants, from roughly 1995 through 2000, I always thought the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was serious and diligent about its work. But I also thought they were in the business of regulating nuclear power plants, not putting them out of business, so it always seemed unlikely that they would take any steps to shut down IP or any other nuclear power plant in the absence of a real safety violation.

So it hardly seemed surprising the other day when the NRC said that in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan and the disaster that befell the nuke plant there, it was not going to suspend the relicensing process for Indian Point and other plants. Riverkeeper, which responded on Twitter with a "surprise surprise," wasn't exactly shocked either.

It's not that the NRC has never taken such a step before. But the only time it did so was after the nation's worst nuke plant disaster, Three Mile Island:

The NRC has a precedent for suspending reviews. After Three Mile Island's nuclear plant accident in 1979, the agency issued no new operating licenses, construction permits, or limited work authorizations for three months.

An Award for Dot Earth

Congratulations to the highly energetic Andy Revkin, whose Dot Earth blog for the Times is a winner of a National Academics Communications Award.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rabies Shots

Day after day the subject that brings most readers to my blog is rabies.

It’s amazing, and I think it says something interesting about people’s interests, what they use the web for and what kind of information is available on the web:

In 2006, Gina and I woke up to find a bat in our room. We went through the procedure of figuring out whether we should get rabies shots, and then we got them.

I wrote about it twice, here and here, trying to be both amusing and informative.

Five-plus years later, searches such as, “where do people get the rabies shot” or “rabies needle vaccine human” are by far the most common searches that bring people to this blog.

I guess what it means is that 1) a lot of people are concerned and 2) there is not a lot of good information out there about what to do.

So let me say it more simply:

We decided to get the shots.

It is highly unlikely that a doctor or nurse or public health official will tell you that you do not need rabies shots. It’s easier to be safe than sorry.

The reason it’s easier to be safe is that rabies shots are no big deal, at all. They do not hurt even slightly -- nothing more than a tetanus shot. The only bothersome thing is that you have to go back over several weeks to keep getting them. But once you get the immunoglobulin shots in the butt (I needed four, Gina needed two, and they really weren’t painful at all), the booster shots themselves are quick and easy, in the upper arm.

So there you go. Now my readership will no doubt double again.

Make sure you consult your doctor.

No Help for Long Island Sound's Oystermen

The Thimble Island Oyster Company reported via Twitter the other day (@organicoysters) that 80 percent of his oysters were killed by Hurricane Irene, buried under sand and silt presumably. Today there's a news story about how Connecticut's elected officials are highly pessimistic that there will be any aid at all for Long Island Sound oyster growers.

Referring to U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, the Connecticut Mirror reported:

Long before Irene hit, Courtney had begun pushing legislation that would expand USDA's definition of specialty crops to include shellfish growers, which would allow them to tap into key federal agriculture-assistance programs. Tropical Storm Irene, he said, has only served to highlight the need for his bill.

But he's worried nothing can be done in Congress quickly enough to help the state's shellfish industry, which generates an estimated $30 million in sales and provides more than 300 jobs statewide.

Take James Markow, whose shellfish operation in Noank has been suspended for more than two weeks. State officials closed Long Island Sound to shellfish harvesting before Irene hit, fearing that excessive rainfall and flooding would overwhelm sewage treatment plants and contaminate the oyster crops.

"We're shut down. We can't sell anything," said Markow, president of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative. "Meanwhile, we have employees and insurance payments and rent and leases and all the other stuff that has to get paid... It's really a struggle for us to have zero income for this amount of time."

State officials are working to test the waters and reopen areas they conclude are safe. But the process was setback by Tropical Storm Lee, which dumped more rain on the state.

David Carey, of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Aquaculture, said the bureau is sampling water now, and noted that parts of shellfish areas in Milford and other areas were re-opened Tuesday.

"We're hoping we're going to be able to open the vast majority either by this weekend or by next week," he said.

According to Carey, there are 45 oyster companies operating 110 boats in Connecticut's portion of the Sound.

The Sound is a No-discharge Zone for Boats; Malfunctioning Sewage Systems are Another Matter

It's a sad irony that a week after federal officials decided that everything was in place -- enough pump out facilities, educated and willing boat owners -- to declare all of New York's portion of Long Island Sound a no-discharge zone for sewage from boats, a malfunction in Westchester County's equipment caused a spill of 162,000 gallons of sewage into the Sound.

Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch wrote about it here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oddities on Hudson

The natural world is always producing something interesting and if that interesting thing happens along the Hudson River, an account of it often finds its way into the Hudson River Almanac.

The Almanac is a compilation of natural history observations from the Battery to Lake Tear of the Clouds, produced bi-weekly by New York State’s Hudson River Estuary Program. The version that arrived in my inbox today was largely concerned with the aftermath of Irene. These two entries in particular caught my eye:

9/3 - Catskill, HRM 113: With my house located on lower Catskill Creek, I rescued two pumpkinseed sunfish, a white perch and a spottail shiner from the pit of my cellar's sump pump during my recovery mission from Irene. The basement water was eighteen inches higher than ever before in 35 years. ...

9/3 - Kingston, HRM 92: We went to the lighthouse on the lower Rondout today and there were pumpkins in the water everywhere. I think these are Irene "wash aways" from a pumpkin farm upstream.

I omitted the names of the folks who submitted them, which ordinarily would be appended to each entry. HRM stands for Hudson River Miles. Here’s how the email explains it:

The Hudson is measured north from Hudson River Mile 0 at the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan. The George Washington Bridge is at HRM 12, the Tappan Zee 28, Bear Mountain 47, Beacon-Newburgh 62, Mid-Hudson 75, Kingston-Rhinecliff 95, Rip Van Winkle 114, and the Federal Dam at Troy, the head of tidewater, at 153. The tidal section of the Hudson constitutes a bit less than half the total distance – 315 miles – from Lake Tear of the Clouds to the Battery. Entries from points east and west in the watershed reference the corresponding river mile on the mainstem.

We need a Long Island Sound Almanac, by the way. I might start working on one.

Graphs Show How Turbidity and Water Flow Spiked in the Connecticut River

As we drove to and from Providence on Saturday, we tried to see how discolored the Connecticut River still was, from Hurricane Irene's runoff. It was hard to tell from the I 95 bridge.

Then yesterday someone sent me a link to a U.S. Geological Survey site that has a graph showing turbidity in the Connecticut, at Essex, from mid August til now.

Click here and then scroll to see it. The spike in turbidity after Irene is amazing. But it also shows that the river is clearing up, not surprisingly.

And the graphs on this page show how the water flow spiked twice, after Irene and then after the tropical storm that followed Irene. If nothing else, these graphs show you that the Connecticut is a big river.

Fish Die in Droves When the Water Level in Guilford Lake is Lowered

If you are going to lower the level of your lake in advance of a storm and it leads to 10,000 fish being killed because they don't have enough water, as the Guilford Lakes Improvement Association did, you probably should notify state environmental officials ahead of time. They tend to frown on that sort of thing. The New Haven Register has an interesting story about how good intentions can have bad results, here.

Esty Hears It from Testy Residents on Haddam Land Swap

Folks in central Connecticut are really pissed still about a deal the Connecticut DEEP made to trade 16 acres near the Connecticut River in Haddam for five times more land next to a state park. DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty took a boat tour yesterday to view the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and then met with residents, and apparently there was a bit of an edge to the meeting.

The Day covered it, here, and also provided a quick summary of other issues -- particularly concerning catch limits on fish in Long Island Sound.

Monday, September 12, 2011

400th Anniversary

Abbie Rose Walston, a high school science teacher who blogs about her family and their farms at, graciously let me submit a guest post, about SoundVision and the Quadricentennial of Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River.

You can read it here.

On her father's side of the family, by the way, the Rose Farm dates from1646 and is one of the oldest in the country.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Harbor in the Rain

Indian Harbor in Greenwich was beautiful in the rain at last Tuesday's SoundVision event. Someone at Save the Sound -- Laura McMillan, I think -- took these terrific photos. There are lots more on the SoundVision Flickr page.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Connecticut River: Big Muddy

Here is a great satellite photo of the Connecticut River spewing amazing amounts of sediment into Long Island Sound. Somebody today told me that an entire huge elm tree washed up on his beach after Irene. And someone else told me that she had heard about an incredible amounts of big debris washing into the sound -- large appliances, lumber, all kinds of stuff.

Here's something fascinating from NASA. I saw it on Facebook from the Connecticut River Watershed Council:

Preliminary estimates of river flow at Thompsonville, Connecticut, (not shown in this image) reached 128,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on August 30, nearly 64 times the usual flow (2,000 cfs) for early fall and the highest flow rate since May 1984. At the mouth of the river—where flow is tidal, and therefore not gauged—the peak water height reached 6.9 feet (2.1 meters) above sea level, almost a foot higher than at any time in the past 10 years.

Ospreys and SoundVision

People at Tuesday's Long Island SoundVision press conference, at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, were excited to see three ospreys using the harbor as a fishing ground. A few dozen of us were inside and on a porch with great views of the rainy seascape as the ospreys flew past, hovered, and then plunged into the water, sometimes emerging with a fish, sometimes not.

One of the SoundVision goals is "Creating Safe and Thriving Places for All Sound Creatures." We've managed to do that for ospreys and we did it simply by banning DDT.

Tom Baptist, the head of Audubon Connecticut, was there Tuesday and reminded me that historically there were an estimated 500 osprey nests along the Sound. When he and Joe Zeranski were researching their book, Connecticut Birds, in the 1980s, there were only five osprey nests.

He told me on Tuesday that while he has counted them lately, he thinks that now there might be more than 500. Every one is a reason for small optimism.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

SoundVision in Greenwich

At the final scheduled SoundVision event, which was held yesterday in Greenwich, federal and state environmental officials announced that the Long Island Sound Study had devised its own 54-point action agenda for Long Island Sound. There were few details and the actual 54-point action agenda is not yet on anyone’s website so we can’t see for ourselves but the word yesterday was that it was “consistent with the Citizen Advisory Committee’s SoundVision Action Plan," which you can find here.

I assume that by “consistent with” they mean “adapted from,” which is good because the CAC worked on their plan for about two years and it seems solid

“We’re going to be working to make the action agenda happen on a day to day basis,” Mark Tedesco, the longtime head of the LISS office, said yesterday, “and the CAC is going to hold us accountable.”

Yesterday’s press conference was the eighth and final event on the SoundVision rollout schedule. In one way, it was similar to all but one of the others: the weather was bad.

Not bad enough to cancel everything, which is what happened to the Mystic and Hempstead Harbor events, but bad enough to keep the Schooner SoundWaters, which was supposed to take everyone for a sail, at the dock. And SoundVision in Greenwich was in that sense the same as SoundVision in Mamaroneck and Port Jefferson and New Haven and Bridgeport.

It was also the same in that a first-rate lineup of officials showed up to declare their support: U.S. Representative Jim Himes, Connecticut DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty, US EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding (out of Boston), State Senator L. Scott Frantz, State Representative Terrie Wood and others.

But unless I was mishearing, yesterday was the first time that people representing the state and federal governments actually said, essentially, “Yes -- we are going to do this (or something very much like it).”

As Nancy Seligson, who lives in Larchmont and is co-chair (with Save the Sound’s Curt Johnson) of the Citizens Advisory Committee, said:

“The citizens needs the agencies to push this forward and I like to think the agencies need the citizens too.”

Here’s yesterday’s press release announcing the action agenda:

Top Environmental Officials Announce Action Agenda to
Restore and Protect Long Island Sound

Greenwich, Connecticut, Sept. 6, 2011 – Top officials responsible for the health of the Long Island Sound from the two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today announced a blueprint for coordinated actions to be taken through 2013 to protect and restore Long Island Sound. They were also joined by Congressman Jim Himes, Connecticut State Senator L. Scott Frantz, members of the Long Island Sound Study’s Citizens Advisory Committee (LISS CAC), and Save the Sound.

During the final SoundVision schooner event held at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club along the Long Island Sound shoreline in Greenwich, Connecticut, the officials cited recent progress in the Long Island Sound restoration, and announced the Long Island Sound Study Action Agenda: 2011-2013. The Action Agenda contains 54 actions organized around four themes: Waters and Watersheds, Habitats and Wildlife, Communities and People, and Science and Management. Within these themes priority actions are identified to improve water quality, restore habitat, conserve the land, maintain biodiversity, and increase opportunities for human use and enjoyment of the Sound. The Action Agenda is consistent with the Citizen Advisory Committee’s SoundVision Action Plan.

In addition to continuing progress in reducing nitrogen pollution and mitigating combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows, the Action Agenda commits to research stormwater practices to control nitrogen, pilot innovative strategies to use shellfish and seaweed to mitigate nitrogen pollution, and designate all of Long Island Sound as a “no discharge zone” for vessel waste. New targets are being set to restore 200 acres of coastal habitat and to reopen 80 miles of riverine migratory corridors to fish. And a number of actions target restoration of eelgrass, a critical habitat for shellfish and juvenile fish.

"A clean and healthy Long Island Sound is a fantastic resource for both recreation and a vibrant economy," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "The Action Agenda is a clear road map for coordinated efforts among many levels of government and concerned communities for us to achieve a cleaner, healthier Long Island Sound for people to enjoy. This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to protecting the Sound."

The Long Island Sound Study (LISS), sponsored by EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York, is a partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, universities, national and local environmental groups, businesses, and community groups whose mission is to restore and protect this great resource. The LISS partnership strives to be adaptable, collaborative, effective, and efficient in the implementation of a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) that was developed in 1994. The plan, approved by the Governors of Connecticut and New York and the EPA Administrator, set a goals and targets for improving the health of Long Island Sound.

Periodically, the LISS has developed agreements to guide and prioritize implementation of the CCMP – such agreements were developed in 1996, 2003, and 2006. This Action Agenda identifies priority actions to implement the 1994 CCMP from 2011 to 2013, and sets the stage for a more comprehensive update to the CCMP that is planned for 2014. The actions are specific and measurable, and will build upon the progress made to date by setting clear priorities, responsible entities, and timeframes for the LISS partnership through 2013.

“Partnerships are the key to achieving environmental results,” said George Pavlou, EPA Region 2 Deputy Administrator. “The actions announced today will guide how our federal/state partnership works with the private sector and academic community to protect and restore coastal lands, improve water quality, and strengthen the science that underpins our work.”

“Long Island Sound is a unique resource that must be maintained and restored. As a long time environmentalist, I believe we must do all that we can in order to maintain our nation’s natural resources, and that includes the diverse and beautiful Long Island Sound,” said Congressman Himes. “The SoundVision Action Plan and the Action Agenda unveiled today has made preservation of the Sound a priority, and I look forward to working with our federal and state partners in the future as we move forward with plans to restore the health and beauty of this state treasure.”

Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection (DEEP) said, “Long Island Sound is one of our most important natural resources and is critical to our quality of life and economic well-being. The Action Agenda helps sharpen and focus ongoing and new actions that Long Island Sound partners need to take to address conservation and management priorities. The successes we’ve achieved in protecting and enhancing the Sound are a testament to the power of partnerships, and the future challenges we face will be met by the impressive alliance of environmental stewards represented here today.”

“SoundVision and the Action Agenda are investments that support the waters, the wildlife, and the economy of our home state,” said State Senator Frantz. “Without these efforts, Long Island Sound and Connecticut would be a very different place. It is my hope these efforts are furthered so that the generations to come can enjoy the beautiful views we share today.”

“New York State is pleased to continue and reinvigorate our commitment to work with our partners to protect and restore Long Island Sound. The Action Agenda provides a solid framework to continue to improve water quality; protect and restore habitat and living resources; and foster continued cooperation between the federal government, New York, and Connecticut with local governments, interest groups, and the scientific community. A clean and healthy Long Island Sound is vital to our economy and the environment this precious resource sustains.” said Assistant Commissioner James Tierney of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“We are so pleased that the states will be agreeing to a two-year Action Agenda that is consistent with the goals outlined in SoundVision,” said Curt Johnson, program director of CFE and Connecticut co-chair of the CAC. “This is the first time in several years that federal and state partners have come together on the Sound's coast to publicly announce a shared vision for the preservation and restoration its waters. Together, we will clean the Sound’s waters and coastline, saving the last great places around the Sound for our children and wildlife while creating new jobs and building economic prosperity. Whether it’s joining together in a volunteer coastal cleanup or harbor water monitoring program, or working with our elected officials to continue investing in clean water and habitat restoration job creating projects, the Action Agenda and SoundVision Action Plan will help save the Sound and preserve our local heritage now and for future generations.”

Long Island Sound (LIS) is one of the largest urban estuaries (a coastal body of water where fresh water draining from the land mixes with salt water from the ocean) in the United States. It provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people in Connecticut and New York, while also providing natural habitats to more than 1,200 species of invertebrates, 170 species of fish, and dozens of species of migratory birds.


Two Things That Struck Me as Odd

I emailed the editor/publisher of the Greenwich Roundup Blog, telling him that I would be attending yesterday's Long Island SoundVision event and asking if I might submit a blog post to him afterwards. He responded saying, essentially, sure. Then he published my email query and his response, here. Can't say I've ever seen anyone do that before, but what the heck.

And out in New Haven, the folks from Schooner Inc. are holding a fundraiser soon. After my book, This Fine Piece of Water, came out, I participated in a fundraiser for them, on a damp Friday night in East Haven. It was fun and I was happy to do it. Here's what the invitation to this year's fundraiser said:

We invite community members to attend this passport event to share cocktails and light hors d'ouevres with others interested in preserving, protecting, and enjoying this 'Fine Piece of Water' we share in Long Island Sound. Interactive displays of Schooner's programs will bring Long Island Sound alive for our guests and the City of New Haven will share its latest plans for the Canal Dock site.

Did you get that? Enjoying this "Fine Piece of Water" we share. Either they'll be reading aloud from my book of the title has become a generic phrase for the Sound. Of course I stole it from Timothy Dwight, who used the phrase in his "Travels Through New England and New York," and you can't copyright a title. I wish Schooner well. Here's the link to their event page, if you're interested in attending.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Today's SoundVision Event Moves Indoors at Indian Harbor Yacht Club

Because of the rain, today's SoundVision press event will be indoors at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich. The sail on the Schooner SoundWaters has been cancelled again (which makes them only 1 for 6, I think). Nevertheless today's event promises to be worthwhile. A "major announcement" is planned and a good list of big names will be there.

10:55 a.m. update: It turns out that we'll sail this afternoon if the captain, Justin Cathcart, thinks it's OK to do so.

Here's Save the Sound's media advisory:

NEW HAVEN, CT — Today, the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee and Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP), and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS-DEC) will make a major announcement regarding the next steps for the restoration and preservation of Long Island Sound. LISS and Save the Sound will be joined by Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding, EPA Region 2 Deputy Administrator George Pavlou, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty, and Connecticut State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich) for the announcement.

Today’s event will conclude the month-long SoundVision schooner tour that has highlighted a citizens’ vision for Long Island Sound with four major components: protecting clean water to achieve a healthy Sound; creating safe and thriving places for all Sound creatures; building Long Island Sound communities that work; and investing in an economically vibrant Long Island Sound. The SoundVision Action Plan was crafted and unanimously adopted by the 37 members of the CAC, representing business, municipal, environmental, civic and academic organizations from around the Long Island Sound region.

The underlying SoundVision planning process was supported with funding from the Long Island Sound Study, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Sun Hill Foundation. This summer’s schooner tour is made possible by support from the New York Community Trust.

Congressman Jim Himes
Administrator Curt Spalding, EPA Region 1
Deputy Administrator George Pavlou, EPA Region 2
Commissioner Dan Esty, CTDEEP
State Senator L. Scott Frantz
Mark Tedesco, Long Island Sound Study
Curt Johnson, CFE and Connecticut CAC co-chair
Nancy Seligson, Town of Mamaroneck and New York CAC co-chair
Denise Savageau, Greenwich Conservation Commission

WHERE: Indian Harbor Yacht Club
710 Steamboat Road

Greenwich, CT

Monday, September 05, 2011

Silt and Fish

I've been wondering about how the silt in the Hudson (and other rivers) that I mentioned in the previous post might be affecting fish, so I emailed Tom Lake, an educator for the Hudson River Estuary Program and the compiler of the Hudson River Almanac. Here's what he answered:

The "reddish-brown" color is still the contribution from the Mohawk River (Schoharie system) ... Your concerns for the fish are well-founded. Filter-feeders like American shad and river herring (young-of-the-year) are probably not having a good time. YOY blueback herring are probably being swept out of the Mohawk unceremoniously with the incredible flood waters. But then that is why fish have so many thousands of progeny, to account for such unexpected losses.

So I responded:

I'd feel better about that if shad, alewives and blueback herring were thriving.

To which he responded:

They'll rebound, as soon as we close the coastal loopholes on their harvesting. I've seen some nice numbers of baby blueback herring in the last week and I can only hope they are faring OK under the high silt load.

That makes me wonder about Connecticut's rivers though, where river herring aren't doing well at all. I'll ask about that too.

In the meantime, Environmental Advocates of New York posted this on their website:

The U.S. Geological Survey is looking for trends and variations in the amounts of bacteria, nutrients, and other indicators of water quality. Collecting and analyzing water samples following a weather event like Irene can help us better understand how large storm events impact our water resources, and we can use that data to make resource management and response decisions based on sound science.

So, did Hurricane Irene harm the Hudson River and other New York waterways? Only time will tell—it could be weeks or longer before scientists have collected and made sense of all the necessary data. Until then, we’ll save our swimming for the neighbor’s pool.

For more information on the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hurricane Irene activities, click here.

To read more about water quality testing in the Hudson River, click here.

To read more about what Hurricane Irene swept into our rivers, click here.

The Hudson River is Reddish-Brown

We did the Walkway Over the Hudson, in Poughkeepsie yesterday for the first time. It was great fun, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse crowd of walkers and bikers north of New York City -- people of all shapes, sizes, colors, languages, ethnicities and (seemingly) socio-economic circumstances. It was terrific and well-worth the trip.

I was amazed that a week after Irene the Hudson River was still reddish-brown with silt. This photo, taken with my IPhone looking down at a marina on the west side of the river, shows the color accurately.

How does all that silt affect the river's fish? I'll have to ask Tom Lake or Steve Stanne, editors and compilers of the Hudson River Almanac for the state's Hudson River Estuary Program.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Bird Homestead in Rye Made it Through Irene Unscathed

I had been wondering how the Bird Homestead, on Milton Road in Rye (and the Rye Meeting House, which is next door) fared in the coastal flooding that that part of Rye is notorious for, so I sent an email off to Anne Stillman, who heads the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead. Both buildings back onto Blind Brook, where it flows into Milton Harbor. Here's what she said:

The buildings did quite well. The Meeting House took in some water, but it flowed out again relatively quickly with the tide. Nothing inside was damaged. We had lifted the furniture off the floor, and the floors dried out nicely with all the doors and windows open the following day.

A large branch fell on the roof, which punctured partially, but we need to repair the roof anyway. I figured it survived the hurricane of 1938, so it's chances were pretty good.

Meanwhile, despite flooding on the property all around it, the Bird House stayed dry. Greek Revival houses are generally built on a rise in the landscape and have high foundations that require a flight of steps to the entrance, in imitation of Greek temples. These characteristics have served the house well through many floods.

I thought the had a new website but I can't find it. Here's their Facebook page tho.

9/5 Update: The website is

Friday, September 02, 2011

No Shellfish from the Sound

If shellfishing is one of the sustainable activities that should thrive in Long Island Sound, then Irene was a disaster in that sense too. Although it wasn't only Irene. Our crumbling, inadequate, antiquated sewage treatment infrastructure contributed big time. Here's something I saw in the Connecticut Post:

Power loss caused some seepage from sewer pump stations along the Sound and the state received bypass reports from both Bridgeport and Stamford's sewer system, state aquaculture director David Carey said. A bypass report is issued whenever the water a sewage plant is sending into the Sound is not perfectly clear, Carey said.

"The sewers didn't operate normally and they had some impact on us," Carey said. "But it could have just been a little turbidity."

The state closed shellfish farms before the storm as a precaution and they will remain closed until testing is complete, Carey said. The state tested deeper waters off Milford, Norwalk, Westport and Darien on Thursday.

"The bigger weekends for shellfish sales are Memorial Day and Fourth of July," Carey said. "But we typically move a lot of product on Labor Day. The market will be impacted because we're going to move none or close to none this weekend."

The state will test near-shore waters next. It has been in contact with local health departments to get a sense of what conditions are like closer to land and they are indicating the water is clean, Carey said.

In other words, five days after the hurricane hit, the entire shellfishing industry on Long Island Sound is closed. Beaches will be open though, which is something.

Irene, Stormwater, Pollution, SoundVision

The incredible amount of water that Hurricane Irene dumped onto the Long Island Sound watershed is still making its way into the Sound, carrying pathogens and toxic substances in amounts that are probably unmeasurable. The SoundVision action plan contains two sections that deal with stormwater. I pasted a long excerpt below.

Don't forget Tuesday's SoundVision event, 3 p.m. at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich. Details here.

PCW Action Step 2: Reduce loads from non-point sources
Nutrients and toxics also enter the watershed and the Sound from widely distributed “non-point” sources. These include stormwater runoff from residential and agricultural land.

Immediate actions
• PCW2.1: Identify barriers to green infrastructure implementation. Stewardship and Policy
• PCW2.2: Adopt stormwater performance standards in NY and CT in order to assure that new development is designed so that the site acts like its natural condition—retaining and returning stormwater runoff into the ground, rather than sending it into rivers and streams. Policy
• PCW2.3: Investigate opportunities for implementing green infrastructure in urbanized shoreline communities. Stewardship
• PCW2.4: Ensure NY and CT stormwater permits—construction and municipal separate storm
sewer system (MS4)—are strong and enforced. Policy

Intermediate actions
• PCW2.5: Advocate for implementation and enforcement of Long Island Sound protective model stormwater ordinances that incorporate low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure best management practices. Policy
• PCW2.6: Develop incentive program to encourage LID and green infrastructure and disincentive programs to discourage impervious surface cover. Policy
• PCW2.7: Expand storm-drain stenciling program. Stewardship and Outreach
• PCW2.8: Develop or incorporate an outreach strategy that outlines the prioritized actions of
“preserve land, limit hardening, and undevelop when possible.” Stewardship and Policy
• PCW2.9: Investigate sufficiency of NY and CT Department of Transportation stormwater permits and measures. Stewardship and Technology

Long-term actions
• PCW2.10: Fund research to identify sources and cost-effective techniques for non-point source pathogen reduction in Long Island Sound embayments. Policy
• PCW2.11: Encourage and monitor stormwater management best management practices that
reduce soil loads. Stewardship
• PCW2.12: Continue developing new methods to educate the public about what they can do in their own backyard. Stewardship and Outreach

Action Step 5: Eliminate raw sewage and bacteria impacts
Many of our local beaches and coves are closed for swimming after rainstorms when waste-water treatment plants are overwhelmed with stormwater runoff that has leaked into the sewage collection system. The treatment plants overflow and discharge partially treated sewage mixed with stormwater into the coastal waters. While communities are required to separate sewage and stormwater systems, there are many legal and illegal connections between these systems that contribute to CSO and SSO discharges and lead to closed beaches and swimming areas. The challenge is particularly acute in urban areas where runoff from streets and paved areas can easily overwhelm treatment capacity. Slowing runoff and filtering runoff before it reaches collection systems (green infrastructure) can dramatically lessen discharges of bacteria and pollutants to coastal waters.
On Long Island there are 27 embayments under a pathogen TMDL. Unlike urban areas like New York City, Bridgeport or New Haven, these areas are impacted by non-point source pollution, not CSOs.
Many other portions of the watershed in New York and Connecticut also contribute pathogens pollution from non-point sources like agriculture, improperly maintained septic/cesspool systems, wild animal and pet waste, un-naturally concentrated wildlife, even gardening. This provides conditions in stormwater systems that allow bacteria to be discharged into coastal waters.

Immediate actions
• PCW5.1: Complete green infrastructure feasibility scans for New Haven and Bridgeport, CT.

Intermediate actions
• PCW5.2: Secure financing and enforcement to eliminate CSOs and SSOs. Policy
• PCW5.3: Reduce beach closings by 50% in five years with coordinated monitoring and targeted stormwater management plans. Policy, Science, and Technology
• PCW5.4: Develop cost effective DNA testing for pathogens to identify the source of pathogen
contributions so that municipalities can concentrate efforts on eliminating highest contributing sources. Science
• PCW5.5: Develop BMPs to reduce non-point source pathogen contributions. Science and Policy
• PCW5.6: Assure that CSO separation projects continue in key communities like New York City
and Bridgeport, CT while encouraging innovative green infrastructure efforts to limit or
eliminate CSO flow by 2020. Stewardship and Policy

Long-term actions
• PCW5.7: Focus attention and funding on implementing urban stormwater green infrastructure
projects. Policy and Outreach


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bad News from My Old Town of Keene, New York, in the Adirondacks

In the summers of 1980 and '81 I rented a cottage on 55 acres in Keene, New York, in the Adirondacks, owned by Enid and Isaiah Rubin, a terrific couple from Manhattan who were in residence every August. It was a stunning location, rustic without roughing it in the least, and pretty much every day I strolled down the hill to a fast, icy-cold stream called Gulf Brook, just to see what was going on.

Among the people I met that summer were the Rubins' daughters, Hanna and Alissa, who were maybe a few years young than me but of my generation.

In today's Times I saw this sad story, written by Alissa, who works for the Times in its Kabul bureau. She must have been spending part of August in Keene as usual and was there to record the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene.

Lovejoy Oysters: A Treat from the Deep

I was visiting Soundkeeper Terry Backer at his office on Edgewater Place in East Norwalk yesterday and while he took a phone call I snapped this photo, of an old oyster can from the Frederick P. Lovejoy Oyster Company.

One of the first times I visited Terry his office was in a different building on Edgewater, a rickety old oyster house -- no doubt the old Lovejoy house, because he showed me a sign that said essentially the same thing that the can says:

White Rock and Grassy Hammock Oysters

There are a couple of old posts about this, here.

By the way, given the reputation that oysters have as an aphrodisiac, isn't the name Lovejoy particularly great?
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