Were we <i>that</i> wrong back then?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Were we that wrong back then?

"Then" being 46 years ago when the seminal Moniebogue Press crew, as eclectic a collection of odds and sods who somehow published a "alternative" newspaper on a fairly regular basis.

Along with excoriating the Shoreham nuclear power plant and mercilessly (and somewhat unfairly) tweaking Legis­la­tor H. Beecher Halsey over the possibility of landing 747s at the just demobilized Suffolk County Air Force Base, we actually halted a proposed 247 "garden apartment" devel­opment of the Moniebogue wetlands, the marshy area between the municipal marina and Modern Yachts off Library Avenue.

From staffer Lorna Salzman and amicus Hillary Tuthill, I learned about some of the vegetation critical to defining "wetlands," with the three I remember most clearly being spartina alterniflora, spartina patens and phragmites.

(Our editorial fous was, phragmites and the spartinas: good! Herbert Bellringer and his con­sortium of ten developers: bad!)

But this week's Southampton Press (p.A3) informs us...

Focusing Efforts On Invasive Species
Scientist: Phragmites is to blame for water issues

"Phragmites is an invasive species of large perennial grasses. ... Phragmites competes with native vegeta­tion, reduces local plant biodiversity and often adds nitrogen pollution to the water."

Ack!

The Flanders woman behind this proposition, June Kessler, is working "to eliminate phragmites from the shore," and exploring methods both herbicidal (the Agent Orange approach) and mechanical, just yanking the plants out manually.

Double ack! Who knew?

Comments

1. Jackie Bennett said...

The nature boy over here says that Phragmites hold the shoreline, and the redwing blackbirds build their nests in them. So, as with all topics, this one is debatable. Let the games begin.

Whew!
Dean

2. Van Howell said...

If Bill Bennett says phragmites are okay, that's good enough for me. Given the state of the planet these days, I think "invasive species" might as well be regarded as one of the biosphere's defensive strategies. All habitats are getting so screwed up they won't be much good for the things that are supposed to live there anyway. (Don't quote me on that and don't try it at home.)

Too late for the latter, of course, but I don't know if you'been following the saga of NYS DEC'S plan to eradicate the Mute Swan from the entire state because they are deemed an invasive species!

In my view the Mute Swan population is more than adequately controlled by the presence of the torope. Whattya think?
Dean

3. Van Howell said...

Absolutely... we should encourage the proliferation of little mute swans to ensure our shelled brethren (and sistren) are well-fed.

The Darwinian approach, eh?
– Dean

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