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