The global story this week on the Climate Crisis has been reported on for years—the melting of the Greenland glaciers. However in a new article in Nature, the scientific reports indicate that the melting is happening at a much faster rate than previously analyzed. The impact on our climate and weather patterns will be profound.
If you haven’t seen the images or heard the news about the impact of recent storms on the Atlantic Coast of Long Island, especially on Montauk’s shoreline, and the inundation of Beach Lane in Wainscott, or Gerard Drive, Louse Point and Lazy Point in Springs and Amagansett as well as Sammys Beach Rd near Three Mile Harbor…take a look at this article in the East Hampton Star.
“Now is the hard moment,” East Hampton’s Planning Board Director, Jeremy Samuelson told the town board last Tuesday during an assessment of a ravaged coastline after three storms in the past month.
“Now is the moment where we have to begin to behave differently. We can no longer simply continue to behave the same way and expect that everything’s going to be okay. It won’t.
“We have to move roads, we have to move critical infrastructure, we have to design differently.” Jeremy Samuelson, East Hampton Town Planning Board as reported in the East Hampton Star.
Bio-diversity loss is part of the big picture:
We are losing precious complex ecosystems that help to regulate our hydrology cycles, our nitrogen and phosphorus interchanges, stabilize soil and sand through their deep roots and clean toxins from soil and underground water, while preventing toxic run-off from reaching our bays and marine-life. And, of course, these complex native eco-systems are vital to the life of animals, birds and insects which we need to survive.
“The continued destruction of nature across the planet will result in major shocks to food supplies and safe water, the disappearance of unique species and the loss of landscapes central to human culture and leisure by the middle of this century, experts have warned.” Patrick Greenfield, Phoebe Weston and Ajit Niranjan, in “A Biodiversity Catastrophe” published in The Guardian
“By 2050, if humanity does not follow through on commitments to tackle the five main drivers of nature losscritical natural systems could break down just as the human population is projected to peak.”
The Five major drivers of bio-diversity loss: Changes in land and sea use; Direct exploitation of natural resources; Climate change; Pollution and Invasive alien species.
How bio-diversity Loss happens locally:
“Good quality (pristine) native plant communities are disappearing at an alarming rate.” The East Hampton Natural Resources department booklet.
More than ever we know we must conserve our resilient native habitat and restore disturbed “contiguous native plant communities” in the words of our East Hampton Natural Resources Dept. Although that process is more and more challenging with the construction of ever larger homes, decks and pools requiring more and more land-clearing. And all too often the garden space around those covered over and disturbed lands are replanted with exotic, non-native and invasive species or dead ecological lawns.
“Therefore, it is critical for us individually to do our part to promote native species and to control non-native species,” East Hampton Natural Resources department.
Each and every one of us who cares about the survival of our community, healthy eco-systems and our planet, will hopefully find a way to also speak up to our Town government about what we expect from our elected officials and various regulatory boards to combat the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity at every level. ChangeHampton has submitted testimony this past fall at a Town Board meeting addressing over-development and the role it plays in compromising our healthy eco-systems and our health!
Aldo Leopold, Early Environmentalist & The Critical Necessity of a Land Ethic
Aldo Leopold wrote in his famous book of essays, A Sand County Almanac, (1949) about the Land Ethic:
“The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land…That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics…A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of land…We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in…A land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it…it implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”
At ChangeHampton we’re committed to this Land Ethic.
We have created a bio-diverse, 70% native, Community Pollinator Garden in front of East Hampton Town Hall where a turf lawn existed before. It includes native trees, shrubs, pollinator friendly perennials and grasses to model a new land ethic for our community. See the history of the garden here. Watch for exciting educational and participatory events in the garden this spring, summer and fall.
We are researching, scheming and developing plans for other model restorative landscaping projects in East Hampton—native grasslands, pollinator meadows, hedgerows, and mini-forests!
Check out our website for what you can do in your yard!
More Book Suggestions!
Laurie Petroske, ChangeHampton team member, has put together a list of books that are helpful in learning about native plants of the North East:
Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast – Ruth Rogers Clausen and Gregory D. Tepper deer-resistant rating by plant and companion plants
Native Plants of the Northeast – Donald J. Leopold
The Living Landscape – Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke
ecological functions of each plant as well as landscape functions
The Northeast Native Plant Primer – Uli Lorimer
|Websites that inspire us:
Vicki Bustamante, of Third House Mountauk, a wonderful nature center with trails, oversees a website, New York Flora Atlas. Check it out.
We love the positive stories about community Wilding and Seeding…
Lots of Resources for spring planning in your yards;
Lists of Landscapers who understand the new land ethic;
Resources & Nurseries for ordering plants;
Remember to check out our East Hampton Community Garden Plant List on our website.
Coming Soon: Plants organized by features (sun, moisture, attraction to pollinators and birds, bloom time, color, height) and by combinations for designing your garden or meadow.
|Make a donation to ChangeHampton and receive a cap or T-shirt! Great conversation starters!! firstname.lastname@example.org