Thursday, December 18, 2014

Two Nantucket Lightships?

When visiting Wareham to deliver an oyster restoration talk at the local Boys and Girls Club as part of their oyster festival, we were surprised to see a Nantucket Light Ship parked in their Harbor. It was sad to see the ship parked forlornly decaying in place.

Lost Nantucket Lightship
Nantucket Lightship aging in place in Wareham Harbor.

We had heard that the Lightship once docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard had fallen into disrepair and perhaps this was it. But as we began researching the story, we learned that there is two of them floating around. Below is a considerably more uplifting story on the one in East Boston that ran in the Eastie Times. 

Nantucket Light Ship Part of Super Bowl Lore
February 5, 2014
The United States Lightship Nantucket (LV-112) docked in East Boston’s Boston Shipyard and Marina. The ship spent the weekend in New York City and played host to Super Bowl parties.
The United States Lightship Nantucket (LV-112) docked in East Boston’s Boston Shipyard and Marina. The ship spent the weekend in New York City and played host to Super Bowl parties.

It has become an East Boston landmark and on Sunday it became part of Super Bowl history.

The Nantucket Lightship LV-612, which is usually docked here in Eastie at the Boston Shipyard and Marina on Marginal Street, spent the weekend docked in lower Manhattan after a corporate client that attended the Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks chartered it.

The ship and its crew hosted a Super Bowl bash prior to the game at Pier 25 in Tribeca.
Since 2009, Eastie has played host to a national treasure. The giant red lightship docked on Marginal Street was declared a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1989. There has been a push locally to restore the historic vessel—a project that got a little help last year from students at the Curtis Guild Elementary School.

At the time of its NHL designation Lightship Nantucket, also known as Lightship No. 112 or simply LV-112, was the last serving lightship and one of only two capable of moving under its own power.

Three years ago the ship, which was docked in Oyster Bay, Staten Island at the time, was purchased for $1 by the United States Lightship Museum (USLM) under the leadership of Robert Mannino, Jr. The ship arrived in Eastie in October 2009.

Fourth grade students from the Curtis Guild visited the Nantucket Lightship last year with their teachers for a field trip. The 4th graders were so inspired by their visit they wanted to help with the ship’s fundraising efforts. In conjunction with their teacher, John Rogers, the students generously donated their toys to sell at the school store, intended to raise money and directed towards LV-112’s restoration costs.

The total cost to restore the ship back to its original glory will cost $1 million over the next several years.This is the second year that students and teachers from the Curtis Guild have visited Nantucket Lightship on class field trips.

The U.S. Lightship Museum’s primary mission is to restore and preserve the Nantucket Lightship as a National Historic Landmark, National Treasure and operate the ship as a museum and floating educational center in Eastie that is open to the general public.  In addition, the museum is currently providing interactive educational programs for grade school students and under-served youths in Boston, especially in the Eastie.

When LV-112 was a commissioned U.S. Coast Guard lightship from 1936 -1975 based in Boston, it was also utilized for marine biological, and environmental research by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
You can learn more about the ship at or

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oyster Restoration at JFK Airport Could be Model for Area Around Boston's Logan

Here at MOP, we track oyster restoration programs in other regions to learn from their success and travails. One of the areas that we follow is New York and we have found their work particularly interesting since they are working in an urban harbor and have big plans. 

They have oyster restoration projects underway near LaGuardia Airport at Sound View Park and JFK Airport in Jamaica Bay. In the map below of Jamaica Bay, JFK airport is on the upper right above the green star. 

Eel Grass Oyster Restoration Map JFK airport Jamaica Bay New York
Map of Oyster Restoration Sites in Jamaica Bay, New York- near JFK airport.

The map below shows Sound View Park, which is not far from LaGuardia. At this location there is both reef on the bottom as well as hanging oysters for teaching purposes.

Laguardia Airport Oysters, Oyster Restoration
Map of Oyster Restoration Site- Sound View Park- near LaGuardia airport.
It is interesting to see that they are making oyster restoration work in  urban environments that are also close to airports. In some ways airport waters could be a very attractive location as access is restricted, which would discourage pilferage- the illegal harvest of oysters. If it is working in New York, perhaps we could make it work here in Boston.

We have already reached out to Massport requesting that they require the shellfish serving restaurants, to be required to recycle their oyster shell. Surprisingly, the response has not been very encouraging. 

To learn more about the Jamaica Bay activity, you can click through the interesting slide show below. There work has some parallels with ours in that surviving oysters do not necessarily lead to successful reproduction. We saw this situation with our discontinued work at the mouth of the Charles.

<iframe src="//" width="425" height="355" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen> </iframe>
="//" title="Jbtf oyster presentation" target="_blank">Jbtf oyster presentation from href="//" target="_blank">ecowatchers   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boston CLF Ocean Planning Job Opening

The following job opportunity with the Conservation Law Foundation is available. Their offices are located in downtown Boston.

CLF has an opening for an Ocean Planning Outreach Manager. Reporting to the Vice President and Director of Ocean Conservation and the Ocean Campaign Director, he or she will be dedicated to carrying out the strategies and tactics necessary to achieve the goals of CLF’s Ocean Management Initiative by engaging in a robust education and outreach campaign to promote improved management of coastal and ocean waters and ecosystem-based ocean planning that promotes resilient, healthy, and productive ecosystems, and is developed through a robust public participation process. The Ocean Planning Outreach Manager will be charged with identifying and engaging various regional and community leaders, resource managers, ocean use stakeholders, scientists and educators, coastal community residents and the media in a variety of venues to advocate and build active public support for ecosystem-based ocean planning and the protection of important ocean wildlife and habitat. CLF is seeking a self-starter who thrives in a dynamic environment and welcomes the exciting challenges of working for a regional environmental advocacy organization dedicated to the mission of protecting New England’s environment.  This position requires considerable travel within New England. 

Responsibilities of the Ocean Planning Outreach Manger will include but are not limited to:

·         public and stakeholder outreach and coalition building;
·         understanding and articulating detailed ocean policy issues; 
·         research and development of print and web-based outreach materials;
·         outreach through use of web-based social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook;
·         updating and management of dedicated ocean planning website; and
·         public speaking, including representing CLF at public meetings, hearings and forums addressing ocean resource conservation and management.

The Ocean Planning Outreach Manager must be comfortable working with a broad range of stakeholders including industry, scientists, elected officials and community activists. This position offers an opportunity to work in a wide range of forums including federal, state, and municipal administrative rulemaking, federal and state legislative lobbying, science and policy symposiums, public outreach events, and a variety of print and electronic media.


Qualified candidates will have:
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Environmental or Marine Science or Policy, Political Science, Communications or a similar field;
  • Four or more years experience in public interest environmental advocacy, public policy and organizing around environmental issues. This is not an entry-level organizer position;
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, environmental issues, particularly ocean conservation science and policy, and a passion for and commitment to the environmental mission of CLF. Candidates should have the ability to understand and explain the science and policy aspects of environmental problems and their solutions;
  • Ability to work well with a wide range of people in a collaborative fashion, to be tenacious yet flexible, determined yet good natured, and with the highest personal and professional integrity;
  • Political awareness and demonstrated excellence and sound judgment in a variety of circumstances;
  • Excellent analytic abilities, exemplary oral and written communication skills;
  • Knowledge and demonstrated use of web-based environmental activism tools, including social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, to build strong coalitions and public action;
  • Ability to work both independently and in team settings and to manage multiple tasks simultaneously; 
  • Good sense of humor;
  • Must be willing and able to travel.
Salary and Benefits
CLF offers a competitive salary, an extensive benefits plan, and an open and accepting work environment where differences are highly respected.

Send your resume titled “your last name-first initial-resume” (e.g., “SMITH J RESUME”) and a detailed cover letter titled “your last name-first initial-cover” (e.g., “SMITH J COVER”) to  Please make Ocean Planning Outreach Manager“” the subject of your e-mail.  Application materials must be received no later than January 15, 2015.  Absolutely no phone calls or in-person visits please.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Important New Jersey Oyster Restoration Legislation Could Set Helpful Precedent.

Could oysters be on the way back to Raritan Bay?
An environmental group hopes so, after a bill that would permit research-related commercial shellfish reefs in the bay, as well as some other coastal and inner harbor contaminated waters, was reintroduced this week.
The bill would remove a ban the state Department of Environmental Protection placed four years ago on the cultivation of these types of reefs in contaminated waters. A similar bill failed in 2012 to make it out of committee.
"We're hoping the bill gains momentum and there is no pushback from the DEP," said Sandra Meola a spokesperson for NY/NJ Baykeepers, a Keyport-based nonprofit pursuing the recultivation of the reefs.
According to the DEP, the ban was issued because of the federal Food and Drug Administration's strict requirements about patrolling and monitoring the shellfish reefs.
"Back in 2010, the FDA had threatened federal sanctions or a shutdown of the shellfish industry in New Jersey because one group wasn't doing the required monitoring of these beds in a contaminated water body," said Bob Considine, a spokesperson for the DEP.
Considine said the lack of oversight on the reefs could lead to the risk of poaching, which could jeopardize the food supply with oysters unfit for human consumption.
He said the DEP is reviewing the bills but they continue to have the same concerns today.
"We recognize the importance of this type of research in relation to the health of contaminated waterways. But not if it's going to put people's health at risk," Considine said.
The NY/NJ Baykeepers believes oysters can help restore water quality in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, which they said is the most urban estuary on Earth.
Map of Raritan Bay  between New York and New Jersey

"Our work has always focused on the unique challenges of an urban estuary," said Meredith Comi, NY/NJ Baykeeper's oyster restoration program director. "Basic scientific questions regarding how oysters improve the functioning of an urban estuary must be answered. Lifting the ban on shellfish research will allow this vital data to be collected and used to develop restoration practices that are appropriate to the unique conditions of the NY/NJ Harbor."
In 2010, when the ban was issued, the NY/NJ Baykeepers had to remove their reef in Keyport Harbor in Raritan Bay, which they had been cultivating for nearly a decade.
"That was years of research and living oysters put into the bed of a truck and disposed of," Meola said.
The waters of Keyport Harbor in Raritan Bay are prohibited from shellfish harvest and cultivation, along with other waters in the bay, according to the DEP.
"We all want to protect and maintain the health of our waterways," Assemblyman Carmelo G. Garcia (D-Hudson) said. "Oysters do this naturally by filtering the water and removing nitrogen compounds. They also serve as barriers to prevent beach and shoreline erosion and provide refuge and habitat for fish and other sea life."
Garcia, along with Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Morris) and Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen), are primary sponsors of the bill.
Dan Radel: 732-643-4072;