You never know what you might find while taking a stroll along the shore. Flotsam and jetsam is not always pretty. Some days you might discover a strange looking fanged tooth skull.
The powerful late October coastal storm that slowly trekked across the Northeast, including New York Harbor, on Sunday and Monday morning gave rise to more than just a month's worth of rain in less than two days. The storm also provided at least one weird beach find.
While taking a walk along the edge of Sandy Hook Bay late in the day on Monday, I came across a toothy skull from the water’s depths. At first glance it looked like the facial remains of a strange, scary sea monster.
But have no fear! This was no missing link to a murder mystery or the remains of a deep-sea monster. Upon further study the skull was just an unfortunate leftover from a recent unknown fishing endeavor.
The brownish skull with spiky teeth in the sand was actually the bones of a bluefish. It looked a little extra creepy because the skull was missing its upper jaw.
The mouth of an adult living bluefish is large and has extremely sharp, ﬂattened, and triangular teeth. The lower jaw is sometimes slightly prominent with strong sharp teeth.
Bluefish, both adolescents and adults, are known for their sharp, fang-like teeth. They have some of the sharpest teeth of any fish along the northeast coast, like a snapping serrated knife. They have razor sharp teeth that can easily cut a finger.
Large numbers of bluefish are on the move now migrating south for the winter to the Carolinas, Florida and other southern waters. Various anglers around New York Harbor and along the northeast coast are catching bluefish before local coastal waters turn cold and the fish disappear. When a person catches a fish, she or he will often clean and gut the fish so remains or the meat can fit inside a cooler to keep it fresh. Fish heads are frequently cut off and discarded as waste. Over time, the flesh of the fish head will be eaten away and the skull and other bones will wash ashore to be found by curious beach walkers.
Thankfully fish heads are not something you’d typically see on a beach all the time. But with the fall run taking place now, the annual migration of striped bass, bluefish and other fish to the southern waters, anything can wash up including heads, tails, and other fishy body parts. Be aware.
Maybe instead of tossing fish heads, anglers should eat 'em up instead. Yum!
10 berries that birds love
These shrubs and trees produce attractive flowers that develop into a colorful berries, which will attract songbirds and other birds to your backyard.
By TOM ODER
November 1, 2013, 11:48 a.m.
Mother Nature Network
Have you ever thought about birdscaping your garden? Birdscaping in this case doesn’t mean putting out a lot of feeders with different types of seed. It means planting the types of plants that will attract birds to your garden.
If birdscaping hasn't made it to your gardening to-do list, a good way to get started is by planting berry-producing plants — and now is the perfect time of year to do that. These plants produce attractive flowers that develop into a colorful berries, which will attract songbirds and other birds that can turn the garden into a wildlife wonderland.
Here are 10 easy-to-grow berry-producing shrubs, vines and trees that produce berries that birds will love. Most of these plants should grow well throughout the United States, according to Bill Thompson III of Bird Watchers Digest in Marietta, Ohio. Consult with your local nursery or local native plant authority to find species in these plant families that are appropriate for your local region’s soil and climate. The birds listed below are just a sampling of the most common species that each plant attracts, according to Thompson.
Globe had 2nd warmest year to date, 4th warmest September on record
Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverage remains small
October 18, 2017
The equinox on September 22 marked a seasonal milestone for planet Earth. It signified a rapid progression into autumn for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and spring for those “down under” in the Southern Hemisphere.
Let’s dive deeper into our monthly analysis to see how the planet fared for the month and the year to date:
Climate by the numbers
The average global temperature set in September 2017 was 1.40 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 59.0 degrees, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. This average temperature was the fourth highest for September in the 1880-2017 record. This marked the 41st consecutive September and the 393rd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.
Year to date | January through September 2017
The year-to-date average temperature was 1.57 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 57.5 degrees. This was the second warmest for this period, 0.23 of a degree behind the record set in 2016. Nine of the 10 warmest January-September global temperatures have occurred since 2005, with 1998 as the only exception.
Rivers carry plastic debris into the sea
UFZ researchers have proven that large river systems are the main culprits for plastic pollution in the oceans
press release, 17. October 2017
Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic debris ends up in the sea - a global environmental problem with unforeseeable ecological consequences. The path taken by plastic to reach the sea must be elucidated before it will be possible to reduce the volume of plastic input. To date, there was only little information available on this. It has now been followed up by an interdisciplinary research team who were able to show that plastic debris is primarily carried into the sea by large rivers.
In the meantime, minute plastic particles can be found in the water in virtually every sea and river. This constitutes a serious and growing global environmental problem. There are enormous quantities of input each year and plastic weathers only very slowly. Marine life can be harmed by the tiny plastic particles floating in the water. One example of how this happens is when fish, seabirds or marine mammals mistake the particles for food and consume them. "It is still impossible to foresee the ecological consequences of this. One thing is certain, however: this situation cannot continue," says Dr. Christian Schmidt, a hydrogeologist at the UFZ. "But as it is impossible to clean up the plastic debris that is already in the oceans, we must take precautions and reduce the input of plastic quickly and efficiently."
U.S. Winter Outlook: NOAA forecasters predict cooler, wetter North and warmer, drier South
Drought likely to persist in northern Plains
October 19, 2017
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released the U.S. Winter Outlook today, with La Nina potentially emerging for the second year in a row as the biggest wildcard in how this year’s winter will shape up. La Nina has a 55- to 65-percent chance of developing before winter sets in.
NOAA produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what's likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather's impacts on lives and livelihoods. Empowering people with actionable forecasts and winter weather tips is key to NOAA’s effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation.
“If La Nina conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”
Where To Spot Wild Animals In NYC: Awesome New Seasonal Map Tracks Urban Wildlife Where and when to stalk the city's hawks, eagles, bullfrogs, turtles, deer, coyotes, salamanders, foxes, owls, possums, crabs and more.
By Simone Wilson (New York City Patch Staff)
Updated May 19, 2017 6:01 pm ET
New York City Patch
NEW YORK, NY — Need a break from your fellow man? Look no further than this awesome new interactive map and calendar, created by the NYC Parks Department, which tells you what species hang out in which parts of the city at what times of year.
“There’s no need to leave New York City to see wildlife," NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchel Silver said in a statement Thursday announcing the city's new online critter-stalking tool.
“With more than 600 species living in our city," Silver said, "there are plentiful opportunities to witness these magnificent animals in their element."
You can play with the map and calendar here, or scroll down for our month-by-month breakdown of the NYC Parks data.
But first, a reminder from city park officials: "Most of NYC’s wildlife are not dangerous; however, maintaining a safe distance is the best way to protect your safety and the safety of our wild neighbors. If you see an injured animal, leave the animal where it is, give it some distance, and call 311. If there's any immediate danger, please call 911."
Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life
Date: October 20, 2017
Source: Portland State University
Summary: Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, illustrates how concentrations of pharmaceuticals found in the environment could pose a risk to animal survival.
For years, tests of seawater near areas of human habitation have shown trace levels of everything from caffeine to prescription medicines. The chemicals are flushed from homes or medical facilities, go into the sewage system, and eventually make their way to the ocean.
In a laboratory, the PSU team exposed Oregon shore crabs to traces of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac. They found that the crabs increased their foraging behavior, showing less concern for predators than they normally would. They even did so during the day, when they would normally be in hiding.
N.Y. / REGION |
The Vegetarian’s Puffer Fish
By DAVE TAFT
OCT. 5, 2017
The New York Times
Pokeweed is at its most beautiful in early autumn. It is also at its most toxic. From its lovely purple-black berries to the very tip of its stout, white taproot, the plant is poison.
Consequently, it may seem strange that pokeweed is avidly sought out as a wild edible.
Songs have been written extolling pokeweed’s virtues. In fact, no less than Elvis Presley and Tom Jones covered Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie” — a song about more than just eating poke salad. I only hope Annie was harvesting and cooking her greens in the early spring.
At the point when its shoots are only a few inches tall, pokeweed can be harvested and boiled to make a basic cooked vegetable. But as the plant matures, the three-inch shoots grow to a towering, treelike plant with spreading bright magenta stems. These you do not want to eat
An adult male Fork-tailed Flycatcher recently seen at Sandy Hook, NRA in New Jersey.
Fishermen and anglers from Maine to New Jersey will often call this time of year the “fall run.” An exciting length of time from August to November when large schools of baitfish bring sizeable schools of striped bass, bluefish and other big fish in hot pursuit. With the fall run, every surfcaster from miles around is attracted to the water for a chance of hooking a large or unusual fish.
For birders throughout the fall, this is an equally enthralling time. Birds too are on the move to wintering homes as colder temperatures and shorter days foretell frostier times ahead. Fall, especially October, can be an electrifying time for birding around New York Harbor, as you never know what might show up. Each day holds great promise to see a diversity of rare species that pass through on their way south or north for the winter.
Such was the case last Sunday. A remarkable wanderer flew in near North Beach at Sandy Hook, not far from the mouth of New York Harbor. A very rare and irregular migrant.
A beautiful adult male fork-tailed flycatcher was seen foraging for flying insects among the cedars and shrubs near the North Beach parking lot at the Sandy Hook peninsula, part of Gateway National Recreation Area in New York Harbor.
Sporting an extremely long forked tail, even greater in length than their cousin the scissor-tailed flycatcher, this male fork-tailed flycatcher was mostly black and gray above and white below. The shape of the bird’s body resembled a kingbird, which makes sense because it’s a member of the kingbird genus Tyrannus.
N.Y. / REGION
Deaths of Dozens of Canada Geese Linked to Moldy Bread or Grain
By VIVIAN WANG
OCT. 14, 2017
The New York Times
Malone, N.Y., near the Canadian border, is a familiar name in the birding community.
Every fall, the sky above the rural community, about 200 miles north of Albany, fills with a sight that draws bird-watchers from far and wide: thousands of snow and Canada geese migrating south and stopping on a lake at Malone Memorial Recreation Park.
This year, though, the birds’ arrival brought not only awe and appreciation but also anxiety after three dozen Canada geese were found dead at the park. Park visitors and workers began finding the carcasses scattered over the past few weeks, the park’s director, Dan Andrews, told The Malone Telegram on Thursday.
Residents worried that the geese were being killed by local contamination, perhaps in the grain or water, Carl Sherwin, a Franklin County legislator who lives in Malone, said in an interview on Saturday.
52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
By NADJA POPOVICH and LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA
UPDATED Oct. 6, 2017
The New York Times
Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change.
To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 50 environmental rules, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
Bad news! There have been fewer sightings of Red Knots this year in both Delaware Bay during the bird's spring migration and along South Beach in Chatham, MA during its fall migration.
This little shorebird makes one of the longest yearly migrations of any bird, traveling over 9,200 miles (15,000 km) from breeding grounds well above the Arctic Circle (the first known nest was discovered during Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole in 1909) to Tierra del Fuego in southern South America. Along the way Red Knots will make stops along estuarine beaches in North America, sometimes small flocks will show up in New York Harbor, to rest and roost. In the spring the birds need to refuel on fatty horseshoe crab eggs with the largest flocks seeking a feast along Delaware Bay.
Unfortunately, populations are in decline. The shorebird is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Decades of widespread emerging challenges like climate change and coastal development, coupled with the historic impacts of horseshoe crab over-harvesting have sharply reduced the Red Knot population with few signs of hope.
Atlantic menhaden is a critical food source for nearly every major marine predator up and down the Atlantic coast. These predators – and the balance of the entire ecosystem – can only thrive when every part of the food web thrives. If populations of menhaden drop too low, everything from striped bass and bluefish to humpback whales and seabirds will have a harder time finding food. We need menhaden managers to know that it’s unacceptable to allow populations of menhaden to drop to risky levels. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comments through October 24. So take action today:
A migrating osprey flying near New York Harbor
After reaching its peak in early October, osprey migration around New York Harbor is slowing down. Fewer and fewer flying ospreys are being spotted, but sights of migrating ospreys will continue well into November. Fall migration is still under way for young birds that were raised far up in New York, New England and Canada, as colder temperatures and shorter days signify the coming winter.
The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) also known as a fish hawk or sea hawk, is a large diurnal, fish-eating raptor. Chances are pretty good you have seen one flying around New York Harbor this fall in places like Sandy Hook Bay, Jamaica Bay, Raritan Bay and other watery areas where they nest. You may not have even known you had spotted one. A quick glance at a single osprey will appear like a large gull, similar to a Lesser black-backed gull, especially in flight.
But ospreys are no gull. They are superb fishers. Most avian field guides indicate that 99 percent of an osprey’s diet consists of live fish, including menhaden or bunker, flounder and bluefish. It's the only raptor that relies so much on fishing for living.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, ospreys catch a fish at least one in every four dives, with success rates sometimes as high as 70 percent. The average time the bird spends hunting before making a catch is about 12 minutes. A much better success rate than most weekend warriors around New York Harbor that try their luck catching a fish with rod and reel.
Ospreys that nest around New York Harbor and in many parts of North America are migratory. Over the years wildlife biologists have tracked those that have nested in New Jersey and Jamaica Bay, NY with miniature satellite transmitters during fall migration. Amazingly the bird’s journey took them to far-away tropical places, including Cuba and other islands in the Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil’s Amazon River basin. A mind-blowing voyage that travels over land, ocean, and sea; and fishing all the way!
Can Gowanus Survive Its Renaissance?
Brooklyn’s famously filthy canal is getting cleaned up.
A building boom is coming. And not everyone is happy.
By ANDY NEWMAN
OCT. 13, 2017
The New York Times
“Welcome to Venice Jerko.” The greeting is painted in three-foot-high letters on a brick wall along Brooklyn’s legendarily polluted Gowanus Canal, right across from the canal’s first luxury high-rise and its new waterfront promenade.
One recent sunny Sunday, a party of German seminary students and a pair of hotel publicists gathered for a canoe tour. The seminarians had read about the canal in a German travel guide that promised “a romantic sunset on the water.” The publicists were scouting to see if the boutique hotel, opening a few blocks away, might want to include guided canoe trips.
“It could make for a great guest experience,” one of the publicists said. The voyagers carried their canoes past the cafe tables on the promenade, put in below the new boat ramp and paddled off.
The future is flowing in fast on the sleepy little canal, where the wilderness of urban decay that sprouted artists and then artisanal ice cream shops is being tidied and tamed. Stroller traffic on the bridge to Whole Foods grows thick, and the sliding crunch of the concrete factory conveyor belt is falling silent.
But as much as the canal zone has been remade already, the next few years promise, or threaten, a different magnitude of change altogether.
New Publication by Hawk Mountain scientists shows seasonal changes in migration timing
September 27, 2017
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, PA
Earlier this month, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary biologists published a new paper in collaboration with researchers in Canada and across the United States that suggests global climate change is creating long-term shifts in seasonal migration timing and the amount of time eastern North American raptors spend on their breeding grounds.
The article, "Long-term phenological shifts in migration and breeding-area residency in eastern North American raptors" was published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances on September 20. Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien, the Sanctuary’s senior research biologist, served as lead author with co-authors Director of Long-term Monitoring Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Director of Conservation Science Dr. Keith Bildstein, and seven other collaborators.
The research suggests an overall delay across species in most eastern North American raptors in autumn migration passage, which correlates with an increase in temperature. Combining those results with earlier spring migration data further suggests that most species in this region are increasing the amount of time they spend on their breeding grounds.
West Coast beetle saving East Coast's hemlocks
David M Zimmer, Staff Writer, @dzimmernews
Published 5:00 a.m. ET Sept. 28, 2017 | Updated 12:27 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2017
A tiny beetle from the Pacific Northwest may be reversing the fortunes of the region’s remaining hemlock stands.
Once thought to be doomed by a sap-stealing insect from Japan called a hemlock woolly adelgid, North Jersey’s hemlock groves now appear to be in the aftermath of a near fatal attack, said Rosa Yoo, an assistant regional forester with the state forestry service.
A series of cold winters several years ago has received some credit for the reprieve. There is also a predatory beetle brought in from the West Coast in 2005 that Mark Mayer, the New Jersey Bureau of Biological Pest Control chief, said has helped him overcome a bought of depression.
To Breed or Not to Breed? Migratory Female Butterflies Face a Monsoonal Dilemma
From: National Centre for Biological Sciences
Published October 3, 2017 10:28 AM
What do CPUs, stockbrokers, and butterflies have in common? They are good at investing their resources in the right place at the right time so as to maximize their returns! Trade-offs are a way of life for butterflies and other small insects that must budget their energy between numerous morphological features and activities during their short lifespans. Time, food, and space are always at a premium, and optimizing resource use is particularly important for migratory butterflies that must prepare for arduous journeys in uncertain environments. A new study by researchers at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS-TIFR, Bengaluru) reports on butterfly migrations in peninsular India and explores the effect of migration on resource investment strategies of migratory butterflies. It reveals that migration affects the morphology and physiological states of female butterflies much more prominently compared to that of males.
Milkweed butterflies (so called because they feed on plants with a milky sap) are commonly found in gardens and wooded areas in southern India. Every year, four species – the Double-branded Crow (Euploea sylvester), Common Crow (Euploea core), Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis), and Blue Tiger (Tirumala limniace) – undertake a bidirectional migration between the Western Ghats and the southern Eastern Ghats and surrounding eastern plains. Swarms composed of millions of these butterflies grace the environs of Bengaluru on their way. This spectacular phenomenon first occurs between April and June, before the southwestern summer monsoons hit the Western Ghats, when butterflies are driven by pre-monsoon showers to the eastern plains and hills. The return migration to the Western Ghats, undertaken by newly emerged butterflies of the next generation, takes place between October and December, after the south-west monsoons are over.
How Do Fish Find Their Way?
Hatched in the ocean, larvae may use sound to settle on reefs
By Bennett McIntosh
:: Originally published online September 6, 2017
A day in the field for Justin Suca begins at 4:45 in the morning, just before the first stars begin to disappear from the sky over the island of St. John. He’ll spend the next five hours motoring around the reefs south of that Caribbean island, retrieving tubular nets full of fish trapped during the night. The fish are much too small to eat or sell, but Suca doesn’t throw them back.
He and other scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are there to count tiny larvae, often less than a centimeter long. The nets intercepted the larvae as they made their harrowing trip from the open ocean where they hatched, to the reef where they would settle down and live. Suca and colleagues are there to understand how they find their way home.
The larvae travel almost blind, swimming overnight through dark waters, so they must rely on other senses. Rich chemical clues about the flora and fauna on a reef can disperse miles through the water, but Suca says the fish would have trouble relying on their noses to guide them home. Smell can travel a long distance, he said, but it’s hard for fish swimming through swirling pockets of odor to discern which direction the smells are coming from without integrating other senses. So Suca is focusing on how the larvae use another sense: sound.
Dead Dolphins Wash Up On 3 New Jersey Beaches
In the past week, dolphins have washed up dead at Sandy Hook, Sea Bright and Sea Isle City. Three dead whales washed up, too. Why?
By Carly Baldwin (Patch Staff)
Updated Oct 10, 2017 4:57 pm ET
Middletown NJ Patch
SANDY HOOK GATEWAY NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, NJ — In the past four days, bottlenose dolphins have washed up dead on three different New Jersey beaches, and marine mammal experts are at a loss as to why. Two whales also washed up dead on New Jersey beaches recently; a pygmy sperm whale and her calf washed up at Brigantine last Wednesday, Oct. 4. They both had to be euthanized because they were badly injured from rolling the surf.
The most recent dolphin washed up Monday in Sea Bright, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, a volunteer marine mammal rescue center based in Brigantine. On Sunday, Oct. 8 a dead dolphin washed up in Sea Isle City, and on Friday, Oct. 6 one washed up at Sandy Hook.
Center director Bob Schoelkopf said he wasn't sure why they were washing up, although at least one had shark bites. Tests are being conducted to determine how all three died and if they are connected. A third pygmy sperm whale washed up Sept. 20 in Holgate on Long Beach Island, according to NJ.com. The whales are especially concerning, because the pygmy sperm whales are deep-sea creatures, Schoelkopf said.
The ravenous hunger for sand worldwide was spotlighted in the 2013 documentary “Sand Wars” by French filmmaker Denis Delestrac, which warned that illegal sand mining could make beaches a thing of the past by the end of the 21st century.
Every house, skyscraper and glass building, every bridge, airport and sidewalk in our modern society depends on sand. We use it to manufacture optical fiber, cell phone components and computer chips. We find it in our toothpaste, powdered foods and even in our glass of wine (both the glass and the wine, as a fining agent)!
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations?
Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “SAND WARS” have begun.
Story by Pola Lem.
NASA The Earth Observatory
Accessed October 4, 2017
Nestled under the crook of Brooklyn, Jamaica Bay is a place as different from New York City as you can find. A rare haven amid the urban gridlock, it borders some of the most densely populated counties in the United States.
On August 26, 2016, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured a natural-color view of the bay. The image was acquired at 11:39 a.m. Eastern Time, just before the low tide. Sediment clouds the water, a result of the ebbing tide passing between a handful of small islands in the bay. Just across the peninsula, south of the Rockaways, larger waves create a marbled pattern on the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite the calm of the bay, there are constant reminders that this is, in fact, New York City. A road and train track cuts through the center of the bay, along the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Dozens of times a day, the subway clatters through. Planes roar overhead on their arrival and departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport, built on marshland at the bay’s northeastern edge. In summer months, city dwellers laden with towels and sunscreen pass through the bay on their way south to beaches in the Rockaways.
A snapper bluefish caught in New York Harbor by the author
For bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), a native predator fish in New York Harbor and surrounding tidal waters, October means just one thing - it’s time to gorge on large schools of baitfish.
Renowned for their fighting ability, bluefish have voracious appetites and is a frenzied eater. They will travel in large schools to feed predominantly on menhaden, herring, or on any prey they can capture. Bluefish are visual feeders, often hunting in large schools during the daytime to attack anything that moves or slightly resembles food, such as a human foot or thumb.
Spencer Fullerton Baird, an American naturalist, ornithologist, ichthyologist, herpetologist, and the first Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries for the United States Fish Commission, writing in the 1870's, estimated that large schools of bluefish annually consumed “at least twelve hundred million fish during the four summer months off southern New England” which he was present in Woods Hole, MA. This might have been an overestimation, since modern scientific tools were not present to accurately count fish, but large schools of bluefish do have aggressive feeding habits and are frequently known to demolish enormous schools of baitfish.
Decades later, prominent wildlife scientists Henry B. Bigelow and William Schroeder, wrote the Fishes of the Gulf of Maine published in 1953 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They called bluefish the “most ferocious and bloodthirsty fish in the sea, leaving in its wake a trail of dead and mangled mackerel, menhaden, herring, alewives, etc, on all of which it preys.”
With all due respect to striped bass, the unofficial saltwater fish of New York Harbor, pound for pound the bluefish is the finest and fiercest fighting fish in local tidal waters. Forget the detractors. If they can’t appreciate the fight and ferocious nature of a bluefish, it's their loss, right?
Bluefish are tough fighting fish with a ravenous appetite. The blues will feed heavily in October before their migration southward to Cape Hatteras during the winter, but sometimes will swim even farther south to Florida or Cuba. Bluefish are generally warm-water fish that prefer temperatures higher than 55 degrees F. In order to fuel a time-consuming aquatic migration, the fish must eat relentlessly on various species of baitfish including menhaden or bunker, which historically formed large schools during their own southbound migrations.
As Seas Warm, Whales Face New Dangers
By KAREN WEINTRAUB
OCT. 2, 2017
The New York Times
MOUNT DESERT ROCK, Me. — From the top of the six-story lighthouse, water stretches beyond the horizon in every direction. A foghorn bleats twice at 22-second intervals, interrupting the endless chatter of herring gulls.
At least twice a day, beginning shortly after dawn, researchers climb steps and ladders and crawl through a modest glass doorway to scan the surrounding sea, looking for the distinctive spout of a whale.
This chunk of rock, about 25 nautical miles from Bar Harbor, is part of a global effort to track and learn more about one of the sea’s most majestic and endangered creatures. So far this year, the small number of sightings here have underscored the growing perils along the East Coast to both humpback whales and North Atlantic right whales.
This past summer, the numbers of humpback whales identified from the rock were abysmal — the team saw only eight instead of the usual dozens. Fifty-three humpbacks have died in the last 19 months, many after colliding with boats or fishing gear.
The Nation’s Approach to Managing Flood Risks Must Change
September 13, 2017
By Joel Scata
In the era of climate change, the “business-as-usual” approach for addressing flooding is no longer an option. Current federal policies create an unsustainable “flood, rebuild, repeat” situation for managing the nation’s flood risks. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, while extreme events, laid bare the holes in our nation’s ability to prepare for and adapt to a growing number of large-scale natural disasters. We are now seeing more severe storm events, rising sea levels, and more people moving to vulnerable coastal areas. The impacts and associated damage costs from floods will only continue to increase without reform. The Trump administration and Congress must pursue policies that make America safer and more resilient to flooding.
Three major flood policy areas demand immediate attention:
As we tally up the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the need for these reforms will only increase.
The High Costs of Flooding
Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms to hit the United States, caused widespread flooding along Texas’ Gulf Coast and in parts of Louisiana. The storm damaged tens of thousands of homes, impacted critical facilities, like hospitals, nursing homes, and water treatment plants, and most tragically, resulted in over 70 deaths. The costs to rebuild Houston and other affected areas will be high, possibly reaching $190 billion.
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell