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Apr 17, 2012 4:50 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Community Notes, April 19

Apr 17, 2012 4:50 PM

With Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, news that the western half of Shinnecock Bay has been rendered sterile sends an especially ominous wind this arid spring. Shellfish are not reproducing due to nitrogen pollution. Is this a wake-up call, or is it already too late? How to mark the day? Make a commitment to help heal the harm we’ve inflicted on Earth. Work toward environmental conservation by joining one of our local groups.

The South Fork Natural History Museum has Earth Day-inspired events planned for Saturday, April 21. Join in a beach cleanup at Sagg Main Beach from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. then enjoy a free open house at the museum, 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 1 p.m. a live raptor-and-animal presentation will amaze visitors of all ages. Expect to see a Eurasian eagle owl, screech owl, barn owl, tawny owl, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, American kestrel, peregrine falcon, fox, silkie chicken, and skunk. These creatures have recovered from various ailments and can no long survive in the wild, but are cared for by Wildlife In Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation, a volunteer group. The presentation is free.

“Seeing the first osprey fly over triggers something. It stimulates something in me,” said Frank Quevedo, director of SOFO. Watching them hover, fly and hearing them call is a joy many share. That osprey are back in abundance is directly attributable to the work of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson. A special event that honors her life and work will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Vineyard Field at the South Fork Natural History Museum. Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” published fifty years ago, has been credited with galvanizing the modern environmental movement. Carson spoke out against the widespread use of the toxic pesticide DDT.

Chief Justice William O. Douglas called her book “the most important chronicle of the 20th century for the human race.” Keynote speaker Linda Lear, acclaimed biographer and author of “Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature,” will give a slide lecture at the event.

Leaders from major local conservation groups will also participate. The fact that these groups exist at all is also part of Carson’s legacy, Frank said. The site of the event, a grassland restoration project, is another example of the conservation ethic that grew out of Carson’s “Silent Spring.” When Frank first read the book in college it didn’t quite resonate the way it does now, he said. But now, “it means a world of difference. It’s incredible what she did.” ... “What better place to hold the event,” he said. “It signifies what she worked to protect, habitat and wildlife.” Vineyard Field was recently inducted into Southampton Town’s Nature Preserve program and is one of the few remaining protected grasslands in the town.

The event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, celebrating their 15th year, Canio’s Cultural Cafe, Group for the East End, and the South Fork Natural History Museum. Admission is $60 which includes wines by Roman Roth and hors d’oeuvres by Cavaniola’s. Mail checks written to “FLPG” to “FLPG—Rachel Carson,” P.O. Box 1130, Bridgehampton, NY 11932 or visit to purchase tickets through PayPal. (Tickets will be held at the door.) For more information, contact Dai Dayton at 631-745-0689.

Just before the April 24 New York State presidential primary, the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival will screen the provocative political documentary “Patriocracy,” on Saturday, April 21 at Bay Street at 8 p.m. The hour-long documentary offers a non-partisan examination of Washington dysfunction and the hyper-partisanship undermining America’s ability to tackle its most serious problems. Following the film, a discussion will be led by the film’s producer/director Brian Malone and National Public Radio’s political editor Ken Rudin who appears in the film. Admission is $15 at the door.

Congratulations to Millicent Battle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Battle of Sag Harbor. Millicent was named to the winter term 2012 dean’s list at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut.

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