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What’s in Your Pond?

June 14, 2019

The answer to that question might surprise you. Ponds are hotspots for insects, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The combination of wildlife and ever-changing lush landscapes also attracts the human eye. We are fortunate on Nantucket; while sometimes we have “too much of a good thing” in terms of over-exuberant pond vegetation, most of our aquatic…

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Spring Unfurls at Squam Swamp

May 10, 2019

This is a great time of year to take a walk through the winding trails of Squam Swamp and see the season spring to life. This trail loop off Wauwinet Rd. takes visitors through eerily shaped stands of hardwood forest and past freshwater bogs filled with vibrant mats of sphagnum moss. Bunches of Cinnamon Fern…

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Using Wetlands to Improve Nantucket’s Coastal Resiliency

January 11, 2019

As an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket intimately understands the impacts of increased flooding frequency and storm events. For our community, adopting ways to increase our Coastal Resiliency is essential to maintaining quality of life, community function and ecological integrity on our little island. So what is Coastal Resiliency? Essentially, it is the ability of a coastal…

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Looking for a Nantucket Earth Day Event? Spring Fest is Coming!

April 18, 2017

Earth Day 2017 (Saturday, April 22nd) is shaping up to be an interesting one, as people around the world come together to support both environmental awareness and science. While there isn’t an organized “March For Science” event planned for our island, Nantucket Eco Group is presenting the second annual Spring Fest event that day, with…

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The Winter Life of the Salt Marsh

January 26, 2017

*Please note, this blog post was originally published in The Inquirer and Mirror on January 19, 2017  in the article series called Island Ecology. The Foundation’s Science staff will be regularly contributing to our local newspaper and reprinting articles here the following week.* As the shortest day of the year has passed and we officially…

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Rare Wetlands in the Midst of an Old Trash Dump

August 17, 2016

*Please note, this blog post was originally published in The Inquirer and Mirror on August 11th, 2016  in the article series called Island Ecology. The Foundation’s Science staff will be regularly contributing to our local newspaper and reprinting articles here the following week.* On the southeast end of Nantucket Island there is a large tract…

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World Wetlands Day 2016

February 2, 2016

February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, celebrated internationally every year since 1997 to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. The Ramsar Convention represents a multi-national treaty which has facilitated work to survey, study, prioritize and conserve valuable wetland resources around the world and to promote the wise use of wetlands. World Wetlands…

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Salt Marsh Dieback and the Purple Marsh Crab on Nantucket

December 22, 2015

Unexplained die off of salt marsh plants, particularly along creek edges and the low tide line, has become an increasing issue along the New England coast since the 1990s. Along marsh creek banks and harbor edges, salt marsh plants (particularly salt marsh cordgrass or Spartina alterniflora) began disappearing, leaving behind large swaths of exposed soil, filled…

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Four-toed Salamanders

May 22, 2015

In 2009, Andrew Mckenna-Foster, Director of Natural Science at the Maria Mitchell Association, found the very first record of a four-toed salamander for Nantucket in the vicinity of Sesachacha Pond! Andrew was working on another project at the time and incidentally found the four-toed salamander underneath a plywood board meant to attract snakes. Up to…

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Big Weird Trees: Further Exploration at Squam Swamp

November 14, 2013

During the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Conference on Nov 1-3rd, 2013, a large group of conference attendees joined me to visit some of the largest, and likely some of the oldest, trees at Squam Swamp. These exemplary trees may provide clues to Nantucket’s land use history, teaching us more about how the forest has grown and…

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