The dramatic amount of large plastic material that has been introduced into our rivers, bays and oceans has been well documented, and the harm this material can cause to marine organisms is well known to conservationists. Billions of pounds of plastic have been found in about 40 percent of the world’s oceans, an amount that could outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
This pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. Thousands of marine mammals such as seabirds, seals and sea turtles are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it. Moreover, these macro-plastics also fragment into micro-plastic particles via weathering and UV degradation. According to one report, over 99 percent of plastic that entered the ocean since 1950 has sunk below the first few hundred feet of the ocean. There are 10,000 times more microplastics on the seafloor than in the polluted surface waters.
These small particles can also interact with marine animals, especially those that filter feed. The uptake and accumulation of microplastics by filter-feeding, bottom-dwelling animals such as bivalves, is not clear. Equally unclear is whether ingestion of microplastics by filter feeders results in toxicological effects. This is the focus of Dr. Ward’s research.
In his presentation, Dr. Ward will discuss the current understanding of plastic pollution in the ocean and its interactions with marine animals. He will present his research into the capture, ingestion, rejection and elimination of microplastics by commercially important bivalves. The goal of this work is to understand uptake of microplastics by marine animals, identify a robust bioindicator for plastic particles in the ocean, and examine the potential for transfer of microplastics through the food chain.
The free program will be interactive with an opportunity for participants to ask questions. There is no charge, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, visit https://www.ctaudubon.
Professor and Head, Department of Marine Sciences, UConnDr. Ward is an experimental biologist whose research interests are directed toward an understanding of the dynamic interactions between marine animals and their environment. Using an integrative approach, he directs his students in the study of processes ranging from the organism to the ecosystem level.
He is particularly interested in the behavior and physiology of benthic, particle-feeding invertebrates. Much of his research focuses on commercially important bivalves (e.g., clams, mussels, oysters), which are key components of most coastal ecosystems. These animals provide vital ecosystem services and are an important link between oceans and human health.
About the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center:
Named for the renowned artist, scientific illustrator, environmental educator, and conservation advocate, Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is known for its work in environmental education, conservation, research, and advocacy. The center is dedicated to facilitating scientific research, establishing high-quality environmental education for children, teens and adults, and promoting outreach and advocacy to preserve, protect and conserve the estuary and its beauty for generations. From it’s 5.25-acre site on the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme, the Center serves young people and adults across the region in person and virtually, offering small group programs like bird walks and owl prowls, a CT River ecological expeditions course, citizen scientist activities, vacation and summer camp programs and a curriculum-based Science in Nature program for schools in Southeastern Connecticut.
LYME/OLD LYME — Setting the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Building Referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 8 — the same day as the state elections — has, in Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold’s words (sent via text), been, ” … very complicated with, I believe, five lawyers working out the details.” Those details were required to be filed with the State of Connecticut today.
Griswold went on to explain, “Electors will vote on the candidates by ballot and on the school referendum question (yes/no ballot) in the same room,” but, “Qualified voters who are not electors may vote only on the referendum question in a separate room.”
Lyme Selectman John Kiker similarly confirmed by text, “… regular voting will be in [Lyme] town hall and the referendum voting will be in the [Lyme Public] library.”
Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted by email that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are sending out a Fact Sheet to all Lyme and Old Lyme residents and property owners next week, which, along with additional information on the referendum, will help to clarify the difference between ‘electors’ and ‘qualified voters.’
The Fact Sheet explains that an ‘elector’ is any registered voter in either Lyme or Old Lyme.
It then goes on to state that, “A qualified voter who is not an elector is any citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years or more who, jointly or severally, is liable to the Town of Lyme or Town of Old Lyme for taxes assessed against him or her of not less than $1,000 on the last completed grand list of the Town, or who would be so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (17), (19), (22), (25) or (26) of Section 12-81 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and is not an elector (registered voter) of the Towns of Lyme or Old Lyme.”
This difference between the two is significant as qualified voters (who cannot vote in the state elections in Lyme or Old Lyme because they are registered to vote elsewhere) must by state statute physically vote at a location at least 75 ft. from that of registered voters.
Therefore, in Old Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the school building referendum in the LOL Middle School Gym.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the LOL Middle School Cafeteria.
Meanwhile in Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the LOL Schools Building Referendum at Lyme Town Hall.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the Lyme Public Library.
Regarding the unusual need for two polling locations in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Griswold stressed, “The Registrars must man and equip the two separate voting locations in each town,” noting, “The school will be responsible for the costs related to the school referendum.”
The ballot question for the LOL Schools Building Referendum will read as detailed below and and then ask for a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response.
“Shall the resolution appropriating and authorizing bonds in the amount of $57,555,000, of which it is expected that an estimated $9,775,000 shall be reimbursed by the State of Connecticut, for the planning, design, demolition, construction, renovation, equipping and furnishing of Mile Creek School, Center School, Lyme Consolidated School and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and related costs, be approved?“
Two public meetings will be held in advance of the $57.6 million LOL Schools Building Referendum on respectively Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at Lyme School, and Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Mile Creek School.
Polls will be open in both towns on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on the referendum from LOL Schools, visit https://www.region18.org/district-information/referendumwww.region18.org, email [email protected] or call 860-434-7238.
OLD LYME — On Wednesday, June 21, at 6 p.m., the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts Michael F. Oppenheimer from the New York University (NYU) Center for Global Affairs, who will give a presentation titled, “The Future of US Soft Power in US Foreign Policy.”
The in-person event will be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on Ferry Rd. starting with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 6 p.m. An online option will also be available. Attendance is free to SECWAC members and $20 to guests.
Soft Power, defined as our ability to generate support from other states without the threat or use of force, has been considered by most experts as essential to U.S. influence in the world.
OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Land Trust (OLLT) Regatta will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. It will be a two to two and a half hour excursion. The OLLT guide, Fred Fenton, is an experienced kayaker, who has led many of the Trust’s past regattas. Paddlers of all ages are welcome.
A US Coast Guard-approved life jacket or vest is required. Bring your own kayak (or canoe or stand-up paddleboard).
Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Contact [email protected] with name(s), number of boats, number of cars, and contact information. More details will be provided upon confirmation.
The event is free.
Donations to support OLLT’s work are appreciated and can be made via the OLLT website or by mail to the OLLT at P.O. Box 163, Old Lyme, CT 06371.
OLD LYME – The Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee (OLDTC) has announced their Campaign Kickoff Picnic Fundraiser will be held Sunday, Sept. 10, at Town Woods Park, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme from 1 to 4 p.m.
The OLDTC invites the community to join them at Town Woods Park to support their neighbors running for local office.
Old Lyme DTC Chair, Mary Jo Nosal, notes, “This is a great opportunity to meet and speak with local Democratic candidates for important boards and commissions in Old Lyme, including Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker, Commissioner Jim Lampos and Treasurer Mike Reiter.”
She adds, “State officials have also been invited.”
Nosal further advises, “There will be picnic fare, music, and the second annual Cornhole tourney. This is a rain or shine event and families should come expecting to have a thoroughly enjoyable time.”
The OLDTC would appreciate registration to assist with planning food and the cornhole tournament.
For more information about the event and to register, visit the OLDTC website at this link.
OLD LYME/LYME/OLD SAYBROOK —On Thursday, Oct. 19, join the Old Lyme Democrats for some autumn fun at Trivia Night at Myrcene Ale Co. located at 39 Ragged Rock Rd. in Old Saybrook.
Bring a team of two or six, or come along solo and a team will be found for you.
The host will be Dave Rubino.
All are welcome and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Entry is $25.00 per person and all proceeds benefit the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee.
Register online at this link or use the QR code above.