2012 has been a fantastic year for the Fishers Island Conservancy. The Conservancy has continued to fund and expand our existing programs while taking on several bold new initiatives thus further expanding our mission.
While we continue our core responsibilities of mosquito control, beach monitoring and clean up, water testing on and around the island, invasive plant education and control, and continued outreach within the Long Island sound community, the Conservancy has launched and funded our grants program to stimulate and encourage environmental research education and related studies.
Starting this fall, we awarded one of our first grants to an island resident, Justine Kibbe . She will serve as our resident naturalist and will be responsible for observing, monitoring, collecting and recording data related to all things environmental on Fishers Island from weather observations to wildlife sightings and tracking. Through her field observations, we will get a concise picture of what is happening environmentally on Fishers Island and what we can do as a community to enhance and protect our precious ecosystem. We look forward to sharing this information with all of you.
We are very excited to announce that the Habitat Committee, whose restoration work is in evidence around the grasslands at the airport and parade grounds, has been brought under our charter. With the help of volunteers and other island support, more than 35 acres have been reclaimed, plowed and over seeded with native grasses. Not only has this resulted in an overwhelming victory against invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed and Kudzu but we have seen an increase in birdlife not enjoyed on Fishers Island for years. Late last summer, the grasslands provided a cornucopia for migrating warblers and other birds as they stopped to feed on seeds and insects before heading to warmer climates. Listening to their varied and lovely calls is a true delight. I hope that it is only a matter of time before we hear the once familiar call of the Bob White quail. As I write, there are plans to expand and enhance the Parade Grounds / Airport grasslands project thus continuing the Conservancy’s commitment to the natural environment.
Lastly, once again we have teamed up with other island organizations and individuals to spearhead a coastal study of the south side of Fishers Island. This study will give us an idea about the trends in erosion patterns of our vulnerable south coast and how we can prepare for potential changes to our fragile shores. Stay tuned as this project evolves.
As you can see the Conservancy has been very busy this year and we show no signs of slowing down. We have dramatically increased our commitment to Fishers Island so as we close out our year, I ask you to please consider making a generous gift to the Fishers Island Conservancy. A gift to the Conservancy is a gift to Fishers Island, a truly special place that deserves our love and support.
Cheers and thanks.
Preisdent, Fishers Island Conservancy