Earth Day 2014 is this coming Tuesday, April 22, and the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Environmental Club is hosting two speakers at 7 p.m. at the high school at 69, Lyme Street in Old Lyme. Students from high schools in the local region, as well as the general public, are invited to attend.
Before the speakers take the stage, the audience will be able to visit with various groups who will be manning information tables in the Commons area of the high school. These groups will include the Lyme and Old Lyme Land Trusts, the Old Lyme Conservation and Open Space Commissions, the Potapaug Audubon Society, the Tributary Mill Conservancy and the CT River Gateway Commission.
The theme on which the speakers will focus is: “Spring Migrants And Our Coastal Food Chain: Alewife, Menhaden, and Osprey.”
First to speak will be conservation biologist and ornithological expert, Dr. Paul Spitzer, who will discuss his current study of osprey in the lower Connecticut River estuary.
Inspired by his mentor Roger Tory Peterson, and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Spitzer was part of the movement that banned DDT in 1972, documenting its correlation to the thinning of osprey egg shells. He is now collecting data related to the over-fishing of menhaden, a primary food source for osprey chicks.
Spitzer will be joined by Connecticut DEEP biologist Steve Gephard, supervisor for the State’s Diadromous Fish and Conservation Enhancement programs. Gephard will discuss efforts to restore and protect the fish that migrate between Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River and its tributaries.
It was announced last week that President Obama has appointed Gephard to serve as the Commissioner of the Council of North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.
According to Congressman Joe Courtney’s office, this is “an international organization established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984 that seeks to restore and manage Atlantic salmon populations”.