The entire community’s help is needed. Salt Island is one of Gloucester’s most beautiful natural treasures and a vibrant part of our coastal ecosystem. Martignetti’s proposed future dream house for Salt Island
Why goats are a terrible idea for a coastal ecosystem
Goats used to control vegetation in places like Central Park and cemeteries have had some success however, these locations are not fragile coastal ecosystems. Goats are not discriminating and will eat everything in their path. To eradicate PI, you must dig it up by the roots.
Salt Island is an oasis of native plants and shrubs. Natural, largely undisturbed habitats, like Salt Island, provide refuge and food for resident and migrating birds alike. Note in the photo below, which was taken at the time of installing the fence posts, the beautiful native vegetation growing at the Island.
We need to point out that the fallacy stated by Mr. Matignetti at the Conservation Committee meeting,”Poison Ivy is an invasive species,” is incorrect. Poison Ivy is a native North America plant and is known for its value to wildlife. Poison Ivy flowers bloom early in the spring, providing nectar to myraid species of bees and other pollinators. The fruit of Poison Ivy is consumed by dozens and dozens of songbird species. The berries provide much needed sustenance in the late summer, fall, and winter. These are just some of the birds that eat PI fruits: Northern Flicker, Bobwhite. Quail, Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwing, woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, and American Robin.
Granted, Poison Ivy is not a plant you want to become entangled with but the entire Island does not need the vegetation eradicated under the guise of removing PI.
There are shorebirds, ducks, and gulls nesting at Salt Island, along with a highly productive shellfish bed. Lobsters are caught off the shores of Salt Island and baby lobsters need fresh, uncontaminated water. We do not want goat feces and goat worms contaminating this vibrant coastal ecosystem!
Typical fencing used for goat vegetation control is three feet tall livestock fencing-
unlike the fence posts that have been installed at Salt Island, which are permanently bolted into the granite rocks.Fence posts permanently bolted to the granite at Salt Island
Notice how far the fence posts go down on the left. This is not a “keep in the goats” fence line, but a “keep out the people fence line.”
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
Please email our City Councilors. We learned that when trying to change the dog ordinance to protect Piping Plovers that the more people that write to the Councilors, the better chance our voices will be heard. There is power in numbers. Please write in your own words, or copy paste the following –
Please help us save Salt Island from future development, goats, and all destructive and detrimental activities to this vibrant coastal ecosystem. Thank you.
Attend the virtual Conservation Committee meeting on Wednesday evening at 6pm.
Councilors email addresses:
Ward 1 Salt Island Councilor Scott Memhard firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Cox email@example.com
John McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie O’Hara email@example.com
Barry Pett firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven LeBlanc email@example.com
Valerie Gilman firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Nolan email@example.com
Jen Holmgren firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Senos City Clerk email@example.com
Photos of fence post installation May 12, 2021 –
Exploring fun at Salt Island