The past couple weeks have been a chaos of obligations, tasks and chores. I started up my teaching job again, and yet SEANET demands are unrelenting. I was feeling rather overwhelmed by my schedule, which included, last week, a 3 hour drive down to Connecticut to do a talk for the Menunkatuck Audubon. As expected though, this dynamic and dedicated group reinvigorated my love for SEANET. Menunkatuck is a volunteer run chapter of National Audubon, and does not run out of a center, but is coordinated out of the various homes and offices of its remarkable members. They have generously provided me with a stipend for my travel both times I have come down to present to their group, something we do not require, but which is unspeakably welcome to our tiny organization. Thanks to Cindi Kobak for inviting me, to Dennis Riordan for aiding me out of my A/V flailings, and to the chapter’s President, Suzanne Botta. Additional thanks to the staff of the lovely Branford Public Library for use of their distinguished and dignified space.
Menunkatuck volunteers already monitor amphibians, horseshoe crabs, and birds (of course) and yet were most enthusiastic about contributing to SEANET. We discussed the particular challenges of this area of the CT coast, where beaches are very short and isolated one from the next by jetties, or seawalls, or impassable rocky segments. This drove home for me the need to work with people who have intimate, local knowledge of coastal conditions so that we might best modify our procedures where it is warranted. Our plan is to coordinate a series of small beaches into a critical mass of data. I will head down to the area again in Spring to meet up with new recruits and explore the beaches in person. I can’t wait–Menunkatuck always gets out a good crowd, and they like to buy the Beached Bird Field Guides and SEANET t-shirts too–an added bonus!