Then, you explain Mass Audubon’s support of the Ocean Plan and Cape Wind


To the Editor,

In the August 12 MV Times, my Chilmark neighbor, Jay Ayer, challenged POINT to put in writing that “some members of the panel (wind forum) suggested that Mass Audubon had a cozy relationship with Cape Wind.” (“Do you say collusion?”)

In responding to a question that had been asked about Audubon’s support for the state’s Ocean Plan — not Cape Wind — I answered, “Mass Audubon had no data because Martha’s Vineyard was not part of any of the data that was considered by the state plan. Mass Audubon has essentially conducted a coup on Martha’s Vineyard birders and on Martha’s Vineyard data. I would hope that if they had access to the data they might have taken a different position. There is some speculation that they have a very close financial relationship with the state — I don’t know about that, but I do know that their comments were without regard to data from Martha’s Vineyard about our birds.” This is from the transcript of meeting.

Yet, Jay challenged POINT to document Audubon’s cozy relationship with Cape Wind. Since he asked, I would urge readers to google “Audubon and Cape Wind,” and read, as I did, the next steps for Mass Audubon participation, which included their “Avian monitoring and mitigation plan implementation during the construction and three year post-construction phases of the project.”

Decide for yourself whether Audubon’s support of Cape Wind was or was not influenced by their appointment as counter of dead birds, as was stated directly in the March 21, 2010 edition of Newsvine.

But either way, my comments were with regard to the Vineyard and the state’s Ocean Plan — not Cape Wind.

That Mass Audubon supported the state Ocean Plan cannot be doubted. Jack Clarke, Mass Audubon director of public policy and government relations, said: “This is a comprehensive and holistic plan for Bay State ocean waters. It has already provided other states and the Obama administration with a model for state and national marine policy.”

Yet, the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, in commenting on the very same plan, pointed out that the state had no relevant bird studies or impacts on wildlife generally for the areas proposed for development. None. No studies whatsoever. Fish and Wildlife concluded with regard to their absence, “This is a major concern to the service.”

Still, Mass Audubon found the state’s Ocean Plan to be “holistic” without any knowledge about the effect on their principal charges — birds.

Does this mean that Audubon is an advocate of CO2 reduction, however speculative and expensive, above saving birds?

Where do we, who want to save birds right now, go if Mass Audubon is willing to sacrifice them to the “greater good” of unproven, very expensive, CO2 reduction?

I leave it to Mr. Ayer to tell us how, in the absence of Vineyard bird data, Mass Audubon came to its conclusion about the holistic effect of the state plan.

Andrew Goldman


Director of POINT