Approximately 50 Islanders gathered before the Eversource facility on Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs Sunday afternoon to protest the utility’s continued use of herbicides along its Island electrical corridors.
Passing motorists honked support at homemade signs like “Say no to Rodeo,” “Wack — don’t spray,” “Exterminate glyphosate,” “Save our water supply,” “Goats eat brush,” among others.
At one point, a returning Eversource boom truck pulled past the protesters into the facility parking area and the signs turned to follow it like a radar dish tracking a plane. Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel was among the protesters, and state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, drove in for a brief appearance.
Clarissa and Keith Crossland of Frosty Hollow Farm in Oak Bluffs came with their infant son, Hezekiah, despite Eversource assurances that this year there would be no spraying under the power lines alongside their property.
Ms. Crossland said Eversource is damaging the Island’s water system wherever it sprays. Furthermore, she and her husband are still fuming from the heavy-handed tree cutting recently done at their farm by an off-Island Eversource contractor.
“They completely devastated our property,” Ms. Crossland said.
Eversource said it would cut a 20-foot-wide path under the power lines, Ms. Crossland said. Instead, it cut one “at least 50 feet wide.” They also left a mess, she said. Eversource offered no compensation but told her they may plant some lilacs in the clear cut zone.