August 7, 2006

Restoring Nature, Maintaining the Status-Quo on Au Naturel

Carroll Andrew Morse

One phase of the cleanup of the January 1996 North Cape oil spill is nearly complete. As Peter B. Lord of the Projo reports…

Ten years ago, a winter storm drove the barge North Cape onto Moonstone Beach, where it spilled 828,000 gallons of home heating oil that killed thousands of shore birds and littered the beaches ankle deep with millions of dead lobsters.

The spill forced Rhode Island to launch an unprecedented effort to replace all that was lost. That work is now nearly complete….

But Thursday morning, Governor Carcieri and Sen. Jack Reed will lead a celebration of the program's biggest component, an effort to replace some 9 million lobsters that were killed by the spill. Together they will "notch" the last lobster to be protected.

One question on the minds of those familiar with the history of South County may be what attire is expected for the celebration at Moonstone; here's a finding of fact from the Federal court decision in New England Naturist Association v. Larsen telling us what may have been expected in 1988…
For many years, the public has used Moonstone Beach for sunbathing and swimming. Many of those using it, including members of the Association, have engaged in those activities unencumbered by bathing suits. By tacit agreement, the nudists have confined their activities to an area segregated from that frequented by their attired brethren.
Actually, unencumbered bathing was banned at Moonstone Beach about seven years before the North Cape spill occurred, so I assume (and hope) that Governor Carcieri and Senator Reed will be part of the attired brethren.