Wrack Lines – Vol. 4, No. 1: Letter from the Editor


Spring/Summer 2004

Letter From the Editor

To Our Readers

I hope you've all enjoyed your summer as much as I did. I had a great time helping to introduce my granddaughter, Emily, to the Atlantic Ocean (she approved). By the time you get this issue, though, our beach paraphernalia will be wistfully stowed away. Nevertheless, if you're heading south for a vacation on the coast, you'll find the article on escaping rip currents useful knowing what to do could save your life or someone else's. There's a Connecticut survivor story in this issue. These true-life experiences are equal to any TV reality fear or survival show, frightening campfire tale, or hair-raising Halloween legend I've ever heard, and are not as rare as you might think.

Speaking of true-life tales, there's the terror, tribulation, and treasure of the treacherous William "Captain" Kidd. You may have recently admired Johnny Depp as dashing Captain Jack Sparrow in the Disney flick, or recall reading about Long John Silver and other famous fictional buccaneers as a child, but did you know that real-life pirates once walked the shores of Long Island Sound? They came to trade or sell their booty, and maybe to bury it. It's part of our history and our maritime heritage. On page 4 you'll read about Captain Kidd's misadventures, and learn of a new event coming to the UCONN Avery Point campus, complete with a pirate masquerade ball. "Sea, Science, and Swashbucklers" is a public event that promises to be educational and fun.

More on scary situations: while we no longer need to fear capture by marauding pirates, and might not encounter a nasty rip current, we all do need to worry now about the health of our oceans and coastal resources. These, the tangible treasures at our feet, are clearly in peril. Nancy Balcom's article tells us about a unique opportunity upon us to change national ocean policy for the better. To really understand the ocean's importance to the U.S. economy, take a look at page 3. We know now that the vast oceans do have limits, and that we are rapidly approaching those limits. The U.S. Ocean Policy Commission has taken notice, and issued a bold call for action.

Action is also the byword for Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellows lucky senior graduate students who are selected for the opportunity to assist federal policy makers on Capitol Hill. In Laura Rear's article, you can see through her eyes her fantastic experiences both on the Hill and at sea. Laura's doing her best to encourage the preservation of marine heritage sites such as the grave of Titanic.

Finally, we tell you about those pretty, prickly jellyfish that pester us at the shore this time of year and then so quickly disappear, the Lion's Mane jellies. And, by means of Jack Sauer's terrific photos, you get a shoreside peek at the colorful Coastweeks Regatta 2004, held in September in Mystic, Connecticut.

I'd say it's an action-packed issue. We'd like our readers to take one small but important action to help maintain and improve Wrack Lines magazine. Please fill out and return the brief survey for this issue. The first ten cards that we receive will be mailed a free copy of "Living Treasures of Long Island Sound", providing a complete mailing address is given. All suggestions are welcome, as always. Read on, and enjoy!

Peg Van Patten

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