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Message from the Chair of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership
Ellen Roy Herzfelder

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Special Issue 3 (2005): 1


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Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area: Natural Resources Overview 2005 Northeastern Naturalist 12(Special Issue 3):1 Message from the Chair of the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership In 2001, the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership launched a five-year initiative to better understand the nature and condition of the Boston Harbor Islands. As this Special Issue attests, with the help of many cooperators, we have made a good start in building the data needed for better decisions. Scientific data helps us make informed judgments about island management and appropriate levels of visitor use. Thankfully, scientists and scholars will continue to use the islands as a teaching laboratory. We are proud to count preeminent biological theorist and writer Edward O. Wilson among those with an interest in the islands. We also share Dr. Wilson’s commitment to “drawing the public into the vital task of understanding and preserving our native biodiversity—the vast wealth of living things that can be discovered here in New England.” We plan “bioblitzes”—intense, expert-led inventories of the number and variety of species living in specific natural communities—on the islands in the months ahead to enable curious citizens to also become acquainted with the nature of the islands, while gathering important data about the species they identify. Here in Massachusetts, there is a great wealth of biodiversity, with at least 15,000 visible species of animals and plants. And this is only a fraction of the total, because thousands of species are not easily seen and have not yet been recorded. Help us discover more about the Boston Harbor Islands. They are part of what makes Massachusetts such a great place to live—or to visit. Ellen Roy Herzfelder Secretary of Environmental Affairs Commonwealth of Massachusetts