Sutton Lynch rises most days before the sun, arriving at Atlantic Beach in Amagansett, N.Y., for the early-morning calm. It’s the same beach he’s been going to since he was a child, and where he worked as a lifeguard for years as a teenager. Now 23, he spends his mornings surveying the horizon. When he spots activity on the water’s surface, he sends out his drone.
Mr. Lynch has earned a devoted following on Instagram for his remarkable footage of marine life off the coast of the East End of Long Island. Alongside images and videos of humpbacks, hammerheads, dolphins, bluefish and many other species, he writes captions that range from childhood memories and research on the effects of fishing policy to explanations of animal behavior. Across the board, his work exudes a reverence for the ocean and the creatures that call it home.
Mr. Lynch’s followers often express surprise that this abundance of species exists just out of sight. The truth is, the resurgence is fairly new. And so the photographer is documenting a dramatic turning point in the East End’s environmental and cultural history — a renewal of sea life after decades of depletion.
As recently as 10 years ago, a whale or dolphin sighting was an uncommon occurrence on the East End. The overfishing of Atlantic menhaden — a keystone species that is essential to a healthy ecosystem — led to a huge drop in marine life off the coast of Long Island in the latter part of the 20th century. (Bony and oily, menhaden are harvested for their nutrient-rich oil and are rarely eaten by humans; they feed on plankton and algae and serve as prey to dozens of larger animals.)
In 2012, in response to menhaden’s numbers having fallen about 90 percent in three decades, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission enacted the first coastwide catch limits on the fish. Populations soon rebounded, improving water quality and bringing more whales, sharks, rays, seals, dolphins and other animals closer to the beach than they’ve been since the middle of the last century.
“It’s very rare that you have a conservation gain that is so visible in such a short time,” said John Gans, a northeast field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “And it’s 100 percent attributed to the 2012 catch limits put in place on menhaden.”
The return of larger animals that feed on menhaden coincided with Mr. Lynch’s coming-of-age as a photographer. He got his first drone at 17 and began filming from his home shores.
It’s fitting that his career would hinge on a humble fish. In a region, the Hamptons, and on a platform, Instagram, known for exclusivity and superficiality, Mr. Lynch’s work is both accessible and authentic. “There’s nothing pretentious about him,” said
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Four frogs with violins gather beneath a window to serenade another frog in a dress. You don’t see that every day. Nor a frog being shaved in a barber’s shop. “People are so obsessed with technology, it can be tough to get them interested in frogs,” says my guide Marina Bitunjac, as we ponder a scene in which one of the amphibious creatures balances a boot on his nose.
Recently listed for $12.5 million, and situated 50 minutes from Monaco, Les Moulins du Villars on the French Riviera is an estate with important historical significance and a special connection to Grace Kelly.
With spectacular year-round sunshine, never-ending entertainment and action-packed activities, there’s certainly no bad time to visit Florida. But depending on your interests and what you’re trying to find (or avoid) when you get here, there’s likely to be a “best time” to come.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.
Whispers of lunar vacations are causing a stir while down-to-earth astrotourism continues to bloom as a carousel of eclipses and supermoons light up the sky. You may not necessarily need to stray too far from home on your hunt for celestial spectacles. Rental cabins with moonroofs put sleeping under the stars on the table for those who prefer an alternative other than a traditional camping setup. These divine Airbnbs with a glass roof in the United States are made for lazy stargazing from bed.
In November 2016, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck and ravaged the region around the town of Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The earthquake and the ensuing landslides killed two people, and demolished homes, roads, and railway tracks. Indeed, parts of the Main North Line, one of the most scenic rail routes in the world, slid into the ocean, forcing the Coastal Pacific train to stop its operation. In 2018, the line was repaired and the magnificent train journey between Christchurch and Picton resumed. Today, the Coastal Pacific still runs along the Pacific Ocean, allowing travelers to see New Zealand’s beauty, the slow and comfortable way.
Summer in New York City means outdoor festivals, al fresco dining, and day-long picnics in the park. But it also means mystery street smells, sidewalks so hot they could melt diamonds, and the dreaded subway car with a broken AC. Even die-hard New Yorkers need a weekend away from the mayhem, and when the weather is warm, there’s no better place to escape than the beaches near New York City.
The first written evidence of beer being brewed and consumed dates back as far as 4,000BC, with the ancient Sumerians believed to have developed the earliest known methods for creating the alcoholic drink. Its history and connection to human civilisation runs deep, and a number of today’s beers have their own remarkable heritage.
It took the second thud to rouse me. Worried I’d slept through it, I slid up the blind to find our train pulling into the port city of Villa San Giovanni in Calabria, Italy. Not quite 6am, the last of the night’s sky was taking leave: navy clouds pulled apart before my eyes, a single neon-pink patch igniting the ridgeline of the Peloritani mountains in north-east Sicily.
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