During this week’s Coastal Conversations we’ll be hearing about a comprehensive research project being led by the University of Maine call the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network or SEANET. This 5-year, National Science Foundation-funded, grant is made possible through the ESPCoR program which is hosted at the University of Maine.
Here in early March in Maine, we are starting to get a bit of respite from the long nights, short days and bitter winds of winter. The sun shines more directly, puddles form in driveways and along the roadsides, and the voices of streams can be heard as the snowmelt begins. You may even have some greenery sprouting up on the windowsill, in a peat pot or paper cup. Things are happening.
Have you ever visited a salt marsh? These wetlands provide valuable habitat for birds and fish, and help protect coastal property from flooding and storm damage. But they are vulnerable to rising sea levels and other climate-related changes, prompting action by local conservation organizations and scientists.
On our next program, host Catherine Schmitt will visit a salt marsh with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, explore the perceptions of salt marshes through history, and talk with University of Maine researchers to discuss the status and importance of marshes, and the birds that call them home.
Today, Maine’s aquaculture industry includes many fishermen who are using aquaculture to diversify their incomes. There’s a lot to know however, when entering the aquaculture industry, and since 2013, the Aquaculture in Shared Waters program has provided training, technical support and networking for commercial fishermen and members of fishing families who are interested in diversifying their incomes. The course is offered by University of Maine Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension, Maine Aquaculture Association, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., and Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, and the 2017 class is forming now, to be held in Ellsworth.
Maine Sea Grant's biennial wall calendars are here!
All of us at Maine Sea Grant are mourning the loss of several members of Maine’s environmental science community. Bigelow Laboratory Executive Director Graham Shimmield, who helped guide our programming through his participation on our Policy Advisory Committee, passed away in December. We also will miss Bill Townsend, a longtime advocate for clean water and protector of Maine rivers; Brian Robinson, Sea Grant researcher and archaeologist who helped expand our understanding of the human history of the coastal landscape; and Gordon Hamilton, a researcher with the UMaine Climate Change Institute. Our condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues.
With the turn of the year, we've been reflecting back on the centennial of Acadia National Park and the National Park Service.