The upweller is an important piece of equipment for the nursery culture of several species of shellfish, such as the Eastern oyster and the hard shell clam. Upwellers powered by tidal action are used in regions where tidal flow can be captured effectively. In general, tidal upwellers have been designed based on trial and error, and built with materials the culturist has on hand.
Fisherman Babe Stanley and his son Shain have been working on a novel piece of equipment, a submersible mussel raft, to pursue their interests in growing mussels in Downeast Maine. Extension Associate Dana Morse helped by obtaining funding from Maine Sea Grant to do some scale modeling of the proposed system. John Riley of the University of Maine directed the modeling work, which was performed in conjunction with Roger Fleming of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), who represents several residents of the Sullivan area.
Natalie Springuel and other MET members are working with communities on bay-related issues throughout the state. In Frenchman Bay in 2005 and 2006, Sea Grant partnered with a nonprofit organization in Mount Desert, ME, called the Mount Desert Island Water Quality Coalition (MDIWQC) to sponsor "The Ambassadors of the Bay," mini-expeditions modeled after the 2002 Gulf of Maine Expedition.
With a $102,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded in 2003, University of Maine Cooperative Extension/ Sea Grant and School of Marine Sciences developed an environmental education program for middle and high school teachers and students, called The Silver Wake . Using marine phytoplankton as a theme, the program engages students in examining and protecting their local environment and demonstrates how local, hands-on science can help meet education standards, such as the Maine Learning Results .
Cobscook Bay's dramatic tidal range and strong currents have caused difficulties in predicting the impacts of events, such as oil spills or diseases that plague Maine’s salmon farms. MET member Chris Bartlett has been working with the Cobscook Bay Resource Center and high school students in Lubec and Eastport since 1999 to monitor these tidal circulation patterns with drifters. Part of the program has been designed to involve students in collecting meaningful scientific data about the waters surrounding their communities.