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. The Ambassadors of the Bay program was created to educate participating paddlers, including several high school students, and community members about the multiple and sometimes conflicting issues facing the bay's waters and shorelines.
In 2005, the group met with mussel farmers, clam diggers, and waterfront landowners. They learned about the various methods of mussel harvesting from industry members, about red tides from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and about the complexities of land protection from conservation professionals. The expedition group presented their findings about the state of the bay at a series of public meetings with neighbors and stakeholders and, with the assistance of Maine Sea Grant, published an extensive report of their findings. The bay-wide interest triggered by the first Ambassadors of the Bay journey resulted in an active network that is collectively addressing issues related to community and environmental health.
In 2006, the Ambassadors of the Bay expedition made landfall at the Schoodic Education and Research Center and at the MDI Biolab to host community visioning sessions about the future of Frenchman Bay. The student Ambassadors are spending the fall 2006 semester compiling the information into a community vision GIS map.
2005 Ambassadors of the Bay Final Report PDF 8.03 MB
60-page report written, edited and designed by the Ambassadors, the MDI Water Quality Coalition, and Maine Sea Grant.
The MDIWQC sponsors the Ambassadors of the Bay through the Maine Coast Learning Expedition. More information about MDIWQC and the Ambassadors can be found at this Web site.