R-12-02 General circulation and exchange between isolated regions in Casco Bay

Neal Pettigrew
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469


Casco Bay is a dynamic coastal region that hosts the greater Portland metropolitan area, Maine’s largest city. Casco Bay is home to both endangered and commercially important marine species, is used for many recreational and tourism activities, and is the second largest importer of oil on the US Northeast coast. Oil and other chemical spills, harmful algal blooms, severe storms, and invasive species are all threats to the ecology and marine-based economy of the region. Environmental management of the Casco Bay area, including the ability to predict the range and speed of oil spill dispersement, depends on a clearer understanding of the circulation of the Bay.

Building on previously-generated and newly-collected oceanographic data, Pettigrew will characterize the major circulation features within Casco Bay and estimate tidal, subtidal, seasonal, and transport exchanges between the interior and outer bay. The findings likely will be useful to the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Friends of Casco Bay/Casco Baykeeper, and other stakeholders in the region.

Two-year project; total Sea Grant funds $115,124