Gayle Zydlewski
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

James McCleave
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

Haley Viehman
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

Tidal hydroelectric development is a new technology being introduced to Maine waters. The potential effects on the marine environment, including commercially important fish species, are different than those resulting from traditional river-based hydropower. As a result, federal and state officials are taking a cautious approach to permitting, requiring rigorous environmental research and monitoring. Local communities are concerned about how the new installations and facilities might impact or interfere with other uses of the marine environment.

Zydlewski’s team will look at fish distribution and behavior in proximity to a cross-flow turbine device currently installed in Cobscook Bay. Automation of large acoustic datasets, integration with species identification from trawling, and data interpretation will enable a comprehensive picture of tidal device effects. The results will be shared with private power development companies, regulatory authorities, and local communities.

Two-year project; total Sea Grant funds $73,204