Submitted by Catherine Schmitt on Thu, 10/05/2017 - 16:31


Congratulations to the recipients of the Maine Sea Grant Undergraduate Scholarship in Marine Sciences for the 2017-18 academic year: Brittany Bills, UMaine Machias; Rachel Borisko at Maine Maritime Academy; Andrew Davidsohn, Michelle Dufault, and Jessica Stumper at University of New England; Kaitlyn Clark at College of the Atlantic, and Mimi Edmondson, Laura E. Paye, and Ashley Sarra at the University of Maine. Each will receive $500 from Maine Sea Grant, matched with a $500 award from the student’s home institution.


Maine Sea Grant is one of many partners contributing to a restoration project on Pierce Pond in the Town of Penobscot. On August 17 construction crews broke ground on a new fishway that will allow alewives and other sea-run fish to pass into the lake, which connects into Northern Bay on the Bagaduce River.

Keri Kaczor, who coordinates the Maine Healthy Beaches Program, reports that the dry summer weather lended to a great season for beach water quality: 97.3% of water quality samples were in compliance with EPA water quality standards, the best performance in the program's history. Ongoing efforts to identify sources of pollution by program staff and local partners were successful at finding and fixing two wastewater malfunctions in 2017.

Marine Extension Associate Kristen Grant recently helped to facilitate public forums in Sanford to to explore opportunities to create housing for people who work in the local area. Grant has been working with the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast to help towns plan and design affordable residential developments for the last ten years. To date, the communities of York, Kittery, Berwick, Wells, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire have made progress developing workforce housing.

Natalie Springuel contributed to the Salts & Water Podcast Series by award-winning producer Rob Rosenthal. These audio stories feature fishermen, sailers, boatbuilders, and more from Eastport, Stonington, Searsport, Rockland, Bath, and Portland. Salts and Water is a project of Experience Maritime Maine, funded in part by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Hamilton Marine, Maine’s MidCoast & Islands, and sponsored by Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors.

Maine Fishermen’s Forum has issued their Call for Presentation Proposals for the 2018 Forum, scheduled for March 1-3 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Founded in 1976 as part of a Maine Sea Grant project, the mission of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum is to provide continuing opportunities to educate the public and the fishing industry about fisheries and marine resource issues, and to provide a neutral platform for constructive discussion and decision making. Proposal submission deadline is November 1, 2017.


In August, as part of the Maine Sea Grant-funded research project, Lost to the Sea, researcher Alice Kelley hosted a workshop to bring together residents of coastal communities, tribal representatives, resource managers, and conservation groups to address issues of shell midden site access, monitoring, and preservation. The two-day workshop, which included a field trip to the Whaleback Midden State Historic site and discussions at the Darling Marine Center, addressed the question, How can stakeholders help to monitor, rescue, and protect shell middens in Maine? A summary of the workshop is available, along with additional stories:

The NASA Earth Observatory featured an image produced by UMaine researcher as its image of the day: “Oyster Prospecting With Landsat 8.” The research, led by Jordan Snyder, a graduate research assistant in marine sciences, and Emmanuel Boss, professor of marine sciences, uses satellite data to identify areas along the Maine coast ideal for oyster aquaculture. With remotely collected data from the NASA Landsat 8 satellite, the researchers were able to derive sea temperature, chlorophyll concentrations and water turbidity along the coast of Maine and rank the each area’s suitability for successful oyster cultivation. Their work was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Catherine Frederick, Damian Brady, and Ian Bricknell published their paper, Landing strips: Model development for estimating body surface area of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Aquaculture 473:299-302.

In July, the Maine Sunday Telegram featured efforts to develop a culinary use for the invasive European green crab. The research, led by Marissa McMahan of Northeastern University and supported by the University of Maine Sea Grant Program, is identifying the timing and process of the molt in order to take advantage of the “soft-shell” stage which is a food item in some parts of Europe. McMahan worked with Chef Tim O’ Brien of Enoteca Athena restaurant in Brunswick to test out some green crab recipes on Tuesday evening.

Why was graduate student Nicole Ramberg-Pihl in the Kenduskeag Stream in Exeter and Garland in search of smallmouth bass on a hot July day?


5-9 November | Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Conference | Providence, RI

17-18 January | Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Forum | Orono, ME

2-4 March | Maine Fishermen’s Forum | Rockport, ME

Ongoing | Lobstering & The Maine Coast | Maine Maritime Museum


Maine Sea Grant Annual Report 2016

Estuary Beat is a new monthly briefing on estuary and coastal news in The Working Waterfront by Communications Director Catherine Schmitt. Read past beats here (June, July, August).

Why we love the ocean: the psychology and physiology behind our attraction to the water. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors September/October 30th Anniversary issue.

Downeast Fisheries Trail Five-Year Report

Oral history in Winter Harbor

Check out the new Oyster Trail of Maine!

Remember to tune in to WERU-FM for Coastal Conversations on the fourth Friday of the month:
October 27: Traffic and Crowding at Acadia National Park
November 24: Marine Mammals

And check out the archives of previous Coastal Conversations:
September 22: Salts & Water, Stories from the Maine Coast
August 25: Fisheries History at Penobscot Marine Museum
July 28: The Beaches Conference
June 23: Alewife Restoration & Monitoring
May 26: Downeast Fisheries Partnership