News from Maine Sea Grant | Fall 2015

EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS

Vote for us! The animated video, “A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine: The Lobster Pot Heats Up” by Maine-based O’Chang Studios is in the running for a Vizzie Award from the National Science Foundation’s Vizualization Challenge! Public voting for the People’s Choice Award begins in November; watch our social media pages for links.

The Signs of the Seasons New England Phenology Program has entered a new partnership with Maine Audubon, engaging long-time volunteers in the annual Loon Count to gather information on the timing of migration, mating, and the appearance of loons and chicks. After a training workshop in September, volunteers are already collecting data that will contribute to an accurate picture of loon populations in Maine. For more information, listen to the program being discussed on WERU-FM.

 

EXTENSION HIGHLIGHTS

The past two summers, beach managers along Maine’s coast reported excessive amounts of seaweed washing ashore. In response, Keri Kaczor gathered information on the ecology, regulations, and scope of the problem. Her report has been referenced by the news media, and Keri is working with state legislators on rule changes that will expand community options for dealing with excess seaweed on beaches.

Sarah Redmond prepared a video update of the 2014-15 seaweed season in Maine, which aired at the Second Annual Maine Seaweed Festival took place on August 29 at Southern Maine Community College. The Portland Press Herald covered the evening event, the Full Moon Fishery Feast. Sarah also talked seaweed at the recent Let’s Talk About Food Festival in Boston, with a nice profile by The Boston Globe.

Maine Sea Grant is again working with The Workforce Housing Coalition (WHC) of the Greater Seacoast and other partners to host two-day design Charrettes in Berwick, Maine (October 14 and 16) and Barrington, New Hampshire (October 21 and 23). The Charrettes are intended to envision workforce housing opportunities. Community members, property owners, and an all-volunteer design team comprised of housing professionals will work together to create a conceptual vision for mixed-use developments that include homes for local workers.

NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program has awarded $33,000 to Maine Sea Grant for the project, Aquaculture for Fishermen: A Modular, Collaborative Approach to Marine Aquaculture Training. Marine Extension Team members Chris Bartlett, Dana Morse, Sarah Redmond, and Natalie Springuel  will work with the Maine Aquaculture Association, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, and Coastal Enterprises, Inc., and the Maine Sea Grant Communications Team to provide aquaculture education, training and support to traditional commercial fishing families. The new effort builds on the Aquaculture in Shared Waters project, which has already provided diversification training to 32 fishing families. As part of the new project, the MET will also facilitate connections between seafood producers, consumers, and members of the culinary, tourism and service industries. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Storage Facilities Loan program has been extended to include aquaculture, thanks to efforts by the Maine Farm Service Agency, the Maine Aquaculture Association and the Maine Sea Grant Program at the University of Maine.

 

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Call for Proposals! The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, in partnership with the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), is seeking proposals to address the impacts of ocean acidification on key resource species in the northeast (New York Bight to the Gulf of Maine) as an aid to assist coastal communities in adapting to current and future conditions in the region. The deadline is October 15.

In August, we journeyed out to Mount Desert Rock to check on the theodolite, a high-powered GPS-enabled telescope installed atop the lighthouse tower. Sean Todd, of Allied Whale and College of the Atlantic, uses the instrument, purchased with Maine Sea Grant Program Development funds, to accurately and rapidly determine the position of whales. This has led to Mount Desert Rock being selected as a research site for an important collaboration between Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and NOAA, where spatial data are being combined with acoustic survey data, allowing whale sightings to be correlated with the sounds they make underwater.

 

PUBLICATIONS

American Lobster Settlement Index, fact sheet with information on data access and trends.

Dhakal, N., S. Jain, A. Gray, M. Dandy, and E. Stancioff. 2015. Nonstationarity in seasonality of extreme precipitation: A nonparametric circular statistical approach and its application. Water Resources Research 51(6):4499-4515.

Dzwonkowski, B., N.R. Pettigrew, and S.R. Knapp. 2015. Spatial and temporal variability of the velocity and hydrographic structure in a weakly stratified system, Broad Sound, Casco Bay, Maine. Journal of Geophysical Research 120(6):4576-4594.

Maine Climate News update from the state climatologist.

AUDIO:  Coastal Conversations WERU-FM 89.9 Blue Hill

Bob Duchesne’s Wild Maine featuring Chris Bartlett at the Old Sow whirlpool, 92.9 FM

More of Chris talking gulls and birding at sea and from the Bangor Daily News.

Where did the idea for Sea Grant come from? With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future is a 200-page profile of a man that some called a "gadfly" and other's called "the flywheel of the machine of American science." Written by our friend Sharon Moen at Minnesota Sea Grant, the biography spans an era of history that includes WWII, the "Roswell Incident," the founding of Sea Grant and the space race.

 

EVENTS

International Oyster Symposium | 21-23 October | Welfleet, MA

The American Lobster in a Changing Ecosystem II | 3-6 November | Prince Edward Island, CANADA

Working Waterfronts & Waterways National Symposium on Water Access | 16-19 November | Tampa, FL

Lobstering & The Maine Coast, a new permanent exhibit at the Maine Maritime Museum. See also Mainers celebrate first-ever National Lobster Day on WMTW.

 

 

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