News from Maine Sea Grant – Summer 2016


Maine Sea Grant is pleased to announce the winners of the Undergraduate Scholarship in Marine Sciences for the 2016-17 academic year: Rose Edwards, Emma Kimball, Sophia Prisco, and Grace Shears (College of the Atlantic); Beretta Ficek and Gillian O’Neal (Maine Maritime Academy); Melissa Rosa (University of New England); Olivia Streit and Aisling Farragher-Gemma (University of Maine at Machias); Chelsey Mitchell and Bethany Stevens (UMaine). Congratulations to Emily Chandler, a graduate student at the University of Maine with the NSF EPSCoR SEANET project, for her recent acceptance as a finalist for the 2017 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Alewives, salmon, seaweed, lobster: College of the Atlantic’s Fisheries, Fishermen, and Fishing Communities class, co-taught by Natalie Springuel, has concluded. Read more about the students’ experienceThe final training for Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Monitoring Program for citizen scientists is June 29 at Maine Lakes Resource Center in Belgrade, featuring monitoring protocols for the common loon, in partnership with Maine Audubon.



What in the world is “ear-hanging” and what does it have to do with Maine scallops? Find out by reading a recent story in the Portland Press Herald. The project, funded by Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, will help shellfish growers assess the financial and biological viability of ear-hanging as a method of scallop aquaculture in Maine, and will involve growers from Cape Elizabeth to Penobscot Bay. Marine Extension Associate Dana Morse reports that last weekend, the Maine Mariculture Company (Brendan Atwood, Ryan Atwood, Genevieve Atwood) hung about 800 scallops on their farm in western Penobscot Bay. “We took measurements on shell length/width/height, and began the investigation about where best to drill a scallop. We’ll take repeat measurements every four months or so over the next year, and will eventually be able to say something about growth, mortality, meat yields, and some preliminary estimates of value.”  Maine Healthy Beaches season has started! Program coordinator Keri Kaczor and assistant Megan Sims are hitting the beaches from Mount Desert to Kittery, training town officials, lifeguards, state park staff, and other volunteers in how to monitor water quality at Maine’s coastal beaches. The program also works closely with beach communities to identify sources of pollution affecting beaches, and find solutions such as repairing and replacing sewer pipes and septic systems, surveying watershed drainage patterns, and educating the public about safe swimming and boating practices. How clean is your favorite beach?


Maine consumers would be willing to pay more for food that is sustainably harvested and some may even be willing to spend extra for seafood harvested in Maine waters, according to a recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Maine and funded by Sea Grant. The issue, according to researchers, is that information about the source and sustainable practices of food production isn’t always available. Read the full story and learn more about the project. The results of last year’s American Lobster Settlement Index survey are in! The index shows a widespread decline in settlement from Cape Cod to the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The update includes the first index-based forecasts of trends in future lobster landings. The Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance has featured UMaine researcher Alice Kelley’s new study of Maine’s coastal archaeological sites in a forum on coastal erosion.


Maine Sea Grant is a proud Acadia Centennial Partner. Beginning in July and continuing throughout 2016, we’ll be sharing marine and coastal stories from Acadia National Park’s first 100 years on WERU-FM. This year we are joining our fellow Sea Grant programs across the country and world in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Sea Grant College Program.


20 June | Art Meets Science Café: A History of Artists and Scientists Working Together in Acadia | Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Bar Harbor 24 June | Coastal Conversations: Stewardship in Acadia National Park, the next 100 Years | 89.9 WERU-FM ***CHECK THE ACADIA CENTENNIAL WEBSITE FOR A FULL EVENT LISTING*** 29 June | Maine Ocean and Coastal Acidification Symposium | University of Southern Maine [Registration deadline is June 18] Ongoing | Lobstering & The Maine Coast | Maine Maritime Museum