Winter 2023 Newsletter

Message from the Director

Maine Sea Grant Director Gayle Zydlewski.

Winter in Maine means something different today than it did even a few short years ago. More than ever we are living the realities of shifting thresholds for rain and snow, where the water ends and land begins, and how we as humans respond individually and collectively to these changes. During this time of response and recovery, considering ways to be patient and open to hearing each other’s needs can help us look to a new future. As Maine Sea Grant’s extension professionals work with partners on the ground in Maine and reach out across the National Sea Grant Network for best practices and next steps, we hope that you can take a breath and enjoy some updates from the last few months. Stories in this issue include perspectives from an engineering student assisting in coastal resilience practices Downeast, seaweed literacy, sea urchin science, and congratulations to our previous and new Knauss Fellows!

Gayle Zydlewski

Program Updates

Social Resilience Project

Project leads Kristen Grant and Jessica Brunacini guide the Social Resilience Project that works to strengthen connections between emergency management, conservation, social service, and municipal sectors to better prepare, respond, and recover from storms in the service of residents whose circumstances make them more vulnerable to storm impacts. The project began in 2017 in eight communities in the Southern Midcoast region and has expanded to Lincoln County. Read more

Headshot of Katy Bland.

Katy Bland joins Maine Offshore Wind Research Consortium

We are excited to introduce Katy Bland as the new part-time Program Manager for the Maine Offshore Wind Research Consortium through her role with Maine Sea Grant! Katy brings program management and research experience with a focus in offshore wind. She currently works as an engagement and research associate for the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and New Hampshire Sea Grant. Katy’s work with the Consortium will help the group coordinate with other complementary organizations in the region.


American Lobster Initiative Collaborative Chats Webinar Series webinar series continues

This season of Collaborative Chats will feature research funded through the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative that showcases the diversity and breadth of partners involved with the collaborative network. Read more.

UMaine Scientists Use eDNA to Enhance River Herring Recovery Research in Penobscot River

Marine Extension Associate Justin Stevens worked with University of Maine researchers to gain more insight on river herring recovery in the Penobscot River using a novel surveying tool: environmental DNA (eDNA). Read more

Justin Stevens collects water in an orange coat off the side of a vessel.

Seafood Industry Innovations

Maine Sea Grant Director Gayle Zydlewski and Ready Seafood’s Curt Brown join Maine Calling to discuss innovative products and approaches to support the future of Maine’s seafood industry. Listen here.

Cover of the "Green Sea Urchin Aquaculture in the Northeast US" document.

Green Sea Urchin Aquaculture in the Northeast U.S.

A new document aimed at those interested in growing green sea urchins is now available from Maine Sea Grant, describing procedures and equipment for green sea urchin aquaculture. Read the report here.

Extension and Community Engagement

Headshot of Maine Sea Grant's Annie Fagan.

Meet the MET – Annie Fagan

We are excited to announce a new video series titled “Meet the MET (Marine Extension Associate)”! Each quarter we’ll be introducing one of Maine Sea Grant’s MET members through a video interview. This winter, we’re highlighting Annie Fagan, the Maine Aquaculture Hub Coordinator and one of our Marine Extension Associates. Meet Annie here

Navigating Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine 

Graduate student Rachel Hale speaks about the future of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine through her blog, Navigating Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine. Read Rachel’s blog here.

A fishing boat sits on a trailer on land next to the water.

What We Saw Touring the Gulf of Maine Shore

Natalie Springuel and Richard MacDonald share about their paddling expedition along the shores of the Gulf of Maine. Today, they are a married couple, and what they learned then—and what has changed since that journey—reveals how dynamic and threatened this “semi-enclosed sea” is. Read more.

Education and Workforce Development 

Congratulations to our 2023 Maine Sea Grant Knauss Fellows

Maine Sea Grant is excited to congratulate Ajani Bakari and Logan Kline,  who recently completed the prestigious 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program sponsored by the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program. Read about their experiences here.

2024 Maine Sea Grant Knauss Fellows Receive Placements 

Gabrielle Hillyer, Aubrey Jane, and Emily Nocito will spend the year working with a host office in the executive branch of the federal government to transfer science into policy and management. Read more

Seaweed Literacy

Maine Sea Grant collaborated on a seaweed literacy project, led by the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, that developed elementary-level curriculum and activities, distributed 1,000 books “With a Little Kelp from my Friends,” and delivered an Educator’s Workshop in Belfast, Maine, where professionals delivered hands-on activities and presentations for educators.

In the News 

NOAA Sea Grant advances resilient coastal communities with $4 million in support.

Mainebiz spoke with Annie Fagan about an Aquaculture Training Workshop offered by women for women.

Maine receives $5M to support testing of alternative lobster fishing gear to reduce whale entanglement, as discussed by WBUR.

Dana Morse spoke with Mainebiz about a Maine-led scallop meeting of the Academie Culinaire de France, held at the Institute for Culinary Education, drawing chefs from France, Canada and the U.S.

Mark Your Calendars

Tune in to WERU Community Radio (89.9 in Blue Hill and 99.9 in Bangor) from 4:00 to 5:00 PM the fourth Friday of each month for Coastal Conversations, a public affairs program hosted by Marine Extension Associate Natalie Springuel that explores current issues facing Maine’s coastal communities through conversations with people who live, work, and play on our coast.

Want to Connect?

Maine Sea Grant supports the responsible use and conservation of coastal resources to sustain diverse, thriving coastal communities and ecosystems. Our work requires building partnerships and collaborations with organizations and individuals across the coast and beyond. If you have questions or ideas, or if you’d like to connect, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our team