Multimedia Session


Trash to Art 

Kim Bernard, artist

Join visiting artist Kim Bernard in a DIY recycling project and turn your trash into art. Participants will collect, clean, shred and extrude #2 plastic using plastic recycling machines to create a collaborative sculptural installation. Each participant will create a line drawing, which will be translated into a 3 dimensional form.


When is a beach not a beach? When it is art.

Sue Bickford and Jake Aman, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Wells Reserve has been using drone technology to monitor changes to Laudholm Beach twice a year for four years. Hundreds of aerial photographs are taken for each flight and are “sewn” together to create a high resolution map of the beach. Hidden among this massive amount of data is something quite unexpected- Art! Wind and wave, tide and time, have combine to sculpt elemental lines and colors that rival the works of the finest artist and sculptors. This new perspective of a Maine beach offers new perspectives to help people appreciate a beloved place and learn ways to they can work to preserve it.

Photovoice exhibit: A Participatory Approach to Exploring the Social Dimensions of Coastal Change

Jessica Brunacini, Michigan State University and the Margaret Davidson Graduate Fellow at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve,
Chris Feurt, Wells Reserve,
Lissy Goralnik, Michigan State University, and
Members of the Drakes Island Improvement Association and the Moody Beach Appreciation Association

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how can coastal managers harness the power of images to better understand community values and beliefs in places threatened by sea level rise? This exhibit shares the results of a Photovoice process in which residents of a small coastal community located near the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, took photos and wrote narratives in response to the question, “When it comes to [this place], what do you care about most?”

New Hampshire Rising Tide photo exhibit

Nathalie DiGeronimo, NH Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program
Abigail Lyon, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
Lisa Wise, UNH Extension/NH Sea Grant

Each year, the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup organizes the NH Rising Tides photo contest to raise awareness about sea-level rise and the increasing frequency of high tide flooding in NH. According to recent guidance developed by the New Hampshire Coastal Flood Risk Science and Technical Advisory Panel, NH communities should plan for 2.9-6.2 feet of sea-level rise by 2100. Photographing today’s higher than normal tides offers a glimpse of what daily water levels could be like in the future as sea levels rise. The NH Rising Tides Exhibit will feature a selection of top submissions from the 2016-2021 photo contests.


Analyzing zooplankton communities to better understand their ecologically important role in the Gulf of Maine marine food web

Allison Fogg, University of Southern Maine
Rachel Lasley-Rasher, University of Southern Maine 

The Gulf of Maine is a diverse and complex marine ecosystem that supports a variety of ecologically and economically important species and is one of the most productive marine environments in the North Atlantic. As we continue to face environmental changes due to anthropogenic climate change, it is important to be able to survey, quantify, and analyze these changes that are occurring in this ecosystem. Complex food webs consisting of diverse species of phytoplankton and zooplankton support countless species of invertebrates, teleosts, elasmobranchs, sea birds, and marine mammals. Additionally, coastal communities rely on various fisheries to provide income for both local populations as well as global markets. In order to understand the complexities of the Gulf of Maine food web, scientists must take novel approaches to identifying, analyzing, and predicting species richness and diversity in order to create baselines for current conditions as well as using this data to predict future shifts in species abundance.

Plankton of the long and winding coast: Drivers of prey community structure across Maine estuaries

Kevin Mcgann, University of Southern Maine
Rachel Lasley-Rasher, University of Southern Maine
Molly Spencer, University of Southern Maine
Nicole Poulton, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Damian Brady, Darling Marine Center/ UMaine   

Due to their high productivity levels, estuaries serve as an important site for aquaculture, a critical habitat corridor for anadromous fishes, and as a nursery habitat for many commercially important species. Along the 3,000 miles of Maine’s glacially-carved coastline, estuarine habitats vary considerably in size, freshwater input, and the influence of offshore processes. Despite this complexity and the ecological and economic implications, very few studies have characterized estuarine zooplankton and phytoplankton assemblages in Maine. In this project, we examined both biotic and abiotic drivers of plankton community structure across multiple estuaries in Maine. Further, we compared geospatial relationships between estuaries to determine potential linkages related to spatial distance. Our research contributes to the understanding of how basal trophic levels are affected by conditions such as temperature, nutrient levels, and aquaculture activity and provides essential baseline information on the abundance, diversity, and composition of nearshore prey communities.

New Hampshire Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Program: Results and Beach Summaries

Rachel Morrison, University of New Hampshire
Wellsley Costello, NH Sea Grant

The New Hampshire (NH) Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Program (VBPMP) has measured elevation and sediment volume across six major NH beaches for the last five years (2017 – Present). The VBPMP is a cooperative study between the University of New Hampshire (UNH), NH Sea Grant, and NH Geological Survey. Three profile stations were established in 2017 and ten were added in 2018. To date, approximately 660 beach elevation profiles have been measured at thirteen stations at monthly intervals (excluding a several-month hiatus due to the pandemic). Monitoring of these stations shows how the beaches respond to storms, and how major elevation differences between beaches affect the severity of these storm impacts and subsequent recovery. The results from this monitoring project will be presented for each beach during the poster session, with an overview of trends and characteristics of each beach, as well as discussion of impacts of recent beach nourishment on several stations. Also available will be products developed by the study team to help inform coastal management, including reports and station summaries.

Flood Risk in Real Estate – Getting to Know the Elephant in the Room

Jim Nadeau, Jim Nadeau Realty

Beach Profiling for Students and Teachers

Cynthia Nye and students, Loranger Memorial School

At Loranger Memorial School in Old Orchard Beach, middle school students have been beach profiling for nine years. Current students and I will share our experience and procedures to encourage other students and educators to get involved in monitoring their beaches. The students will explain why beach profiling is necessary, how it helps our community, how we do it, how we submit data, how our beach changes, and how beach profiling relates to our local beach ecosystem and climate change.

Historical Archaeology of the Malaga Island Fishing Community, New Meadows River, Casco Bay

Robert Sanford, University of Southern Maine, and Nathan D. Hamilton, University of Southern Maine

The poster will share the archaeologically informed story of a mixed race African -American community c. 1860-1912 on Malaga Island in the New Meadows River mouth.  A rebirth of cultural awareness arose as Malaga descendants reclaimed their heritage. The Island is now protected, but coastal cultural resources are imperiled by sea-level rise and the need for historical awareness.

Southern Maine Beach Profile Monitoring Program: Results and Beach Summaries

Pete Slovinsky, Maine Geological Survey

A series of poster displaying observed changes at beaches monitored as part of the Southern Maine Beach Profiling Monitoring Program (SMBPMP).

Piping Plovers of Duxbury Beach

Chaim Tendler, Coastal Ecology Program

This poster shares my experience working for the Coastal Ecology Program at Duxbury MA in 2021, where I contributed in the conservation of the Piping Plover.

Engaging the Traip Academy Community in the Development of a Climate Action Plan

Cameron Wake, Kittery Climate Adaptation Committee and Traip Academy students

The Town of Kittery has recently committed to developing a Climate Action Plan for the entire Town. Climate action plans are often best developed by those who have intimate knowledge of the place where they live and work. Students at Traip Academy will share initial results of their background research, data collection, analysis, and recommendations as part of a developing Climate Action Plan for Traip Academy. The plan will include a Traip Academy specific energy use and greenhouse gas emission inventory, analysis of vulnerabilities to climate change and sea-level rise, and recommendations for improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and building resilience to our changing climate. We expect this effort can serve as a model for other schools in Southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire.

NH CoastWise: Learnings from the first year of a cohort-based networking and professional development program

Lisa Wise, NH Sea Grant and UNH Extension

New Hampshire CoastWise is a year-long, cohort-based immersion program for students and professionals working on coastal resilience and marine resource management issues in the state. Designed to build new skills and stronger networks, CoastWise seeks to cultivate an engaged and diverse workforce to tackle the challenges facing our coasts to support more engaged and impactful coastal research across disciplines.


The Maine seaweed Council strives to protect the ecosystems of Maine’s marine algae, develop and adhere to sustainable cultivation and harvest practices, promote the use of Maine seaweeds, educate the public, regulators, and elected officials, and provide a collaborative forum for its members.

Multimedia Displays

UNH Marine Docent Program; marine science educational opportunities for K-12 student and adults

Dari Christenson and Marine Docent Volunteers, NH Sea Grant/UNH Extension

This display shares the variety of school programs, volunteer opportunities and public educational cruises provided by the UNH Marine Docent Program. The Marine Docent Program works to promote sharing of information about our coastal environment from the diverse creatures and their adaptations, to the rich history of the Maine and New Hampshire coast. Using education to teach about these unique coastal resources, we hope people will appreciate and understand these special places and in turn want to protect and preserve them.

Mt. A to the Sea

Torbert Macdonald, and Glen MacWilliams, York Art Association 

In York, coastal ecological vision is encapsulated by the theme of the York Land Trust – “Mt. A (Agamenticus) to the Sea.” The Agamenticus region, called by the Nature Conservancy “one of the last Great Places”, is the meeting place of the Southern Hardwood Forest with the Northern Coniferous Forest, and the highest bio-diversity in Maine, scoring 195 of 200 possible points in the Land for Maine’s Future ratings. The Mountain is the headwaters of six coastal watersheds, pristine at the source. Presently, a potential terminus for a walking path from “Mt. A to the Sea” is imperiled by commercial pressure for development. A coalition of non-profit organizations led by the York Art Association is advocating the re-forestation of the land to create an arboretum and sculpture garden and to permanently protect this coastal stream.

Climate Ready Coast – Southern Maine

Abbie Sherwin, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission

‘Climate Ready Coast – Southern Maine’ is a regional coastal resilience planning project involving Maine’s 10 southern-most coastal municipalities, local land trusts, natural resource management entities, and other regional stakeholders to advance coastal resilience through the development of a regional coastal resilience plan. An interactive engagement website has been created to share information about the project and solicit feedback and input from stakeholders about priorities, concerns, and needs regarding coastal hazards and making the region’s people, property, and natural resources more resilient to those hazards. Participants will learn about the regional Climate Ready Coast project, and understand how to provide input on the project through the interactive engagement website.

Traps2Treasure – The removal and re-purpose of ghost traps

Campbell “Buzz” Scott, OceansWide Ltd.

OceansWide provides educational program to students where they are inspired to engage with ocean research and conservation through hands-on experience in the Gulf of Maine. The program teaches about marine science, archeology, and exploration via guidance and lectures from scientists and professionals as well as practice with vessel operation, scuba diving and the usage of marine technology such as remotely operated vehicles. During exploration excursions, students witnessed an extensive amount of ghost lobster traps littering the seafloor, and strongly petitioned to address the issue. This led to the “Traps2 Treasure” initiative by OceansWide.

The goal is to remove ghost lobster traps from the ocean floor. So far, efforts have been focused on the Boothbay Harbor area. This is a complex operation that incorporates support vessels, sonar operators, boat operators, and trained scuba divers. The salvaged traps are moved to a yard where they are sorted to which can or cannot be re-purposed. The former is given to fishermen, while the latter is being recycled. The program encourages collaborations with lobster-men and the public by offering a $2 tax deduction per trap if a fisherman itemizes their taxes. Thus far over 5,000 trash traps have been removed and recycled from fishermen and divers have removed 1,177 ghost traps from Boothbay Harbor.  Altogether, 257,000 pounds were removed over a duration of a couple of months.

This is only the beginning since Maine fishermen fish approximately 3.5 million traps each year and it is estimated that there are nearly 15 million trash traps littering the Gulf of Maine.

Future plans aim to extend operations to the NH coast as well. We believe this work can offer the infrastructure for scientific studies, such as the effect of the lobster trap debris on the local ecological system, and would like to call scientists to reach out and collaborate.

Tools and Demonstrations

The Pollinator Pathway Northeast: helping coastal residents restore biodiversity with simple action steps

With over 300  towns in 9 states in the Northeast in various stages of launching Pollinator Pathway, this landowner outreach strategy has taken the region by storm in only 4 years.  By planting natives, avoiding pesticides, and reducing lawn, this very scalable initiative has the potential to create healthy, connected habitats for pollinators and wildlife as they move across the landscape.   The Pollinator Pathway has all the ingredients to help landowners restore biodiversity with simple action steps, especially in the coastal communities.

Community Intertidal Data Portal: Accessible Data Tools to Inform Decision-making in the Changing Nearshore Environment

Sara Mills-Knapp, Greater Portland Council of Governments
Jessica Gribbon Joyce, Tidal Bay Consulting
Judy Colby-George, Spatial Alternatives
Madeline Tripp, Tidal Bay Consulting
Kelly Rehberg, Greater Portland Council of Governments

The Community Intertidal Data Portal (CIDP) is an interactive online collection of data products and information to help orient management and planning decisions in the nearshore environment. The CIDP is for members of the wild-harvest shellfish community, as well as municipal staff and committee members involved in resilience or climate change adaptation planning. Each data tool provides actionable, up-to-date data in an accessible format, and is tailored to answer a specific management question (i.e., identifying pollution sources). These data products currently include a septic system data collection tool, a story map on sea level rise and access to the intertidal, and a water quality data dashboard. Additional data products are being developed. In this session, participants will be given a demonstration of the data viewers.