MOSAC-02-02 Ecological Functions of Fringing Salt Marshes Susceptible to Oil Spills in Casco Bay

Dr. Pamela Morgan
University of New England

11 Hills Beach Road
Dept. of Life Sciences
Biddeford, ME 04005

Dr. Matthew Bampton
University of Southern Maine
Geography and Anthropology

Bailey 300
Portland, ME 04102

Dr. Michele Dionne
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

342 Laudholm Farm Rd
Wells, ME 04090

Dr. Richard MacKenzie
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

342 Laudholm Farm Rd.
Wells, ME 04090
207.646.1555 ext. 122

Casco Bay is the largest oil port in northern New England, handling over 20-million tons of crude oil and oil products annually. Oil spills could cause extensive damage to the Bay’s ecosystem. Because the Casco Bay marshes are predominantly fringing marshes that serve as nursery grounds for finfish and shellfish, more information is needed about their ecological role in the estuaries of New England. To measure these functions, the researchers will map marshes, survey fish and invertebrate populations, assess plant communities, and investigate sediment accretion rates. This information will help guide oil spill management and improve the baseline knowlege for assessing natural resource damage if a spill affects the marshes.

2-year project, 2002-2004
Year 1: $21,435
Year 2: $30,355
Total: $51,790