MOSAC-03-03 A Field Study of Circulation Patterns in Cobscook Bay

Will Hopkins
Cobscook Bay Resource Center

Eastport, ME 04631

Heidi Leighton
Cobscook Bay Resource Center

Eastport, ME 04631

Cobscook Bay in Maine supports a significant wild capture fishery, as well as the salmon aquaculture industry, both of which are commercially important to local communities and the state. In order to better inform future decisions about marine resource policies and activities in the bay, there is the need to improve our understanding of the water movement, and capacity and limitations of the Cobscook-Passamaquoddy bay ecosystem. Information about water circulation patterns is also needed for spill response in case of oil or chemical spills.

The research team, working with high school students in Lubec and Eastport, will use drifters with GPS capability to track surface currents in the Cobscook-Passamaquoddy bay system. Data will be downloaded directly from the storage unit within the drifter to a computer and then used to create maps of the drifter tracks. The data will also be made available to Dr. Huijie Xue for use in her oceanographic model of the bay system. Information from the drifter study will be provided to state and local agencies that need it for oil spill preparedness, as well as fisheries and aquaculture-related issues.

2-year project, 2003-2005
Year 1: $36,500
Year 2: $23,500
Total: $60,000