MOSAC-05-01 Assessment of Nursery Habitats Within Casco Bay

Jonathan Grabowski
Gulf of Maine Research Institute

PO Box 7459
Portland, ME 04112

W. Lindsay Whitlow
Department of Biology and Environmental Studies

Bowdoin College
6500 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011

Each year, 20 million tons of crude oil are transported into Casco Bay, representing a real possibility of an oil spill. A spill in Casco Bay could disrupt nearshore habitats and reduce the value of Maine’s coastal resources. Quantifying the status and value of ecosystem goods and services represented by the diverse habitats of Casco Bay will provide baseline information in the event of an oil spill. Using surveys and field experiments, Grabowski and Whitlow will investigate juvenile and adult fish, shellfish, and crustaceans in seagrass and mud bottom habitats, and compare estuarine habitats as nursery grounds for fishery species. The results will be incorporated into an ecological/economic evaluation of habitats for fisheries productivity. Such baseline information could guide effective restoration efforts and enable accurate measurements of ecosystem recovery.

1-year project: