You can find the full workshop report here on the Island Institute website.
Click here to view the minutes from the February 1, 2014 meeting!
In January and February 2014, NOAA’s Maine Coastal Program will be presenting five half-day workshops in Ellsworth, Freeport, Machias, Saco and Thomaston to address water quality. Attendance is free!
You can find out more about the workshops here.
In April 2013, Representatives Michaud and Pingree introduced Bill H.R. 1808, the Maine Coastal Islands Wilderness Act of 2013 which would designate 3,125 acres on 13 of the 59 islands in the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness due to their wild character, ecological features, and opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation.
The Maine Coastal Islands NWR supports an incredible diversity of biological communities ranging from coastal islands to salt marshes, and its islands provide habitat for a wide variety of migratory seabirds, waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors, as well as hosting a diversity of other wildlife species and plants.
Wilderness Designation prescribes a “light touch” management approach to ensure that mature forested habitats are retained and motor vehicles do not damage these fragile islands. Wilderness Designation provides the greatest level of protection for federal lands and an Act of Congress is needed to designate land as wilderness.
The vote on this legislation will be coming up this winter.
NOAA is offering $20,000 – $100,000 for marine debris prevention through education and outreach!
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the Mount Desert Island Bio Lab a grant of $239,000 for eelgrass restoration in Frenchman Bay. The grant will enable the Lab and its partners to restore an additional 214 acres of subtidal habitat off Lamoine, Bar Harbor, and Trenton over the next two years.
The grant is the first to be awarded in Maine under the Estuary Habitat Restoration Act of 2000 and one of only two to have ever been awarded in New England. The Army Corps grant will fund two years of restoration and research activity in Frenchman Bay and two AmeriCorps positions at MDIBL.
“With the Army Corps’ support, we will be able to ramp up our research and restoration efforts substantially,” said Jane Disney, director of the Community Environmental Health Laboratory at MDIBL and president of Frenchman Bay Partners. “Our goal is a productive and sustainable future for Frenchman Bay. By restoring eelgrass, we will improve the bay’s economic productivity as well as its biodiversity.”
On Oct. 2, 2013, Tundi Agardy of Forest Trends visited Mt. Desert Island and facilitated a discussion about market-based approaches to marine conservation. Frenchman Bay Partners executive committee and other stakeholders around the bay participated in the workshop. Agardy then gave a public lecture on her work at the College of the Atlantic.
From the workshop, FBP put together a primer on market-based conservation tools, which you can download here.
Download Agardy’s presentation as a pdf here.
Presentation diagrams are from Agardy et al “Taking Steps toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Based Management: An Introductory Guide,” UNEP Nairobi, 2011. Diagrams were produced by the Integration and Application Network of University of Maryland
At College of the Atlantic, students have been developing protocols for measuring the pH on clamflats, and comparing different meters to see which ones are the most precise, and this fall will measure pH on several flats in Bar Harbor. One student, Katie O’Brien, has also buried clam pre-weighed clam at three different sites in look at rate of weight loss of shells as a measurement of the potential threat to clam growth from low pH on clamflats. Those clams are being collected in October and if the technique shows promise, the study will be expanded next year.
by Chris Petersen
Frenchman Bay Partners is working closely with both the Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife Service to develop fish-run restoration projects that will have the highest impact. In the last year, the groups set up monitoring on Flanders stream and examined Jones Stream as a possible next site for restoration in the bay.
Before Frenchman Bay Partners ever got started, individual partners were doing stream restoration to enhance diadromous fish populations. Sullivan resident Gary Edwards, who is now a Frenchman Bay Partner, spearheaded the Flanders Stream Alewife Restoration project, which involved opening a culvert and installing fish ladder in the stream. The project was completed this year and alewives could be seen moving up the stream in good numbers. Volunteers monitored the run, with more monitoring expected this year.
FBP draws inspiration from the success of the Somes-Meynell Sanctuary’s alewife restoration work. Alewife numbers continue to increase in the Long Pond-Somes Pond watershed, with more than 37,000 fish moving upstream this year, an increase from a few hundred fish to current levels in less than ten years. This model for stream restoration shows the type of restoration possible for small coastal streams with good connections to lakes and ponds. Some FBP partners helped with the monitoring and maintenance of this constantly improving fish run. Congratulations to the Somes-Meynell Sanctuary for leading this excellent project.