Author Archives: Anna Farrell

April 3rd, 2017

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Frenchman Bay Partners Steering Committee

Monday, April 3, 2017, 3-5 pm

Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, ME

FBP Steering Committee Minutes

Attending

  • Larry Libby, Lamoine Conservation Commission
  • Michael Good, Down East Nature Tours
  • Antonio Blasi, Hancock County Commissioner
  • Chris Petersen, College of the Atlantic
  • Hannah Webber, Schoodic Institute
  • Fiona DeKoning, Acadia Aqua Farms
  • Ellie Oldach, College of the Atlantic
  • Katie, College of the Atlantic
  • Jane Disney, MDI Biological Laboratory
  • Anna Farrell, MDI Biological Laboratory

 

Annual Meeting

  • Logistics:
    • Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
    • Time: 9-12 PM, no lunch
    • Location: MDI Biological Laboratory Center for Science Entrepreneurship
  • Content
    • Overview of the Frenchman Bay Partners
    • FBP Elections
    • Update on conservation targets
      • Eelgrass
      • Mudflats
      • Diadromous Fish
      • Rockweed
    • Short talk on something bay-related (TBD)
    • Breakout session
      • Involve Acadia National Park?
      • Discuss intertidal issues
    • Advertising
      • Place an ad in the MDIslander
      • Utilize stakeholder meeting email lists

 

Friends of Frenchman Bay

  • Grassroots organization against the proposed cruise ship terminal
  • Objectives include education around Frenchman Bay habitats and ecosystems to help inform the process.
  • What are the potential threats to Frenchman Bay and MDI?
    • Carrying capacity issues on land. MDI can only support so many people.
    • Other communities that will be impacted by increased cruise traffic have not had an opportunity to provide input.
    • Dredging
    • Increased light pollution
    • Pilings and other structures in the water
    • Limits where fishermen can fish, and gear gets tangled and moved by cruise ships.
  • Ordinances related to cruise ships:
    • Citizen’s Initiative (Bar Harbor citizens)
      • Seeks to limit:
        • The length of cruise ships tying up to 300 feet
        • The daily number of passengers allowed
      • Town’s Initiative (Town of Bar Harbor)
    • Bar Harbor town pier will not be freed up with the new terminal. It would increase the amount of cruise traffic.
    • Next steps:
      • Experiment with different visitor caps and conduct a comparative assessment.
        • What are the metrics that should be measured?
        • Who should be involved in creating and asking the questions?
        • What is the impact on local businesses?
        • What is the impact on the quality of life?
        • How would high visitor numbers affect Acadia National Park?
      • Would the new terminal attract new cruise lines to Bar Harbor, and if so, are the demographics of those passengers different or the same? (Are they younger and looking to get into the park?)
    • Frenchman Bay Partners involvement:
      • We would like to see an Environmental Impact Statement
      • The Friends of Frenchman Bay can send public events to the Frenchman Bay Partners to be posted on social media and our website.
      • The Partners will share our Ecosystem Services Valuation planning documents and ESV tool comparison.
      • The Partner are not an advocacy group, and will not take a stand as a group, but individuals are certainly welcome to engage in the process.

 

Summer 2017 Plans

  • Eelgrass
    • Two restoration events planned for June and July in the Jordan River and Goose Cove.
    • We’ll be working with Deer Isle/Stonington and Island Heritage Trust to start a restoration program on Deer Isle.
    • We’ll also be working in the Bagaduce watershed to start a restoration program there.
    • Follow up on the regional eelgrass meeting (piloting disks in other bays in Maine)
    • Continued long-term monitoring of density, etc.
    • Volunteers: Earthwatch, Acadia Institute of Oceanography
  • Mudflats
    • Clams
      • Clam recruitment and survival rates are way down.
      • 2014 was a huge recruitment year, but survival rates are low.
      • Number of commercial clammers is falling.
      • Possible reasons:
        • Predation by green crabs, ribbon worms, etc.
        • pH
      • Closed clamflats due to bacterial issues.
        • Possible watershed work in the Jordan River.
      • Mussels
        • DMR is trying to figure out a good way to do mussel bed assessment
        • Drone flights over the Jordan River with COA ground truthing
        • Conflict between wild harvesters and the aquaculturists
        • Downeast Insitute has some neat data on mussel genetics, etc. collected by Phil Yund as part of an NSF-funded project.
      • Rockweed
        • The committee was formed to answer questions about the resource in Frenchman Bay
          • Looking at growth and phenology, not biomass and bed extent.
          • Signs of the Seasons citizen science protocol.
        • Biggest questions: what does “sustainable” mean when you talk about harvesting? Fisheries definition vs. conservation definition.
        • State just ruled that rockweed belongs to the upland landowner. That will likely be appealed.
        • May 6, 2017 public event at Reversing Falls from 2-5 PM
        • The committee is working on drafting text for the Frenchman Bay Plan.
      • Diadromous Fish
        • 2016 data
          • Hardly any returning 2015 fish
          • Mostly 3 and 4 year olds
          • 60% of the fish went to Long Pond, which is abnormal

Other Items

  • Update the Frenchman Bay Atlas
  • Update the Frenchman Bay Plan
  • Helicopter tours (Acadia Air Tours)

January 18th, 2017 FBRSC

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Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee Meeting

Lamoine Town Hall

January 18, 2017

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the Community Environmental Health Laboratory presented watershed information at the monthly Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee meeting at the Lamoine Town Hall. The DMR reported on water quality in Frenchman Bay, focusing on Martin Cove, Lamoine Beach, and the Trenton Seaplane Ramp, which are all listed as pollution areas. The DMR completed a shoreline sanitary survey in 2016, which identified new problem areas and resulted in four new Prohibited areas. The Community Environmental Health Laboratory is working on developing a watershed survey for identifying the pollution source(s) in Martin Cove, an area identified by the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee as a priority area for its shellfish resource. They brought a proposed timeline, map, and example survey forms to share with the committee.

Conservation Planning Short Course at UMaine Orono

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EES 598 (Section 0860) Special Seminar in Ecology and Environmental SciencesDesigning Conservation Projects, 2 credits
The University of Maine, Orono
March 6-10, 2017
9am- 5pm

This course is focused on learning how to scope and design a real-world conservation project. It is based on the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, an approach to project management that is widely used by practitioners in leading conservation organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation), major funders (e.g., the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the Moore Foundation), and key government agencies (e.g., the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Agency for International Development, and various national protected area agencies).  See http://cmp-openstandards.org/ for more background.  The course will be co-taught by staff from World Wildlife Fund and others, who have trained hundreds of practitioners in organizations and institutions, in collaboration with Aram Calhoun and Mac Hunter in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology. Although the course will focus on natural resource management projects the principles are relevant to many forms of project design and planning.

 We currently have 8 students registered and we need 12 to run the class so please sign up if you are interested or recruit if you are already signed up!  To reserve a spot in the class, please email Julie Eubanks at julie.eubanks@maine.edu ASAP.

Partners Continue to Explore ESV Tools

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ESV Tools, or Ecosystem Services Valuation Tools, help determine the benefits people receive from ecosystems. The Frenchman Bay Partners, in their quest to inform and support policy decisions, have been researching various tools, each possessing different emphases and strengths. Consultant Margaret Snell prepared a summary of 14 tools, highlighting their attributes, strengths, weaknesses, inputs, outputs, and scales. Next steps include determining the scope and needs of specific Frenchman Bay Partners projects and selecting the most appropriate tool.

Rockweed Group Holds Meeting

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The Frenchman Bay Partners continue to explore rockweed in Frenchman Bay. A well attended meeting back in April produced a multitude of questions centered on legal issues, rockweed ecology, and rockweed economics. To keep the conversation going, a rockweed group, headed by Hannah Webber, Schoodic Institute, and Chris Petersen, College of the Atlantic, was created. In late July, the group met to discuss the Frenchman Bay Partners Conservation Action Plan, what the concerns about rockweed are, what we know about rockweed in Frenchman Bay already, what we want to know about rockweed in Frenchman Bay, and possible next steps. You can read the minutes here.

Alewives and Spring Cleaning

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The Fisheries, Fishermen, and Fishing Communities class at COA, co-taught by Chris Petersen and Natalie Springuel, worked with the Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary to clean out and rebuild sections of the fish passages in Somesville in anticipation of this year’s alewife run. They learned some area history, some neat things about diadromous fishes, and got their feet wet (literally!) engaging with the community:

It allowed us to hopefully make a tangible impact on a species in our region and to interact with people who put an incredible amount of work into the preservation of this environment for the future. We were able to engage with our community in a way that truly felt important and useful. By literally jumping into the work on the creeks, we were able to engage with the past, present, and future of the Somes Pond alewife run, and that was truly a rewarding experience.

Read about their adventures here!

Middle Fish Passageway – Photo Credit – Billy Helprin