Good news for mudflats: 610 Project receives funding, makes progress

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The 610 Project (pronounced six-ten) is a collaboration between the Partners, the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee and the Hancock County Planning Commission to build capacity towards the goal of opening closed clam flats in Frenchman Bay. This project received its initial funding from the Maine Community Foundation’s Community Building Grant Program. Through a conservation action planning process, the Partners and shellfish committee have identified the five-year goal of opening all 610 acres of clam flats in Frenchman Bay in which harvesting is restricted due to unknown bacterial pollution sources. They will accomplish this by building capacity within the shellfish committee for watershed surveys and organizational development.

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MDI Biological Laboratory needs help mapping eelgrass in Maine

Eelgrass in Maine is now closed to new submissions. To share what you’re seeing in the natural world, you can now create an account at CEHL’s new collaborative nature journal, Anecdata!

Mapping-ButtonScientists, interns, and volunteers at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) have been successfully restoring eelgrass in Frenchman Bay with community partners for six years. But this year, the marine plant didn’t come up, and not just in restored areas. Eelgrass throughout the upper bay didn’t seem to get its annual signal to send up shoots, and only rhizomes remain in the mud where eelgrass beds had been.

In order to find out the extent of this event along the coast of Maine, MDIBL is asking the public to look for eelgrass beds and report their locations, or where they missing from places where there had been beds in the past. The lab is asking people to search for the plant as soon as possible, because eelgrass’s growing season usually ends in August. (more…)

Frenchman Bay Mussel Harvesters and MDI Bio Lab Agree on Eelgrass Restoration Plans

The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) hosted a meeting and dinner for mussel harvesters from the Maine Mussel Harvester Association on January 31, 2013 at Gordon’s Wharf in Sullivan, ME. The gathering had a dual purpose: to appreciate the mussel harvesters for their collaboration on eelgrass restoration projects in the past, and to garner their input on proposed eelgrass restoration areas for the future. The mussel harvesters who attended either drag for “wild mussels” or they harvest “seed mussels” for aquaculture lease sites in Frenchman Bay. “The group here represents one hundred percent of bottom-dredge mussel processors in Maine,” said Ralph Smith, of Moosabec Mussels, “you’ve got Eastern Maine Mussels, Acadia Aqua Farms, Moosabec Mussels, and Atlantic Shellfish.”

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