January 18th, 2017 FBRSC

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 Read more…

Op-ed: A rationale for protecting and restoring eelgrass in Maine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlong the coast of Maine, from the Piscataqua River to Passamaquoddy Bay, eelgrass populations are declining. What is eelgrass and why should we care?

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a flowering marine plant that essentially defines the coast of Maine. It grows in thick beds that provide shelter to commercially important fish and shellfish species and other organisms that make up near-shore food webs. The underground stems and roots of the plant help to stabilize bottom sediments, thus preventing erosion and promoting water clarity.

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Local Alewife Numbers Show Impact of Conservation Efforts

Alewives

Harvesting alewives on Flanders Stream. Photo credit: Gary Edwards

Two local streams, Flanders Stream in Sullivan and the Somes Brook drainage that includes Long Pond and Somes Pond on MDI, have been the focus of local restoration efforts over the past several years. Newly released Maine DMR reports from volunteer counts for both rivers in 2014 showed migrating alewives similar to 2013, which was a banner year on MDI and a strong initial year after a restoration on Flanders Stream. For this report I wanted to focus on the Flanders Stream work and subsequent report written by Claire Enterline of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. We will update work on the Somesville fish run in a future report, although you can see the document written by Ms. Enterline here.

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Conservation Action Planning Mudflat Progress

The Frenchman Bay Partners (hereafter Partners) are a diverse group of people who help organizations in the watershed work together for ecosystem health and marine-based livelihoods. The Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee (hereafter Shellfish Committee) formed in 2009 in response to widespread red-tide closures to manage the intertidal mudflat resources in the 7 towns in the ordinance. The respective missions of two organizations address the long-term stewardship of the region’s resources.  The two groups have been working together since 2011.

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