The Frenchman Bay Partners’ plan of restoring an additional 228 acres of eelgrass this summer had to be put on hold when it became clear that eelgrass was not coming back in the restoration areas that had been thriving for years. Not only that, many formerly healthy beds that had been growing at least since mapping began in 1996 were also lost this year. MDIBL’s Community Environmental Health Lab (CEHL) had to quickly change gears to begin studies on possible causes of the loss. Scientists and interns looked into the possibilities of “wasting disease” (the pathogen Labyrinthula zosterae) which caused devastation to the plant in the 1930s, nutrient deficiency in the sediment, temperature changes, and invasive green crabs. Continue reading
Category Archives: FBP Projects
Good news for mudflats: 610 Project receives funding, makes progress
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.
Lamoine Conservation Commission Records and Materials are now Available to the Public
Lamoine Conservation Commission has organized its records and materials and made them available to anyone who might like to use them for research or any other purpose. You can download the LCC Archives Overview, a general directory of what’s in the archives.
Map Eelgrass with Project Noah
Get the app:
Project Noah users
Another way to participate in CEHL’s collaborative eelgrass mapping project is by creating a free account at Project Noah and uploading pictures of the plant to the mission “Eelgrass in Maine”.
Hancock County Planning Commission completes Blue Hill Bay Needs Assessment
The Hancock County Planning Commission and consultant Barbara Arter, in partnership with the Friends of Blue Hill Bay, have completed the Blue Hill Bay Needs Assessment, a preliminary assessment of the environmental, economic, and social assets and needs of Blue Hill Bay Watershed. The report focuses on fisheries, recreation and tourism, water quality, and land use and development, and offers recommendations that promote the long term sustainability of Blue Hill Bay. Many land use maps were updated and new maps depicting ecological and economic features of the bay were created for the assessment. It is a comprehensive and informative report which Frenchman Bay Partners will refer to often.
Go to the Hancock County Planning Commissions website to learn more about the project and its process, find links to resources and download the new assessment maps that were created, or download the full report here.
Report: “Working Waterfronts and Mudflat Habitat: Addressing Marine Based Livelihoods in Frenchman Bay”
During her time as Americorps volunteer, Emma Fox produced a case study on the interaction between user groups, intertidal mudflat resources, and how their interaction impacts the economy in Frenchman Bay. She analyzed landings data of soft shell clams and blue mussels for 2008-2011, interviewed a diverse cross section of stakeholders, and reviewed literature on clam flat management, ecosystem valuation, social capital and ecological economics to provide a preliminary attempt at a market-based ecosystem valuation, an evaluation of potential losses in harvester sales incurred from pollution closures in Frenchman Bay, and recommendations about economic data gathering for each of the other conservation targets of the Frenchman Bay Partners. Download the report here. [PDF]
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!
Scientists, 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. Continue reading
Protecting Working Waterfront and Public Access
The Hancock County Planning Commission invites you to join them for the Protecting Working Waterfronts and Public Access workshop, which is addressing growth and development issues facing Hancock County. The June 27, 2013 workshop will focus on public access to the shore and the working waterfront.
VFW Hall, 419 Main Street, Ellsworth (locally known as Washington Junction Road) June 27, 2013 (6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
Dinner begins at 5:00 PM, workshop begins at 6:00 PM, registration $18.00.
Downeast Fisheries Trail
The Downeast Fisheries Trail, a project coordinated through Maine Sea Grant, connects current and historic fisheries, weaving together pieces of Maine’s maritime heritage for visitors and locals alike.
Recently, there was a Downeast Fisheries Trail Celebration at the municipal building in Columbia Falls, ME on April 26th, 2013 to recognize each of the sites on the Trail, after which participants were invited to a Downeast Smelt Fry hosted by the Downeast Wild Salmon Federation. There were 40 attendees at the Celebration, representing two thirds of the sites on the Fisheries Trail. The Celebration was a great opportunity for site representatives to tell stories about each of their sites, and to hear about each of the other sites on the Downeast Fisheries Trail.
The Downeast Fisheries Trail Celebration will be featured in the May 2013 publication of the Frenchman Bay Partners E-Newsletter. For more information on the Downeast Fisheries Trail, please visit their website and like them on Facebook!
More information for sites on the Downeast Fisheries Trail is available here.
Lamoine Open Space Inventory
The Lamoine Conservation Commission recently published the Lamoine Open Space Report and Inventory in March of 2013. You can read it here: Lamoine Open Space Report 2013.