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…)

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 Read more…

Frenchman Bay Partners present at Zone B Lobster Council Meeting

Back in February at the Harbor Committee meeting in Bar Harbor, lobster fisherman Jon Carter invited the Frenchman Bay Partners to present at the next Zone B Lobster Council Meeting. On April 8th, Emma Fox (AmeriCorps Environmental Educator with MDI Bio Lab) presented to the Zone B Lobster Council on behalf of the Frenchman Bay Partners. Jane Disney, president of the Frenchman Bay Partners, answered questions following the presentation. Jon Carter agreed to be the Read more…

DMR Biotoxin Management Program Meeting – April 8, 2013

The Frenchman Bay Partners sent a statement to Kohl Kanwit at the Department of Marine Resources regarding proposed changes to the DMR Biotoxin Management Program in advance of the public meeting about said changes held at the Ellsworth City Hall on April 8th, 2013. Many Frenchman Bay Partners attended the April 8th meeting, which was brief and informative. Most questions were regarding the switch to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) testing from the mouse assay method. The Read more…

Blue Hill Bay Watershed Needs Assessment

The Hancock County Planning Commission recently published a draft of the Blue Hill Bay Watershed Needs Assessment in partnership with Friends of Blue Hill Bay. The purpose of the assessment is to identify the environmental, economic, and social needs and assets of Blue Hill Bay. Click More information on the Blue Hill Bay Watershed Needs Assessment can be found here.

First Annual Meeting – February 2, 2013

The First Annual Meeting took place on Saturday February 2nd at the MDI Biological Laboratory. The Partners updated each other on the progress of their conservation and planning projects and spoke about the path toward change thus far. In 2011, the group began working to create an adaptive management plan for the bay, and has identified mudflats, eelgrass, subtidal benthic habitats, and migratory fish (such as alewives and American eels) their areas of particular concern. Read more…

Seagrasses In Classes

“Seagrasses in Classes” is an academic year education program in five Mount Desert Island region elementary, and two inland high schools. The program is a school-year extension of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s efforts to restore and study eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds in northern Frenchman Bay. Eelgrass is a native seagrass that grows underwater in thick beds just below low tide in sheltered coastal areas and in river estuaries. Eelgrass is an essential component of the coastal marine ecosystem. It offers protection to small fish and shellfish and buffers the ocean from intrusions of sediment and pollution. Scientists and interns affiliated with MDIBL’s Community Environmental Health Laboratory have established a restoration site near Hadley Point in Bar Harbor, and are studying the efficacy of different methods of eelgrass replanting, the broadcast of eelgrass seeds by currents, and the population genetics of eelgrass communities.


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.”