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Talk, May 14, 2008

Eelgrass Restoration in Eastern Bay - A Community Based Project

On May 14th, at 7 pm in the Lamoine Town Hall, Dr. George Kidder from the MDI Biological Laboratory and Dr. Jane Disney from the Bar Harbor Marine Resources Committee will make a presentation on an eelgrass restoration project that is underway at Hadley Point on MDI across the Narrows of Eastern Bay from Lamoine. This event is sponsored by the Lamoine Conservation Commission as one of their educational programs for the community.

This project is part of a broader effort to protect clam flats and increase the diversity of marine resources in upper Frenchman Bay .  The project is funded with a $20,000 grant from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine environment to the Town of Bar Harbor with generous matches of funds, equipment, and effort by a diversity of partners including the Bar Harbor Marine Resources Committee, the MDI Biological Laboratory, the College of the Atlantic, the MDI Water Quality Coalition, Aquaculture Harvesters (a subsidiary of Great Eastern Mussel), Maine Mussel Harvesters Association, and the Bagaduce Watershed Association.

A decade ago, the Hadley Point area had a healthy population of eelgrass; now it is severely diminished. This is true of other areas in upper Frenchman Bay , including Lamoine.   Eelgrass beds offer protected habitat and nursery areas for juvenile species of finfish and shellfish, and provide food for many aquatic birds.  The complex root system of eelgrass can help stabilize sediments and reduce erosion, while also reducing water pollution by absorbing nutrients.   Restored habitats may help to ensure that upper Frenchman Bay remains healthy for recruitment of larval forms of shellfish and recovery of lost fisheries. 

The Hadley Point Project will be key in understanding how eelgrass can be restored in coastal areas of Maine and may serve as a model for other communities interested in restoring altered habitats, including Lamoine  For more information contact Carol Korty, Lamoine Conservation Commission, at   or 667-4441.

Dr. George Kidder Received a BS from Amherst College (1956) in Biology, PhD from University of Pennsylvania (1962) in Plant Physiology. Postdoctoral studies at E. R. Johnson Foundation ( Univ. of PA . ) and Biophysical Laboratories (Harvard Medical Sch.).  He is currently Professor Emeritus ( Ill. St. Univ. ) and Senior Scientist at Mt. Desert Island Biological Labs.  Current research interests in water relationships in estuarine fish, and in the physiology and ecology of eelgrass beds.

 Dr. Jane Disney has a B.S. degree in Biology, and an M.S. degree in Genetics from Penn State University , and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Washington State University .  She currently serves as the coordinator for the Community Environmental Health Laboratory at MDI Biological Laboratory.  She is also the chair of the Marine Resources Committee in Bar Harbor and participates on the Advisory Committee for the Maine Healthy Coastal Beaches Program.

Please join us for this presentation. As usual, there will be refreshments and a chance for informal discussion after the program.