Casco Bay Currents, an email newsletter of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
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Fall 2018

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to the Fall 2018 edition of Casco Bay Currents, the newsletter for Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP).

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Volunteer to clean up our estuary by participating in Coastal Clean-Up Week (see article below for more details).

Volunteer Opportunity:
Coastal Clean-Up Week

Looking for more opportunities to get out to the coast before cold weather hits? Interested in making a difference in the health of our Bay?

Join the Maine Coastal Program and celebrate National Estuaries Week/Maine Coastweek by joining one of many coastal clean-up events the week of September 15. Maine Coastweek is part of the International Coastal Cleanup which is a one day global event. Each year over a thousand participants in Maine clear hundreds of miles of thousands of pounds of trash. What is collected is recorded and this data then becomes part of the international ocean trash index which is compiled by Ocean Conservancy. 

Casco Bay clean-ups looking for volunteers:

Location: Portland, Back Cove,  Date: Saturday September 15,  Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm,  Contact:

Location: South Portland, Bug Light Park,  Date: Saturday September 15,  Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm,  Contact:

Location: Portland, East End Beach,  Date: Saturday, September 15th, 2018,  Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm,  Contact:

Location: Martin’s Point Portland,  Lower parking lot or Martin’s Point on Veranda Street, Date: Saturday September 15th, Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm, Contact:

Location: Freeport, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park,   Day: Sunday September 16th,  Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm,  Contact:

Location: Falmouth Foreside,  Mackworth Island,  Date: Monday September 17,  Time: 9:00am,  Contact:
Location: Portland, Peaks Island-Sandy Beach,  Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018,  Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm,  Contact:

Nutrient Sensor Deployed in August

Angie Brewer, Maine DEP, Nicholas Keeney,
PhD student in Oceanography, University of Maine, and Curtis Bohlen, CBEP Executive Director deployed a nutrient sensor in South Portland in August (also participating: Mike Doan of Friends of Casco Bay). The sensor will collect data for two years, which will increase our understanding of nutrient sources entering Casco Bay. A year ago, CBEP was awarded a $10,000 prize from the US Environmental Protection Agency in the "Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge," after submitting a proposal on behalf of a coalition of our partners.

Partner Profile: Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District (CCSWCD)

CCSWCD is a long-time CBEP partner. The District specializes in lake, river, and stream protection and restoration, urban and rural stormwater solutions, and agriculture best management practices for Cumberland County communities.

Education has been at the heart of the District’s mission for over 70 years. Today, their CONNECT youth education program focuses on the interCONNECTedness of nature and our role as stewards. District staff have been developing a variety of exciting service learning projects which they have piloted with schools in the Greater Portland area.
According to staff educator Jenna Martyn-Fisher, the District's service learning integrates standard lessons and meaningful community service to enrich students’ learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Recent projects have included story walk installations, trout releases, vegetated buffer plantings, and storm drain murals. Students receive a series of lessons leading up to their service project to increase their understanding of the natural world and how everyday activities can lead to harmful pollutants which can threaten the health of our environment. Students then use this knowledge to play an active role in designing their solution-based service project and building CONNECTions with their community.

To learn more, contact Jenna Martyn-Fisher or check out their website.

Image: Courtesy of Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District

CBEP 2018 Marsh Monitoring Season Wrapping Up

CBEP's seasonal salt marsh monitoring program, which began in 2011, is drawing to a close for the year. The program tracks ecological changes at salt marshes where culvert replacements have improved tidal exchange. This year we were primarily monitoring four marshes, all of them in Harpswell. 

This year's monitoring crew was comprised of Tristan Taber, currently enrolled in University of Southern Maine's Biology graduate program, and Jennifer Sawtelle, a 2017 graduate of USM's Environmental Science program. 

We wish Tristan and Jennifer well in their future endeavors!

For more information on CBEP's salt marsh monitoring program or to find out how your community could be involved, please email Matt Craig, CBEP Habitat Program Manager.

Image: Jennifer Sawtelle takes field notes at Appletree Marsh in Harpswell.

On August 4, CBEP organized, with The Tidelands Coalition, a workshop at Brunswick High School for teachers in the Casco Bay region. "Connect to Casco Bay" brought a dozen teachers together, and connected them with marine resource organizations.

The goals were to provide Bay-related place-based learning ideas aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) practices and identify future training needs. Teachers learned more about NGSS from Ruth Kermish-Allen of Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, engaged in a field lesson with the creator of the NGSS-aligned Rocky Shore Curriculum (read more about that lesson here), met with Brunswick Marine Warden Dan Devereaux, and played "Winners and Losers in the Gulf of Maine," a bingo program created by Mary Cerullo of Friends of Casco Bay as part of her Casco Bay Curriculum.

If you are an educator in the Casco Bay watershed, and would like to be kept informed of events like this one, please email Victoria Boundy.

Many thanks to the Brunswick School Department, Maine Coastal Program, and the many organizational staff that volunteered their time to participate.

Image: Casco Bay educators at Brunswick's "Outdoor Classroom" at Wharton Point.

A Day with the Casco Baykeeper

Executive Director Curtis Bohlen and Program Coordinator Marti Blair each spent a day on the Baykeeper vessel this summer. 

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca (shown here reading water quality monitoring instruments with Friends of Casco Bay's Research Associate Mike Doan), is the lead advocate and ambassador for Casco Bay, and a CBEP Management Committee member. The Casco Baykeeper speaks out on behalf of the health of the Bay, acting as its eyes, ears and voice. Our Casco Baykeeper advocates for compliance with environmental laws, responds to citizen complaints, identifies and takes action on issues that may harm the health of the Bay, and works with communities to develop appropriate remedies to address problems that threaten the health of our waters. 

Learn more here about Friends of Casco Bay's Baykeeping work.

CBEP and Partner Events

  • September 20, 2018- March 21, 2019 (Thursday evenings 7pm): The Royal River Film Series, Royal River Conservation Trust and Yarmouth Historical Society.The Yarmouth History Center: 118 E Elm St. Yarmouth. More info here.
  • Saturday, November 3: 11th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Friends of Casco Bay. University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center in Portland. More info here.
  • Sunday, November 18, 1 - 3 p.m.: Mill Brook Family-Friendly Trail Grand Opening, Westbrook. Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. Go here to RSVP.
  • Wednesday, December 12: CBEP Management Committee meeting, Place TBD.
Copyright © 2018, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service
Wishcamper Center #229, 34 Bedford Street
Portland, ME 04104

Phone: (207) 780-4820
Fax: (207) 228-8460

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