Ocean Acidification in Midcoast Estuaries

A presentation on “Ocean Acidification and Midcoast Maine Estuaries” is being offered Thursday, January 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Damariscotta River Association’s Round Top Farm, 3 Round Top Lane, Damariscotta. The presentation is the result of an on-going partnership between an alliance of local water monitoring organizations called the Maine Coastal Observing Alliance (MCOA) and the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center.

MCOA is a collaboration between volunteer supported organizations and researchers along the coast of Maine. The Alliance promotes the common interests of groups actively involved in monitoring Maine’s estuaries and coastal watersheds in order to understand and promote the ecological health of these systems. The MCOA partners are: Boothbay Regional Land Trust, Damariscotta River Association, Friends of Casco Bay, Georges River Land Trust, Hurricane Island Foundation, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Medomak Valley Land Trust, Rockport Conservation Commission and Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.

Estuaries are places where salt and fresh water meet and mix. Land-based activities can strongly affect water bodies such as estuaries. The health of local estuaries is critical to a wide variety of marine-based businesses, the wildlife that lives in and migrates through the region, visitors and local communities, but what do we really know about the health of the estuary?

Sarah Gladu, DRA Director of Education and Environmental Monitoring and MCOA chair, will outline recent volunteer monitoring efforts and goals for the future. Dr. Larry Mayer and Kathleen Thornton – scientists at the University of Maine’s School for Marine Sciences at the Darling Marine Center – will discuss data collected. They will show how waters are sampled, tested, and also interpret the meaning of these data for the community.

The Darling Marine Center is the marine laboratory of the University of Maine and Gladu emphasized that the technical expertise and capacity provided by the staff of the Darling Marine Center has been, and continues to be, a tremendous resource to MCOA and the partnering organizations. Located in Walpole on the eastern shore of the Damariscotta River estuary it is a research and educational facility serving UMaine, the local community and researchers from around the world.

The program is free of charge but registration is recommended. The snow date is Friday, January 15. For more information or to register call 207-563-1393, email dra@damariscottariver.org. The web site, where more information about MCOA and to view the recent MCOA report, is www.damariscottariver.org.