Coastal Waters Monitoring Training Offered at DMC

Save the date! The University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole will host a coastal and estuarine monitoring workshop on Sun

day, April 10th from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aquaculturists, fishermen, researchers, teachers, citizen scientists, coastal residents, community groups and other interested individuals are encouraged to attend. No previous training is required.

The TORCH: Training for Observation of Coastal Habitats workshop is the result of an ongoing partnership between the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center and an alliance of local water monitoring organizations called the Maine Coastal Observing Alliance (MCOA).

“Our main goals for the workshop are to help individuals and groups interested in estuarine and coastal monitoring to find the best indicators and measurement methods to suit their needs, to learn about current monitoring efforts, to get hands-on experience with various monitoring methods and equipment, and to network with others involved in estuarine and coastal monitoring.” Kathleen Thornton, co-organizer of the event and research specialist at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center.

The workshop will feature sessions focused on why monitoring is important, environmental parameters, sampling methods and how attendees can use publicly accessible monitoring data through collaborations with existing programs and organizations. There will be opportunities to discuss quality control measures, data management and analysis specifically focused on enhancing the capacity of coastal and estuarine monitoring programs.

The afternoon will provide attendees with hands-on demonstrations. Monitoring projects will be demonstrated and participants will spend time in the field learning about the methods each project utilizes to gather information and share it with the public. There will also be opportunities for networking and to discuss collaboration over dinner.

MCOA is a collaboration among 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. 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 (now Midcoast Conservancy).

“Local capacity to improve our understanding of coastal habitats exists – in fact, we have great capacity to gather the data we need, analyze it and share it with communities in a meaningful ways – MCOA is evidence of this and this conference is an opportunity for more people to educate themselves and get hands-on experience,” explained Sarah Gladu, MCOA chair and director of education and environmental monitoring at the Damariscotta River Association.

The University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center is located on the Damariscotta River estuary in Maine’s midcoast region. The Center is committed to strengthening the knowledge of coastal and marine ecosystems and the communities who are part of them through research, teaching and outreach in Maine and world-wide. Learn more

To learn more about MCOA and view the recent MCOA report, visit The Damariscotta River Association is a non-profit, membership supported, and nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Damariscotta region, centered on the Damariscotta River.

Further information, a schedule, and registration details will be posted on the Darling Marine Center website and the Damariscotta River Association website in late February.