Annual Meeting 2014

Photograph © Jym St. Pierre

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s 2014 Annual Meeting at Cundy’s Harbor Community Hall featured a panel discussion about “Our Changing Ocean.” Click here to watch a video of the program on Vimeo. Thank you to Harpswell Community TV for taping it!

Our Changing Ocean

Our oceans and the communities that depend on them have changed significantly in recent years and will continue to evolve due to human and environmental factors. The panel discussion will explore how changes affect the environment, our community and our way of life. For example: What impact are invasive species like European Green Crabs having on Maine’s commercial fisheries? How will sea level rise and ocean acidification affect us all? How have fishing communities on the coast of Maine changed over the years, and how do they continue to change? What can we do as individuals and as a community to be resilient in the face of change? Each panelist will make a short presentation and there will be time for discussion and questions.

We welcomed the following panelists:

Dr. Brian Beal is a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) and the director of the University’s Marine Field Station at Black Duck Cove. His position at UMM is divided between teaching and research and includes extensive work at Downeast Institute on many different marine issues. Dr. Beal was instrumental in establishing Maine’s first lobster hatchery in the town of Cutler in 1986. He worked with clammers and shellfish committees in six Washington County towns to create Maine’s first public clam hatchery in 1987 known as the Beal’s Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery. Dr. Beal is known for his work with soft-shell clams throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. He was a Fulbright scholar at the National University of Ireland in Galway (2000-2001), where he worked with Irish fishermen and researchers on ocean-based lobster nurseries. His most recent applied research projects include work with sea scallops, hard clams, green crabs, Arctic surf clams, and European oysters. Brian is currently doing research on the effects of invasive green crabs in Maine.

Dr. Curtis C. Bohlen is the Director of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP).  CBEP works collaboratively with nonprofits, municipalities and state and federal agencies on behalf of Casco Bay and its watershed. Much of Curtis’ current work focuses on how human and natural communities can be resilient in the face of changing coastal systems. His background and interests include environmental restoration, wetland science and policy, and environmental economics. Dr. Bohlen previously served on the Environmental Studies faculty at Bates and Colby Colleges, and was a research scientist at the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory.  He also worked for Trout Unlimited and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as a staff scientist and spent a year working on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide and Congressional Science Fellow. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Cornell.

Corey Hawkes, now 38, has been lobstering since he was 10. Corey started as a sternman and eventually bought his own boat and built a successful business over the years. He lobsters in Maine; has scalloped off of Cape Cod; worked on a purse seiner for a couple of seasons; and has fished for shrimp, tuna, elvers (also known as grass eels) and ground fish. Corey comes from a Maine fishing family, going back six or seven generations in Cundy’s Harbor. His children are now following in the family tradition and lobstering as they work their way through school.

Dr. Nick Record is a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay. He has been studying the oceanography of the Gulf of Maine for the last ten years. Nick works with computational ocean models and mathematical ecology to understand and predict ocean biogeography and biogeochemistry.  Models typically combine ocean physics with biological and ecological processes to predict changes in ocean ecology. In recent years, Nick has worked on predicting the migration patterns of whales, as well as investigating the way ocean ecosystems will respond to climate change.