May 28, 2016

Habitat Area of Particular Concern in Penobscot Bay for juvenile cod.- background info.

Assorted facts and figures relevant to our  plan to use towed video and diver photos/video to  document habitat type and benthic species along specific shallow depth contours of portions of four Penobscot Bay towns:  Rockland Rockport,  North Haven and Vinalhaven (Hurricane Island).

Video Dive and Towed Camera Purposes:
- Document existing benthos of  HAPC Essential Fish Habitat
- Analyze how non-fishing activities affect EFH
- Identify ways to encourage conservation/enhancement of EFH of these areas
- List the major prey species for the species in the area and their locations
- Identify habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC)
- Recommend research efforts, preferably in priority order

Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard  June 2012 
Marine & Coastal Spatial Data Federal Geographic Data Committee

DMR's  enviro reviews  Maine DEP and Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands require DMR's Environmental Coordinator's to evaluate every coastal development application they review,  Link is to several years of development applications that would have an impact on Penobscot Bay's coastal environment, on the living marine resources of the bay, on the fishermen of the bay or on shoreline landowners.

How severe such impacts would be, and what ought to be done. The links below take you to 78 of Mr Swan's environmental reviews of development projects around Penobscot Bay in 2011 and 2012.


Inshore marine resource assessment


 Alternative 8 – Inshore Gulf of Maine Juvenile Cod HAPC

2013 Draft EIS EFH - Inshore juvenile Cod section 4pgs


Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecoregional Assessment

Land Cover and Wetlands of the Gulf of Maine Watershed 

Maine's Intertidal Habitats  A Planner's Handbook

Gulf of Maine habitat primer

Maine's Intertidal habitat 1985

Explanation of Maine Marine Geology

Definition of HAPCs

"So What? Habitat Areas of Particular Concern"

Regional  Fishery Council approaches  to HAPC identification

Opportunities and requirements for essential fish habitat and deep-sea coral protection

HAPC Cases

NMFS to Delaware

Penobscot Bay's, Maine's, shallow cod habitat getting new federal protection

Backstory:   HAPC IJAC
Habitat Area of Particular Concern for Inshore Juvenile  Atlantic Cod  (HIJAC) was first given approval in 1999 by the council.

 Ecology of young cod 

Age-O Cod   Movements and Diel Feeding

Shallow water depths (<5 m) and a strong attraction to features on most substratums, except sand, afford settled juveniles an environment conducive to growth and survival  The shallowness appears to ecologically segregate the 0-group cod from older age-groups at least during daylight;

 Age-0 cod maintain a strict diurnal foraging cycle, school (or shoal) feeding on zooplankton in a tide-related pattern during the day, and remain near protective bottom habitat which they readily seek when threatened. The mottled coloring of young juveniles effectively conceals them in a pebble-gravel environment

The diel change in vertical distribution and activity of 0-group cod coincides with a nocturnal shoreward movement and foraging by older (age-1-3) conspecifics.

Intercohort cannibalism is common. The occurrence of age-O cod in very shallow water (<1.2 m) at night has also been interpreted as possibly an evasive response to predation risk."

May 26, 2016

NOAA's 5/2/5/16 Northeast Ocean Plan webinar. Audio from event

On May 25, 2016  the Northeast Regional Planning Body, a consortium of ocean interests led by NOAA, held a webinar to unveil their draft Northeast Ocean Plan The following are audio recordings of the webinar's presenters & the Q & A that followed.

Part 1 intro in progress 5min 48sec

Part 2  Marine database 6min 30sec

Part 3 Updating maps, other actions 8min 40sec

Part 4 Energy and Infrastructure   6min 24 sec

Part 5  Plan administration and oversight   5min 30sec

Part 6 a reaserch priority 3min 13sec

Part 7 Grover Fugate 4min 24sec

Q&A part 1. 13 min   * Q&A part 2 10min39sec
]* Q&A part 3 8min 39sec   * Q&A part 4 to end. 10 min
Q&A full  42 minutes

The plan examines the issues facing the New England offshore Environment, evaluated the the state of regulation over ten top concerns  Marine Life and Habitat,  Cultural Resources* Marine Transportation * National Security * Commercial and Recreational Fishing* Recreation * Energy and Infrastructure, * Aquaculture * Offshore Sand Resources * and Restoration.

The plan  includes  creating an ocean information online portal with information about the above from and of value to  state and federal agency decisionmakers, indian tribes and the New England Fishery Management Council and all other stakeholders.

May 21, 2016

Rockland's Harbor Mgmt Commission ponders state of breakwater, Harbor Park changes, more.

Listen at this link to the 55 minute long 5/17/16 Rockland Harbor Mgmt Commission meeting, in which commissioners and guests discuss those things that arise as spring finally arrives at this lobstering and tourism harbor, midway up the Maine coast. Topics ranged from state of the Rockland Breakwater, the fate of a long derelict ferryboat Monhegan anchored inside the breakwater, to reconfiguring Harbor Park and more. Speakers included Melissa Maker, Chair, Howie Edwards, Jr from the Rockland Port District, and lobsterman/workboater Richard Whitman. Rockland's new harbormaster Matt Ripley also spoke. Steve Betts of Bangor Daily News was there. Guests on the recording begin with Mike Grondin, Rockland tree warden and blind advocate of the Americans with Disability Act, and his concerns with the reduced accessibility of Rockland Breakwater, to disabled persons, due to gaps on the walking surface from shifting blocks of stone, and Ron Huber of Friends of Penobscot Bay. Later, a presentation by two engineer consultants from Milone & MacBroom on reconfiguring Harbor Park to improve public access and services where the blues festival and Maine lobster festival are held and cruise ship passengers come ashore . A good mix of people on and overseeing this important city commission.

May 7, 2016

UMaine grad students report on cusk barometric trauma, shrimp, lobsters, ocean warming and scallops. 4/27/16

On April 27, 2016,  three grad and post doctoral students working at the Chen Lab of the University of Maine's marine science department  described the results of their present researches on cusk release mortality, shrimp abundance,  groundfish survey data, and scallops, lobster migrations and ocean warming trends. This at the annual gathering of the Midcoast Regional Planning Commission in Union Maine

Jocelyn Runnebaum  Introduction 2 min 29sec

Jocelyn Runnebaum  Cusk, Shrimp 10min 4 sec    Cusk study webpage

Mattie Rodrique Groundfish trends from non-fisheries-dependent data 6min 46 sec

Kisei Tanaka on lobsters and scallops

Questions from audience 6min 18sec

Apr 16, 2016

Maine Port Safety Forum 4/13/16 Audio:mass rescue operations, underwater mapping

Rescued Titanic passengers aboard the Carpathia
On April 13, 2016 the Maine/New Hampshire Port Safety Forum was held in Belfast, Maine 
Topics included a review of  mass rescue operations for passenger vessels, Underwater mapping update by NOAA, and more.  

Here is audio from those two presentations. Recordings of the rest uploaded as time permits

Lt Cdr Meghan McGovern, NOAA Office of Coast Survey 

Latest NOAA underwater mapping projects Penobscot Bay etc 13 minutes

Arn Heggers USCG Preparedness Specialist
Mass rescue operations Part 1 6min 40sec
Mass rescue operations Part 2 9min 30sec
Mass rescue operations Part 3. 4min 2sec

More audio to be uploaded.  check back!

Apr 10, 2016

Penobscot Watershed Conference, April 9, 2016 FULL AUDIO

NORTHPORT. On Saturday April 9th, the Point Lookout Resort on Ducktrap Mountain hosted the Penobscot Watershed Conference

People around Penobscot Bay's 8,500 square mile watershed came together to discuss and give presentations on  the myriad threats to Penobscot Bay and its River watershed,  Listen below to audio from this important assemblage of 23 speakers, fielding questions from  among the  hundreds of interested people attending. People who've variously devoted their lives to protecting, understanding, 
worshipping, exploiting and/or enjoying Maine biggest watershed.and bay: Penobscot!
1. Butch Philips & Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Traditional Opening Ceremony,11 min

2.  Paul Anderson,  UME biologist & Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis Welcoming remarks 5 min

3 Curt Spalding, US EPA Region 1 Administrator   14 min

4.  Chellie Pingree  US Congresswoman, 1st District 16 min

5.  Robert Steneck. Keynote Speaker 27min: Marine Scientist 26 min.Theme: "Navigating the Penobscot River through turbulent times toward an uncertain future: a 4,000 year retrospective."

PART 2 "Restoring Fishery Health, Projects, Big and Small"
6. Gordon Russel, Lower Penobscot Watershed Coalition
7. Laura Rose Day, 27 min Penobscot River Restoration Project
8. Alex Abbott, 20 min  US Fish and Wildlife Service
9. Matt Bernier, 19 min NOAA Funding Opportunities, the Habitat Blueprint

PART 3 "Current Uses of the Bay"
10 Carl Wilson, 14 min Maine DMR
11.Cyrus Sleeper 13min 23sec So.Thomaston lobsterman (noise during recording)
12 Taylor Allen, 10min 38sec Rockport Marine
13 Barry King. 14min 48sec Schooner Mary Day.
14 David Gelinas. Penobscot Bay & River Pilots. 13min30sec

PART 4. "Indicators of Environmental Health: the Bay."
4A. "Dynamic Conditions and Foodweb of the Penobscot Estuary"
15,Lauren Sahl, 12 minutes Maine Maritime Academy
16. Rachel Lasley-Rasher 10min 46sec, UMaine
17. Karen Wilson, 11min 38sec USM
19.James Gilbert, UME, Seals. 10 minutes

4B. "How Healthy IS the Bay?"
20. Larry Mayer UMaine Biogeochemistry of the River & Bay 12 min
21. Keri Kaczor, ME Seagrant/Coop Ext 12min 43sec
22. James Wilson UMaine River & Bay restoration and fishery economics

4C. "Citizen & other Monitoring Programs"
23. Christine Tilberg GOMCME 5min 44sec

 Islesboro Islands Land Trust  media release after the conference 

Mar 30, 2016

Big Gas. Rockland planning board reviews, approves gas ordinance changes

On March 29, 2016  the Rockland Planning Board reviewed amended, then approved the latest draft of  proposed changes to two ordinances sections to set standards that Big Gas or any other power-generator wannabees would have to meet if they wanted to set up in that city.  The drafts will be considered twice by the city council   Listen below by clicking on the meeting links.
PDF copies of draft ordinances used at the meeting  draft chapter 16     draft chapter 19  

Audio of 3/29/16 planning board meeting  meeting 
    Intro and Chapter 16 Site Plan Review

  2. Chapter 19  emissions changes  sec 19- sec 302 to 19-309
  A. Broke into sections Part 1  10min30sec  ** Part 2 10 minutes  Part 3  12minutes  **  Part 4  7minutes  

More to come(Noise) 

(1) *One chapter 16 change the PB  adopted was based on my urging them to add notifying the abutting townswhen applications recvd  to the first paragraph - not just abutting property owners.  Ended up  adopting notifying the county about proposals for utility scale gasplants - they would have to deal with emergency management if it blew or otherwise required evacuation disaster response etc  With the understanding  that the county would sent  the notifications, if any, to Rockland's abutting town's  emergency planners.

(1) Some of the board members said that they felt the proposed changes to Zoning and Performance Standards were stringent enough to deter most would be gas burners especially those unwilling to be smaller and meet tighter limits than they'd face in other towns.  Some thought  deter ALL gas wannabees