The Wrack

 blog of the wells reserve at laudholm

The Wrack is our collective logbook on the web. Here you will find hundreds of articles on myriad topics, all tied to these two thousand acres of protected coastal land and the yesteryear cluster than lends them identity.

Why "The Wrack"? In its cycles of ebb and flow, the sea transports a melange of weed, shell, bone, feather, wood, rope, and trash from place to place, then deposits it at the furthest reach of spent surf. This former flotsam is full of interesting stuff for anybody who cares to kneel and take a look. Now and then, the line of wrack reveals a treasure.

Helping to Make Monarchs More Than a Memory

October 7, 2015 By David Morse Filed under Article Tags: butterfliesfaunamonarchs

Mentioned Suzanne Kahn

Monarch caterpillar on milkweedThree years ago I observed a magical happening while on a drive along Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport. Suddenly I was surrounded by what appeared to be a veritable storm of brightly colored pieces of paper fluttering past me. Upon stopping I saw that these were monarchs gathering in the Rosa rugosa at the water’s edge. There was a strong onshore breeze and they were flying about, hesitant to launch over the open water.

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On the Road

October 3, 2015 By Nik Charov Filed under Article Tags: monitoringsciencetwo worlds

oh, the shame

The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 10/4/2015.

Just about every two weeks, for the past three years, I’ve gassed up my car. On the printed receipt from the pump, I write down the mileage from the trip odometer before I reset it. Every few months, I take all the receipts out of the Altoids tin I keep them in and enter them into a spreadsheet – gallons, price per gallon, location of fill-up, miles driven – and use it to calculate my average miles per gallon, and where the reliably cheapest gas is. Embarrassingly, I’ve even graphed the ebbs and flows of my refueling fun.

What can I say? I like math; I like numbers.

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Close-up of algae piled in wrack line."That seaweed is disgusting. It's ugly, it smells, and it's covered in flies. Why don't you do something about it?"

I can only imagine the phone calls fielded by beach managers from York to Biddeford this summer. I'm sure they got an earful. Southern Maine's tourist magnets, our beautiful sandy beaches, got turned into algae dumps in July. Popular sun-bathing spots were piled high with twisted mounds of seaweed. Vacationers were none too pleased.

Peeved visitors took to social media to vent their frustration. Empathetic local officials tried to explain. The press pounced.

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Mentioned Jacob Aman

WELLS, Maine, September 21, 2015 — On September 18, a small dam was removed from Goff Mill Brook in Arundel near where it flows into the Kennebunk River estuary. The removal reconnects seven miles of stream habitat to the estuary, benefiting brook trout, other migratory and freshwater fish, and the watershed’s ecology. The project was coordinated by the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, working in full partnership with the Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited under TU’s national Embrace-a-Stream grant program.

“Goff Mill Brook is now connected to the Gulf of Maine for the first time in at least 60 years,” said Wells Reserve project manager Jake Aman. “We expect many fish and wildlife species to benefit from this restoration, including commercially important fish like American eel and river herring.”

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