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 that 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.

He who smelt it, dealt it

The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 10/23/2016, and Making It At Home's 10/26/2016 issue.

It’s too early to tally the full damage from Hurricane Matthew, which earlier this month plowed up the Southeast U.S. coast from Florida to North Carolina. Working at the local Wells Reserve, a place that pays a lot of attention to coastal watershed issues, I watched closely as four research reserves in our national system of 28 took the brunt of the storm. Plus, I have a demonstrated interest in manure, so the following story caught my eye.

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About this Project

Sea-level rise and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change impact Maine’s coastline and are anticipated to increase in frequency and strength. Beach-based businesses, a powerful economic engine for Maine, are generally little-prepared for storm surge and coastal flooding. Yet lessons learned from previous disasters underscore that the recovery of businesses is critical to the overall recovery of a region’s economy.


This project will adapt and transfer the Tourism Resilience Index, previously developed for the Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, to Southern Maine. The Wells Reserve will help coastal businesses in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk to assess their ability to maintain operations during and after a disaster. The Wells Reserve also will collaborate with business leaders, municipalities, and climate adaptation professionals to decrease the vulnerability of Maine’s beach-based business community to natural disasters.

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Better Living through Chemistry?

October 1, 2016 By Nik Charov Filed under Article Tags: insectstwo worlds

Robert Hooke's drawing of a flea in Micrographia, c. 1730

The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 10/2/2016, and Making It At Home's 10/5/2016 issue.

When my wife, sons, and I went away to our annual family reunion over Labor Day Weekend, we never expected to return home to find a party raging at our house. We’d left our cat, Greenberry, in charge of the homestead. When we got back from our trip, she was playing host to hundreds of obnoxious guests.


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One Day in a Magical Place

September 27, 2016 By David Morse Filed under Article Tags: bognaturalistpunkinfiddle

Dan Smith pressed apples for cider as kids and adults look on and wait for samples. 2016 Punkinfiddle.Punkinfiddle morning we are immersed in the tidal flow of family fun. Kids hold their painted pumpkins out in front of painted faces, while more professional pumpkin transformers are fashioning a mouthful of sharp teeth embedded in the formidable jaw of a pumpkin carnivore. For some, the relaxed ebb and flow means leisurely viewing the exhibits of bee culture and wool spinning. Others with more purpose emerge from the line beside the ice house, smiling down at their grease-stained bag of warm cider donuts. The laughter of young voices floating over the scene reminds us that the enjoyment of simple things can be the most rewarding.

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Cover image for Public Shoreline Access in MaineThroughout much of my professional life, I have been involved in various issues related to coastal conservation and public access. My activities have included:

  • The Practical — acquisition of lands along the coast that provide direct access for residents and visitors, and that protect wildlife habitat
  • The Educational — organizing forums, lectures, and workshops that explore legal and policy issues relating to coastal ownership, use, and access
  • Writing and Publishing — most recently, co-editing the 3-volume Maine Coastal Public Access Guide

So it was only natural that the Wells Reserve (and yours truly) would team up with University of Maine Sea Grant and the Maine Coastal Program to revise and publish Public Shoreline Access in Maine: A Citizen’s Guide to Ocean and Coastal Law.

This concise, full color guide, just released, is a summary and analysis of the laws, policies, and court decisions that have helped define ownership of, and public access to, Maine’s coast.

Download Public Shoreline Access in Maine: A Citizen's Guide to Ocean and Coastal Law (6 MB)

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