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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Grateful for Estuaries and the American Lobster

Posted by | January 14, 2019 | Filed under: Opinion

Photo of an American lobster by O.A.R.-N.U.R.P. at NOAA via wikimedia commons. CC-BY-2.0

Estuaries give us many reasons to be grateful, but high on our list this year is their importance to one particular Maine icon: the American Lobster (Homarus americanus). While often associated with bays and nearshore waters, Gulf of Maine lobsters are, importantly, part-time estuarine residents.

We are grateful for the Maine lobster for four simple reasons:

  1. Lobsters help maintain diverse marine ecosystems, including estuaries and shallow coastal waters.
  2. Lobsters use estuaries, like those of the Wells Reserve, for easy foraging opportunities, growth, and protection from predators; they depend on healthy coastal waters.
  3. Gulf of Maine lobster supports the largest fishery in our great State and one of the most successful commercial fisheries in the world, generating about $500 million per year and feeding Maine’s $9 billion tourism industry. Catching, processing, and serving Maine lobster support thousands of Maine jobs.
  4. Maine-caught lobster makes one of the best-tasting meals anywhere. Truly, is there anything better than steamed lobster served with drawn butter, Maine-grown corn on the cob, Maine potatoes, and Maine blueberry pie?
Girl showing small lobster to the camera

The Wells Reserve staff and all of our supporters appreciate the lobster just as much as our friends at the other 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves love their iconic animals.

Seeing fish and wildlife thrive in estuaries is never a given. It takes community support — citizens working together to protect something precious that matters to all of us. Knowing that’s possible gives us hope and inspires us to work harder to meet the challenges ahead.

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