The Wrack

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

Posts tagged water quality

  • Wells Reserve at the Maine Sustainability and Water Conference

    Wells Reserve Contributor | April 2, 2015

    On Tuesday, six of us traveled to Augusta for the 2015 Maine Sustainability and Water Conference. This conference was established by UMaine in 1994 to bring together water resource professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners to discuss the future of Maine’s water resources. This year's conference included presentations, panel discussions, and poster displays. Session topics ranged from Ocean Acidification to Municipal Water Resources Management to Urban Sustainability & Climate Change, to Sustainable Engagement with the Food System, as well as many more!

    Four reserve staff had the privilege of sharing recent and ongoing projects:

  • Mousam River Too Hot For Native Fish

    | April 1, 2015

    The Wells Reserve conducted a study of water temperature in the Mousam River during the summer of 2013. What we found were conditions that do not support native coldwater fish species during the most critical time of the year.

    To learn more check out our report on what we found:

    2013 Mousam River Temperature Study

    Fish are generally confined to the water, for obvious reasons: they breathe through gills, don't have legs, prefer to eat aquatic insects, etc… (actually some did manage to get out, but it took millions of years). But that doesn't mean they don't move around. In fact fish do a great deal of moving around to locate food, escape being eaten, and find a suitable place to lay their eggs. For some species this involves traveling great distances and even moving back and forth between the ocean and rivers. Other species stay closer to home and spend their entire life in one environment or another. But for these "resident" fish it is still important to be able to move within their local stream networks to complete their life history.

  • My Favorite Science and Nature Stories of 2014

    | December 26, 2014

    The Strummer snail

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 12/28/2014.

    I sat in the tire shop the day before Christmas, waiting for the technician to switch my summer tires for winter ones, and scrutinized my fingers. I’d recently read an article about new biological research that pointed to a possible explanation for one of the great mysteries that has bedeviled mankind for millennia: why DO our fingers get wrinkly in the bath?

  • Only Turkeys Don't Vote

    | November 22, 2014

    Can't we all just get along?

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 11/23/2014.

    The most important thing I can say about this year’s midterm election is simply: thank you for voting.

    Maine had the highest voter turnout in the entire 50 states, with 59.3% of us going to the polls, well above the national average of 36%. If it was the “gu-bear-natorial” nature of our election, so be it: each vote tallied was an expression of individual preference. Some races were decided by single digits; others, by lopsided majorities. In each race, and on each ballot question, we now know what a majority of our fellow Mainers decisively think. That’s valuable information and worth thinking about.

  • Water Quality Monitoring in the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers

    | November 7, 2014 | Filed under: Observations

    Volunteers measure river conditions at 20 monitoring sites as part of a statewide program.

  • Liars and Flyers and Bears, Oh My

    | November 2, 2014

    (c) JHpolitics.com

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 11/2/2014.

    From reports, it sounds like this year’s midterm election is a doozy, money-wise: across the country, campaigns are spending record sums marketing their candidates and causes.  So I read, anyway: I do not watch broadcast TV, I have an ad blocker on my computer, and I only listen to satellite radio and MPBN. Voluntarily [and gratefully] deaf to the din from most of the marketing wars, I rarely hear about the latest advances in breakfast cereal, let alone the biannual election season onslaught.

    About the only political advertising I do see are ads in newspapers (bless you, candidates, for feeding our starving print publishers), and outdoor campaign signs.

  • A wet start to June!

    | June 6, 2012

    We saw a cold and wet start to the month of June here in Southern Maine. I thought I would share some SWMP data from a few of our stations to illustrate how weather can significantly impact the water quality of our estuaries

  • Ichthyoplankton sampling begins aboard the EPA's OSV Bold

    Wells Reserve Contributor | August 8, 2011

    I am on board the EPA Ocean Survey Vessel BOLD, with the opportunity to do ichthyoplankton (larval fish) monitoring at sea to supplement the nearly weekly ichthyoplankton tows my fellow intern Amanda has been doing this summer at Wells Harbor.  We are interested in comparing the types of larval fish that are present a little way out to sea with those present in the harbor. Darcie Ritch, another summer intern who is working on her master’s degree at Antioch New England, is hoping to use the larval fish data I’m helping to collect on this trip in her masters project. Here is one of the first creatures we caught, a tiny lobster.

    Juvenile lobster

    The EPA’s OSV BOLD is dedicated to environmental research at sea.  This specific trip goes from Boston to Casco Bay and back, and is focused on collecting water samples to help establish nutrient limits (the maximum quantities of nitrates and phosphates in the water that will still allow healthy animal and plant life and clean water for fishing, kayaking, and other uses) for coastal waters.

    To learn more about the OSV BOLD, and to see more photos and some videos of research at sea, check out http://epa.gov/boldkids/!

  • Gorham Middle School students test water quality

    Wells Reserve Contributor | June 9, 2006

    Forty-one Gorham Middle School sixth grade students traveled to the Reserve today to take part in water quality monitoring with their teachers and five Reserve docents. The students divided into groups then participated in hands-on activities to learn about fecal coliform, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, and salinity in the water.