The Wrack

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

Wells Reserve at the Maine Sustainability and Water Conference

Posted by 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:

MIMIC volunteers work on the dock at Wells Harbor Jeremy Miller presented "MIMIC: Using Citizen Scientists to Monitor the Spread of Marine Invasive Species in the Gulf of Maine" during the "Citizen Science in New England" session held Tuesday afternoon (read abstract). Jeremy highlighted the Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) program that the Wells Reserve has been a part of for 6 years. This monitoring program uses community members to identify, detect, and track invasive species from June through October in hopes of early detection of new, potentially harmful species. This serves as a great example of involving community members in scientific data collection and monitoring.

Shorey's Brook dam removal work in 2011Jacob Aman served on a panel in the Stream Connectivity session and spoke on "Chipping Away at Stream Barriers in Southern Maine" (read abstract) Jacob is involved with a variety dam removal projects and shared some success stories such as the removal of a small dam on Shorey’s Brook in Eliot and the newly restored fish ladder at the water district site on Branch Brook. He also talked about upcoming projects in and the monitoring efforts being conducted to follow the effects of these projects on wildlife.

Dr. Kristin Wilson presented "Riparian Buffers in Southern Maine Streams: Do They Matter Ecologically" 3 during the "Sustaining Maine’s Water Resources" session (read abstract). This presentation covered a large project that the Wells Reserve was a part of over the past few years. The project looked at different buffer sites and stream conditions along two streams in southern Maine, Merriland River and Branch Brook. A number of parameters were looked at ranging from water quality to fish species composition and vegetative cover. All of these data were used in a broad-based effort to understand residents' economic and ecological valuation of buffer habitats.

Dr. Christine Feurt presented in — and chaired — the "Sustaining Maine’s Water Resources" session. She talked about "Sustaining Ecosystem Services to Promote Human Well Being: Interdisciplinary Research to Assess the Value of Riparian Buffers" (read abstract), which is the project that incorporated the research Kristin presented. Chris highlighted the importance of riparian buffers both to ecologists and to the general public. She shared the project that coupled the environmental research with a survey given to stakeholders to assess their understanding and economic valuation of these habitats. The results of this project are being used in management and conservation decisions as well as to decrease communication barriers between different disciplines.

We all found this to be a successful conference for both learning and collaborating with other professionals!

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