Storm Surge Sensing
BBWC volunteer Dave Bond collects data from a storm surge sensor in Belfast Harbor.
On July 19, 2018, University of Maine researchers presented their first-year findings about mid-coast storm surge magnitudes to a local audience at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. This is a public awareness initiative along with a data collection process, collecting pressure readings every second, ongoing. Volunteers download data each month from the sensors placed along the coast. They email the data to the UMaine researchers: Dr. Kim Huguenard, Dr. Laura Rickard and graduate students. Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition volunteers Dave Bond and John Tipping have monitored in 2017-18. They will continue, adding other volunteers to expand the data points.
The program focused on the two “bomb cyclone” events of October 30 and January 4. A bomb cyclone event is defined by a drop of 24 millibars of barometric pressure in 24 hours or less.
Normal high tide + storm surge increment = storm tide height of the event.
According to the researchers, the October 30 event left more CMP customers without power than the Ice Storm of ’98. The January 4 event caused the third highest tide on record in Portland, in spite of occurring at mid-tide ebbing, with a north wind countering the surge. Other coastal communities remember it as well.
Data were collected in 3 estuaries: the Penobscot River, Bagaduce River, and Bass Harbor/Southwest Harbor, chosen for their diversity of configuration. Much valuable information has been gleaned so far, to help coastal town planners and emergency preparedness services. Visit the project's website to learn more SensingStormSurge.acg.maine.edu .
To volunteer for the ongoing project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Besides monitoring (data collection), there are other volunteer opportunities, including hosting local presentations in coastal communities.
Belfast Co-op Donation to BBWC
BBWC gratefully accepted our community’s donations, through the Co-op’s Round Up Program (Common Cents), for the month of July 2018 totalling over $4,200. These contributions will enable the BBWC to continue their work to support conservation and stewardship of the Belfast Bay watershed through outings, programs, research, and education.
BBWC Receives an MCF Grant for Little River Trail Bridge Restorations
The Belfast Bay Water Coalition (BBWC) has received a grant from the Maine Community Foundation to repair aging bog bridges on the Little River Community Trail.
Time and weather have taken their toll on many of the bog bridges that were built out of hemlock 10-15 years ago. These bog bridges will be replaced with cedar planks and are expected to last much longer.
A $5,300 Maine Community Foundation Grant will be a big help to pay for the wood and hardware that is needed for repairs to about 90 bog bridges. The BBWC trail crew will provide the tools and labor for the repairs and hope to have many of the bog bridges repaired or replaced by the end of the year.
This repair effort will make the Little River Community trails safer and more accessible, leading to more outdoor actives for all, for a long time.
The City of Belfast has an opportunity for a new business, Nordic Aquafarms, which is causing concern to many citizens of Belfast and the surrounding communities. Many of the questions and concerns cannot be answered at this time. Rezoning of land is the first of many steps the City and Nordic Aquafarms have pursued. Once Nordic Aquafarms does more on-site investigation, additional information should be available regarding what they plan to do.
Several BBWC Board members have been asked by you, our membership, “Where does BBWC stand on Nordic Aquafarms building the largest indoor salmon farm in the world, in Belfast?” At our last BBWC board meeting this issue was addressed and the following conclusions were reached:
1) The BBWC board has no position at this time. We feel that too little is known now to make a statement.
2) We are a non-profit organization. We are looking into the legality of taking a position either for or against Nordic Aquafarms. Our mission statement is the following: “The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition supports conservation and stewardship of natural and public resources of the Belfast Bay watershed through research, community-building, and education.”
As the process unfolds for Nordic Aquafarms to establish a water supply, obtain a discharge permit, and meet other DEP regulations, the BBWC board will continue to follow the course of events, and will keep the membership updated as to BBWC’s position in the future.
On another matter, please remember that summer is fast approaching and trail maintenance is needed— not only the Little River Trail, but also all the great properties that Coastal Mountains Land Trust (CMLT) is responsible for. CMLT is striving to raise $75,000 for the Jo & Skip Pendleton Stewardship Fund for a Waldo County stewardship intern. We anticipate this person will be working on trails throughout greater Belfast, not just on Land Trust land. I encourage folks donate to the Stewardship fund online.
Thank You for your continued support.
Tom King, President, BBWC
Gratitude for Lucy Carver
The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition has lost another founding member, Lucy Carver, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day. We give thanks for Lucy’s dedication and service as one of our first leaders.
When Lucy graduated from the Penobscot Bay Stewards course in the late 1990’s, she, along with Skip and Jo Pendleton, Joan and Maynard Clemons, started the Passy Coalition, centered on the Passagassawakeag River. A well-known local artist and professional cartographer, Lucy created the Passy Coalition’s logo of a sturgeon in reference to the meaning of the name.
A couple of years later, thinking of the larger watershed, encompassing 4 rivers and their watersheds, we changed the name to the BBWC. Lucy was our first secretary. With the transition to BBWC, we held a contest to design a new logo. When a 3-way tie put us in a tight position, Lucy took elements from all three winning designs, combining them into the familiar logo displayed on watershed signs posted on every road that enters the Belfast Bay watershed. Lucy also hand-made beautiful maps, exquisitely detailed, of the Belfast Bay watersheds, as well as a lifetime of maps she made professionally.
Lucy’s artwork leaves a legacy of lifelike images of nature, among other drawings and paintings. Her gulls seem to fly up out of the frame, and the leaves of her plants reach out in three dimensions, inviting to pick.
Lucy was fun to work with, always wise and thoughtful, positive and good-humored. Our community is better because Lucy Carver lived among us.
Skip Pendleton, Forever Young
The Belfast community and Waldo County lost a giant with Skip Pendleton’s passing on September 24. Skip was important to so many people and organizations, including the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
After retirement, Skip and his wife Jo were among the founders of the Passy Coalition in the 1990s, which morphed into the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition in 2004, with Skip as our first president. His strong leadership guided the development of our three arms: research, education, and community- building.
A tireless advocate for the natural world, Skip spoke out often at City Council and other community meetings, always with humility and respect, winning people to his philosophy of stewardship and caring. Skip was a bridge-builder in society as well as on the ground as he organized trail crews to establish paths, bridges where needed, throughout the mid-coast area. He was the driving force and perpetual steward of the Little River Community Trail, hundreds of miles of trails and bridges on Coastal Mountains Land Trust preserves, and in his last years, the Hills to Sea Trail, a 47-mile trail from Unity to Belfast.
Skip thought up and led public outings for years to show people the special places in and out of Waldo County, some places that no one else would have known about. He was eager to share these trails and paddles with everyone in hopes of spreading the joy of being outdoors in the “Real World” and the ethic of caring for its future.
The legacy Skip has left is all around us. However, what most endeared Skip to so many of us was his youthful energy for exploring nature, his gentle, peaceful spirit, his sense of what honestly matters in life, his deep appreciation of each individual he knew and of the many places he loved.
Cloe Chunn on Good Morning Belfast, July 17, 2018