Thursday, May 17. 6:30 pm. Belfast Library.
Matt Arsenault, co-author of Grasses of Maine, 2018, will introduce us to grasses of Maine’s natural environment, the ecological benefits they provide (and problems they create), more common species, and examples of some rare and unique species of conservation concern. will teach us with pictures and live specimens, the grasses we can expect to see as we walk around our area. He will also introduce us to rushes, a much smaller group of grass-like plants.
Last year Matt taught us from his book Sedges of Maine. The new book on grasses will be published in time for the program
To be followed by a grass field trip on Sat., June 23, 10:00-12:00, at 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.
Belfast Free Library, 6:30-8:00 pm, free and open to all, held on the 3rd Thursday of each month
Wed., June 13,
Dr. Sean Birkel, Maine State Climatologist with the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, will give intriguing history of the bay freezing over during some winters of the 1800s and early 1900s, and will share predictions for future climate being developed at the Climate Change Institute. The program will take place at 4:00 pm at Penobscot Shores Retirement Community, 10 Shoreland Drive, off Rt. 1, Belfast. FMI: 338-2332.
Thurs., June 14,
Dr. Robert Steneck, Darling Marine Research Center, University of Maine, will speak about ways the Penobscot Bay ecosystem has changed since the first Native Americans arrived on North Haven nearly 5000 years ago. The program is at 7:00 pm at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., Belfast. FMI: 338-2222.
Anthropocene Epoch: The time interval characterized as when humanity began to substantially alter Earth’s biosphere.Manybeautiful seascapeswithin Penobscot Bay have notchanged for centuries. However, underwater and out of sight there has been a revolution. This ecosystem supported some of Maine's first seaside residents on North Haven Island over 4000 years ago. They subsisted on cod and other groundfish for thousands of years. While we know cod are delicious, when they were abundant, theywere important predators that "ruled" the ecosystem. Today, cod are rare incoastal Maine and as a result, some of their prey have exploded in abundance including our most valuable marine resource -- the lobster.
The Gulf of Maine in general and Penobscot Bay are among the most dynamic and rapidly changing ecosystems in the world. Our changing climate and fishing pressure caused considerable change but the restoration efforts of removing dams along the Penobscot River and its tributaries account for considerable positive change today and in the future. Since humans created the Antropocene, arguably it is our charge to reverse our effects.
Maine can be proud of the pioneering role it has played in working to reduce some of the human impacts to fisheries and to our waterways of the past.
Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, P.O. Box 152, Belfast, ME 04915