Category Coasts & Oceans

Year of the Salmon

On October 30, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region launched the International Year of the Salmon on the East Coast at the New England Aquarium. This initiative aspires to bring attention to the conditions necessary to ensure the resilience of salmon and people throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The Honorable Madonna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and […]

Alewives in lakes

The return of alewives, native migratory fish, to Maine rivers and streams is an annual spring event and the focus of restoration efforts statewide. Lots of attention is paid to the migration route, as people clear obstructions and remove barriers and improve passage from streams into lakes, the alewife’s ultimate destination where they spawn and […]

Why we love the ocean

The sand, smoothed by the tide, glitters with flecks of mica and quartz. The beach ends at an outcropping of rocks draped with seaweed and rough with barnacles. Tidal pools of seawater glisten with life: rusty splotches and pink-crusted algae, leaves of sea lettuce, baby fishes hiding in miniature caves. Beyond, the Atlantic Ocean roars. […]

Fish return to a restored Penobscot

Between the head of tide above Bangor to where it widens into the bay at Searsport, the Penobscot River shifts from a flowing freshwater waterway banked by cedar and pine to a brackish, wave-lapped marsh with a rocky shoreline. In this estuary, salt concentrations fluctuate as wind and tide push water and sediments back and […]

An Oyster Story

Each variety of oyster—that craggy and somewhat mysterious shellfish—has a story to tell. But every oyster story must first include a bit of background. What are oysters? Where did they come from? Why are they here, now? Read An Oyster Story in the 2015 Island Journal, published by the Rockland, Maine-based Island Institute and featuring […]

Influenced by Nature

In May 1871, Charles William Eliot had been president of Harvard College barely two years, and a widower just as long. He needed a break, for himself and his two young sons, a “thorough vacation” in the open air, as he wrote to a friend. He found means in Jessie, a 33-foot sloop, and began […]

How did U.S. presidents eat their salmon?

For eighty years, recreational salmon anglers on the Penobscot River in Maine upheld the annual tradition of giving the first Atlantic salmon each spring to the President of the United States. A closer examination of how each president’s salmon would have been prepared and eaten reveals that the celebratory eating of salmon happened at the […]

Review: The Mortal Sea

The stories are well-known: European seafarers and explorers encountered a western Atlantic Ocean filled with numerous, large, and robust fish, unlike anything they had seen before. According to W. Jeffrey Bolster, who begins his book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail, on the other side of the Atlantic, these early […]

Bringing the Ocean’s Power Home

For the inaugural “Life on the Coast” issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, I covered the launch of Ocean Renewable Power Company’s first grid-connected tidal energy device in Cobscook Bay. I’ve been following the issue of tidal power in the Gulf of Maine since the emergence of new data and updated federal regulations opened […]

Sturgeon Moon Rising

In June 2006 I was in the boat with University of Maine researchers when they caught the second and third shortnose sturgeon in the Penobscot River estuary. It was the first sign of the persistence–or re-appearance–of a species thought to be extinct. My article about the science and history of sturgeon, Sturgeon Moon Rising (PDF), […]