Hurricane Island Initiatives

The Northeastern Coastal Stations Alliance (NeCSA)

In the summer of 2015, the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership (HICSL) in partnership with Bates College, received a National Science Foundation Field Stations and Marine Laboratories Program Planning Grant. With the grant, we hosted a series of meetings to develop a strategic plan for how NeCSA could work together to study change across the Gulf of Maine, enhance student training and research opportunities and work to inform the public. We anticipate starting to implement shared initiatives in the summer of 2016.

The NeCSA draft mission statement: Our network of Gulf of Maine field stations cultivates a community in which students, educators, and scientists collaborate, discover, and work together to promote the role of place-based science in our changing world. We build research capacity and facilitate integrative approaches that span geographic and historic scales. The network leverages citizen observations, student research, and transdisciplinary expertise to predict and communicate the potential impacts of environmental change on human and natural systems in the Gulf of Maine.



The Midcoast Maine Collaborative Scallop Project  

In June 2013, Midcoast Maine scallop fishermen initiated discussions about implementing a small-scale closed area on Lower Muscle Ridge south of Spruce Head in western Penobscot Bay. The timing of those discussions facilitated the implementation of a three-year closure to harvesting of the Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) in October 2013. The project team conducted baseline and follow up surveys in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to determine scallop abundance inside of the closed area and in adjacent areas. HICSL coordinates the project and partners with multiple organizations to implement this work. Partner organizations include: the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Island Institute, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Penobscot East Resource Center, and the University of Maine.

Project objectives are two-fold:

  1. To assess the effectiveness of the small-scale closed area in rebuilding resident scallop populations (i.e. does the scallop population inside the closed area and in the adjacent control areas change over the three year period?) and
  2. To develop a collaborative project approach and monitoring protocol that can be replicated elsewhere along the coast.

We appreciate support for this project from the Island Institute (2013), the Maine Community Foundation (2014), Davis Conservation Foundation (2015), and Patagonia (2016).