Volume 14 Issue 3  ! !

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March 2017

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Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition!

 P.O. Box 152, Belfast, ME 04915       

              www.belfastbaywatershed.org

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BELFAST BAY 

WATERSHED NEWS 

       

It’s Salmon Adoption Time!

“Awwww… aren’t they SO CUTE! Look at their 

little eyes, those tiny dots!” was the refrain of the day at 
eleven schools in the Mid-coast area on February 6. 
 

Each year the BBWC sponsors local partici-

pation in “Salmon-in-Schools,” a salmon egg adoption 
program offered through the US Fish and Wildlife 
Service.  BBWC Board President Tom King formerly 
directed the Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in 
Orland, where the program started in 1992. Since joining 
our Board, Tom has made the program accessible to 
more and more schools each year. A few schools own their 
aquarium-chiller set-ups, but BBWC has funded most, adding one per year as costs can be borne. 
 

Out of curiosity, I decided to ride with Tom on Delivery Day. We left Belfast at 7:30 am, 

stopped at Craig Brook NFH for insulated jugs, and drove to Green Lake National Fish Hatchery 
(GLNFH) north of Ellsworth to pick up hundreds of orange salmon eggs. They look, you guessed it, 
just like caviar. Each jug left with 200 eggs, pure spring water at 34 degrees, and chunks of ice to 
maintain it for the long day’s journey.  When the eyes appear, a tiny window of time allows for 
delivery, before eggs develop further. They have to be transported quickly and poured into their 
chilled, oxygenated “homes” for the next two months, all in one day. Waiting longer can be lethal, so 
all classrooms must be ready with pure aquarium water at 34 F. A required Endangered Species 
permit stays with the fish throughout their development, and teachers report back to the USFWS 
where and when they release their fish. 
 

At each school on the route, we were greeted enthusiastically by the expectant class.  Tom 

had to trouble-shoot a couple of the delicate chiller mechanisms, and explained the process of 
salmon egg rearing to the students, who were thrilled to be trusted with the responsibility. 
 

Belfast schools participating in 2017 are the High School, Middle School, Captain Albert 

Stevens, East Belfast, and the Homeschool Coop. Other mid-coast participants include Ames in 
Searsmont, Drinkwater in Northport, Lincolnville Central School, Prescott in Washington, Appleton 
Village School, and Camden-Rockport Elementary. 
 

Each school receives 200 eggs, a list of instructions for incubation, and access to lesson 

plans. The eggs will hatch about six weeks after delivery, and begin to look like tiny fish, called yolk 
sac fry or alevin, with a huge belly yolk sac. The yolk gradually disappears as the fry’s sides grow 
around, enclose, and digest it. By this time, the fry actively swim around developing their muscles.  
 

In early May when Maine brooks begin to warm,   (see page 2 bottom)

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Tom delivers eggs to Belfast Area H.S.

Volume 14 Issue 3  ! !

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March 2017

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Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition!

 P.O. Box 152, Belfast, ME 04915       

              www.belfastbaywatershed.org

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Evening Program Series at the Belfast Library

All programs are free and open to the public.

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Thursday, March 9, 6:00 pm. Brown-Tail Moth, Unwelcome Newcomer to Waldo County.

Morten Moesswilde, our district forester, will inform us of how to nip a local infestation in the bud

before the brown-tail moth becomes a menace to our trees and our health.
       Thursday, March 16, 6:30 pm. Bogs and Fens: New England’s Most Pristine Ecosystems,  Dr. Ron 
Davis, founder of the Orono Bog. In New England, at least 25 bogs and fens can be visited on boardwalks 
to see carnivorous plants, orchids, and uncommon bird species. Davis, author of a new book on these 
peatlands, will explain some of the unique features of these beautiful and fascinating ecosystems, 
illustrated with his outstanding photos.                                           
       Thursday, April 20, 6:30 pm. Ocean Acidification. Mick Devin, marine biologist, researcher, and 
Maine State Legislator, will speak about the growing effects of ocean acidification on Maine’s fishing 
industry. Devin has led the way in researching the culture and ecology of marine animals and plants and 
is working to use his research to develop new options for future fisheries’ needs. 
       Thursday, May 18, 6:30 pm. Bird Identification and Conservation. Jody Telfair, a Maine Master 
Naturalist, will join our Bird Week efforts with a review of bird identification. She will discuss ways to 
help birds, resident and migratory, in their plight for survival.

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Evening Ocean Program in Rockland

Thursday, May 4. Ocean Frontiers III, a documentary showcasing leaders in Northeast Atlantic Ocean

stewardship and the new blue economy, at the Strand Theater. The event, co-sponsored with Island

Institute, begins at 6:00 with a reception, 7:00 Kilm, followed by panel discussion, Q&A.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(Salmon Adoption, continued from page 1)  the class raises the temperature of the aquarium over a period 
of two weeks to get the salmon fry ready for their new home in nature. Critical to releasing the fry is an 
undammed brook they can learn is their “natal stream” or birth stream, to which they will return if they 
live long enough to come back to spawn. The brook must have natural habitat and unobstructed flow to the 
ocean to allow for a full life cycle. 
 

The release site needs school bus access as well. An ideal release site in Waldo on Wescot Stream, 

a tributary to the Passagassawakeag River which forms Belfast Harbor, receives the fry each year. BBWC 
engages in a triennial water quality survey of the site by Lotic, Inc., which reports it to the state. 
 

Students check the temperature of the stream to make sure it matches the water they brought the 

fry in, then proudly, and very gently, release their adopted “children” into the stream. Some teachers 
conduct various experiential science lessons at the site, investigate the water quality, study the surrounding 
riparian habitat, and some include sketching in journals. A count of the fry is tallied for the USFWS report, 
and a spirit of celebration catches hold of everyone. 
 

The life of an Atlantic salmon is perilous from the start, especially in the early freshwater stage. 

If a fish makes it to the smolt stage and runs out to sea, its odds of living improve greatly. Adult salmon 
return to their natal streams to spawn when they are about four years old. Unlike Pacific salmon, the 
Atlantics do not die after spawning, and can return several times to reproduce. 
 

Who knows? Maybe some day salmon will return to our coastal rivers. Meanwhile, students are 

learning important lessons about cycles of nature and the need to care and stick up for it.—Cloe Chunn

Volume 14 Issue 3

March 2017

  VISIT PENOBSCOT BAY STEWARDS ON FACEBOOK!

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Earth Days Waldo County, April 15-23

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Saturday, April 15. 10:00-12:00 Geology of the Belfast Rail Trail; Amber Whittaker, Maine

Geological Survey. Meet at 10:00 in the parking lot on outer High Street, 1/2 mile out from Rt. 1.

Bring warm layers, rain gear, water, snack.

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Tuesday, April 18. Primitive Skills Day with Jason Chandler and Caitlin Thurrell, 10:00-2:00. Meet

at the Thanhauser farm, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville, at 10:00 am. Fire-making with bow drill; uses

and knowledge of plants; cooking bannock on a Kire. Bring water, lunch, sharp knife, backpack, tick

repellent. All ages. FMI: 338-1147.

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Thursday, April 20. 6:30-8:00 pm. Belfast Library. Ocean AcidiOication—the Evil Twin of Climate

Change. See Evening Programs, page 2.

 

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Saturday, April 22. 9:00-12:00. Earth Day hike on Hills to Sea Trail. Meet at the Oak Hill Road train

station outside of Belfast. Bring water, lunch or snack, protection from rain, ticks. 4.5 miles.

Saturday, April 22, 6:30-8:15 pm, Belfast Library. “Climate of Change”--a Kilm documenting the

growing difKiculties faced by people who earn their living on the ocean as damage from climate

change increases. A speaker from the Island Institute will lead discussion after each brief portion of

the Kilm is shown.

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Sunday, April 23, several events, starting at 2:00 pm:

2:00 pm, Head of Tide Preserve, Doak Road, Belfast:

Permaculture--It's not just about Gardening! Experience Kirst hand the beneKits that can come

from creating a permaculture gardening space when local permaculturist Karin Wittmann shows the

hows and the whys of this unique approach to gardening. 

5:00-8:00 pm, Belfast Library: Community potluck dinner, 5:00 pm, followed by a 6:00

showing of the Kilm "Inhabit." This Kilm, which focuses on permaculture practices, shows how

humans everywhere are capable of being planetary healing forces. A brief discussion will follow.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

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We THANK YOU! We ARE YOU!

BBWC extends gratitude and appreciation to our

Individual Supporting Members

and to the following business supporters:

Bay City Cargo  

Coyote Moon

Front Street Shipyard

Little River Veterinary Hospital

Searsport Shores Ocean Campground

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 Volume 14, Issue 3                    !        ! !

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                                             March 2017

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WWW.BELFASTBAYWATERSHED.ORG!

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Outings

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Outings are open to anyone interested. For

more information or in questionable weather,

call 338-1147.

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BIRD BUS. Back by popular demand, the Bird

Bus rides again! Seth Benz drives again! The

schedule is not conKirmed in time to make this

newsletter, so check our website until you see

it posted.

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Saturday, March 11. 9:00-1:00. Snowshoe

the Ridge to River Trail, Georges River Land

Trust. Meet at 9:00 on Ghent Road, off Rt.

131, at the bridge over the St. George River in

Searsmont. Bring water, lunch, warm layers.

5 miles, some steep.

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Saturday, April 15. 10:00-12:00 Geology of

the Belfast Rail Trail; Amber Whittaker,

Maine Geological Survey. Meet at 10:00 in the

parking lot on outer High Street, 1/2 mile out

from Rt. 1. Bring warm layers, rain gear,

water, snack.

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EARTH DAYS WALDO COUNTY, April 15-23,

See page 3 for our many activities.

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Saturday, April 22. 9:00-12:00. Earth Day

hike on Hills to Sea Trail. Meet at the Oak

Hill Road train station outside of Belfast.

Bring water, rain gear, lunch or snack. 4.5

miles.

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CATHY MORGAN BIRD WEEK, May 13-20.

See our website next month, or see May

Newsletter.

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BBWC Board of Directors

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Tom King, President

Karin Wittmann, Vice President

Cloe Chunn, Secretary

Barney Lutsk, Treasurer

David Bond

Skip Pendleton

John Tipping

Staff

Paul Eagle, Publicity and Website

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Subscribe on-line

to this newsletter and monthly reminders

of activities on our website

www.belfastbaywatershed.org

or send an

e-mail to

info@belfastbaywatershed.org

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Visit our website Calendar for updates on

outings and programs that did not make it

into the newsletter.

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Members invited

Come jump on board and help expand and

strengthen our work in the community and

watershed. Visit our website, call a board

member, or email

cloechunn@gmail.com

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Mission: The Belfast Bay Watershed

Coalition works to support conservation and

stewardship of natural, scenic, and public

access resources of the Belfast Bay

watershed through research, community-

building, and education.

Volume 14 Issue 3  ! !

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March 2017

    Penobscot Bay Stewards Program May 2017

 

Would you like to learn more about the Penobscot Bay region and help 

preserve its unique character and history? The Belfast Bay Watershed 
Coalition in partnership with Searsport Shores Ocean Campground is offering 
the Penobscot Bay Stewards Program to Penobscot area residents. This is a 
unique opportunity to learn about the Penobscot Bay region and ways to 
conserve its resources.

The program will run all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April 25 

through May 25. Topics include Penobscot Bay history, marine life, island 
ecology, coastal land, intertidal and marine habitats, geology, the Penobscot 
Nation, fisheries, aquaculture, water quality, conservation issues, and current 
regional issues with impacts on our environment and human life.    

 

 

Leading authorities in their fields will give presentations and lead field 

trips.The program will include classroom presentations, short hikes in nature 
preserves and state parks, and field trips to Rockland, Hurricane Island, Indian 
Island, Blue Hill / Stonington, Searsport, and the Belfast area. Some days will 
require early morning departures and boat trips. Participants should be 
prepared to car pool and bring a bag lunch.

 

The course is free, but participants are expected to volunteer 30 hours to 

local conservation efforts of their choice during the coming year. Classes will 
provide an ample selection of possible projects. The Belfast Bay Watershed 
Coalition (

www.belfastbaywatershed.org

) qualifies as a conservation 

organization.

Why should you join the Stewards? As you learn more about Penobscot 

Bay, the Mid-Coast, and local watersheds, you’ll realize how very important 
and fragile they are. With this knowledge, you can be part of efforts to 
preserve and protect this valuable resource.

 

The course is limited to 20 enthusiastic participants who will participate 

in the entire program. If you would like more information, email 

stewards@belfastbaywatershed.org 

or call Edie at

 

207-338-0048 or Barney at 

207-218-1088. The application deadline is April 1.

 

Mail applications to: Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition P.O. Box 152, Belfast.

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Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition!

 P.O. Box 152, Belfast, ME 04915       

              www.belfastbaywatershed.org

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 Volume 14, Issue 3                    !        ! !

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                                             March 2017

2017 Penobscot Bay Stewards Program Application

Please attach an additional sheet of paper, if necessary.

 

Deadline: April 1.

 

 

Name: _________________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________

Telephone numbers: ______________________________________________________   
Email:_______________________________________

How did you hear about Penobscot Bay Stewards?

Why are you interested in becoming a Penobscot Bay Steward?

What is your related background and experience, including formal and informal training 
and experience?

What are your skills and interests? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____ computers   

 

   ____editing/writing 

____marine science


____ editing/writing 

 

   ____teaching 

 

____fundraising


____ working with children 

   ____organizing   

____public speaking


____ naturalist activities   

   ____photography 

____graphic arts


____ other:   

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________ 

 

Please describe your current and previous volunteer activities, including involvement in 
other organizations.

Do you have any physical limitation that could affect your participation in program 
activities?

References (Please provide two, and include all information requested.)

Name 1. ___________________________   

 

Phone:____________________ 

 Name 2.___________________________    

 

Phone:____________________ 

 Relationship: 1.____________________________2._____________________________ 

Your signature:_______________________________________Date:________________

The Penobscot Bay Stewards are volunteers who learn about the natural and cultural 
elements that shape the Penobscot Bay region and turn this awareness into action. Thirty 
hours of volunteer service are required of each Steward.

WWW.BELFASTBAYWATERSHED.ORG!

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