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Maine Sea Grant awards funding for marine research in the Northeast

April 6, 2012



The Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine has announced the recipients of the latest two-year research funding awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant Office. More than $600,000 will support nine research projects in the Northeast.

“Science is an essential element of Sea Grant’s public service, and this suite of projects will provide important discoveries that will benefit the people who live, work, and recreate on the coast of Maine,” said Paul Anderson, director of the Maine Sea Grant program.

Researchers from UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and Department of Communication and Journalism are involved in four of the five funded initiatives:

  • Neal Pettigrew, UMaine: “General circulation and exchange between isolated regions in Casco Bay,” $115,124. Building on previously generated and newly collected oceanographic data, Pettigrew will characterize the major circulation features within Casco Bay to inform efforts to address ecological and economic threats.
  • Richard Wahle and Charlene Bergeron, UMaine, and Christine Tilburg, Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment’s Ecosystem Indicator Partnership: “Maximizing the utility and impact of the American Lobster Settlement Index database,” $126,416.

The funds will support the first comprehensive analysis of the American Lobster Settlement Index database and its power to predict trends in juvenile and adult lobster populations.

  • Gayle Zydlewski, James McCleave and Haley Viehman, UMaine: “Fish distribution in relation to tidal hydropower in Downeast Maine,” $73,204. Zydlewski’s team plans to expand its existing tidal hydroelectric development research in the region to look at fish distribution and behavior in proximity to a cross-flow turbine device currently installed in Cobscook Bay.
  • Laura Lindenfeld, UMaine: “The Seafood Links Project: Promoting sustainable seafood in Maine’s inland areas,” $46,298. Using a mixed-methods social science approach, Lindenfeld will explore how consumers in Maine conceptualize seafood and its connections to “local” and “sustainable” food, and how this information can support new and expanded markets in inland areas.
  • William Ambrose, Bates College, and Brian Beal, UMaine-Machias, “Variation in the growth of the soft-shell clam along the coast of Maine,” $147,473. Ambrose and Beal will examine growth rates of wild clams and follow the growth of hatchery-reared juveniles in the wild.

In addition to the five Maine-based projects, Maine Sea Grant is supporting additional regional research projects through the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium. A total of $597,356 in NOAA funds will support social science research projects in coastal and marine spatial planning, fisheries management and climate change adaptation.

For more information go to

Marine Science

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