Maine is one of the most promising places in the world for tidal power. Gayle Zydlewski and Teresa Johnson are leading an SSI research team to help ensure that tidal power is developed in ways that promote economic development and protect marine ecosystems as part of the Maine Tidal Power Initiative.
Why This Project?
Teresa Johnson and Brian Moore discuss the concerns of local fishermen regarding tidal power development in Cobscook Bay
Following a successful demonstration project, an energy developer plans to install the nation’s first commercial tidal power project using underwater turbines in Maine’s Cobscook Bay. Zydlewski, a fish biologist, and Johnson, a social scientist, are studying the environmental, economic and social issues surrounding tidal power in communities along the Bay.
The researchers are collaborating with local, state and federal stakeholders and energy developers to address concerns including how underwater turbines affect marine life and fisheries and the potential of tidal power development to create jobs in economically depressed regions.
Gayle Zydlewski and undergraduate student Alexander Jensen check sonar equipment used to study fish movement in Cobscook Bay
Putting Knowledge into Action
The SSI team’s goal is to create a model process that communities in Maine and elsewhere can use to make informed decisions about developing tidal power in local waters. Findings also will be used by state and federal regulators to guide tidal power development and will inform the sustainable development of this renewable energy resource worldwide.
Teresa Johnson and postdoctoral fellow Jessica Jansujwicz work with Will Hopkins and Heidi Leighton from the Cobscook Bay Resource Center
Profile on team leaders Teresa Johnson and Gayle Zydlewski
Solutions article: Tidal Power in Down East Maine (Sept 2011)
Maine Tidal Power Initiative - Linking Knowledge to Action for Responsible Development of Tidal Power (Research Summary)