Coastal Conversations 12/24/21: From the Sea Up, Episode 2: Kelp and American Eel

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

It’s the holidays season here in Maine, where we like to celebrate with stories about sustainable seafood!

On this week’s coastal conversations, we are once again teaming up with The First Coast and the Island Institute to feature stories about innovative people in Maine who are sustainably harvesting and growing products from the sea.

First up, we are talking about sea vegetables, specifically that fast-growing, nutrient-dense sea vegetable kelp, and the people behind getting this powerhouse to the market while offering economic opportunity and environmental sustainability. Second up, we dive headfirst into the world of the mysterious and mythical American eel, a species that drives our legendary elver fishery and, more recently, an aquaculture start-up for a Maine grown fish.

These stories were produced by Galen Koch of The First Coast as part of an Island Institute podcast called “From the Sea Up.” The podcast is made possible by the Fund for Maine Islands and a partnership between the Island Institute, College of the Atlantic, Luke’s Lobster, Maine Sea Grant and the First Coast. We are grateful to all of them for sharing their stories with Coastal Conversations on WERU Community Radio at 89.9 FM in Blue Hill and streaming online at WERU.org.

Guests:

“Thanks for listening to From the Sea Up, presented by the Island Institute and produced by me, Galen Koch. Special thanks to Bri Warner, Thew Suskiewicz, Jesse Baines, Justin Papkee and his crew, Sara Rademake, Glen Melvin, and Pat Bryant for their participation on these episodes.”

From the Sea Up is made possible by the Fund for Maine Islands and a partnership between the Island Institute, College of the Atlantic, Luke’s Lobster, Maine Sea Grant, and The First Coast. For more information visit www.islandinstitute.org/podcast

For more information about Luke’s Lobster and the online market where you can purchase Atlantic Sea Farms products visit www.lukeslobster.com.

For more information about American Unagi and their online market, visit www.americanunagi.com.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 11/26/21: From the Sea Up #1

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

Maine coastal and ocean issues: From the Sea Up #1

With the holiday season upon us, it is time to talk seafood. Fresh, sustainable, Maine seafood that is!

For the next three episodes of Coastal Conversations, we are featuring a series of stories produced by The First Coast and the Island Institute. The series, called From the Sea Up, introduces the people and species that make Maine seafood so incredible, both for our taste buds and for our coastal economy. It’s perfect listening to inspire your holiday feasts!

First up today, we hear how Luke’s Lobster and the Island Institute formed a creative partnership to build resilience in the seafood supply chain in the wake of the pandemic’s early shut down of traditional seafood markets.

Our second story today explores the freshness and flavor of Maine dayboat scallops that have been caught, sold, and eaten or frozen in less than 24 hours. These are inspiring stories about people in the Gulf of Maine who are finding ways to ensure the future of our oceans while diversifying our seafood economy.

Both of our stories today on Coastal Conversations were produced by Galen Koch of The First Coast as part of an Island Institute podcast called “From the Sea Up.” And we are thrilled to announce that we’ll be featuring more of these great stories in upcoming episodes of Coastal Conversations.

I mentioned at the top of the hour that a lot of folks were involved in producing these stories and we wanted to make sure to thank them here. Ok, here goes. First, From the Sea Up is presented by the Island Institute and produced by Galen Koch of The First Coast. The stories are made possible by the Fund for Maine Islands and a partnership between the Island Institute, College of the Atlantic, Luke’s Lobster, Maine Sea Grant, and The First Coast.

For our first story today, thanks go to Rob Snyder, Luke Holden, Ben Conniff, Merritt Carey, and Sam Belknap. For the second story, thanks go to Togue Brawn, Dan Miller, Tad Miller, Merritt Carey, Raymie Upham, and Silas Miller.

If you are interested in learning more about how to purchase local sustainable seafood for the holidays, you can check out the online markets LukesLobster.com and at DowneastDayboat.com that were talked about in today’s stories.

And finally, extra gratitude goes to Galen Koch, the producer of these stories, for helping us get them on the air on Coastal Conversations, here at WERU community radio.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 10/22/21: Ocean Acidification- How Can States and Local Communities Respond?

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

Maine coastal and ocean issues: Ocean Acidification, how can states and local communities respond?

-What is Ocean Acidification? Much like carbon dioxide wreaks havoc on the atmosphere, C02 in the ocean triggers a series a chemical processes that lower the pH of the water, making it more acidic. This can cause problems for shellfish, a concern in a state like Maine where shellfish harvesting is an important part of our coastal economy.

-What can states and communities do about it? We’ll explore the last decade of how states and communities have been responding to ocean acidification, including Maine, with lessons learned for the East and West coasts.

-On today’s show, you’ll learn how new modeling and forecasting tools will help fishing communities and water quality management adapt to changing conditions. You can hear about a region-wide, simultaneous monitoring event to expand Ocean Acidification research through community-science organizations and private-public partnerships.

Guests:

Jessie Turner: Secretariat of the Ocean Acidification Alliance, guest editor of special Ocean Acidification issue of Coastal Management Journal
Aaron Strong: Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Hamilton College and formerly professor at the University of Maine
Parker Gassett: Marine Extension Associate with Maine Sea Grant, coordinating efforts on climate resilience at the community level.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 8/27/21: Life and Science on Mount Desert Rock

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

Maine coastal and ocean issues: Life and Science on Mount Desert Rock

Today, we venture out to the most remote of all of Maine’s islands, Mount Desert Rock, an exposed ledge, barely 3 acres in size, that emerges from a remarkably productive patch of ocean about 22 nautical miles south of Mount Desert Island.

Since the early 19th century the island has had a light tower to assist mariners, and various buildings to house light-keeper families. In the mid-20th century, the island was occupied by the United States Coast Guard. And since the 1990’s, after the Coast Guard automated the light station, Mount Desert Rock has been the home of the Edward McC. Blair Marine Research Station, operated by College of the Atlantic out of Bar Harbor.

On our show today, we’ll start our exploration with a history of Mount Desert Rock with Olivia Jolley, one of this summer’s station managers and a recently graduated senior at College of the Atlantic whose final project was to develop a comprehensive timeline of the island through interviews and archival research.

We’ll then hear about life on the Rock and the rhythms of the daily research tasks, like tower watches, where all wildlife and vessels spotted from the lighthouse are documented, in an ever growing, decades old data set. We’ll learn about the scientific, logistical and artistic work happening at Mount Desert Rock this summer, from interviews with a number of this summer’s undergraduate residents.

And then we’ll wrap it up with a conversation among those residents about the ethical questions they are grappling with related to science and the impact of humans on Mount Desert Rock’s wildlife, from sharks to seals, to gulls, the omnipresent gulls, and even down to the microscopic plankton species that drive this complex oceanic food web.
Tune in August 27, 2021 to learn all about Life and Science on Mount Desert Rock. Only on WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM and streaming online at WERU.org.

The voices on today’s show are all members of the 2021 College of the Atlantic Mount Desert Rock crew, all of whom, including station managers, are either current students or ’21 graduates of COA, including:
Olivia Jolley, station manager
Nathan Dubrow, station manager
Jasper White, station manager
Ryan McGraw, buildings and grounds staff
Tess Moore
Kiernan Crough
Baily Tausen
Zach Aiken
Annika Ross
Izzy Grimm
Em Comeaux
Abby Jo Morris
Thomas Gonye
Levi Sheridan

Thanks also to Galen Koch of The First Coast and her intern Camden Hunt for their help gathering audio and brainstorming story lines.

Thanks to the behind the scenes Mount Desert Rock support crew from COA who helped us get out there, including Toby Stephenson, Ela Keegan, Dan Den Danto, and Sean Todd.

And thanks especially to Olivia Jolley, whose passion for this strange rocky oceanic ledge inspired this episode of Coastal Conversations.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 7/23/21: Art of the Maine Coast

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

The Maine Coast has captured the imagination of artists for generations. On today’s Coastal Conversations we talk with two contemporary artists and an art writer about the relationship between art and the coast of Maine. Why is it that Maine inspires a deep sense of place in so many people? How and why do artists paint here? What are the threads that link Maine’s well known historical artists with today’s painters. What makes them different? And finally, how can art help Maine communities be more resilient to changes along the shorelines and in society?

Our guests on todays’s Coastal Conversations are Tom Curry, a landscape painter from Brooklyn, Maine, Judy Taylor, landscape and figure painter from West Tremont, and Carl Little, art writer, critic and poet from Somesville. Carl Little’s art writing featured in Maine Boats Homes and Harbor

Join me as they share insights about their work and what inspires them to keep coming back to the Maine coast for artistic inspiration.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 6/25/21: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems: Ecological Connections and Research Methods

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

Maine coastal and ocean issues: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems: Ecological Connections and Research Methods

Today’s coastal conversations is in honor of the annual spring running, that time of year when several species of fish, such as alewives and blue-back herring, return from the ocean to Maine’s streams and ponds to spawn. Our show is about marine and freshwater ecosystems, and specifically the ecological connections that occur where salt and freshwater meet, where fish, marine mammals, birds and even water itself, moves along freshwater and into the ocean.

We’ll learn about several research projects underway in these systems, and new research methods, like environmental DNA, as well as existing research methods, such as hook and line fishing, to understand the species that inhabit these zones. We’ll also talk about local and traditional ecological knowledge that gets handed down through generations and helps provide critical information on how to protect estuaries and fish.

Our guests will help us understand why we should care about the research programs that occur at the intersection of marine and freshwater estuaries. Our geographic scope will span the Downeast region, from the Penobscot River system all the way down to Passamaquoddy Bay on the Canadian border.

Guests:

Justin Stevens, leader of the sea run fish ecosystem project, a partnership between Maine Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries.

Chris Bartlett, marine extension associate with Maine Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension, based in Eastport Maine where he works on multiple research and restoration projects at the intersection of fresh and salt water.

Julia Sunnarborg, UMaine PhD student in Marine Biology who works with the Maine eDNA program to assess shifts in coastal community structure and biodiversity.

Michelle de Leon: UMaine master’s student in Ecology & Environmental Sciences focused on social-ecological resilience and partnership building in eastern Maine where fisheries have cultural and commercial significance.

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 5/28/21: Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Perspectives from the Archives

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

The Maine Fisherman’s Forum is an annual event that brings together thousands of people who are connected to Maine’s fishing industry. Like so many events, the 2021 Fisherman’s Forum was cancelled due to COVID, but the stories and voices from the fishing industry persist! For this month’s episode of Coastal Conversations, our stellar team of student production assistants from College of the Atlantic sifted through the archives of 60+ interviews collected at past Maine Fishermen’s Forum.

They found some gems, including the voices of fishermen, legislators, and scientists, reflecting on ecosystem-based fisheries management, ecological knowledge gleaned from years at sea, and life in fishing communities.

Today’s show was assembled by our student production assistants who explain they wanted this show “to explore the lives of people deeply connected to the water, and weave together an image of Maine’s marine ecosystem including the ocean, the fish, and the humans that inhabit it. We want to share the tremendous amount of knowledge and experience fishermen have about the ecosystems they work within.”

Thanks to Camden Hunt, Ela Keegan and Ellie White of College of the Atlantic for your excellent radio production assistance, and Galen Koch of The First Coast for your tireless guidance.

Note: A few of the voices featured on today’s episode may sound familiar to our listeners but the show in its entirety is new.

Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum interviews were collected at the 2018 and 2019 Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland Maine by volunteers, staff and students from The First Coast, Maine Sea Grant, College of the Atlantic and Island Institute. All the interviews on today’s show are part of the Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum Collection which can be found on The First Coast website and at NOAA Fisheries Voices Oral History Archives.

Today’s featured voices include the following (please note that affiliations may have changed since the time of interview):

Paul Anderson, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Stonington
Herbert (Herb) Carter Jr., commercial shellfish harvester, Deer Isle
Philip Conkling, co-founder and former president, Island Institute
Parker Gassett, University of Maine graduate student
Dan Harriman, fisherman who operates Maine’s last mackerel weir in Cape Elizabeth
Pat Shepard, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Stonington
Angus King, United States Senator from Brunswick
Edwin McKie, lobsterman, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Dave Cousens, lobsterman, South Thomaston
Avery Waterman, lobsterman, North Haven
Marcia Beal Brazier, fisherman’s wife, Ogunquit

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.

Coastal Conversations 4/23/21: From the mud to your plate: shellfish markets and the seafood supply chain

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel

In 2020, the soft-shell clam fishery was the second highest value commercial fishery in Maine, netting over $15 million in revenue, yet there is not broad awareness about what it takes to dig clams and bring them to the market.

During this event we will learn from harvesters, shellfish buyers, retailers, and others in the supply chain about shellfish markets, challenges in the fishery, and opportunities for expanding markets for soft-shell clams, quahogs (hard clams), razor clams, and other shellfish in Maine, New England, and beyond.

We explore factors affecting market price, market shifts resulting from COVID-related restaurant restrictions, and new potential opportunities to export products to the European Union.

Guests:

Jessica Joyce from Tidal Bay Consulting and Maine Shellfish Advisory Council

Joseph Porada, commercial harvester and Chair of the Frenchman’s Bay Regional Shellfish Committee

Mike Danforth, operations manager, Maine Shellfish, Shellfish Advisory Council, and Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council

Tim Sheehan, owner, Gulf of Maine, Inc. and commercial harvester

Quang Nguyen, owner, Fishermen’s Net

Boe Marsh, operator, Community Shellfish Company

Babara Scully – owner, Scully’s Sea Products and commercial harvester

Kohl Kanwit – Director of the Bureau of Public Health, Maine Department of Marine Resources and Chair, Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference

About the host:
Natalie Springuel has hosted Coastal Conversation’s since 2015, with support from the University of Maine Sea Grant where she has served as a marine extension associate for 20 years. In 2019, Springuel received an award for Public Affairs programming from the Maine Association of Broadcasters for the Coastal Conversations show called “Portland’s Working Waterfront.” Springuel is passionate about translating science, sharing stories, and offering a platform for multiple voices to weigh in on complex coastal and ocean issues. She has recently enrolled in audio production training at Maine Media Workshop to dive deeper into making great community radio.