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A workshop on restoration efforts in eastern Maine
Taunton Bay Education Center
Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, ME
Bring your insights and questions to a discussion of river herring restoration in eastern Maine. All are welcome!
|Join us to discuss:
The workshop is free and lunch is included. Please register by April 11 so we know how much food to provide!
Downeast Fisheries: Progress and Potential
Sea run fish are on the rebound, scallops are providing a productive winter fishery, and momentum for fisheries restoration is growing. Join us for an update – and to help chart a sustainable future for eastern Maine’s fishing communities.
Please join us for our upcoming workshop:
October 27th, 9am-4pm
Winter Harbor, ME
The workshop is free. Registration is required.
Click here to register!
Downeast Salmon Federation (DSF) has a brand new, state of the art, mobile fish smokehouse. Brett Ciccotelli, DSF’s “Alewife Ambassador”, is taking the smoker on the road, demonstrating production of smoked alewives, a Downeast delicacy, and talking about the role of alewives in river and coastal ecosystems. This work is part of a broader campaign to ensure that kids – and adults – in eastern Maine have the opportunity to learn about fisheries at every stage of their educational journeys. Last fall Downeast Fisheries Partnership (DFP) held a workshop, “Taking Fisheries to School”, that helped to kick start collaborative, fisheries-related educational programming. A report describing the workshop is now available. One result of the DFP workshop is that DSF and the Maine Seacoast Mission are working together to engage kids in the Mission’s EdGE program in “fishy” activities.
Brett brought students from the Rose Gaffney Elementary School in Machias along with two counselors from EdGE Program to the Pokey Dam fishway on the East Machias River. The students explored the river below the dam, along the lakeshore, and used one of DSF’s new underwater cameras to check on migrating fish. They also explored the alewife migration at Meddybemps Stream using another underwater camera; according to Brett, “Looking at the camera’s feed we got to see lots of fish swimming around below the surface.” At the East Machias Aquatic Research Center, the students cleaned and scaled fresh alewives, so they could smoke their own fish in the mobile smoker.
On another day, it was the Cherryfield EdGE program students’ turn to explore with Brett. They drove through the blueberry barrens to the Bog Brook Flowage on the Narraguagus. Students launched kayaks on the upstream side of a dam and small fishway. Brett noted, “We got to see a few large schools of young of the year alewives heading downstream before we headed out into the flowage’s stumpy, shallow maze.” After their kayaking adventure, back at EdGE in Cherryfield they walked down to the tidal portion of the Narraguagus and Brett helped students to draw a link between the upper and lower reaches of the river. As with the first group of students, “no trip is complete without a bloater feast!” Brett said, “which we used to accompany a conversation about the importance of alewives to the natural and human environment as ‘the fish that feeds all.’”
Programs like these are vital for engaging students in the restoration of local aquatic habitat and associated fisheries and important in helping students become effective stewards of the fish and fisheries so important to Downeast coastal communities.
Taking Fisheries to School: A Fisheries Education Workshop
The Downeast Fisheries Partnership (DFP) hosted a workshop in October to facilitate efforts to expand fisheries education in eastern Maine. The workshop brought together 30 people representing 18 different organizations and provided a platform for participants to brainstorm how to build fisheries-related topics into existing educational programs in both school-based and extracurricular settings.
As Anne Hayden, DFP Coordinator, noted in opening the workshop, the overall goal of this effort is to provide opportunities for children and adults to learn about fisheries at every stage of the educational continuum—from kindergarten to community-based adult education programming. In the long term, such opportunities have the potential to prepare children and adults to be stewards of their local ecosystems and fisheries.
The event was held at Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor, Maine. Educators, members of the public and other professionals interested in fisheries education discussed how to connect existing programs and individuals to expand fisheries knowledge, in and out of schools. Representatives from the Eastern Maine Skippers Program, Island Readers and Writers, Cobscook Community Learning Center, and Schoodic Institute, gave brief presentations providing a big picture view of students’ exposure to fisheries. For example, Michael Guidilli, from the Cobscook Community Learning Center’s high school program noted that they “use fisheries to leverage data literacy skills – collecting and processing data – and for modeling how to understand systems and how they change.” In the discussion that followed, participants underscored that their focus on fisheries is not intended to provide vocational training but rather the knowledge and critical thinking skills required of any student.
Regarding ways to expand fisheries education, it was pointed out that challenges were also sometimes opportunities. For example, school systems in eastern Maine are under severe budget constraints. But for that same reason, they are often willing to work with collaborators to expand their educational offerings.
Knowledge and experience-sharing was strong throughout the workshop and fostered new connections while strengthening existing ones. Such relationships can help expand and improve fisheries-related educational programming in eastern Maine. Charlie Harrington, Director of the Maine Sea Coast Mission’s after-school and summer kids’ programs, summed up the motivation for tackling this work collaboratively: “We’ve been through lots of school reform….what we have done well is what we have done together.”
The Downeast Fisheries Partnership (DFP) invites you to a workshop designed to strengthen the role of fisheries in educational programming in eastern Maine.
On Saturday, April 18th, from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Wabanaki REACH Ally Training will be taking place at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott Township, Maine. This training is designed for non-Native people and it will provide an opportunity to reflect on the shared history and future with Native people. Space is limited for this event. Register by contacting Barbara Kates at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207-947-6858.