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A new Fundy Issues Fact Sheet entitled Saving Special Places: Protected Areas and the Bay of Fundy, written and designed by Jon Percy for the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership, explores the many organizations and individuals that have protected particular areas in the Fundy region. The fact sheet assesses federal, provincial, municipal and non-profit preservation efforts and their effectiveness and calls for a coordinated and cooperative approach to protecting the Fundy ecosystem. It is available at www.bofep.org/fundy_issues.htm.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved New Hampshire's request to designate its coastal waters as a No Discharge Area. The designation applies to all of the state's coastal waters, and means that discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage would be prohibited within three miles of the shore. New Hampshire is the second state in New England to designate all of its coastal waters as No Discharge. Thirty years ago, the state became the first in the country to designate all inland lakes as No Discharge Zones. Other areas in New England with No Discharge areas include all of Rhode Island's marine waters and Harwich, Waquoit Bay, the north side of Nantucket, Wellfleet Harbor and Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. To view the “No Discharge Areas in New England” Web site go to www.epa.gov/ne/eco/nodiscrg/index.html.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Gulf of Maine Coastal Program and the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission have published the second edition of the Maine Atlantic Salmon Habitat Atlas. The atlas has detailed maps of Atlantic salmon spawning and rearing habitats along 15 rivers in Maine. The data were collected between 1994 and 2003. The second edition of the atlas is available in PDF files and in ArcView Shapefile format for those with Global Information System (GIS) satellite capabilities. PDF information for specific rivers can be viewed at http://apollo.ogis.state.me.us. Select “Maps,” then find the “Maine Atlantic Salmon Habitat Map Series.” GIS information is available at http://apollo.ogis.state.me.us/catalog. Select “ASHAB3.” Click “View metadata.” For more information on the salmon atlas contact Alex Abbott, c/o Gulf of Maine Coastal Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 4R Fundy Road, Falmouth, Maine 04105 or (207)781-8364.

The Coastal Issues Committee of the Nova Scotia Ecology Action Centre in Halifax has been conducting tidal barrier audits around the Bay of Fundy since 2001. As part of this project, obstructions to tidal waters and the effects on salt marshes and fish habitat were assessed and recommendations for restoration were made. The results of these audits are now available on CD as a series of reports, along with other relevant EAC publications. For information or to order a CD of these reports, email tidalbarriers@ecologyaction.ca.

Municipalities, with help from land trusts, conservation commissions, historical societies and others wishing to research forgotten or overlooked rights-of-way may apply to the Maine Coastal Program for 2006 Right-of-Way Discovery Grants to help defray expenses. The grants are intended to help communities find and assert public rights-of-way to the Maine coast that are in danger of being lost by the passing of generations and changing land ownership patterns. The Maine Coastal Program expects to provide recipients with technical support, in addition to funding. Individual grants may not exceed $2,500. Applications must be received on or before January 3. For the application guidelines and project description details, contact Lorraine Lessard at the Maine State Planning Office (207) 287-1486 or at Lorraine.Lessard@maine.gov. Information can be downloaded from the Maine Coastal Program Web site at www.maine.gov/spo/mcp.

Beachcomber’s Companion©, a project of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant Program, is a new twist on the traditional field guide. Waterproof and portable, it features 50 brightly colored checklist cards of common Atlantic coast marine invertebrates, beautifully illustrated (and scientifically accurate), and held together with a clip. Packaged in a mesh collecting bag, each set comes with a special marking pencil for the checklist card, so every critter you find on each trip to the beach can be recorded—and wiped clean for next time. Cards provide common and scientific names for each organism, along with classification information, details on size, shape and color, and where to look for it. Fun and strange facts for each organism are also included. Sets cost $16.95 US each plus shipping and can be ordered at www.beachcomberscompanion.net/order.htm.

© 2005 The Gulf of Maine Times