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Gulf of Maine Times

Vol. 2, No. 4

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Georges Bank Review public hearings
Public hearings relating to a decision on whether to extend a Canadian drilling moratorium on Georges Bank off of southwestern Nova Scotia will take place in January in Yarmouth, Shelburne, Lunenburg, and Halifax. For more details visit or call (from Canada) 1-800-370-2282 or (from outside Canada) (902) 424-0858.

National Conference on Marine Bioinvasions
This conference takes place January 24-27, 1999 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by the MIT Sea Grant College Program. Visit or E-mail for information.

National Ocean Sciences Bowl
The Nor'easter Bowl, a competition for northern New England high schools will take place February 13, 1999 (snow date February 20) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham. Sponsored by UNH, University of Maine, Bigelow Laboratories, University of New England, and the Consortium for Ocean and Research and Education, the contest has space for 16 teams. For more information, visit or call Sharon Meeker/Barbara Maurer at (603) 749-1565.

Coastal GeoTools '99
Coastal GeoTools '99: Exploring Spatial Technologies for the Coastal Resource Management Community takes place April 5-7,1999 in Charleston, South Carolina, sponsored by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. Deadline for registration is March 1. Visit for more information.

UNH summer program
Oceanography and Coastal Processes for K-12 Teachers, a course open to northeast US educators who are minorities or who have minority students in their school, will be offered July 7 - 24, 1999 at the University of New Hampshire. The all-expenses-paid course includes several days of applied computer technology, and is sponsored by the New Hampshire/Maine Sea Grant Program, UNH Cooperative Extension, and others. For more information, call Sharon Meeker or Barbara Maurer at (603) 749-1565.

CZ '99
Coastal Zone 99 The People, The Coast, The Ocean: Vision 2020 takes place July 24-30, 1999 in San Diego, California. Visit or E-mail Chantal Lefebre at or fax 617-287-5575 for more information.

Fish Aid numbers low, enthusiasm high

Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Despite heavy-hitting headline performers such as Bruce Cockburn, Fish Aid, a musical arts and crafts festival held in Chebogue August 14-16, floundered financially due to low turnout. Organizers said a little more than half the crowd needed to cover costs attended the festival each night.

Conceived as a fund raising and public awareness event for marine research on Nova Scotia's east coast, the festival featured local and international performers and an "eco-village" with displays from environmental agencies and grassroots groups.

Organizers say promotion of the festival did raise awareness of the importance of marine research, and that they hope for more financial success in 1999, when a future Fish Aid festival may take place in a more populated area, such as near Halifax.

Youth conference seeks volunteers

Saint John, New Brunswick The second Coastal Zone Canada 2000 Youth Conference, to take place here in September 2000, is seeking youth volunteers ages 16 to 26 years to organize the event.

The first youth conference took place in Victoria, British Columbia last fall and resulted in creation of the Youth Coastal Action Network, or Youth CAN, whose objectives include youth education, empowerment, and development of the year 2000 Youth Conference.

To participate or for more information, contact Maxine Westhead, Youth Conference Chair, via E-mail at or phone (902) 426-4215.

MA seeks ban on boat sewage dumping

Boston, Massachusetts - Seeking statewide designation as a No-Discharge Area (NDA), Governor Argeo Paul Cellucci is urging the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the Commonwealth's efforts to protect its coastal waters from boat sewage.

NDAs are federally-approved, state-designated areas where the discharge of all boat sewage is prohibited. Outside NDAs, boat sewage can be released after it is treated using either grinding, chemical, biological, electrical, or incineration methods. Treatment helps to control bacteria and other organisms, but does not eliminate them. Disinfectant chemicals can be toxic.

In an October 7 letter to EPA Region 1 Administrator John DeVillars, Cellucci stated, "I believe that seeking a statewide NDA designation is the natural next step towards enhancing the protection and stewardship of Massachusetts coastal waters." The state's Office of Coastal Zone Management (MCZM) submitted a formal application to EPA in early November.

Under the Clean Water Act, states may apply to EPA to request that a water body be designated as an NDA. Requests are evaluated by the EPA Regional Administrator to determine if the water body meets NDA criteria. For the designation to be approved, EPA must determine that an adequate number of pumpout facilities exist for boaters.

MCZM notes that 126 boat pumpout stations located along the Massachusetts coast enable boaters to properly dispose of boat waste, and that communities can apply for grants to help pay for construction of pumpout facilities or purchase of pumpout boats.

Several Massachusetts communities have already sought and obtained NDA designation in an effort to protect shellfish beds, bathing beaches, and boating areas.

For more information including a complete list of pumpout facilities available in Massachusetts, visit the MCZM homepage at or call the MCZM Information Line at (617) 727-9530, ext. 420.

Grants available for fisheries projects

Gulf of Maine - Six community foundations in the Gulf are jointly offering grants of up to $4,000 each for projects undertaken by local non-profit organizations, community associations, or civic groups to serve coastal fishing communities.

The Collaboration of Community Foundations (CCF) for the Gulf of Maine is seeking proposals for community-based initiatives that address the ecological, economic, and social impacts of the continued decline of commercially important fish and marine species in coastal communities of the Gulf of Maine. Collaborative approaches to local and regional fishery issues and cross-community strategies are of particular interest to CCF.

The grants are being offered as part of a two-year small grants and technical assistance program. Grantees will have the opportunity to participate in learning institutes designed to serve their organizational needs and facilitate networking, peer learning, and cooperative strategies across the region. Grantees will also receive on-site technical assistance in Internet technology to assist them in developing regional approaches and networks. Regional projects promoting cooperation on Gulf-wide fisheries issues will also be supported.

Proposals are requested that: promote sustainable fisheries and ecological management or restoration of marine resources; increase community self-reliance while working toward relief of the social impacts of the fishery crisis; promote sustainable development of marine resources; provide organizational development and leadership training assistance for civic and social organizations serving fishing communities; use Internet technology for improved communications and networking, outreach, and education; and increase public awareness about Gulf fishing communities and their maritime heritage through educational programs and cultural events.

For additional information, contact: in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Chris Gordon at Fundy Community Foundation (506) 529-4896; in Maine, Lissa Widoff at The Maine Community Foundation (207) 667-9735; in New Hampshire, Angela Matthews or Racheal Stuart at the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation (603) 430-9182; in Massachusetts North Shore and Mass Bays, Cindy Rizzo at The Boston Foundation, (617) 723-7415; and on Cape Cod, Sharon Leighty at the Community Foundation of Cape Cod (508) 362-3040.

New label helps ID recyclable batteries

Washington, DC - A new label, approved last summer by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will make it easier for consumers to identify recyclable nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries and to locate their nearest battery recycling collection site.

"These batteries contain cadmium, a heavy metal that can be harmful to public health and the environment if not disposed of properly," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "Recycling used Ni-Cd batteries prevents cadmium from harming our lakes and streams and polluting the air we all breathe," she said.

Most discarded trash is sent to a landfill or incinerator. Heavy metals such as cadmium can leach directly from landfills into soil, groundwater, and surface water. When incinerated, heavy metals are concentrated in the ash byproduct, which is also disposed of in landfills.

Heavy metals can also enter the atmosphere by way of the incinerator's smokestack and then in a process called atmospheric deposition fall back to earth, landing directly on water bodies, or entering them via runoff. Once in surface waters, heavy metals can enter the food chain. In sufficient quantities, cadmium can cause serious illness in humans, including cancer (see story on Gulfwatch and toxic contaminants, page 1).

More than 20,000 retail outlets nationwide collect recyclable rechargeable batteries commonly used in products such as cellular phones, video cameras, power tools, and laptop computers. The newly approved label, developed by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), will be displayed on nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and depicts a battery surrounded by three chasing arrows with the word "recycle" above it. The label also includes a consumer contact number (1-800-822-8837 in the US), which will provide information to consumers on how and where to recycle their used Ni-Cd batteries.