Volume 7, No. 2

Promoting Cooperation to Maintain and Enhance
Environmental Quality in the Gulf of Maine

Summer 2003
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A view from Harbourville, NS

Profile: Bill Ayer, Nature Trust of NB

Science Insights: The Alewife

Sharks of the
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Spring 2003

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Gulf of Maine Journal

The Gulf of Maine Expedition 2002 team (Dan Earle, Sue Hutchins, Natalie Springual, Rich MacDonald and Tom Teller) has recently posted the Gulf of Maine Journal Web site, with more than 100 photographs of the Gulf of Maine from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. Viewers will get an excellent overview of the character of the Gulf landscape, the expedition's travel mode, the places they stopped for presentations and their observations. It is organized by sections of the coast to make it easy to navigate. In December, the team received a Special Recognition Award from the Gulf of Maine Council for its enthusiasm and endurance, and for creating "a permanent record of the current conditions of the Gulf from journals of observations and interactions, photographs and recorded water and weather conditions." See the site at http://homepage.mac.com/dan_earle/gulf_maine/TOC.html.

Online newsletters

To get some of the latest information on environmental law and economic issues in New England, explore the Conservation Law Foundation's newsletter at http://www.clf.org/newsletter. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization that uses law, economics, and science to design and implement strategies that conserve natural resources, protect public health and promote vital communities.
Fundy Tidings is the quarterly newsletter of the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFEP) containing feature items about the Bay of Fundy. BoFEP is a "virtual institute" that promotes the integrity, biodiversity and productivity of the Bay of Fundy ecosystem. It is open to individuals and groups that seek the well-being of the Bay of Fundy. To subscribe e-mail Jon Percy at bofep@auracom.com.

Contaminants in coastal sediments

Bottom sediments in the Gulf of Maine and its estuaries have accumulated pollutants of many types, including metals and organic compounds of agricultural, industrial and household derivation. Much analytical and descriptive data have been obtained on these sediments over the past decades, but only a small effort had been made, prior to this project, to compile and edit the published and unpublished data in forms suitable for a variety of users. The Contaminated Sediments Database for the Gulf of Maine (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02-403/) provides a compilation and synthesis of existing data to help establish the environmental status of coastal sediments and the transport paths and fate of contaminants in the Gulf of Maine region. The database is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and other research institutions.

Sewage management report

Proceedings from a 2002 workshop sponsored by the Gulf of Maine Council evaluates sewage management approaches among the jurisdictions that border the Gulf of Maine and discusses the current status of sewage treatment in the region. The workshop was held at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and hosted by the NS Department of Environment and Labour. The report, "Sewage Management in the Gulf of Maine," addresses economic impacts and costs, innovative approaches, funding mechanisms, public education, regulation and enforcement, and ecosystem health. Recommendations are presented along with specific activities under each recommendation. Look for the report this summer on the Gulf of Maine Council's Web site at http://www.gulfofmaine.org.

New Fundy Issues

Read the latest Fundy Issues Fact Sheet, "Alien Invasions: Introduced Species in the Bay of Fundy and Environs," online at http://www.auracom.com/~bofep/ (click on "resources," to go "publications"). The Fundy fact sheet series describe the present scientific understanding of important environmental issues confronting the Bay, in an impartial and non-technical manner suited to a general audience.

Impacts of cruise ships

With double digit growth anticipated for the cruise ship industry, ports in the Maritimes need to assess the economic, environmental and social impacts of cruise ships, according to a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Cruising-Out of Control: The Cruise Industry, the Environment, Workers and the Maritimes, finds that many of the anticipated economic benefits do not pan out for communities. There are also economic costs associated with tens of thousands of passengers passing through port communities. Its author, Ross Klein, a veteran of 30 cruises and a social work professor at Memorial University in St. John's, notes that the costs are not just financial. "An assessment of the industry also needs to take into account the impact of ship emissions on the environment, the social impact of the cruise industry on local communities, and the working conditions on ships." A ship, according to the report, produces among other emissions, 10 gallons of sewage and 3.5 kilos of solid waste per passenger per day, and air emissions equal to 12,240 automobiles. The report is available at http://www.policyalternatives.ca.

Marine reserves in depth

The February issue of Ecological Applications, a journal of the Ecological Society of America is devoted to the "Science of Marine Reserves." Research topics include: principles for the design of marine reserves; avoiding current oversights in marine reserve design; comparing designs of marine reserves for fisheries and for biodiversity; the impact of marine reserves: do reserves work and does reserve size matter?; and ecological criteria for evaluating candidate sites for marine reserves. To view the articles go to http://www.esa.org.