Home » January 2021 Water Reporter Post of the Month

January 2021 Water Reporter Post of the Month

Our intrepid Water Reporters help us keep an eye on Casco Bay year round. Many return again and again to a favorite spot along the Bay, reporting on changes they see.

This month, we applaud Sara Biron, Friends of Casco Bay’s Data, Development, and Design Associate, for capturing a series of photos at Spring Point Light during an extreme low tide event (when waters were expected to be more than 15 inches below normal).

“Our office is near Spring Point, so I’ve been taking daily walks by the lighthouse for years,” shares Sara. “This was the lowest tide I’ve ever seen here, so I had to take a photo of it. You could almost walk to the lighthouse on the sand.”

As she got closer to the lighthouse, she was surprised to see shoots of eelgrass growing out of the sand.

“We love that our Water Reporters keep an eye out for eelgrass,” explains Staff Scientist Mike Doan. “Eelgrass is considered a nursery of the sea, where young lobsters, winter flounder, cod, and other species can find a safe home. Eelgrass also improves water quality, reduces shoreline erosion, and removes nitrogen and carbon dioxide from seawater. It’s a crucial habitat here in Casco Bay. Eelgrass is a sub-tidal, submerged aquatic species and only rarely grows at the lower intertidal zone. In other words, it doesn’t usually grow in places that would be completely out of the water at low tide, so Sara’s photo is an uncommon sight.”

Sara works to keep our databases up-to-date, helps with our fundraising efforts, and designs our materials. And she likes using the Water Reporter app on her phone when she strolls along the Bay. “I’m a visual person,” she says. “I like contributing as a Water Reporter because it’s an easy way to capture changes I see around the Bay. I’m not a scientist, but it feels good knowing that taking a quick photo of what I’m seeing can be useful.”

Sara’s photos not only recorded an extremely low tide, but also will help us track this bed of eelgrass.

 

We’ve been noticing that tides are higher than predicted. . .

While we’re talking about tides, we want to share a follow-up to a previous Post of the Month. Volunteer Ann Wood took a photo of Falmouth Town Landing, remarking that the tide looked much higher than the predicted high of 11.01 feet. Looking back, the verified tide height was 12.11 feet that day, more than a foot higher than predicted.

You can find out why this may be happening by joining us online at noon tomorrow for Sea level, storms, and surges, oh my! How Maine’s coasts can be resilient to climate change.

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca and special guest, Marine Geologist Peter Slovinsky from Maine Geological Survey, will provide an overview of how Casco Bay’s coast is changing and how we can make it more resilient to climate change. You must register to attend.

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Dear Friends, It has already been three weeks since we gathered with 200 Friends of the Bay to celebrate the career, contributions, and retirement of our longtime Executive Director, Cathy Ramdsell. Cathy’s send-off party, held outdoors at Portland Yacht Services’ boatyard, marked our first in-person event since the onset of… Read more

Leave No Trace on Casco Bay

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Imagine stepping out of a boat onto a Casco Bay island. What would you hear and see? Perhaps the rhythm of crashing waves, wild roses rustling in the breeze, or a gull crying as it circles overhead. But would you ever imagine the sight of  food wrappers, derelict fishing gear,… Read more

Water Reporter Post of the Month: Linda Stimpson

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Horseshoe crabs: ancient animals in Casco Bay Linda Stimpson has lived in Maine for much of her adult life, but it wasn’t until recently that she first spotted this prehistoric creature – with nine eyes and ten legs – scuttling along the shore of Casco Bay. In her Water Reporter… Read more

Water Reporter Post of the Month: Susan Woodman

August 4, 2021

Eyes on the intertidal: Willard Beach algal blooms After spending her career working and living in Augusta, Susan Woodman knew exactly where she wanted to be when she retired: near the water. As an avid sea kayaker, access to the coast where she could launch her kayak was a top… Read more

Strong storm delivers heavy runoff to Casco Bay

July 21, 2021

Water Reporter Alert: High Volumes of Stormwater Runoff We have received reports of high volumes of stormwater runoff entering Casco Bay, following yesterday’s thunderstorm and rain throughout the night. We look to you to help us track the impacts of strong storms on a changing Bay. If you have time today,… Read more

Water Reporter reveals eroding coast

July 7, 2021

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you ever seen a photo that is worth 17 years? Rick Frantz achieves such a feat by relying on his graphic design skills to compose his Water Reporter post from May 5. Images of Diamond Cove Beach… Read more