What has 240 pairs of eyes and cares about the health of Casco Bay? Our network of volunteer Water Reporters!
And even with colder weather descending on our region, our Water Reporters continue to stay connected to the Bay.
Steve Fielding and Karla Talanian are among the dozens of volunteers who are helping us record high tide events and track the potential impacts of sea level rise. We have chosen their photos as our posts of the month.
From a spot beneath the Martin’s Point Bridge, Steve photographed the highest tide Portland has ever recorded. Karla has been tracking the impacts of sea level rise near the Mere Point Boat launch in Brunswick. As sea levels continue to rise, their images will help us all visualize what the “new normal” high tides may look like.
“I heard about Water Reporter from one of my hiking friends,” says Steve. “I signed up because I’m an amateur photographer and this volunteer work meshes with my blog about our natural environment and climate change.”
Karla adds, “I’m grateful for all the work that Friends of Casco Bay does to learn more about our environment. More data leads to better understanding, and images can help translate data into meaningful information. Sharing photos is such an easy way to help with this mission.”
“Water Reporters have been invaluable during this pandemic,” says Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca. “Our volunteers have been working on their own, practicing social-distancing, though they are not socially distant from the waters that inspire them.”
Using the Water Reporter app on their smartphones, volunteers have posted more than 1,600 observations on the health of the Bay, including tracking nuisance algal blooms, reporting pollution, and noting usual wildlife sightings.
“Our volunteer network has grown over the past several months as people have been looking for ways to get outside and help us keep an eye on the Bay at the same time,” reflects Community Engagement Coordinator Sarah Lyman who works with the observers in the network.