While you are advised to remain socially distant from other people, you don’t need to stay socially distant from Casco Bay! We encourage you to get outside and stroll by the waterfront, a beach, or rocky shore. While you are out there, keep an eye out for pollution, nuisance algal blooms, and streets and properties that are flooding during high tides. Become a Water Reporter and document what you see on your smartphone. Not only will you be helping the Bay, you will also be part of a cadre of 199 volunteers documenting evidence of a changing Casco Bay.
One of those volunteers in Friends of Casco Bay’s observing network is Rick Frantz. Rick had just stepped off the Diamond Island ferry when he spied construction debris floating between the Casco Bay Lines pier and Maine Wharf. Workmen shoring up supports under one of Portland’s many piers had neglected to contain the boards, piling ends, and other debris from the construction project. Rick first noticed the flotsam at 9 am; when he returned at noon, the amount of rubble in the water had increased. He used his smartphone to post an image and comment on our Water Reporter volunteer observing network.
After seeing Rick’s post, Community Engagement Coordinator Sarah Lyman alerted the Harbor Master and the Coast Guard. At 1:37 pm, Sarah posted that a containment boom was in place and the debris in the water had been removed.
Good eye, Rick! For his swift reporting and for this positive outcome, we are making his post our inaugural Water Reporter Post of the Month.
By using the Water Reporter smartphone app, a keen-eyed observer with a few minutes to spare can have a significant, immediate, and positive impact on Casco Bay. In addition to reporting pollution, as Rick did, our volunteers are also tracking the growth of nuisance algal blooms, documenting wildlife, and capturing images of flooded waterfronts that portend the impact of continuing sea level rise.
You can join our Water Reporter network to share observations of things you are seeing on the Bay, both good and bad, all year long. The more of us who keep watch on the health of the Bay, the better protected our waters will be.