Events

2024 SUMMER EVENTS

Maine Rockweed Coalition

and

Blue Hill Peninsula Rockweed Forum

JULY 2024: Conservation of Maine’s Seaweed Forests: Great Progress, Great Challenges!  

Robin Hadlock Seeley, PhD, Executive Director of the Maine Rockweed Coalition 

                   Sponsor – Blue Hill Peninsula Rockweed Forum

                   When – Monday, July 15, 2024, at 5 pm.

                   Where – Howard Room, Blue Hill Public Library, 5 Parker Pt. Rd.

Description – Robin will discuss how rockweed conservation is evolving on the Maine coast. Commercial rockweed harvesters, state agencies, the courts, the legislature, nonprofit conservation groups, and scientific researchers have all played a role in determining the balance between rockweed forest protection and exploitation. Maine courts and the legislature have been key in achieving the current degree of rockweed forest protection. Currently, the Dept. of Marine Resources (DMR) regulations to limit industrial-scale rockweed harvesting are few, and monitoring/enforcement is tricky. What are the prospects for further improving the balance between protection and commercial extraction of this vital coastal habitat and resource? Join us for a rich and timely discussion.

JULY 2024: Field Trip to Explore Intertidal Seaweeds with David Porter

                   Sponsor – Blue Hill Peninsula Rockweed Forum

                   When – Friday, July 26, 2024, at 8:30 am.

                   Where – Reversing Falls in Blue Hill. Limited to 15 people as space and access is restricted. Details about parking will be sent to registered participants

                     How to register – Send an email to info@rockweedforest.com to reserve a  place.

                      Questions? Contact us at info@rockweedforest.org

Description – David Porter, PhD, will host a field trip to introduce participants to the seaweeds of the rocky coast. The tide will be falling to -0.8ft by 9:30 am, making this a great time to explore the intertidal zone.

AUGUST 2024: Rockweed Field Workshop and Optional Kayaking with Allison Snow

                    Sponsor – Blue Hill Peninsula Rockweed Forum

                    When – Saturday, August 17, 2024 (rain date is August 18), at 2:30-3:30 pm

                     Where – Brooksville Town Landing picnic area,  Town Landing Rd, Brooksville, ME

How to register – Send an email to info@rockweedforest.com to reserve a place (limit of 20 people). Questions? Contact us at info@rockweedforest.org.

Description – At the water’s edge on Smith Cove, Allison Snow will lead an informal workshop about the ecology of rockweed. We will talk about the unique characteristics of rockweed vs. other types of seaweed, and why it is important to protect this commercially sought-after seaweed from overharvesting. In 2021, rockweed beds around Smith Cove and Holbrook Island Sanctuary were the focus of machine-harvesting by a company based in Canada.

Optional kayak tour – After the workshop, we will launch our kayaks (bring your own) as the tide rises. We will paddle to nearby ledges where machine harvesting took place in 2021, while looking for remaining canopies of undisturbed rockweed.

AUGUST 2024:  The Art and Science of Maine Seaweed

                    Sponsor – Center for Ecological Teaching

                    When – Sunday, August 25, 2024;  9 am to 3 pm

                     Where – Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning, 27 Suffolk Drive, Edmunds ME 04628

                     Art instructor – Coleen O’Connell (instagram), member,                                 International Nature Printing Society

                     Fee:  $75/person (incl. art materials)

How to register – Register or ask questions by email to maine.rockweed@gmail.com (workshop limit of 10 people). $30 deposit due August 15, 2024.

Description – A one day (9 am to 3 pm) workshop is offered by the Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning on Cobscook Bay (CETL, Edmunds).

Science: The morning session (9 am to noon) is planned for low tide seaweed gathering on the CETL shore while learning about seaweed ecology from Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley of the Maine Rockweed Coalition.

Lunch: Bring your own lunch or order a boxed lunch (fee) and eat in the screened-in porch above the shore (coffee pot, hot water pot, refrigerator and microwave available).

Art: After lunch, seaweed will become the artistic focus of a nature printing experience led by Coleen O’Connell, artist-in-residence and steward of CETL. She has had her work shown in various New England galleries. Coleen is a member of the International Nature Printing Society and has taught nature printing to adults all over the USA. See Coleen’s instagram account @natureartprinting.

Other details: Overnight accommodations in new simple cabins on the CETL campus are available on a first come, first served basis (fee). Workshop fee is $75, which includes materials, and participants will leave with framable art. Contact maine.rockweed@gmail.com to reserve one of 10 workshop places by August 23 or ask questions. We will send instructions on how to submit the deposit or other fees.

2024 SUMMER EVENTS (PAST)

Maine Rockweed Coalition

and

Blue Hill Peninsula Rockweed Forum

MAY 2024: Life and Strife in the Intertidal: Toward the Conservation of  Rockweed

                  Sponsor – Brooklin Garden Club, Public Event

                  When – Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at 1:00 PM

                  Where – Bagaduce Music (49 South St., Blue Hill)

Description – An illustrated presentation by David Porter, PhD, Professor emeritus, U of Georgia. Rockweed is so common along our rocky coast that we sometimes tend to ignore it. But this seaweed is foundational to the intertidal ecosystem. It is shelter, nutrient, and stability for hundreds of marine creatures both small and large, and is sometimes called the rockweed forest, as a comparison to the shoreline forest of spruce and fir that harbors and nurtures so many birds and other animals. The terrestrial forest is obvious, but we tend not to see the intertidal forest in the same light.

This presentation will introduce attendees to the diversity of seaweeds that are common along our rocky coast; it will cover the unusual biology of rockweed, its adaptations to the harsh, wave-pounded shore; and the ecosystem that is supported by this keystone species. Also, the conservation efforts for the rockweed forest that are needed in the face of poorly regulated harvesting by a Canadian company and others that sell rockweed for fertilizer and other commercial products.

Past Events 2022 and earlier

TWO ROCKWEED WORKSHOPS: JULY 9, 2022 AND AUGUST 8, 2022

Join the Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning and Maine Rockweed Coalition at the CETL campus on Cobscook Bay, Maine for a rockweed workshop this summer.

DETAILS: The Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning (CETL), partnering with the Maine Rockweed Coalition (MRC), has been awarded a grant from the Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative (EMCI) to offer two free all-day workshops on rockweed (seaweed) conservation to landowners, land trusts and community members on rockweed conservation.

The first Rockweed Workshop took place on July 9, with a morning hybrid session (zoom and in-person) of lectures and lab work led by Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, Coleen O’Connell (VP of CETL), and guest speakers. In the afternoon, workshop participants were led through a field session on the shore. We compared rockweed (harvested without permission in 2021) on a CETL ledge with an unharvested ledge.

The second Rockweed Workshop, a repeat of the July workshop, will be held August 8. The August 8 workshop will be in person only. No Zoom option. Click the black button above to register, or just send us an email.

Details of the workshops:

Morning session lectures on the following topics: “Ecological value of the rockweed forest: shelter, food, carbon storage, temperature buffering”, “Rockweed morphology, growth, and recovery from disturbance”, “Legal and regulatory framework for commercial rockweed harvest in Maine”. Ms. O’Connell will speak on the impacts of community engagement on conservation practices and offer her experience of illegal harvest on CETL shores as the impetus to gather the community for education and discussion. DMR Marine Patrol staff will return for the Aug. 8 workshop to discuss enforcement of illegal rockweed harvesting.  Afternoon session: collecting data in rockweed beds on the harvested ledge at CETL; lab time.