Monday, November 18, 2019

Kelp, "forests of the sea," vanishing from parts of warming Gulf of Maine

Kelp, a foundation species with a role not unlike that of corals in tropical seas, is vanishing from the coasts of New Hampshire and southern Maine due to the rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine, I reported in Saturday's Portland Press Herald.

Their disappearance -- and replacement by shrubby invasive red seaweeds -- means less refuge habitat for commercial fish species like cunner, juvenile pollock and cod, and possibly crabs and lobster as well, although they are as yet poorly studied.

The good news is the excessive temperatures that are wiping out kelp in places like the Isles of Shoals have not yet reached areas beyond Casco Bay, in southern Maine, and will likely take decades to reach eastern Maine, where nearshore waters are considerably cooler. Details in the story.

I've been covering climate change and the Gulf of Maine -- the second fastest warming part of the world ocean -- in some detail. For background, consider starting with this series and perhaps continue with this update from earlier this year.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Speaking on Maine's colonial and post-colonial past in Rockland, Nov. 16

Maine's bicentennial is fast upon us, and I have a thing or two to say about how our state's experiences as a colony of a colony set the stage for statehood in 1820 and a variety of cultural strengths and pathologies every since.

If you live near the western shores of Penobscot Bay, I'll be giving a talk on all this in Rockland on November 16. The talk is hosted by the Rockland Historical Society, held at the Sail Power and Steam Museum, supported by the Maine Bicentennial Commission, and kicks off at 4pm. It's free and open to the public.

You can find more details via this Village Soup article.

I'll be speaking and writing about Maine's historical legacy in the coming months and will post updates here.