GRTA to feature State of the River report, GOMC keynote at annual meeting
THOMASTON — Celebrating its 25th anniversary protecting and restoring the St. George River estuary through water quality monitoring, education and advocacy, the Georges River Tidewater Association (GRTA) IS inviting the community to be a part of their annual membership meeting on Monday, March 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Watts Hall, 246 Main Street, in Thomaston. The meeting will feature the results of GRTA's recent State of the River assessment as well as a special keynote presentation from Christine Tilburg of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.
Tilburg, the Program Manager of the Ecosystems Indicator Partnership for the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, will discuss the partnership's work and highlight potential issues affecting the coastal Maine area as well as the St. George estuary. The partnership has developed indicators in six major categories—fisheries, contaminants, coastal development, climate change, aquatic habitat and eutrophication—designed to inform regional priority coastal issues and management concerns.
"Ocean acidification is a grave concern affecting the St. George estuary," said steering committee member Jon Eaton in a recent GRTA press release. "The alignment of our findings to the regional indicators Ms. Tilburg will present suggest that the soft-shell clam, the lifeblood of our estuary and significant contributor to the local and statewide economy, may be the canary in our estuary's proverbial coal mine. Due to their inability to tolerate even slight changes in pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen, the effects of a decline in water quality will likely be seen on these species first."
At the evening's meeting, GRTA will also roll out its 2012 State of the River report and Index of Estuary Health. The report will provide attendees with an overview of the water quality results and concerns facing the St. George River estuary, and the opportunities that exist to work together to protect and improve it.
Community members are invited to enjoy coffee and dessert and learn more about the opportunities that exist for volunteers to contribute to the health of the estuary and the local community.
The Georges River Tidewater Association protects and restores the Georges River estuary through water quality monitoring, education and advocacy. For more information on GRTA or the annual meeting, visit georgesrivertidewater.org or call 354-2234.