The public is invited to join Schoodic Institute scientists in the intertidal zone to collect data about rockweed while exploring the beauty of the rocky coast between the tides.
Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) is the dominant algae or seaweed along most of Maine's rocky shoreline and provides habitat for animals living in and visiting this dynamic ecosystem, according to the Institute, in a news release.
Rockweed is currently harvested in Maine and sustainable management requires knowledge of the total amount of rockweed throughout the state. To help answer the question, “How much rockweed is there?” Schoodic Institute has launched Project ASCO (Assessing Seaweed via Community Observations). Coastal property owners, land trusts and their members, and others with access to the shoreline are invited to three field training sessions to learn how to collect rockweed data that will be analyzed and shared by scientists at Schoodic Institute to inform resource management.
The training sessions are September 28 in Tremont, October 2 in Georgetown, and October 3 in Freeport.
The in-person training sessions will be spent outdoors in the intertidal zone. No prior knowledge is required; participants will be provided with the supplies and training needed to safely and effectively collect rockweed data.
“We are looking forward to working with other people who love the coast and the intertidal to collect high quality and essential data,” said Hannah Webber, Marine Ecology Director at Schoodic Institute.
Along with rockweed, this project allows for learning more about other seaweeds, periwinkles, mussels, crabs, birds, and the occasional seal or whale.
There is no cost to attend but registration is required. Participants must wear masks and distance when possible, in compliance with COVID-19 precautions.
Visit Schoodic Institute’s website for more information and to register.