This fall high school students of all grades have an opportunity to learn about marine ecology while getting muddy in the Damariscotta River estuary. The Darling Marine Center based research team is inviting high school students to apply to participate in green crab surveys as part of an ongoing community science research program in the Damariscotta River estuary.
Sarah Risley, a University of Maine graduate student based at the Darling Marine Center, will lead a team of students in assessing the size and abundance of green crabs, an invasive species and common predator of commercially valuable shellfish, such as soft-shell clams and oysters, at several sites in the upper Damariscotta River intertidal zone.
The data that students collect will be used to help inform future management by the Damariscotta-Newcastle Shellfish Committee in coordination with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The field work will take place at multiple monitoring sites along the river that were identified by shellfish harvesters through a participatory mapping study that Risley and others conducted with harvesters, shellfish farmers and other local experts in 2020.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in field work on some or all of the following dates: Oct. 1, 15, or 29 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Students will meet at the Darling Marine Center and transportation will be provided to the field sites.
This program is funded by local donors to the Darling Marine Center, a grant from the Broad Reach Fund to the Town of Damariscotta and a second grant to the Darling Marine Center, Joint Shellfish Committee and Lincoln Academy, from the University of Maine Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.