P.O. Box 235, Friendship, ME 04547 (207) 832-8224 www.lobsters.org
May 23, 2001
Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,Spring has finally arrived, and volunteers have their first round of juvenile lobster sampling under their belts. Many thanks to all of our returning volunteers and welcome to all of the new ones.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with The Lobster Conservancy, we are primarily a scientific research organization dedicated to protecting the American lobster (Homarus americanus) and preserving the fishery that depends on this resource. This newsletter keeps our friends and volunteer research team informed of our activities.
News from the Board of Directors
The Lobster Conservancys Strategic Planning Retreat was held on April 27-28 at the offices of Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker in Portland, Maine. This Retreat was made possible by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation. Those in attendance were Thomas Archambault, Moe Bisson, Keith Bisson, Diane Cowan, Sara Ellis, Adria Elskus, Bob Grant, John Guarnaccia, Sherm Hoyt, Alex Loer, Helen Muther, Trish Riley, Peter Schwindt, Andy Solow, Mark Wallace, Amy Watson, Pat White, and Enid White. The event was opened by Moe Bisson, Planning Committee Chair, and John Guarnaccia, facilitator. Diane Cowan kicked off the first nights agenda with her Vision for The Lobster Conservancy. This was followed by John Guarnaccia who presented the evenings Key Note Address, titled "Challenges of Organizational Growth." These two presentations, plus the vibrant discussion that followed, set the stage for the next days working session.
TLCs planning retreat in April yielded a streamlined strategic plan and generated exciting new ideas for continued growth. (Photo by Sara Ellis)
Andy Solow started Day 2 by leading a discussion of "The Business of Science." Sara Ellis then presented "TLCs History and Organizational Profile". TLCs Mission Statement was discussed and a draft was completed. Moe Bisson and John Guarnaccia then led a discussion pertaining to the Key Issues facing TLC. After a great lunch (catered by Foodworks), participants got down to the business of assessing TLCs strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Information provided by all of the participants prior to the Strategic Planning Retreat was used as the jumping off point for this important discussion. John Guarnaccia compiled the strong input from all participants. The TLC Vision, presented earlier by Diane, was then discussed as to its viability, based upon the information presented thus far. It was agreed by all that, by and large, her Vision was appropriate and obtainable. Accordingly, the "Future Program and Management/Operations Priorities" were then discussed. Action items leading to the development of the Strategic Plan were given. The target date for finalization of the Plan was set as July 2001.
TLC thanks all of the Retreat participants for the time and input given to this intense but exhilarating process. Special thanks goes to Moe Bisson, John Guarnaccia and the staff at Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker, particularly Susan McGrath and Marianne Hayes. Their efforts were instrumental in making this Strategic Planning Retreat a success.
Juvenile Lobster Project
The 2001 Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program is off to a great start. Diane and Sara conducted Volunteer kick-off meetings at the Hahn Community Center in Friendship ME, and the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, NH. Based on suggestions from volunteers revised data sheets were issued and TLC has already received positive feedback from the field.
During the course of this sampling season, Sara and Diane will visit all of the volunteer monitoring sites to help out, answer questions and observe volunteer sampling techniques. This will help TLC to ensure commonality in sampling methods and data reporting.
Results received thus far from the first round of juvenile lobster monitoring follow:
In Penobscot Bay, Sara joined Leslie Fuller, Ben Neal & Annette Naegel at Watermans Beach, in South Thomaston, Maine where they found one lobster outside their transect measuring 61 mm in carapace length (CL). At Port Clyde, Jane Roundy and Julie Wortman found one lobster outside of their transect. They also reported that the site was obviously impacted by winter storms, and that they found few crabs. John and Ginger Van Ness saw three lobsters (42-54mm CL) at their Vinalhaven site.
In Muscongus Bay, Diane Cowan surveyed Deep Cove on Friendship Long Island where she found 11 lobsters in 22 meter squared quadrats. The Friendship lobsters measured between 25 and 50 mm CL. One lobster had been tagged previously.
In Casco Bay, Sara and Corie Bibber-Logan got up bright and early to sample at Little Harbor. Their efforts were rewarded by finding four lobsters and one that got away (9.5- 33 mm CL). Over at Potts Point, Meg Warren and Kristine Osolin, were joined by Sara for a fun, but not fruitful sampling. As Kristine is moving to Lewiston, Maine, TLC bids farewell and thank you to Kristine who faithfully sampled lobsters at Potts Point from 1998-2000. Welcome to Meg Warren and husband Dan who will take over Kristine's site. At Broad Cove, Cape Elizabeth, Mike Doan, Helen Muther, Frank Leavitt and Mary Cerullo also came up empty handed. TLC welcomes new volunteer Lynne Richards, who is scouting for lobster nurseries on Peaks Island. At Lowells Cove, Diane Cowan sampled 37 quadrats and found 10 lobsters. None of these had been previously tagged. The lobsters ranged from 14.5 to 48 mm CL.
In New Hampshire, Alan Stewart & Barb Zulkiewicz found four lobsters (20 - 45 mm CL) at the Odiorne Point State Park. They reported an unusual sighting of a blood star. TLC bids a fond farewell to Timothea Jousse and Julie Ligon, who monitored Odiorne Point in 1999 and 2000. Congratulations to Timmie who is getting married. Welcome back to Barb Zulkiewicz, who just couldn't keep away from those juvenile lobsters. She will take over the Odiorne site with help from Alan. Welcome to Steve Cooper, New Castle NH who will be working with John and Carolyn Payzant and Brian Jervis to monitor lobsters at the Fort Stark.
In Massachusetts, Oddvar Solstad, Sean Sullivan and Rod Thibideau were very excited, as we all were, about sighting 33 lobsters (21-54 mm CL) at their Marblehead site. This was the first time out for Rod who fished commercially in his younger years. He picked up everything pretty quickly (which is pretty important in an obvious lobster Mecca like Marblehead!) Welcome Rod!
Oddvar Solstad, in foreground, and his team observed a bounty of juvenile lobsters in Marblehead, MA. (Photo by Dennis Curtin)
There is a second set of spring low tides coming in the latter part of May that will fill in information for this month.
Lobster Life Studies Center
Joe Kunkel of the University of Massachusetts Amherst visited the Lobster Life Studies Center on May 3 and 4 to collect serum samples and develop our scientific protocol for experiments this summer. Several new lobsters were sampled and released into the Site 1 Lobster Pound. Our thanks to Friendship lobsterman Mark Wallace for providing the lobsters.
Thanks to lobsterman Alvin Rackliff, we have five more oversized lobsters to add to the LLSC. One of these is a large female who has recently molted and mated. These lobsters will be introduced into the pound at Friendship Long Island after Joes next sampling session in early June.
Alvin Rackliffs contribution of five oversized lobsters to the LLSC keeps research projects going strong. (Photo by Diane F. Cowan)
Bob Grant and Diane have been sawing and hammering out at the Lobster Life Studies Center. The rebuilt section of wharf will now make it safe for all visitors, and will be ready in time for our June and July events. Special thanks goes to Stephanie Jamieson who helped unload and stack the heavy lumber.
Thank you to Friendship lobstermen Marty Benner and Doug Simmons for their help in setting up our mainland mooring.
Naomi Schalit interviewed Diane for National Public Radios Living On Earth. This multi-award winning program explores our environment, what we're doing to it, and what it's doing to us. Dianes segment focuses on The Lobster Conservancys Juvenile Lobster Project.
If you miss the radio broadcast, you will be able to hear the interview on Living on Earths website, www.loe.org.
Conference and Presentation Activity
On May 19, Diane gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the Cornell Outdoor Education Advisory Group. Each year, this group meets at a rustic location on the East Coast to hike, fish, rock climb, and paddle and also to develop strategy and tactics for the Cornell Outdoor Education program for the upcoming year. This year they chose Friendship, and they figured no visit to Friendship would be complete without an introduction to the Lobster Conservancy!
Diane feasted on lobster and entertained the board and friends of the Cornell Outdoor Education Program with stories about the lobster life cycle from egg to plate. These stories included how and why The Lobster Conservancy was founded and an explanation of our current research projects. We are pleased to have been included as part of your program on this years trip to Friendship!
On Tuesday, May 22, Diane and Bob traveled to the Maine Maritime Museum in Searsport to teach the Pen Bay Stewards about lobsters and enjoy a field trip to Moose Point State Park to study rocky intertidal ecology. It was a glorious day. Diane talked about lobster life, TLC science and the kinds of
volunteer opportunities available at TLC. Then, we explored the intertidal zone to learn about some of the peculiar ways organisms make a living in a challenging environment.
Sara Ellis spoke to the inaugural class of Midcoast Stewards on May 14. As a result, TLC recruited an enthusiastic new volunteer, Joyce Armendaris of Boothbay Harbor. Joyce has already started to assemble a small team to begin sampling later this summer at a new site on Pratts Island in Southport.
June 9 TLC will host a Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker Appreciation Day at the Lobster Life Studies Center on Friendship Long Island. The purpose of this event is to thank all of the staff at BDMP who helped TLC put together a successful Strategic Planning Retreat and those who provide financial advice throughout the year.
July 1 - TLC is planning two displays for the Friendship Museum, which opens on July 1:
"Lobster Life Cycle: From Egg to Plate and "Friendship Lobster Pounds: Past and Present."
July 14 - Volunteers: Mark your calendars!!! Volunteers Appreciation Day, will occur on July 14, 2-6 pm, at the Lobster Life Studies Center on Friendship Long Island. This is a day for TLC to show our appreciation for all of the hours that volunteers dedicate to help TLCs research programs.
July 28 - On Saturday, July 28, TLC will once again be setting up a marine touch tank for Friendship Day. This celebration is held each year to benefit the Friendship Ambulance Service. Activities, including the popular Lobster Boat Races, are scheduled from dawn til dusk. TLC will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our great looking hats and T-shirts to the Friendship Ambulance Service.
Last but not Least
Two summer interns, Pierson Stoecklein and Hilary Halstead, both from Colgate University, will arrive at TLC on May 30. Welcome aboard!!!
Hilary Halstead (left) and Pierson Stoecklein will be diving into TLCs research realm this summer. (Photo by Diane F. Cowan)
Make sure to visit our website, (www.lobsters.org) periodically, as we are continually updating to include current reports and press pieces.
Yours in TLC and Friendship,
Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist