BATH- The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) continues their annual Environmental Lecture Series on Thursday, November 3 at the Maine Maritime Museum starring energetic innovators doing aquaculture in Maine. This is the second program in a fall series titled, Forest, Food, Fishery: Managed Harvests in the Kennebec Estuary. The evening opens at 6:30pm with a complimentary tasting of several types of fresh, locally raised oysters and sea vegetables. Then at 7:00pm, a series of presenters will discuss the exciting present and buoyant future of cultivating seaweed and oysters in the state.
The complimentary tasting of fresh locally raised Maine oysters and sea vegetables will be shucked, served and described by the folks who grew them including Abigail Carrol of Nonesuch Oyster Company, John Swenson of Nice Oysters, and Jared Kramer of Winnegance Oyster Farm. Please RSVP to Becky Kolak (email@example.com or 207-442-8400) to attend the tasting.
Opening the evening’s presentations, Dr. Chris Davis, Executive Director of Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, will describe the trends and opportunities in Maine aquaculture. The Center was established in 1988 by the Maine Legislature with a mission to assist in developing economically and environmentally sustainable aquaculture opportunities in Maine. Dr. Davis oversees dozens of research projects funded by the Center, conducts a research grants program, and manages two aquaculture business incubators, as well as being a partner in Pemaquid Oyster Company in the Damariscotta River. He has said, “Aquaculture as practiced in Maine is wholly sustainable whether it be salmon, oyster or kelp farming.”
Brandon Sewall grows a sea vegetable off Phippsburg called Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima); the long strands of cultured kelp create a vertical marine forest, providing habitat for marine animals and a product that he harvests for local farmers both as compost enrichment and a nutritional supplement for animal feed. He views kelp aquaculture as a way to clean the water and help the soils, and sees potential to help oceans worldwide through aquaculture.
Maine’s oyster industry includes more than 50 farms along the coast from the Piscataqua River to Taunton Bay, and inherit flavors from the waters in which they were grown. Maine-native Abigail Carroll at Nonesuch Oyster grows American (Crassostrea virginica) and European Flat (Ostrea edulis, otherwise known as ‘Bélon’) varieties using traditional, environmentally-safe, grow-out methods. Ms Carroll is a third generation Maine entrepreneur. Before starting Nonesuch Oyster Company, Abigail worked in finance and then in numerous start-ups in industries ranging from telecoms to fashion. Her oysters are grown off Scarborough and are part of the developing Maine Oyster Trail where connoisseurs can visit and sample fresh product from a growing list of Maine entrepreneurs.
Jordan Kramer runs Winnegance Oyster Farm on the New Meadows River and runs a popular oyster CSA as well as selling direct-from-the-farmer at his Portland farm stand. He will discuss the federally funded research he is conducting at his farm to test two new growing methods that are designed to use tidal flux to passively clean and tumble oysters, reducing one of the most troublesome aspects of oyster farming.
KELT’s Environmental Lecture series is generously sponsored by Bath Savings Trust Company and the Merrymeeting Bay Trust. A $5 donation is suggested at the door, and light refreshments are provided. The Maine Maritime Museum is located at 243 Washington Street in Bath.
The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is a membership supported organization dedicated to protecting the land, water and wildlife of the Kennebec Estuary. It maintains nine preserves for public enjoyment and has protected 2,668+ acres of land since founding in 1989. FMI visit www.kennebecestuary.org or call (207) 442-8400.