Susie Arnold

By Becky Kolak, KELT / Bangor Daily News

Join KELT for its spring lecture on Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Patten Free Library, featuring presentations by Dr. Heather Leslie and Dr. Susie Arnold, sharing local research focused on coastal resilience.

This lecture will identify characteristics and new projects that are strengthening our coastal environment and communities, so we can adapt to and overcome changes that threaten our coast. At our annual meeting, KELT shared what it takes to make a landscape resilient, and now we are shifting our focus to the coast.

The first presentation will share what it means for the coast to be resilient and what can help Maine be resilient to change. Dr. Heather Leslie is the Director of the Darling Marine Center (the University of Maine’s marine laboratory) as well as Libra Associate Professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences. She carries out research around the world on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. Drawing on work she has done in Maine and Mexico, Dr. Leslie will share the emerging science of resilience and describe how it is changing people’s understanding and stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems. Climate change, habitat loss, overexploitation, and changing social and economic systems are among the many drivers that have the potential to either enhance or erode resilience of the coastal ecosystems and human communities that are part of them.

For the second presentation, Dr. Arnold will focus on one of the factors that is threatening our coast and share a new local project that is working to help coastal fisheries and ecosystems be more resilient to this threat. She is a Marine Scientist at the Island Institute in Rockland and works primarily on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine resources and fisheries dependent communities. Maine is particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification from both an environmental and socioeconomic perspective. Dr. Arnold will share results from new research testing an experimental strategy for improving local resilience by growing aquacultured sugar kelp to locally remediate acidification in surrounding waters and improve growing conditions for nearby shellfish.

This spring lecture is generously sponsored by the Merrymeeting Bay Trust, Bath Savings Trust Company, and The Nature Conservancy. The Patten Free Library is located at 33 Summer 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 ten preserves for public enjoyment and has protected 3,000+ acres of land since founding in 1989. FMI visit or call (207) 442-8400.