The following is a reprint, with permission, of an article, Gulf of Maine Institute Defends the Fort, by Roger Outhouse. It is included in: In with the Tide, the Bay of Fundy Discovery Association Newsletter.
GOMI youth and leaders pose outside the Habitation fortifications as they prepare to share and learn ways to protect the Gulf of Maine watershed.
While celebrating the 10th Anniversary of GOMI, the teams from Newburyport, Chelsea, Concord, (USA) Sackville, Shelburne, Barrington, and Digby Neck/Islands (Canada) had a busy week-long Summer Workshop at the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre.
Day one allowed all of us to tour the area visiting the Habitation at Port Royal, Fort Anne, the Annapolis Tidal Power Plant and wetland marsh, and an environmentally friendly farm operation.
That evening each of the local teams presented a summary of their year’s work around the Gulf. A wide range of work included, fighting invasive species, protecting endangered species and habitats, promoting recycling programs, combating climate change, promotion of growing and eating local foods, cleanups of watershed and coastal areas, promoting green space and wetlands and educating the public on all these issues.
Next, teams were split up among all of the theme topics for three days so each team would take back new skills and insights to share with their home team. The major themes and presentations for the week were:
1. A study of the Moose River as to its tested water quality along with projection of a plan to establish the waterway as a future sustainable habitat for wildlife and salmon. The Moose has great potential with stewardship.
2. Buffer Zones and their management so as to protect animals and habitats. The endangered Wood Turtle was the featured focus of this team’s efforts. Gaining public support will be critical to having a happy ending to this story.
3. Use of Photography as a skilled art form to add perspective and effectiveness to reach the public. An amazing exhibit re- sulted. This will impact future public presentations.
4. Art work in hands-on mediums centered on nature as an expressive way of connecting and communicating with others. Personal testimonials and a power point from this art team added new dimensions to the work of GOMI.
5. A study of the Toymaker’s Marsh at the head of Saint Mary’s Bay as a way of protecting this green space for future generations and to educate the public as to the importance of wetlands to the whole Gulf of Maine including our fisheries.
6. A study of the Acadian Forest with a look to protecting old growth forests and gaining a healthy respect for plants and animals that share this incredible ecosystem.
During this week long event there was time to share and connect with the wonderful youth and adults who are great stewards and ambassadors for the Gulf of Maine. The one thing that we all agreed on was that this 10th Summer Workshop was a truly well organized event and probably rates as the most successful in GOMI’s history.