The UMM Marine Biology Program was awarded a grant in August 2006 to fund infrastructure and equipment needed to further integrate marine-based research into training, education and community outreach.

The $255,000 grant from the Marine Technology Institute (MTI) will provide funds to

  1. renovate an existing classroom into a dedicated marine teaching and research laboratory,
  2. acquire new and up-to-date equipment to further support marine research,
  3. create a marine research seminar course to link students and faculty with local stakeholders to answer questions important to Downeast Maine, and
  4. share information with the community through a research newsletter and publicly accessible website.

The funds and resulting research are expected to improve education and training in marine sciences at UMM and increase the University’s involvement in projects to serve the community.

The funding will allow UMM students and faculty to expand their research program to include studying how the dikes on the Machias and Pleasant Rivers may have changed habitat and food supply for soft shell clams by altering water flow effects, as well as the effects of the Machias Wastewater Treatment Plant (MWTP) on growth and survival of softshell clams.

The proposed study will determine if the MWTP affects habitat and food supply for clams and consider how it may affect genetic structure of shellfish populations. The information collected by UMM researchers will help predict how the MWTP, clam flat closures, and possible management activities may affect local economies that depend on shellfishing.

During the first year, renovation of lab space and experimental design of the research project will occur.

If you have any questions about the project, feel free to contact the project director, Dr. William Otto at: william.otto@maine.edu or (207)255-1345.

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