The Sanctuary’s current activities demonstrate a holistic “watershed” approach to environmental stewardship by engaging in a variety of projects that both monitor and enhance the health of the environment. Some of these include:
- The Mount Desert Island Loon Monitoring Project. This project has collected data on the breeding success and behavior of MDI’s common loon population since 2002, with a large group of volunteer observers and in partnership with Acadia National Park, and Biodiversity Research Institute.
- The Somesville Fish Passage Restoration Project. This project started in 2005 with reclamation of several fish ladders which are maintained each year to provide access to Long Pond and Somes Pond for migrating sea-run fish species (such as alewife and American eel). These fish have a significant effect on the health of the watershed. Ongoing research on fish population numbers and population dynamics is conducted each spring. Many school groups visit each spring to learn about biology and conservation of these important species.
- A courtesy boat inspection program that is conducted each summer at the public landing of Long Pond. This program helps to protect Long Pond from the potential devastation of invasive aquatic plant and animal species and educates the public about the importance of inspecting their watercraft for hitchhiking plants or animals before launching and after leaving a lake, pond, or stream.
- Ongoing water quality testing to measure water clarity, dissolved oxygen content, and temperature of our lake water. Changes in these levels can indicate poor water quality and help identify potential threats to lake health from the surrounding watershed.
- Annual screening surveys for invasive aquatic plants. Sanctuary staff performs annual surveys on both Long Pond and Somes Pond for the presence of invasive aquatic plants.
Our watershed approach is community-based and the Sanctuary’s programs depend on connections and collaborations within the community. To find out how you can become involved with these and other projects at the Sanctuary, please click on the GET INVOLVED link or call Director Billy Helprin at (207) 460-9390.