A talk entitled “Right Whales and Wind Energy in the Gulf of Maine” will be presented Thursday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m., immediately following a short annual meeting of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition at Belfast Free Library.

Mark Dittrick, the founding conservation chairman of the Atlantic Chapter of Sierra Club Canada, will speak. In a PowerPoint presentation, Dittrick will discuss how the effects of developing wind energy in the Gulf of Maine might impact the fragile, less than 500 right whale population, which historically has lived and bred there.

“What happens in that area may be key to whether or not the North American right whale survives as a species,” Dittrick says.

The gathering is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

Dittrick is also spokesperson for the North Atlantic Right Whale BEACON (Bi-national Early Alert Coastal Network). A project of the Sierra Club, BEACON involves 15 chapters along the United States Atlantic coast as well as the Atlantic Canada chapter. Volunteer members monitor Atlantic coastal development for potential threats to right whales. In addition, Dittrick is a member of the education committee of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium and member of the editorial board of Right Whale News.

The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition is a group of individuals working to support conservation and stewardship of natural, scenic, historic and public access resources in the watershed through research, community-building and education.