Want to learn more about the Penobscot Bay region? Want to help preserve its unique character and history? The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and the Maine Coastal Program of the State Planning Office are once again offering the Penobscot Bay Stewards program to area residents.

This, according to organizers, is a unique opportunity to learn more about the natural and cultural resources of the bay region and how to help in the conservation of these resources.

The program will run morning through afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays from May 1 through May 31 (no class on May 3). Topics include maritime history, marine life, island ecology, coastal land, intertidal and marine habitats, the Penobscot Nation, fisheries, aquaculture, water quality and current regional issues with impacts on our environment and human life. Leading authorities in their fields will give presentations and lead field trips.

The program will include classroom presentations, short hikes in nature preserves and state parks and field trips in Rockland and Damariscotta, to Blue Hill and Deer Isle, and to the Penobscot Nation at Indian Island among other places. Some days will require early morning departures and boat trips. Participants should bring a bag lunch and be prepared to car pool.

The course is free, but at the conclusion participants are expected to volunteer 30 hours to local conservation efforts of their choice during the coming year. Classes will provide an ample selection of possible projects.

The course is limited to 20 committed participants who will participate in the entire program.

For more information and an application go to belfastbaywatershed.org and download the form. If you do not have email, call Maynard at 338-8666 or Karin at 322-5545.

The application deadline is April 1. However, the class fills up fast, so applications should be submitted as soon as possible.