It's YOUR Bay. Deal with it.

By Ron Huber | Feb 06, 2009

Rockland — A great and terrible water body is Penobscot Bay, where Gulf of Maine and Penobscot River battle each other back and forth from Matinicus to Cape Jellison.

Where rich plumes of river water, bearing the tinctured essence of a vast watershed, slide intact to Penobscot Bay's mouth, a wet kiss that dissolves into great bursts of nutrients and geochemicals that, imbibed by plankton, soar up the food chain, to power what is (to no one's surprise), our planet's richest lobster grounds, and the once and future homes of sturgeon, cod, salmon, haddock, redfish and halibut. And more. Many more.

Where, while the mouth of the river and the mouth of the bay are thus..err.. busy, the stolid march of inbound Gulf of Maine shelf water continues. Creeping past Port Clyde and Isle au Haut,its darkened ranks swell as the Maine Coastal Current joins the parade. Inward they press, cold as stone, moving around the roots of the Fox Islands, commandeering the drowned channels of the ancient river around the great divider called Islseboro. To rise suddenly, like Jack-in-the-box, invading the estuary bounded by Castine, Verona Island & Belfast, where it spices the great river freshet with deep sea nutrients and creates brackish way stations for traveling salmon, sturgeon and eels, where these animals can safely morph from saltwater to freshwater life, or vice versa, as the season requires of them.

This living cornucopia is fraught with dangers seen and unseen. The riot of ledges edging the bay may provide salty habitat, but at the same time it has claimed countless vessels; from the canoes of the Red Paint People to working schooners to the petroleum powered merchant vessels of today, many an unwary or unlucky sailor has run upon them and contributed its catch or cargo, or worse, to Penobscot Bay.

It will be the purpose of this blog to look at both faces of Penobscot Bay: Creator and Destroyer. To see where the one may be assisted, the other limited. Jefferson said the blood of martyrs is needed to nourish the Tree of Liberty; the blood of many, human and non-human, has certainly nourished Penobscot Bay, and will continue to do so.

Stay tuned.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.