Ecosystem collision at Waterfall Arts

Jun 01, 2018
Bob Steneck

Belfast — Waterfall Arts and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition will host a public talk with professor Bob Steneck on The Penobscot Bay: An Ecosystem Colliding With the Anthropocene Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St. Held in conjunction with the current exhibition, “Tidal Zone," the talk is open to the public; donations are appreciated.

Anthropocene Epoch is the time interval characterized as when humanity began to substantially alter Earth’s biosphere. Many beautiful seascapes within Penobscot Bay have not changed for centuries; however, underwater and out of sight, there has been a revolution. This ecosystem supported some of Maine’s first seaside residents on North Haven Island more than 4,000 years ago. They subsisted on cod and other groundfish for thousands of years.

When cod was abundant, it was an important predator that “ruled” the ecosystem. Now cod are rare in coastal Maine and as a result, some of its prey has exploded in abundance, including our most valuable marine resource —lobster. The Gulf of Maine, in general, and Penobscot Bay are among the most dynamic and rapidly changing ecosystems in the world.

Steneck is a professor in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and studies the structure and function of coastal marine ecosystems. In Maine, he has explored kelp forest ecosystems for more than 20 years, studying lobsters, sea urchins and fish stocks in the region. Steneck also has worked extensively throughout the Caribbean and tropical Pacific, studying coral reefs from both biological and geological perspectives.

For more information, visit waterfallarts.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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