Marine Science and Conservation Public Forum

“Raising the Level of Knowledge of the Underwater World”

Focus on marine science, education, and conservation for the general public

Sunday March 12, 2017


Marine Science and Conservation Public Forum

Day-long session featuring 30 minute presentations on Gulf of Maine underwater habitats, marine protected areas (MPAs), ocean planning, citizen science involvement, and sustainable fisheries.


9:30: Rock Wall Communities of Massachusetts Bay – A 40-Year Monitoring Study

Ted Maney – Salem State University

Abstract: In 1977, Ken Sebens began a long term monitoring of rock wall communities at sites off East Point, Nahant and Halfway Rock.  As this study enters its 40th year, Ted Maney will report on how this habitat has changed over time and what has accounted for these community changes.


10:00: Kelp Ecosystems

Jarett Byrnes – UMass Boston

Abstract: The coast of New England is covered in vast meadows of kelp. These forests give homes to fish and lobsters, buffer our shorelines, feed many species, and more. How will shifting climates affect their future? Come hear how KEEN ONE is trying to assess the long-term health of New England kelp beds around the region.


10:30: Seagrass, The Forgotten Marine Habitat

Phil Colarusso – US EPA

Abstract: Many divers swim past seagrass meadows on their way to look at reefs or catch lobsters. This talk will discuss the many ecological roles seagrasses play. From important nursery habitats for fish and invertebrates to critical buffers in global climate change, seagrasses are an underappreciated habitat warranting greater conservation efforts.


11:00: A Clam’s Eye View Of Climate Change: How Do Non-Human Organisms Experience Their Shifting World?

Brian Helmuth – Northeastern University Marine Science Center

Abstract: The effects of climate change are ubiquitous, but as humans we can have a rather biased view of what that entails. Using biomimetic robots, computer modeling and virtual reality technology, my group explores the world from the viewpoint of marine animals to better understand the impacts of climate change on the marine environment.


11:30: Science and Conservation in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Randi Rotjan – Boston University/New England Aquarium

Abstract: Since 2000, there have been scientific expeditions to the Phoenix Islands. Starting in 2010, marine-based expeditions began to follow a strategic path outlined in the 2010-2020 PIPA Research Vision. With 4 years left to go, major progress has been made on many of the priority areas including exploration, climate change, and connectivity. In this talk, we will outline this science and conservation strategy, updated with current results and an articulation of challenges to-date. Upcoming expeditions will also be outlined, including three 2017 expeditions (2 deep sea, 1 oceanography). All told, the marine science components of PIPA remain strong, and continue to provide an important context for MPA management and conservation.


12:00: Northeast Regional Ocean Plan

Mel Cote – US EPA

Abstract: In December, 2016, the National Ocean Council certified the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan, meaning that implementation of the plan is now underway. This presentation will provide an overview of this ground-breaking blueprint for management of human activities and protection of ocean resources in New England, including a discussion of next steps.


1:00: Northeast REEF GAFC 2016 summary report

Uma Mirani – New England Aquarium Dive Club

Abstract: New England Aquarium Dive Club (NEADC) organizes and sponsors the Northeast Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Great Annual Fish Count (GAFC) as a REEF Field Station. Divers and snorkelers conduct field surveys of fish and invertebrates and the data is submitted to the REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project.


1:30: Citizen Science: Monitoring the Massachusetts Coast

Pam DiBona – MassBays National Estuary Program

Abstract: Volunteers take water samples, count herring and horseshoe crabs, collect marine trash, and plant eelgrass all along the Massachusetts coast. To help local groups make the most of their data, MassBays National Estuary Program established the Citizen Monitoring Coordinators’ Network. Find out how you can join the effort.


2:00: Aquaculture: Already in Your Backyard

Mark Dixon – NOAA Fisheries

Abstract: Aquaculture is a rapidly growing sector in the world-wide food industry. Currently more than half of the world’s seafood is produced from aquaculture. Aquaculture in United States lags far behind the rest of the world. One bright spot is the New England shellfish industry.


2:30: Sustainable Fisheries

Margaret Malkoski – National Fisheries Institute

Abstract: Seafood plays a vital role in food security, providing nutrition and a source of income for many families. The US is both a seafood-consuming and a fishing nation and with an expected population growth to 9 million people by 2050, sustainable seafood will continue to be an important source of protein. Learn about the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) and how the seafood industry actively participates in the conservation and management of fisheries.


3:00:  Boston Sea Rovers 2016 Summer Internship Report

James Allen – 2016 Boston Sea Rovers Summer Intern

Marine Science and Conservation Poster Session 11 AM – 1PM

Local college students and researchers will be on hand to present research posters that they have presented at scientific meetings to the general public.  Posters will be displayed in the hotel meeting rooms lobby area and in the hallways.


The Effect Of Fear To Be Eaten By Green Crabs (Carcinas maenas) On The Morphology And Physiology Of Soft Shell Clams (Mya arenaria)

Amanda Keegan, Markus Frederich,

University of New England, Biddeford, ME


Differential Behavior, Habitat Destruction, And Stress Tolerance In Three Populations Of Carcinus maenas

Louis Logan, Markus Frederich,

University of New England, Biddeford, ME


Offshore Shellfish Aquaculture In Federal Waters

Ted Maney and Mark Fregeau

Northeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center (NEMAC)

Cat Cove Marine Laboratory

Department of Biology,

Salem State University

Salem, MA 01970


More to come!


  1. Careers and Educational Opportunities in Marine Sciences (COMS) Fair 9AM – noon
    1. Free to the Public
  1. Kid’s Room Activities 9AM – 3PM
    1. Free to the Public – fun ocean related activities and presentations geared towards kids
  1. Art Exhibit – Free to the Public
  1. Exhibitor area – Free to the Public
    1. Up to 65 exhibitors for two full days open to the public on Saturday and Sunday
    2. Dive equipment, travel, training, art, clubs, environmental govt agencies and NGO’s
  1. Boy Scout Oceanography Merit Badge Workshop 1PM – 4PM
  2. Discover Scuba – All day Saturday – free
    1. Possible Sunday AM
    2. Opportunity to try scuba diving in a pool under supervision. Information on local courses is provided


Boston Sea Rovers