PORTLAND–Friends of Casco Bay recently wrapped up its 20th year assessing the health of Maine’s coastal waters from Cape Elizabeth to Phippsburg. Citizen Stewards Coordinator Peter Milholland directs the award-winning water quality monitoring program, which has trained more than 650 citizens scientists in that time. He presented awards to several volunteers of Friends of Casco Bay at the January 26th Volunteer Appreciation Event and Members Meeting, held at Pierce Atwood inPortland. He said, “Data collected by our EPA-certified citizen scientists provides an invaluable resource for researchers, municipalities, and federal and state regulatory agencies working to ensure the environmental quality for whichMaine is famous.”
20 years of Water Quality Monitoring
Andrew Bertocci of Yarmouth was honored as the first person to complete 20 years of monitoring for Friends of Casco Bay. He started sampling as a volunteer in 1992; three years later, he was hired to expand the sampling program to sites in northeasternCasco Bay. Andy, often assisted by his daughter Maggie, now a student atNorthYarmouthAcademy, samples at Yankee Marina inYarmouth.
10 years of Water Quality Monitoring
Ed Benedikt of Bath samples for Friends of Casco Bay at New Meadows Marina inBrunswick. He founded the New Meadows Lake Association to build environmental awareness of the upperNewMeadowsRiver.
Rick Meisenbach of Harpswell, a real estate broker for Homes & Harbors and an avid sailor, samples at a nearby station at Lookout Point, Harpswell.
5 years of Water Quality Monitoring
Orrs Islandresidents Jan Brudzinski, a retired teacher, and Tom Brudzinski, a retired architect, keep an eye on the health of Mackerel Cove on Bailey’sIsland.
Hugh Huleatt of Brunswick and Harpswell monitors water quality at High Head Yacht Club. Hugh also is active with the Friends of Eagle Island.
JB Kavaliauskas of Falmouth, a science educator for over 20 years, samples atMackworthIsland causeway with son Seth as her helper.
Deborah McCoy of Portland samples water quality at theStroudwaterBridge when she is not working as a professional landscaper, specializing in rooftop gardens.
Jo McCartan ofBrunswick shares sampling responsibilities with Ed Benedikt at the New Meadows Marina. “Water testing helps satisfy my need to be involved in protecting the environment beyond the borders of my home,” she says.
Dr. Russ Pinizzotto of Phippsburg samples at The Basin, a popular anchorage for recreational boaters. A leader of Friends of the Basin along with neighbor Jim Sidel, they recently used their water quality data to show the state ofMaine that the water was clean enough to upgrade the Basin to the most protective water quality status.
Katie Rawls of Portland, marketing manager for Sappi Fine Paper, tests the water atEast EndBeach. Between designated monitoring Saturdays, you often can find her there with her fiancé and two dogs.
Ten years of Board Service
Kathryn Reid of Portland, Assistant Vice President and Counsel for Unum Group, served on the Board of Friends of Casco Bay, taking on additional responsibilities as Clerk of the organization, Auction Chair, and a member of the Public Relations/Development Committee.