eSML May 2008: SML Summer 2008 Begins

We were sadly reminded this month of the dangers of off-shore operations when Kittery lobsterman Chris Tobey lost his life after his vessel, Sav-A-Buck, capsized on Sunday, May 11. Chris's son and another man survived and spent the night on Duck Island; SML and Coast Guard personnel rescued them soon after they were discovered the following day. Over the last few years, Sav-A-Buck was a familiar sight from Appledore's rocky coastline, a reminder of the continuing importance of the Maine lobster fishery. Our thoughts go out to Mr. Tobey's family and to all who work on the water. In early May, nearly 100 of SML's friends attended Spring Volunteer Weekend. Despite stormy weather, volunteers accomplished a phenomenal amount of work: building a new set of steps at the top of the dock, shingling the Hamilton roof, re-siding Dorm 2, installing smoke detectors and energy-saving light fixtures in the dormitories, preparing lecture and laboratory rooms, and painstakingly restoring the library's hand-tied chairs. Over the winter, Fred and Priscilla Chellis lovingly restored SML's historic wooden table; it was replaced in Laighton during Volunteer Weekend. It is beautiful! Thank you!
Appledore quickly came to life this month as visitors arrived for an array of programs. Already, we've hosted academic groups from UNH and Northern Michigan University, a seabird conference and our spring artist's weekend. The Appledore Banding Station has been running for three weeks and the tern restoration project that we operate in conjunction with New Hampshire Fish and Game is also up and running. We hosted an 8-member film crew from the Seacoast Science Center preparing an exhibit on the Isles of Shoals. At Creek Farm later this week, I will meet with the UNH Marine Docents to show them the properties and talk about plans for SML’s future. We also look forward to seeing the UNH Marine Docents on Appledore this summer.

A generous donation received this winter established SML's Water Conservation Fund, the beginning of a $200,000 drive to construct a composting toilet facility to replace the island's existing flush toilets and reduce the volume of wastewater we must treat. The basic plan, which was initially developed by our Sustainable Engineering Interns, will further SML's effort to reduce its environmental footprint and bring us into compliance with stringent new regulatory requirements. We will break ground in 2009, and welcome all of the help we can get for this expensive, yet critically important undertaking.

Soon after this e-mail reaches you, our first three credit courses for SML Summer 2008 Field Marine Science, Field Ornithology, and Coastal Ecology and Bioclimates will be underway. With our wonderful staff, upgraded equipment, and many new teaching materials, all of us who teach at SML look forward to a wonderful season on Appledore. We know our students are going to have the time of their lives!

Thank you for your ongoing support of SML.

Willy Bemis, Kingsbury Director of Shoals Marine Laboratory

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