Isles of Shoals Ecosystem

Appledore Island is the largest of the nine islands in the Isles of Shoals archipelago located in what's known as the Gulf of Maine to biologists, geologists and oceanographers. Not only is Appledore home of Shoals Marine Laboratory, but its waters, shoreline, rocks and brambles host a myriad of marine and terrestrial animals and plants. Migratory song, wading and shorebirds stop-over and nest on Appledore Island in the summer, while harbor seals raise their pups on neighboring Duck Island.

The intertidal and subtidal zones are rich in species of algae, fish and invertebrates, while the deeper waters surrounding the Isles provide habitat for schools of fish and pods of dolphins and whales.
The Isles of Shoals have a rich cultural history steeped in legend, lore and tradition. Of interest to the non-biologist are the paintings of Childe Hassam, the poetry of Celia Thaxter, and the stories of pirates, explorers and fishermen. The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy all have ties to the Isles dating back to the early 1900's. Even the name of the infamous Aristotle Onassis can be found on the pages of island history books and local newspaper articles. Recently, SML celebrated the reunion of what was known as the "Save Our Shores" movement. Read more about this historic protest--an event that saved the Shoals Marine Laboratory and the Isles of Shoals from an almost certain demise!


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