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Are Maine scientists changing America’s energy future?

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Penobscot Marine Museum Penobscot Marine Museum

SEARSPORT– Maine scientists are leading the way nationally in wind and tide energy development, and important strides are being made in fisheries research. This year, Penobscot Marine Museum’s history conference Fish, Wind and Tide: Maine’s Future Resources? on Nov. 2 at Belfast’s Hutchinson Center brings together experts from Maine Maritime Academy, the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and from Maine Department of Conservation, Tide Mill Institute, Island Institute, Conservation Law Foundation and Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative, to look at the past and to explore exciting new developments for the future of these resources. 

Among the conference speakers will be Larry Parent, assistant director of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center.  The Center is a world leader in composites research and made history last summer by deploying the first U.S. grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Castine.  The first U.S. grid-connected tidal energy project was also launched in Maine last summer, and Richard Armstrong, executive director of Tidal Energy Demonstration & Evaluation Center at Maine Maritime Academy will speak about developments in tidal power which will shape our future. 

What economic impact will wind and tidal power have in Maine? Over $900 million in direct investment has been brought to Maine since 2006, according to Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative. Paul Williamson, director and industry coordinator of the Initiative, joins the Conference to discuss this potentially huge economic impact in Maine.

The conference will also address fisheries resources.  University of New Hampshire Historic Fisheries scientist Karen Alexander will speak about the history of the Gulf of Maine fisheries, and William Leavenworth, of the University of Massachusetts’s Environmental Conservation Department will help us see where the fisheries are headed.

How all of these new developments will affect our coastal resources will be discussed by Maine Dept. of Conservation’s Matthew Nixon, Maine Coastal Program, lobsterman Richard Nelson, Caitlin Cleaver, from the Island Institute and Robin Just of the Conservation Law Foundation. 

Penobscot Marine Museum will sponsor tickets for high school students at half price. For more information, call (207) 548-2529 or go to To register online go to The History Conference is on Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 pm at University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Avenue, Belfast, Maine. Tickets are $50 for Museum members, $60 for non-members, $50 for teachers and $30 for students.

PHOTO CAPTION: VolturnUS, the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine

PHOTO CAPTION: Larry Parent, assistant director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, Orono

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