In March 2010, an Upper Frenchman Bay Stakeholder Meeting was convened to bring people together who had a stake in the future of Upper Frenchman Bay. The goals of the meeting were to gather information about marine resources, learn about conservation action planning and marine conservation agreements, identify areas in upper Frenchman Bay for further eelgrass research or conservation actions, and establish a mechanism for on-going information exchange among stakeholders.
A second Stakeholder Meeting was held at the MDI Biological Laboratory on November 10, 2010 to consider long-term planning for Frenchman Bay. A planning survey was conducted during the weeks leading up to the meeting.
Choosing Priority Areas and Actions
Participants in the March Upper Frenchman Bay Stakeholder meeting generated a comprehensive list of areas that should receive some attention in terms of eelgrass resource. The priority areas included Hadley Point over to Thomas Island, the Thomas Bay area in Bar Harbor, and Berry Cove and Raccoon Cove in Lamoine.
Participants decided that eelgrass mapping and research on the historical presence of eelgrass and/or other resources was necessary before deciding on any actions for Raccoon Cove. They discussed eelgrass research, conservation, and restoration actions for the Hadley Point- Thomas Island-Thomas Bay area and Berry Cove. Other actions were also discussed for these areas, including identifying resources, past and present, identifying users, past and present, and addressing public access to the water. The highest priority conservation actions for the Hadley Point-Thomas Island-Thomas Bay area as well as Berry Cove were eelgrass restoration and water quality monitoring. It was agreed that for eelgrass restoration, more stakeholders will need to be involved in decision making concerning where eelgrass can be restored without conflict for other bay users (clam and mussel harvesters, etc.)