Rockweed is a common and important seaweed in Maine, and Schoodic Institute and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust need volunteers to help gather information about it at sites along the coast. Join both organizations for a training at the DeWick Farm easement in Woolwich from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 25. After completing the training, volunteers will have all the skills necessary to monitor rockweed anywhere along the coast. This community science project is called Project ASCO (Assessing Seaweed via Community Observations).

Learn how to monitor rockweed at a training at the DeWick Farm easement on July 25. Kennebec Estuary Land Trust

Rockweed monitoring takes a couple hours at low tide per site. The program requires some precision, so the organizations recommend it for middle school aged or above. The fieldwork will include walking over slippery rocks and seaweed. At each site, participants gather information about the height, weight and number of rockweed stems at a series of points in the intertidal zone. The one-day training on July 25 will introduce volunteers to rockweed and other common coastal seaweed species, and everyone will learn the methods for monitoring. For more information and to sign up, visit KELT’s website at or call 442-8400.

Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) is the most common seaweed species seen along Maine’s rocky coast. It provides important habitat as well as income in coastal communities where it is harvested. Currently, no one knows exactly how much rockweed there is in the state, which makes it difficult for it to be managed in a way that sustains both harvesting and healthy habitats. To fix that knowledge gap, scientists at Schoodic Institute created an approach for documenting the amount of rockweed present along the coast using simple, hands-on methods. Volunteers and participants can help collect this data to better inform management of rockweed as a resource. Participants will also help gather new information about rockweed at DeWick Farm that can be compared to historical data from the same site. After participants are done with the training, KELT will have equipment they can borrow to monitor rockweed at other sites.

KELT is hosting a rockweed monitoring kit that volunteers can check out to use at any site where they would like to monitor rockweed. If you miss the training Tuesday, Project ASCO will be holding a few other trainings this summer and fall, and there will be more trainings next year. Rockweed monitoring takes place between June and October each year.

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