BAR HARBOR — Downeast Salmon Federation fisheries biologist Brett Ciccotelli will discuss efforts to restore sea-run alewife populations in the Union River at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum in McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 4:10 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.
The Downeast Salmon Federation is partnering with local conservation groups to raise awareness of the important federal relicensing process for the Union River hydropower dam in Ellsworth. Because of structures like these, native sea-run fish, such as alewives, have been almost completely blocked at the head of tide in downtown Ellsworth since 1907.
“The relicensing process currently underway is a once-in-a-generation chance to advocate for a river that respects the human and natural communities along its banks,” Ciccotelli said. “Join us to learn the current status of the federal review and how to engage with the process.”
Ciccotelli grew up not far from the muddy banks of a small tidal river. He attended College of the Atlantic, graduating in 2009, and found himself drawn to the watersheds of Eastern Maine. Between the banks of these rivers, he became a whitewater kayaker and learned about the culture and ecology of the region. After graduating with a degree in human ecology in 2009, he traveled to river communities in Northern Canada, Italy, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Costa Rica. In these places, he saw how deeply people are tied to their rivers and fisheries. He has worked co-managing an organic farm on Mount Desert Island and teaching part time at the Bay School in Blue Hill.
The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.