MOUNT DESERT — The joint application by the town and the National Park Service to have a scientist assigned to help study the health of the inner cove at Otter Creek has been approved by the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEE), a program of the American Geophysical Union.
In the 1930s, the National Park Service built a causeway across the cove to carry the Park Loop Road. Culverts were built into the causeway to allow water to flow between the inner and outer coves. But Otter Creek residents and town officials say those culverts are inadequate and that there is little marine life left in the inner cove.
Mount Desert and Acadia officials hope the TEE-assisted study will determine the cause of this decline and how conditions in the inner cove can be improved. They will attend an orientation session on the project next week. Then a TEE “community science fellow,” who will serve as the project manager, will meet with town and park service officials to begin planning the project.
“Your project manager will work with you to develop a project description and explore what kind of scientist(s) is/are needed for this project,” Natasha Udu-gama, manager of community and international relations for TEE, said in a letter to Town Manager Durlin Lunt.
“They will recruit, vet and obtain references for interested candidates, then provide you with recommendations. After matching you with scientist(s), your project manager will provide support…as you and the scientist(s) work together towards achieving your project objectives.”
Udu-gama said the project likely would take six to 18 months to complete.