Water quality monitoring set for 2014 cruise ship season

BAR HARBOR — A request for proposals to conduct environmental monitoring in waters around visiting cruise ships in 2014 will be issued in the next few weeks, harbormaster Charlie Phippen said Monday.

Large, season-long monitoring projects have been undertaken twice before here. In 2004, an independent group called the Mount Desert Island Water Quality Coalition secured a grant from a cruise ship industry group for a water-testing project. In 2011, the town contracted with Moody Environmental for a similar study, extending into the spring of 2012.

After the 2011-2012 study was complete and report released, the issue took a back burner at the town. A total of $8,000 was assigned in the budget for fiscal year 2013 to continue monitoring, but no plans were made for the work, Mr. Phippen said. “We didn’t have a planner, and we got behind the  eight ball.”

Because the cruise ship season spans two fiscal years, town manager Dana Reed encumbered the 2013 funds to join another $8,000 approved in the 2014 budget for a monitoring effort to span the 2014 season.

Mr. Phippen took the idea of the 2014 monitoring program to the town’s harbor, conservation, and marine resources committees over the summer and fall.

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.
Liz Graves

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