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Bristol Lions Learn About Natural History of the Maine Coast 11/05/2010

Posted by DS in meetings.
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The forces that created Maine’s mountains and coastline began 500 million years ago, according to consulting ecologist Mark Ward, who gave a presentation recently to the Bristol Area Lions Club. A graduate of the field naturalist masters program at the University of Vermont, Mark Ward has a keen interest in understanding natural and cultural processes that underlie patterns exhibited by organisms on the landscape.

In his talk, “From Granite to Glaciers,” Ward gave an overview of the natural history of coastal Maine and its role in the history of Maine’s inhabitants past and present. Three major periods of mountain building in Maine help to account for the abundance of granite for quarrying and limestone for mining. The fact that Maine was once underwater up to 50 miles inland helps to explain why marine clays were plentiful for the brick making industry in the 19th century. Receding glaciers led to the formation of river and glacial deposits that even today supply sand and gravel for construction industries. Even the fishing industry owes something to the geological history of Maine’s coast, as Georges Bank, which once was dry land but became submerged 4000 years ago, transformed the Gulf of Maine into the nutrient rich fish breeding grounds that first attracted European explorers to America’s northeastern Atlantic coast.

At their next meeting on November 15, members of the Bristol Area Lions Club will hear a presentation by Dr. Judith Jones, Executive Director of the Maine Association of Charter Schools, on “Why Public School Choice is Essential for Education Reform.” To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club please call 677-3317.

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