Island off Saco, ME, to Become Living Laboratory

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Portland Press Herald: The University of New England has begun using an island 2 miles off the coast of Saco [Maine] as a “living laboratory” to study ocean life and the effects of climate change, thanks to a Portland real estate developer who gave the family property to the school.

“It’s kind of a marine biology dream,” Barry Costa-Pierce, chairman of the UNE marine sciences department, said of Ram Island. “We plan on being a steward of a place that’s really special.”

Donated by Art Girard, the one-acre island roughly doubles in size at low tide, Costa-Pierce said. The island and its surrounding waters are home to migrating songbirds, lounging harbor seals, lots of dogfish sharks and various intertidal flora and fauna, he said.

The low-lying island has a 500-square-foot house on it and has been used as a summer vacation spot by private owners.

Read more about the University of New England using Ram Island off Saco as a living laboratory.