SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 28, 2013

Lectures unveil coastal mysteries

BY TOM DALTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — MARBLEHEAD — Salem Sound stretches from Manchester-by-the-Sea to Marblehead — 47 miles of coastline that border an ocean teeming with sea life and threatened by a number of man-made and environmental challenges.

It is a large body of water that hosts recreational boaters and fishermen, but to many is a mystery.

Salem Sound Coastwatch, a nonprofit organization based in Salem, hopes to answer a lot of questions about the ocean next door in a free lecture series that begins this week.

“Underwater in Salem Sound,” a series of four lectures, will be held at Marblehead’s Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., at 7 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month from January through April. The library is a partner in the project.

This Wednesday, Dr. Lindley Hanson, a professor of geology at Salem State University, will discuss the volcanic activity that shaped Salem Sound.

On Feb. 27, marine biologist Tay Evans will lead a virtual tour of the sound’s eelgrass meadows, which support a variety of sea life.

Dr. Robert Buchsbaum of the Massachusetts Audubon Society will deliver the March 27 lecture, “Salt Marshes Under Siege.”

In the final program on April 24, diver and historian Ray Bates and lobsterman Jay Michaud will share their experiences working in Salem Sound.

“Salem Sound’s natural resources play a huge role in the ecological, social and economic life of our region,” Salem Sound Coastwatch Executive Director Barbara Warren said in a statement. “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our great neighbor, the ocean.”

The lecture series is funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. For more information, go to info@salemsound.org or call 978-741-7900.