Surry: Patten Bay pollution and shellfish stock assessment

Patten Bay in the town of Surry, ME has been closed to shellfish harvesting due to water quality pollution problems for decades. This year, the Town of Surry has collaborated with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Shaw Institute and others to assess seeding, predation, and find and fix pollution sources impacting their shellfish resource. 

The town has taken a two pronged approach to this broad assessment. First, they are working with the DEP and DMR to coordinate a shoreline survey and water quality monitoring effort. This will include walking shorelines, mapping any potential sources, and then testing water samples using ColilertTM test kits. Second, they will be monitoring shellfish resources in Patten Bay, using recruitment boxes and predator box traps. Additionally, the Shaw Institute is providing interns to identify phytoplankton species and collaborate with DMR’s monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms. 

For more information about this project, please contact Heather Richard at


Heather Richard