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Maine Island Donated to UNE for Marine Science Research

BIDDEFORD, Maine - The gift of a small island in Saco Bay will allow University of New England Marine Sciences students to be involved in all 21st century ocean, coastal, marine and environmental issues.

That's UNE's plan, now that the school has been given Ram Island by real estate developer Art Girard. UNE describes Ram Island as one acre of pristine land which is located two miles offshore.

Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce directs UNE's Marine Science Center. He says on one side, the island faces the developed southern Maine coast, with all of its issues. And on the other side, the island has direct access to the Gulf of Maine and the northwest Atlantic Ocean.

"So now the University of New England's marine science programs - of which there are sort of eight different tracks and majors - all of our students will have access to a world class continuum of river to estuary to bay to open ocean," Costa-Pierce says. "And the island sits, basically, at the crux, at the center, of all of that."

The school says that plans are for students, faculty and staff to use the island to conduct research on a range of topics, from marine ecology to aquaculture.