Friends of Casco Bay

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Climate change, pollution and water acidity are all among the issues affecting the water in Maine. The vastness and complexity of ocean environments, however, make it difficult for scientists to measure these important changes in the water. That’s why one nonprofit is looking to its volunteers to put a modern spin on an old way of assessing water quality.

As you take a walk along the shores of Casco Bay this summer, you may notice other beachgoers taking pictures — of the water.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A new study reveals rapid changes in the chemistry of the water in parts of Casco Bay. Using more than 20 years worth of data, the environmental group Friends of Casco Bay has found high levels of nitrogen and low oxygen levels in a number of coastal locations. And that has worrying implications for Maine's shellfish industry.