According to the Web site wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle – to cut a hole in – and butt – a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

Sailing for women continues in Rockport

ROCKPORT — The next class for Women at the Helm is schedule to take place on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.

Women at the Helm is a summer sailing day program for women, designed by and for women to teach basic sailing skills, offer hands on experience and improve maritime skills in a fun, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. Women at the Helm works with sailors at all levels of experience to help women have the confidence to be take-charge skippers by working on points of sail, sail trim, navigation, piloting, helmsmanship, seamanship, anchoring, safety, man overboard drills and much more.

Classes run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can also be scheduled any time for groups of four or more students. For reservations and information call 557-1872 or write to info@northpointyachtcharters.com.

Public Utilities Commission calls for offshore energy proposals

AUGUSTA — The Maine Public Utilities Commission announced Sept. 1 the release of a request for proposals for offshore wind and tidal renewable energy projects. During its 2010 session, the Legislature passed a law based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Ocean Energy Task Force designed to facilitate the development of such offshore wind or tidal projects. The law required that the commission initiate the RFP by Sept. 1.

Initial proposals are to be submitted by May 1, 2011.

The law directs the commission to conduct a competitive solicitation for proposals for long-term contracts to supply installed capacity, associated renewable energy supply, and renewable energy credits from deep-water offshore wind energy pilot projects or tidal energy demonstration projects. As specified in the new law, the commission may authorize one or more long-term contracts for an aggregate total of no more than 30 megawatts from these projects as long as no more than five megawatts of the total is supplied by tidal energy demonstration projects.

For more information, visit the commission’s Web site at maine.gov/mpuc and click on the link to the RFP. For technical information about the RFP contact Mitch Tannenbaum at 297-1391 or mitchell.tannenbaum@maine.gov. To view relevant documents visit the Virtual Case File (accessible from the commission’s homepage) and refer to docket number 2010-235.

Bigelow Laboratory to break ground

EAST BOOTHBAY — Bigelow Laboratory will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its permanent home on the Maine Coast with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology, the first building on the laboratory’s new 64-acre ocean research and education campus in East Boothbay.

More than two hundred people are expected to attend the event Tuesday, Sept. 7, beginning at 11 a.m.

The laboratory was awarded $4.45 million from the Maine Technology Asset Fund in June 2009 to build the BCBB, catalyzing plans for the new campus, a press release said. The campus is being designed to LEED Gold Standard and the laboratory anticipates occupying the BCBB in November of next year.

Newport boat show announces public forum

NEWPORT, R.I. — The New York Yacht Club will be the host of an America’s Cup 12 Metre Legends Reunion held in Newport, R.I., from Sept. 16 to Sept. 19 during the Newport International Boat Show.

According to an Aug. 31 press release, the only free and open to the public event of the reunion will be held at the boat show on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Entrance will be through Gate 3, starting at 4:30 p.m. to see Bill Ficker, who skippered the 12-meter U.S. 22 Intrepid through its successful defense of the 1970 America’s Cup. Ficker will lead the Legends panel, along with six of the most famous names in the America’s Cup race history.

During this 40th anniversary Newport International Boat Show there will be a series of 12-meter yacht races on Narragansett Bay.

More than 750 exhibitors with more than 600 boats ranging in size from 16 to 85 feet are expected to be on display, including express cruising yachts, racing sailboats, ocean-going trawlers, sport fishing boats, runabouts, kayaks, canoes and inflatables. In addition, show visitors will be able to see engines, sails, equipment, safety products and electronics plus thousands of accessories and marine services, as well as seminars, demonstrations and workshops.

Show hours are Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are available online. For more information on the boat show, call 401-846-1115 or 800-582-7846 or visit the Web site at newportboatshow.com. For information about the Legends Reunion go to nyyc.org/AC12Mreunions.

Maine Open Lighthouse Day set for Sept. 18

AUGUSTA — Twenty-five ocean, river and island lighthouses will be open to the public on Sept. 18 for the second annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day. The event is the largest of its kind in the country.

Most lights will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Light towers and keeper’s houses not normally open to the public will include Doubling Point, Fort Point, Kennebec River Range Lights, Monhegan Island, Owls Head, Portland Breakwater, Squirrel Point and West Quoddy Head.

The day will be coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation. A special public presentation by lighthouse authors and historians Bill Thomson and Jeremy D’Entremont will take place at 10 a.m. at Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth.

Some light stations will have limited accessibility or special restrictions. For details about visitor hours, fees, activities and transportation to each participating lighthouse visit the Web site at lighthouseday.com or contact the friends group of an individual light.

Waterfront issues to air in Portland

PORTLAND — Those interested on waterfront development issues will be gathering in Portland at the end of September.

In addition to The Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access Sept. 27 through Sept. 30, two other related gatherings are scheduled.

Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, will address the impact of land use on water resources and Sea Grant Sustainable Coastal Communities Network will hold its annual meeting Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Across the U.S., communities, water-dependent industries and the public face conflicts over access to beaches, shorelines and waterways. Building on the inaugural symposium in Norfolk, Va., in 2007, participants in 2010 will review the economic, social, cultural and environmental values of waterfronts, and the important role of water-dependent uses in sustainable coastal communities.

For more information, visit the Web site at wateraccessus.com.

Sustainable Island Living Conference set for Rockland

ROCKLAND — The Island Institute announced Sept. 1 the third annual Sustainable Island Living conference, Friday, Nov. 5 to Sunday, Nov. 7 in Rockland. This year’s theme is “Island to Island” and the weekend will feature discussions, workshops and presentations for sustaining community through strong schools, leadership, economies and energy resources.

The keynote speaker on Friday night will be Woody Tasch of Slow Money, with other presenters coming from island and coastal communities in the United States and Canada.

This year’s conference will also include an evening of local music and daylong community tours.

Registration opens Oct. 1. For more information, visit the Web site at islandinstitute.org.

Coast Guard challenges tribal sovereignty

NANTUCKET, Mass. — An Aug. 26 news story by Gloucester Times staff writer Richard Gaines reported that the U.S. Coast Guard “intercepted and charged a commercial boat with illegally fishing for scallops in federal waters using only a permit written by the Maine-based Passamaquoddy Tribe.”

According to the article, the joint operation with the state of Massachusetts could spark a legal battle regarding tribal and federal jurisdictions over fishing rights in the aftermath of the initiation in May of a catch share system in which each federal permit holder is granted the right to catch a specified volume of each species.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has rejected the tribe’s initial claim of inherent fishing rights to federal waters.

The Gloucester Times article said NOAA was “in discussions” with the tribe “to better understand” the basis of the claims.

To read the entire story, visit the Web site at gloucestertimes.com and type “passamaquoddy” in the search bar.

Gulf of Maine Research Institute studies Atlantic salmon

PORTLAND — The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is partnering with the University of Maine for a research project to shed light on why the number of Atlantic salmon returning to Maine has been low, despite intensive stocking and conservation efforts.

Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon have been on the endangered species list for nearly 10 years, and the population has not shown signs of recovery, a press release said.

Led by GMRI Pelagic Ecologist Jason Stockwell, and GMRI Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences Andrew Pershing, the team is working to understand outside influences that might affect the growth and survival of Atlantic salmon in the ocean.

The GMRI/UMaine team will create a computer modeling environment that simulates the factors that may affect the growth and survival of Atlantic salmon, including ocean temperature, salinity, coastal currents, predators, predatory buffers, and availability of food. Results will help to determine which factors may be limiting population recovery as Atlantic salmon navigate through variable and changing biological and physical environments.

This research is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region.

Coast Guard decommissions 35-year old Long Range Navigation Station Caribou

CARIBOU — The Coast Guard held a decommissioning ceremony for its Long Range Aids to Navigation Station in Caribou on Sept. 1.

The LORAN-C station was commissioned in November 1974, and competed 35 years of service.

The station transmitted the American northeast 9960 and Canadian East Coast 5930 navigation and timing signals. It had a crew of four active duty Coast Guard members.

Termination of the LORAN-C program was supported through the enactment of the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security appropriations bill. Transmission of the American signal ended on Feb. 8 and the Canadian signal was terminated on Aug. 3.

LORAN Station Caribou had the distinction of being the last station to transmit an American LORAN signal, thus ending the 67-year LORAN-C program.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.