National Coastweek is an opportunity to celebrate coastal resources. Every autumn events are held around the country to celebrate the vibrancy of the nation’s coastal communities and beauty of coastal resources.

Coastweek began in 1982 when Barbara Fegan, a volunteer dedicated to coastal awareness, used her first Social Security check to create an educational program with a few events in Massachusetts. Over the years the Coastweek celebrations have spread to states and territories with Atlantic, Pacific, Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico shorelines, with some state observances spanning up to four weeks.

This year the Friends of the Weskeag will offer two programs.

“Boulders to Bewilder: A New Look at Old Landmarks” is the title of an above-ground archaeology walk and talk scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24, 2 to 3 p.m. in South Thomaston behind the post office (8 Elm St., next to the Keag store). Charles Jacobs, the author of historical books and a retired museum curator-site director, will highlight the rockbound vestiges of the old Wessaweskeag settlement, the granitic traces of wharves, mooring rocks, mills and other pioneer features. Those wishing to accompany Jacobs on a shoreline reconnoiter, following his archaeological overview, should wear appropriate hiking apparel; some potentially-slippery slopes and swales will be negotiated. In the event of inclement weather, participants are asked to come prepared with raingear. Admission is free, and registration is not required. For more information 594-2637 or 691-2120.

On Thursday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m., at the Wessaweskeag Historical Society, South Thomaston, Theresa Torrent-Ellis, senior planner for the Maine Coastal Program Maine State Planning Office, will describe activities of the Maine Coastal Program as part of a national education program for the marine environment. Torrent-Ellis is well-known in the Midcoast as head of Midcoast and Penobscot Bay Stewards. Her areas of focus are coastal education, communication and stewardship, which includes the coordination of Coastweek during which thousands of volunteers around Maine remove marine debris from coastal lands and waters (see ) She also sits on the New England Ocean Science Education Collaboration Governing Council and the Working Group of the Gulf of Maine Council as the US Co-Chair for Communication and Outreach as well as the Sustainable Industries and Communities Committee. The ocean is the defining feature of the planet. Ocean literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on one’s self and one’s influence on the ocean. There are seven principles of Ocean Literacy – ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean.

For more information:

As a Friend of the Weskeag people are encouraged to do their own coastal cleanup of a favorite beach or shore. Whether participating in the annual national effort or make this a year-round undertaking on their own, the contribution to marine debris reduction and removal is important for marine wildlife and habitat.