Free admission at Penobscot Marine Museum

SEARSPORT — Penobscot Marine Museum will participate in Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, a nationwide program of free museum admission, Saturday, Sept. 24. In order to receive free admission, it is necessary to download a ticket from the Smithsonian Magazine website at smithsonianmag.com.

More than 1,500 museums will participate in the one-day event, including museums of history, art, culture, technology and science, historic houses, botanical gardens, zoos, and children’s museums. Visitor participation is limited to one museum ticket for two people per email address.

Penobscot Marine Museum is at 40 East Main St. in Searsport. More information can be found at the website at penobscotmarinemuseum.org or by calling 548-2529.

Turtles stay off endangered list

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Marine Fisheries Service announced it will not accept a proposed rule to upgrade the classification of loggerhead sea turtles from threatened to endangered.

The decision is being called “a victory for the commercial fishing industry, and particularly for fishermen in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico who target sea scallops and shrimp,” according to the advocacy group Saving Seafood.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., led the congressional effort to demonstrate to the agency that the proposed listing was unwarranted because the federal government’s own science suggests that the population of loggerhead turtles in waters off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States is in the millions to tens of millions.

In addition, Jones and former Texas Congressman Solomon Ortiz asked the agency to perform aerial surveys to determine the abundance of turtles actually in the water, and to use that information to supplement existing data on the number of turtle nests found on ocean beaches. That data was helpful in making the case that loggerhead turtles are not endangered.

BIW to receive destroyer contract

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maine Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree announced jointly that the Navy and General Dynamics have reached a final contract agreement to build two more DDG-1000 destroyers at Bath Iron Works.

The combined value of the contract is $2 billion, which will secure work for BIW through 2018. The ships are expected to be delivered in fiscal years 2015 and 2018.

Tidal initiative explores possible energy source

ORONO — A team of engineers and marine scientists from the University of Maine and Maine Maritime Academy has formed the Maine Tidal Power Initiative to conduct research that will inform responsible tidal energy development in the state.

In a four-pronged approach, researchers are pursuing questions in engineering — turbine design, modeling and testing. They’re also assessing the energy resource — from determining the amount of in-stream tidal energy to quantifying the impact of energy extraction on tidal flow. The program will look at two major concerns about the impact of tidal energy projects on area residents — both those living in the marine environment and in human communities.

The Maine Tidal Power Initiative will work with developers, communities and device manufacturers “to create an informed framework for tidal energy projects,” a press release said. “That framework is tailored to the local social and ecological conditions of each site, with a focus on sustainability and broad benefits to citizens.”

The goal is to understand the value of the energy resource related to a tidal project and to determine if a site is commercially viable, locally accepted and environmentally suitable prior to making further investment. According to the researchers, sustaining quality of place in coastal Maine will require developing energy extraction in a socially acceptable and environmentally sensitive manner.

For more information, visit the website at umaine.edu/mtpi.

Bigelow Laboratory receives Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation grant

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has received a grant of $100,000 from the Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation. The funds will be used to help support the laboratory’s expanding operations over the next two years.

The Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation supports a range of nonprofit organizations working in the areas of health care and human services, animal welfare, public broadcasting, and the environment.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences an independent nonprofit center for global ocean research, ocean science education, and technology transfer. The laboratory’s research ranges from microbial oceanography to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions.

According to the website 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.”

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