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by Shannon O’Brien and Hannah Webber

Join Schoodic Institute scientists in the intertidal zone to collect data about rockweed while exploring the beauty of the rocky coast between the tides.

Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum, or “Asco”) is the dominant species in most of the rocky intertidal zone of Maine and provides habitat for other species living in and visiting this dynamic ecosystem. Rockweed is currently harvested in Maine and sustainable management requires knowledge of the total amount of rockweed throughout the state. The goal of Project ASCO (Assessing Seaweed via Community Observations) is to get interested participants out into the intertidal zone to help answer the question, ”How much rockweed is there?”

Data collected by Project ASCO participants will be analyzed and shared by scientists at Schoodic Institute to inform resource management. Along with rockweed, this project allows for learning more about other seaweeds, periwinkles, mussels, crabs, birds, and the occasional seal or whale.

We launched the project with a live webinar, August 19 at 4:00 pm, to introduce the project and methods. In-person training sessions are being planned for late summer. The in-person training sessions will be spent outdoors and in the field, collecting data. No prior knowledge is required; participants will be given the supplies and training needed to safely enter the intertidal zone and collect data about the “Asco.” Precautions will be taken to ensure a safe environment.

  • Webinar Thursday August 19, 2021 at 4 p.m. via Zoom


  • In-Person Training

September 28, 2021, Seal Cove Picnic Area, Mount Desert Island

October 2, 2021, Reid State Park, Georgetown

October 3, 2021, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport


For more information, see:

Rockweed Fact Sheet – Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program

Marine Ecology Latest Projects

Unraveling The Mysteries Of Rockweed On Acadia National Park’s Rocky Coastline