It all started when Stewart Hardison was looking into creating wind power. Everything he looked at seemed to lead back to Maine. When looking at concept drawings for wind turbines held in place using large mooring blocks, an idea came to him, reports Village Soup.
“It popped into my mind that all that massive structure could be used as habitat,” he said. Hardison wrote to Ian Bricknell, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute at University of Maine, and was eventually led to Bayer and Lobster Institute Assistant Director Cathy Billings.
In time, he developed the design of a large concrete block with channels molded into it, the Habitat Mooring System 4000.
Each fiberglass filament reinforced block weighs 4,025 pounds, carries a 15-pound hitch bar, and can secure a boat of up to 40 feet in length or more, depending on the harbor bottom and other conditions.
He said one habitat mooring, already in place in Seal Harbor on Mount Desert Island, is being monitored by University of Maine at Orono graduate student Chris Roy. Divers have made video recordings of the life that is colonizing the mooring.
Another mooring will be used as a larval lobster nursery, said Bayer.
Photo by lsgcp