Kelly Quoted in Article Opposing Maine Dredging Plans

More than 100 people were present for the public meeting at Searsport District High school to discuss the plan to deepen and widen the navigation channel at Mack Point marine terminal, reported The Republican Journal. Opponents of the plan fear that dredging will disperse toxic materials that were left over decades of heavy industry around Penobscot Bay. Biologist, like Joseph Kelly — professor of marine biology at the University of Maine — are concerned that disturbing the dredge area and disposal site could release significant amounts of methane gas.

Kelley has worked extensively on mapping the seafloor of the Gulf of Maine,  and said the methane would have come from organic matter that grew in marshes 10,000 to 12,000 years ago when the sea level was lower than it is today. That material would have been covered in mud when sea levels rose and undergone a gradual anaerobic decomposition, creating methane gas in the process.