Category: education and research
Goals: To advance knowledge about the impacts of environmental pollution on marine mammals and humans through multidisciplinary research; to provide solutions for the problems of ocean pollution and unsustainable development of ocean resources; to promote public understanding and conservation of the marine environment through education programs, research and leadership training, and public policy advice; to disseminate information about public health risks associated with exposure to marine pollutants through consumption of contaminated seafood and other routes; and to protect coastal and marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine for future generations.
Research programs include a multidisciplinary investigation of levels and effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals on immune and endocrine function in Atlantic coast harbor and gray seals; a study of summer feeding habits of harbor seals in mid-coast Maine; a comparative study of immune and endocrine-disrupting effects of POPs in harbor seals from different marine regions in the northern hemisphere; and an ecosystem toxics monitoring program in greater Blue Hill Bay, Maine. MERI also sponsors scientific conferences and meetings, and offers ecological and wildlife cruises in mid-coast Maine, aquarium-based educational programs for children, and internships for college students in both research and education. For more information on programs, visit www.meriresearch.org.
The MERI Center for Marine Studies offers a marine environmental research library, two marine research laboratories, an oceanarium, sea lending library and children’s educational program area, and a public forum and lecture space in the main gallery. Publications include the Atlantic Coast Contaminants Workshop (ACCW) 2000 Report: “Endocrine Disruptors in the Marine Environment: Impacts on Marine Wildlife and Human Health” (192 pp), the ACCW 2000 Consensus Statement of 22 Experts in Wildlife and Human Health (2001 publication), numerous research publications, Coastal Awareness Forum Reports, and educational resource materials.
Resources: see above