Paper No. 42-4
Presentation Time: 9:10 AM
WORKING TOGETHER TO PRESERVE MAINE'S COASTAL INDIGENOUS CULTURAL HERITAGE
Virtually all of Maine’s 2000 shell middens, also known as shell heaps or mounds, are eroding in the face of climate change-induced coastal processes. Sea level rise, combined with more frequent and intense storms and increasing freeze-thaw events are resulting in potentially accelerated cultural heritage loss. The Maine Midden Minders program seeks to inform local communities and tribes through outreach (videos, live presentations, field trips, and a website: www.umaine.edu/middenminders/). Additionally, the program promotes participation by tribal citizens, conservation/land trust groups, historical societies, state agencies, students, individuals and landowners to assist in monitoring shell heap conditions. This effort includes documenting seasonal and storm-related erosion through photography and annual mapping, as well as recording images of eroded artifacts. Information is included in a database available to researchers, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, local governments and NGO’s for planning purposes.