BDN reports on Kelley’s shell midden research

The Bangor Daily News reported on the prehistoric shell middens, or refuse heaps, along the Maine coast that are threatened by rising sea levels, beach erosion and development. The middens include clam shells, fish bones and other artifacts left behind by people who lived along the coast thousands of years ago. “The paleo information is priceless,” says Alice Kelley, an associate research professor at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute. “The bones and the things that are there are basically our only record of what was living in the western Gulf of Maine from 4,000 years ago to the present.” Citizen scientists can help preserve the archaeological record contained in middens, says Kelley. To encourage that, she’ll help establish a protocol for “midden minders” and a website for photos and data. Until then, she encourages interested citizen scientists to contact her at