BDN reports on Darling Marine Center renovations

The Bangor Daily News reported the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole is in the planning phase of a $3 million upgrade, which will include rebuilding the boat ramp, renovating the center’s flowing seawater laboratory, and upgrading the pump system that provides water from the tidal river to the lab. DMC officials hope to complete all portions of the project by early 2020, according to the article. Recently, the center has been providing technical assistance and information to startups hoping to establish viable scallop and baby eel aquaculture companies, the article states. The startup entities, through the center’s Aquaculture Business Incubator, use the center’s flowing seawater lab to try to develop growing techniques that, if they initially seem viable, can then be tested elsewhere at a greater scale, according to Heather Leslie, DMC director. The renovation will remove all exposed steel, expand upon the availability of seawater piping in the lab, and produce more options to control variables for incoming seawater, such as temperature, acidity levels and filtration, the BDN reported. “This is the bread and butter of the operation,” Leslie said, adding that the seawater lab is key to the center’s collaborative marine research with communities and private companies. “This place is open 365 days a week. The seawater never stops flowing.” The Lincoln County News also published the BDN article.