Category Archives: FOSI News

Greetings and Happy New Year,

Here it is…  FOSI’s logo, artfully designed by Robin Tara (Tara Design, Inc.). Soon it will be appearing on letterheads and other interesting places.  

At the close of 2011 FOSI wants to thank all of our members and friends who have helped make this a positive and productive year – individuals; area organizations and community groups; trail maintenance volunteers; local teachers, principal, students and parents; naturalists; and more.  Each and every one has played an important role.
Here are some of FOSI’s milestones in 2011:
•    celebrated the completion of the Natural Resources Inventory with a wonderful power point presentation for the public by Botanist Alison Dibble (Stewards LLC) & Jake Maier (J.M. Forestry);
•    established a partnership with Searsport Elementary School, with a snowshoeing track identification trip and several trail maintenance trips; also partnered with groups from Searsport Shores Campground on cleanups and other activities;•    developed a Strategic Plan and prioritized goals and objectives through 2015, with some already accomplished;      •    got a new website up and running, designed by Bonneville Consulting;    •    drafted a marketing plan to be finalized soon;    •    improved the appearance of the area around the gate;    •    restored another trail, the Green Trail west of the paved road, leading to the west shore;    •    held our first Open House, with a continuous slide show, guitar & vocals by Mark Aubertin, and lots of fabulous food; And, thanks to some innovative members, we now have a nucleus of “Active Volunteers” who are commited to putting their interests and talents to work in ways that best suit their schedules and work loads.  Anyone who has experience that might fit a niche to benefit FOSI, please come forward and let us know.  Do you have artistic skills, clerical aptitudes?  Do you like planning events, taking photos, writing, organizing/leading work groups?  Would you like to put into effect a special interest that we may not even have thought of?Many thanks to our outgoing President Jan Flint and Vice President Bob Ramsdell, for the time and energy they have dedicated to FOSI for several years.  Thanks, too, to Treasurer Jay Economy who will be continuing in that position, and to Secretary McCormack Economy who has agreed to stay on a little longer.  And welcome and best wishes to new President Marietta Ramsdell and Vice President Susan White.Many thanks to Steve Albin for getting this letter out to you and setting up the process for future newsletters.Don’t forget to check the Friends of Sears Island website for meeting announcements.
_____The mission of the Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) is to support permanent protection of Sears Island’s environmental and cultural resources; preserve its marine, shoreland, and forest ecosystems; and encourage educational and low impact recreational uses of the island.




New Documentary comes to Rockland May 4th

The new documentary Ocean Frontiers III comes to Maine in May! Join us on May 4th in Rockland at the Strand Theater for this truly unique and hopeful ocean film that explores the challenges at the heart of ocean conservation and development. The film presents solutions from a range of people who are leading the way to a healthy and sustainable ocean future, and features several Mainers!

May 4 in Rockland – Ocean Frontiers III Film & Panel Discussion

When: Thur. May 4 – Reception 6pm · Film 7pm · Panel/Q&A 8pm

Where: The Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Rockland, ME 04841

Free admission & refreshments

RSVP to save your seat:


  • Melissa Gates – Northeast Regional Manager, Surfrider Foundation
  • Richard Nelson – Commercial Fisherman, Captain F/V Pescadero
  • John Van Dis – Middle School Science Teacher, Edna Drinkwater School
  • Moderator: Nick Battista – Marine Programs Director, Island Institute

Presented by: Island Institute and Green Fire Productions, with Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, Conservation Law Foundation, Friends of Sears Island, Herring Gut Learning Center, Hurricane Island Foundation, Islesboro Islands Trust, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, Maine Island Trail Association, The Nature Conservancy, Penobscot Marine Museum, Sierra Club Maine Surfrider Foundation, and the University of Maine Darling Marine Center.

“Spring Blooms” Wildflower Walk on Sears Island

Starflower blooming on Sears Island

Celebrate the debut of spring on a wildflower walk with Friends of Sears Island and program leader Grace Bartlett, on Friday, May 5th from 10:00am-12:00pm. Like other species, wildflowers go through a cycle of life. We will look for seed pods and other remnants of last year’s flowers, as well as the earliest spring wildflowers such as Canada mayflowers, trillium, and skunk cabbage. We will also explore the unique ways flowers attract pollinators, thus producing the next generation of flowers. Grace Bartlett is a Maine Master Naturalist, who is naturally curious about all things outdoors. She is especially interested in studying and photographing the Lilliputian world of lichens and mosses.

This event is free and open to the public. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the kiosk near the island gate by 10:00am. Please wear footwear appropriate for hiking, clothing suitable for the weather and insects, and bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. Please no pets on guided walks. For more information and updates about cancellations in the event of inclement weather, visit,, or call Ashley at (207) 975-3878.

Winter Ecology Walk on Sears Island

Friends of Sears Island will be hosting a winter ecology walk on Sunday, March 12th from 1:30 pm- 3:30 pm. Enjoy a late winter walk on Sears Island with Maine Master Naturalists Sally Jones and Donne Sinderson, while searching for animal tracks in the snow, signs of spring, and observing the ever changing beauty of the island. Families with children are welcome and encouraged to attend.

This event is free and open to the public. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the kiosk near the island gate by 1:30 pm. Snowshoes and walking sticks are encouraged but not necessary. Please wear footwear and outdoor gear appropriate for winter hiking. Bring binoculars if desired, as well as water and a snack. Please no pets on guided walks. For more information and updates about cancellations in the event of extreme weather, visit or call Ashley at 975-3878.


Successful Sears Island Stewardship Project Nears Completion

Last summer, Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) developed and implemented a comprehensive stewardship plan for the 601-acre Conservation Area on Sears Island, thanks to grants from the Maine Community Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and the Town of Searsport. Aleta McKeage and Cloe Chunn of GreenWays Center and Consulting Group led this ambitious effort, with help from college interns, Belfast High School and Unity College students, and FOSI volunteers, logging over 120 hours in the field.

Field managers surveyed the island for invasive plants and with the help of students and volunteers, removed a significant portion of the established plants, eradicating most purple loosestrife and oriental bittersweet from the area, and also eliminating many single bushes and patches of Japanese barberry. Garden valerian and purple loosestrife were completely removed from the sensitive coastal dune grassland area, which is a rare plant community in Maine. Biological and sensitive features monitoring, mapping, and the developing of resources and tools for “citizen scientists” were also components of this project.

The observations made this summer and other data formed the basis for creating guides to birds, wildlife and plants on the island, which include checklists, printable picture guides and field journals, now accessible on the Friends of Sears Island website. Tools for reporting observations and submitting photos are also available on the website, as well as an Inaturalist project that can be used to submit observations using a Smartphone. As people visit the island and report noteworthy sightings of flora and fauna, FOSI hopes to accumulate a thorough record of changes on the island over time.

This intensive monitoring and management program will continue to provide many opportunities in the coming years for those who care about Sears Island to help protect the island and the plants and animals that reside there.

More Details on Upcoming Dinner Fundraiser at Nautilus

Friends of Sears Island invites you to join us for a fundraising dinner at Nautilus Seafood & Grill in Belfast, Wednesday, February 22nd from 4:00pm-9:00pm. Enjoy a delicious meal, and Nautilus will graciously donate 10% of your tab to Friends of Sears Island to support conservation and education programs. Please note, when you arrive at the restaurant, you must tell your server you are there to support Friends of Sears Island. This is a great opportunity to support a local business and a local nonprofit!

Nautilus Seafood & Grill is located at 3 Main Street in Belfast. A menu and more information about the restaurant can be found at, and reservations can be made by calling 207-218-4218. FMI: contact Ashley at or 207-975-3878.

FOSI Benefit Dinner at Nautilus Seafood & Grill

SAVE THE DATE! We will be having a winter fundraiser at Nautilus Seafood & Grill in Belfast on Wednesday, February 22nd from 4:00-9:00pm. Enjoy a delicious meal, and 10% of your tab will be donated to FOSI to support conservation and education programs on Sears Island. We hope to see you there!

*Please note, when you arrive at the restaurant, you must tell your sever you are there to support FOSI.