Alice in Wonderland

August 4, 2009

Alice Anderson cradles a blue lobster on the pier at the Zone C Lobster Hatchery in Stonington, Maine. Blue lobsters are rare and the color is the result of a genetic mutation.

Alice Anderson cradles a blue lobster on the pier at the Zone C Lobster Hatchery in Stonington, Maine. Blue lobsters are rare and the color is the result of a genetic mutation. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

It’s a seven-hour drive one way from Middletown, Rhode Island to Stonington, Maine. I made the trip to visit Alice Anderson. And Maine is one of two states (North Dakota the other) that I hadn’t yet visited.

I’ve known Alice since she was a baby. She’s also a valued member of the Isis Initiative Board of Directors. Since we support women’s education, I think it’s important that we have someone who is actually a college student on our board. Alice offers a young yet wise voice to our meetings and our mission.

Alice will be a sophomore at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, this fall. An aspiring marine ecologist and animator, Alice scored a summer paid internship at the Zone C Lobster Hatchery in Stonington, Maine.

Local fisherman and historical ecologist Ted Ames created the hatchery. In 2005, Ames received a “genuis grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his work studying groundfish populations along the coast. Using the grant money, Ted now runs the hatchery, where they raise larval lobsters to supplement the Penobscot East Bay lobster fishery in order to secure a future for fishing communities.

Yesterday morning, Alice gave me a tour of the lobster hatchery. In the afternoon, we hiked through a lush forest in the Barred Island Preserve to a cove. Alice explored the tidepools and we braved the chilly water–for about five minutes.

While I was here, we each sent out invitations to our Facebook friends, inviting them to become fans of our Isis Initiative page. Alice sent over 200 invitations; I sent 100. Our fan base quadrupled overnight and we received an island-to-isle Internet donation for $200 from a friend and fellow journalist now calling England home.

I arrived here in the fog and I’ll leave later today under sunny skies…probably. The fog ebbs and flows here like the tides.

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