Climate Change and the Ecology of the Gulf of Maine:
History, Biodiversity, Fisheries and the Pollution Cocktail

The focus of this publication is the impact of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental chemicals on the biodiversity and ecology of the Gulf of Maine. We use the term “pollution cocktail” to describe the effluents of the rapidly growing global military-industrial consumer society, the legacy of the age of plastics, and its progeny, the information technology revolution.

The Gulf of Maine is one of the biosphere’s most productive marine environments; its maritime communities produce vast quantities of seafood consumed throughout the world. Tens of thousands of citizens earn a living from its fisheries and associated industries, including tourism. The lobster and shellfish produced in the Gulf of Maine, including the Bay of Fundy, Georges Banks, Ipswich Bay, and Cape Cod Bay attract millions of visitors to its shoreline restaurants and yachting centers, picturesque fishing villages, and  Acadia National Park. This publication explores the impact of our changing climate on the ecology and biodiversity of the Gulf of Maine. The marine environment of the Gulf of Maine now includes the growing presence of ecotoxins such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pharmaceuticals, plastic nanoparticles, and endocrine disrupting chemicals of every kind.

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