UMaine geologist to discuss fate of Mississippi Delta

Joseph T. Kelley, a marine geologist and sedimentologist who focuses on shoreline issues, gives a talk titled The Destruction and Proposed Reconstruction of the Mississippi River Delta at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in Room 204 of Carnegie Science Hall, 44 Campus Ave.

The lecture is open to the public at no cost.

Kelley’s talk is timely in view of the devastating effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Mississippi delta and the Gulf shoreline. A professor in the department of geological sciences and in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, he edited the book Living with the Louisiana Shore (1984), part of the Duke University Press Living with the Shore series. The talk, sponsored by the Bates geology department, is open to the public at no cost.

A Maine native, Kelley is known as an effective advocate of shoreline protection, described as “Maine’s coastal conscience” by the Maine Audubon Society. He was the lead author of another in the Living with the Shore series, 1989’s influential Living with the Coast of Maine. A 2002 profile in UMaine Today, the university magazine, described Kelley as “a guiding force behind the most environmentally protective coastal management regulations in the nation.”

His current projects include the mapping of landslide hazards along the Maine coast, the study of how salt-marsh plants and animals respond to tidal changes caused by inlet dredging and the profiling of Maine’s sandy developed beaches, an effort that involves homeowner-volunteers in the research.

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