- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SACO, Maine (AP) - The University of New England has transformed a recently donated island off the coast of Saco into a “living laboratory” to allow students the opportunity to examine marine life and the effects of climate change.

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1QRi77j ) Ram Island had been previously used as a vacation destination for private owners before it was donated to the school by Portland real estate developer Art Girard.

UNE Marine Sciences Department Chairman Barry Costa-Pierce says the one-acre island and its waters are home to songbirds, harbor seals and dogfish sharks in addition to various intertidal flora and fauna.

Girard’s family purchased the island in 1999 for $140,000. Ownership of the land was transferred to the Biddeford university in December 2014.

Girard called the gift “a match made in heaven.”


Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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