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News Feature

Originally published in Compass, September 4, 2014
WERU to host fall BoatTalk cruise on America’s East Coast Fiord

WERU’s fall BoatTalk Cruise on Somes Sound—departing from the Northeast Harbor Town Dock aboard Diver Ed’s Starfish Enterprise on Sunday, September 14, at 1:30 p.m.—has been dubbed the “BoatTalk Save our Sound Cruise,” according to a news release.

Often referred to as “America’s only East Coast Fiord,” Somes Sound was declassified from fiord to fiard by the Maine Geological Survey in November 1998. Historically called a fiord, Somes Sound seemed doomed to go the way of the former planet Pluto until the BoatTalk Guys from WERU-FM Community Radio decided to attempt to rescue the situation.

WERU’s Alan Sprague says, “The geologists say that Somes Sound does not have any anoxic sediment, which is a criteria for a true fiord. Anoxic sediments contain little to no oxygen and are found in what most people call dead zones.

“So we’re going to fix that. On September 14th, we’re going to drop overboard a granite plaque inscribed with ‘Long live the Grateful Dead,’ thereby creating a ‘dead zone’ on the bottom of Somes Sound.”

The plaque to be placed at the bottom of Somes Sound will have the names of “Bottom Liners” etched into it. Bottom liners are individuals or organizations that, for a donation, will have their name engraved on the stone and receive a certificate verifying their participation in creating the dead zone and preserving history, along with Somes Sound’s respect. Spectator seating will be available for a fee to witness the dropping of the plaque.

All people on board have a boat ride up beautiful Somes Sound, and also will be witnesses to the tossing of the plaque into fiord preservation history. WERU and other media will be on board to record the event, as will an official representative of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society to document the historical occasion.

The Starfish Enterprise is handicapped accessible, but those using wheelchairs should contact WERU in advance. Bottom Liners can sign-up to have their name on the plaque, and cruise tickets are available by calling WERU during regular business hours at 469-6600 or emailing The cruise is a benefit for WERU Community Radio and the Mount Desert Island Historical Society. Diver Ed has donated his boat for this event, and Freshwater Stone of Orland has donated the plaque and engraving. For more information, visit