Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s third presentation of its 27th annual Winter Speaker Series, “The Geologic History of Merrymeeting Bay,” will feature Dr. Joe Kelley, marine geologist.

This event is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. Winter Speaker Series presentations are held via Zoom and are accessible at the top of

Dr. Joe Kelley Submitted photo

While Merrymeeting Bay is considered an estuary by oceanographers because technically it does have a very small presence of salt, biologists generally consider it tidal riverine because it is primarily freshwater and tidal. Geologists on the other hand consider the bay, at the junction of six rivers, an inland delta, and one that overlays the Norumbega fault line, according to a news release from Ed Friedman with the Friends, based in Richmond.

The Maine coast, including the bay, is geologically defined by its bedrock framework, glacial overprint and modern wave and tidal processes. Central to the latter is the contemporary rise of sea level. This talk will show how all three elements of the coast have come to bring what is so evidenced and appreciated by the shoreline today in Merrymeeting Bay.

Kelley is a Maine native who was born in Portland and attended Cheverus High School. His first professional position was as an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans. He returned to Maine in 1982 as the state marine geologist with the Maine Geological Survey. In 1999, he joined the University of Maine as a Professor of Marine Geology, where he worked for the next 20 years.

FOMB hosts its Winter Speaker Series from October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. The FOMB Jan. 10 presentation, “Archaeology from Swamps & Caves,” features field archaeologist Becca Peixotto. This event takes place at 7 p.m. with the Zoom registration link available on the Friends’s website about a week prior to the presentation.

Speaker Series presentations are free and open to the public. For more information, contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


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