Frenchman Bay Research Boating

Our Schoodic Ferry service delivers affordable passenger/bicycle public transit while supporting baseline data collection for oceanographic assessments of Frenchman Bay between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor. We partner with local and international scientists to conduct long-term marine mammal, pelagic bird, bait fish, plankton, and oceanographic surveys, helping the Frenchman Bay community develop an ecosystem level understanding of the Bay and its inhabitants. Climb aboard for one of our unique passenger participation experiences!

Check out some amazing research being done right on aboard our Schoodic Ferry – Counting Porpoises by sight and Echo Location.

Redefining the Ferry Experience

The Schoodic Ferry purposefully combines baseline environmental monitoring research directly into our passenger service – resulting in unique opportunities to observe, participate in, and interact with working scientists. We are excited to host a new series of researchers in 2018.

Kate Pielmeier is research assistant with Allied Whale. Kate will be aboard June – September conducting visual marine mammal surveys, and combining this season’s survey results with fixed marine mammal acoustic monitoring in Frenchman Bay.

College of the Atlantic undergraduate researcher Analise Wittenberg will be aboard June – August, helping the Schoodic Ferry’s captain, Dr. Kaitlyn Mullen, collect basic oceanographic data, and conducting plankton surveys. Analise has experience surveying for microplastics using plankton survey techniques, and will be experimenting with this process aboard the Schoodic Ferry.

Finally, keep an eye open in August and September for guest appearances from some of our returning scientists, including international Marine Mammal Observer Clare Echlin and oceanographer Sarah Markwood.

Thanks to generous support from the Schoodic Community Fund and the Unity Foundation, several of our surveys now include an opportunity for passengers to participate. Check out our science survey page for more information and specific survey times.

woman tying the schoodic ferry to a dock
Take a Ride on the Schoodic Ferry
Help us keep the Schoodic Ferry afloat!

How Your Donation Helps

In 2018, our innovative Schoodic Ferry service transported 7.432 one-way passengers and 1,611 one-way bicycles, provided boat rides for over 150 Maine public school students and over 90 additional middle school, high school and adult students, provided rides to work for 3 weekly commuters, continued daily marine mammal and pelagic bird monitoring surveys, and began physical oceanographic, zooplankton and microplastics surveys – all of which would not have been possible without your support!

Donations literally help keep our research and ferry services afloat! Please consider assisting our efforts to expand our research and marine science educational offerings by helping us turn the Katie Grace into a working, floating classroom so that every child who visits Frenchman Bay can get his or her hands wet while learning about the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

Providing affordable, sustainable public marine transportation to the Frenchman Bay community while simultaneously conducting marine monitoring studies.


You can reach us by mail at:

28 Knox Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

We’ll see you in 2020!