PORTLAND, ME (NEWS CENTER) -- Algae blooms along the coast of Maine are something new, but not something appreciated by the Friends of Casco Bay. Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca was particularly concerned about a new bloom which appeared in early December off Chebeague Island.

The bloom has closed shellfish harvesting in much of the bay.

December blooms are exceedingly rare, but may be a harbinger of things to come.

"A lot of what is going on is related to climate change," said the Baykeeper who is a lawyer by training. Her work with the Friends of Casco Bay will focus on trying to prevent or slow down global warming as well as lessening local impacts on the bay.

Research assistant Mike Doan pulls a lobster trap near Cousins Island. Inside is scientific equipment which monitors the water 24-7. The equipment gathers data such as oxygen temperature, salinity, acidity and many other factors. It gives the group a baseline of information in its fight against pollution in the bay.

It is seeking awareness in its efforts and invites families who live all over Maine to tale part in the fight by changing habits.

Among these are using less fertilizer on lawns, properly taking care of dog waste and not letting cars idle.

A list of what you can do to Help Protect the Bay is available by clicking the link.