Great Duck Island
Great Duck Island, located approximately an hour and a half by boat to the south of the COA campus, is a 220 acre island that the College shares with the Nature Conservancy, the State of Maine, and a private summer resident. The College itself owns approximately 12 acres, consisting of the original light-station property, which includes the old Head Keeper's House, two boathouses, and the actual lighthouse, which was constructed at the end of the 19th century. In the Summer of 2000 the station was renamed the Alice Eno Field Research Station in honor of a longstanding trustee, who has dedicated enormous amounts of her time in facilitating research on the Maine coast. Cooperative agreements with TNC and the State of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife give COA students access to the bulk of Great Duck for sponsored research projects.
Through funding from the College of the Atlantic Green Technology Initiative and the Luce Foundation, Eno Station is becoming a demonstration project in sustainable energy. The island tractor and boathouse hauling gear run off BioDiesel, and electricity at the station itself is generated by a solar array. In periods of intense fog we also run a BioDiesel powered generator to supplement the solar panels.
Great Duck supports some of the largest known breeding populations of Leach's Storm Petrels and Black Guillemots in the Lower 48. These, along with resident Herring and Black-Backed Gulls, are subjects of on-going research by teams of students from the College's Island Research Center under the supervision of faculty member John Anderson. Of major concern is the island's large population of Varying Hare, a species that was introduced in the mid-20th century, and has had an enormous impact on the island's flora.
The island is closed to the public from April through October in order to protect breeding populations of seabirds and raptors.
Ultimately all research results will be coordinated through an island-wide G.I.S. System.