July 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
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News Items
As Maine food insecurity grows, one Brunswick farmers’ market is stepping up
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 31, 2019 

The Brunswick Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm is trying to alleviate some of the burden on families struggling to provide fresh, nutrient dense food with Harvest Bucks, a Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets’ SNAP incentive program that doubles the value of food stamp dollars spent on local healthy foods. The federal food stamp program is officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
Last year’s record for Acadia visits brought big money into Maine, report says
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 31, 2019 

The record number of visits at Acadia National Park in 2018 directly contributed more than $387 million and overall generated more than $520 million to the state economy, according to a National Park Service report. Acadia had 3.53 million visits in 2018, the highest number ever estimated for the park in its 102-year history. When factoring in the estimated 5,600 jobs supported by those visits tourism at Acadia last year contributed $520 million to the state economy. Nationwide, visitors to national parks last year directly spent $20.2 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park, supporting 329,000 jobs. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
Column: Like paragliding without the immediate threat of death, a Bird-a-Thon can be thrilling
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 31, 2019 

Americans can make a competition out of anything. Birding is a gentle pursuit, but a Bird-a-Thon is extreme birding. It’s like bungee-jumping or paragliding, but without the immediate threat of death. Mostly. The team charges from place to place, identifying birds by sight and sound, sampling as many different habitats as possible. Vigilance through the car window is mandatory. Napping is forbidden. My annual Bird-a-Thon took place May 23. After 20 hours of nonstop birding, we ended up with 130 species…two short of our record. ~ Bob Duchesne
They wanted a first-class mountain bike trail network in Hancock County, so they’re building it themselves
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 31, 2019 

A half-dozen volunteers were hacking about 4 miles worth of mountain-biking trail into the side of Great Pond Mountain on Wednesday. As members of the Penobscot region chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association, they want to build the first extensive mountain-biking trail system in Hancock County. Doing so would make the county a destination for bikers around New England, said Craig MacDonald, the chapter’s president.
Letter: A brighter energy future
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 31, 2019 

Should Maine control it’s own future? Rep. Seth Berry’s proposal for a Maine consumer-owned utility run by Mainers and benefiting Maine — not Spain — seems to have Central Maine Power breaking out in a sweat. Their mantra seems to be that there is no guarantee it will work. But history shows that private foreign companies owning Maine’s power future absolutely does not work. History with CMP, Avangrid and Iberdrola and informs us that continued reliance upon their private run grid will bring more of the same havoc. Let’s do the hard work of creating a consumer owned utility and look towards a brighter future. ~ Darien Sawyer, Jackman
Letter: Regulate food packaging chemicals
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 31, 2019 

FDA has been slow to protect public health even in the presence of overwhelming evidence. It allows most packaging chemicals to be used without limits in food; quantity and quality of safety data are poor and the most consequential legal requirement for safety assessment — the evaluation of cumulative health effects of similar chemicals (like various phthalates or multiple PFAS) in the diet — has been ignored. In addition, the FDA is not using modern scientific principles when it reviews packaging chemicals and it doesn’t reassess whether chemicals approved decades ago are still safe. I am encouraged by the approach laid out in LD 1433, the Safe Food Packaging Act, and I urge Maine lawmakers to set a leading example for the nation by passing this protective legislation. ~ Maricel V. Maffini, PhD, Frederick, Maryland
Letter: CMP project rife with big questions
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 31, 2019 

Nothing about the Central Maine Power project has been anything but mysterious and rife with questions, false statements, and subterfuge. Maybe it’s time to back up and start over. ~ Richard Ashton, Farmington
Jay selectpersons vote to hold town meeting on controversial CMP transmission line
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

The Jay Select Board has scheduled a special town meeting for June 24 so residents can vote on Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile transmission line, which would run from the Canadian border through Western Maine to deliver hydroelectric power to Massachusetts.
Legislature debates Advisory Council nominees and law changes
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

On Wednesday the legislature’s IFW Committee held confirmation hearings for 6 people nominated for positions on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council: Jerry Scribner of Belgrade, Lindsay Ware of Ellsworth, Robert Duchesne of Old Town, Albro Cowperthwaite Jr of Linneus, Kristin Peet of Winterport, and Shelby Rouseau of Phillips. All were unanimously endorsed by the IFW committee, and will now move on to the Senate for confirmation. Following the confirmation hearings, the committee heard a bill making quite a few changes to fish and wildlife laws. Here’s the list.
The coast of Maine could get another fish farm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

A Dutch company that produces yellowtail in Europe wants to start a land-based fish farm on the coast of Maine, according to a seafood industry trade publication. If Kingfish Zeeland’s project moves forward, it would be the third such company in two years to announce plans to open in Maine, joining Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast and Whole Oceans in Bucksport.
Air quality monitoring to begin in South Portland
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

The city of South Portland and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will roll out short-term air quality monitoring tests to assess the condition of the air in South Portland beginning next month, city officials said Thursday. State environmental officials pledged in April to help the city develop an air quality monitoring program to address community concerns raised by a federal lawsuit that accused Global Partners LP of violating the Clean Air Act at its petroleum storage facility on the Fore River.
Maine House approves bill to ban single-use plastic shopping bags
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

The Maine House gave initial approval Thursday to a bill that would ban single-use plastic shopping bags statewide. The legislation, which gained bipartisan support in a 91-52 vote, will next head to the Senate for additional votes. The bill requires most large retailers, including grocers, to replace single-use plastic bags with paper and charge at least 5 cents for each bag. Retailers also would have the option of using plastic bags that are at least 4 mils thick, which are considered reusable.
Maine’s Atlantic salmon prognosis remains grim despite all-time low harvest and more adult returns to North American rivers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

The Atlantic salmon in Maine is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Fishing for Atlantic salmon here is not allowed, and the population that does exist is almost entirely dependent on the annual stocking of hundreds of thousands of hatchery fish. In 2018, the Penobscot had 480 large salmon and 289 small salmon return. That run of 769 fish was lower than 2017’s 849 returning salmon. And despite those numbers, the Penobscot is still the crown jewel among U.S. salmon rivers.
Catch of Atlantic salmon hits all-time low, group says
Associated Press - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

A group that advocates for the conservation of Atlantic salmon says the North American catch has hit an all-time low, and signs are mixed about the salmon population’s health. The Atlantic Salmon Federation says the 2018 catch was a little less than 200,000 pounds. That’s the lowest figure since record keeping began in 1972. The fish live in Maine and Canadian rivers and are caught in Canada.
These are the outdoor behaviors BDN readers say annoy them the most
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

Last week, we asked BDN readers to share their own pet peeves, and to tell us what annoys them most when they’re out in the woods, or on the water, or on the trail. Perhaps the most common response: “Litter is the biggest irritant.” While browsing through this gripe pile, ask yourself: “Is this me? Do I do this?”
Maine rolls out new ‘hub’ for browntail moth information
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Forest Service and 211 Maine announced Thursday that people with questions can contact 211 Maine to speak to a specialist about browntail moth biology, management, pesticide options, health concerns, reducing toxic hair exposure, and potential public policy and economic impacts. 211 Maine will serve as the “hub” for all state agencies involved in browntail moth issues. This could be the worst year yet for the invasive species, exposing greater numbers of people to the poison ivy-like rash and respiratory problems caused by contact with the caterpillars’ hair. Maine and Massachusetts are the only states known to have browntail moths.
Biologists propose 16,600 fewer any-deer permits for 2019 season
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

A year after the state issued the most any-deer permits in its history, wildlife biologists have scaled back the proposal for this year’s permit allocation by 19.6 percent, to 68,145. The state’s deer biologist said while the number is a decrease year-over-year, the total is still the second highest for any-deer permits in the past 15 years. Most of the permit reductions will take place in northern Maine, where a severe winter likely killed more deer.
Opinion: Working together to fight climate change, Mainers can make a difference
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

While we fiddle, individually and as the human race, Earth continues to heat up. It is essential to see climate disruption as a problem with dire consequences for humans and millions of other living things. Nobody is immune. Trust in your teammates on planet Earth. Let’s all rise to the occasion, including legislators considering climate and renewable-energy legislation. Take positive action now, wherever you are. ~ Steve Weems, Solar Energy Association of Maine
Letter: Right kind of waterfront zoning can help Portland
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 30, 2019 

In a recent letter, Craig A. Pendleton argued that waterfront zoning protecting fishermen would cut off development – the economic engine of the city. I disagree. The economic engine of the city has never been tied to just fishermen. It’s tied to schools, public services, a variety of housing types and neighborhoods, honest government and a wide array of development activities. Ninety-seven percent of the city’s land area is open to the types of development that have facilitated 40 years of growth. The portion of the city with immediate water access (land and pier areas) constitutes less than 3 percent of the city’s land. On this narrow base of land-pier area, we must allow water-dependent uses to have precedence and the zoning protections they need to survive. ~ Orlando E. Delogu, Portland
South Portland students release trout, gain environmental insight
Forecaster - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

Mahoney Middle School students gathered Wednesday at on the banks of Trout Brook, eager to release the fish they’ve been raising for the past four months. The baby brook trout, provided to Maine schools by the Portland Water District’s TroutKids Program, are used to enhance science curriculum in classrooms and provide a hands-on, alternative learning experience to students. The almost 20-year-old program serves more than 700 students in the state. Throughout the month of May, several participating schools have released their fish into habitats suitable for trout survival.
Hike: Shackford Head State Park in Eastport
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

Located near downtown Eastport, the easternmost city in the United States, Shackford Head State Park is located on a rocky, forested headland that juts out into Cobscook Bay. The coastal property was conserved in the late 1980s and totals about 90 acres. Today, it can be explored on 2.5 miles of hiking trails that are open to the public year round.
Mills, tribes take step toward ending years-long dispute over sustenance fishing
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

The Mills administration and leaders of Maine’s Native American tribes are hoping to set aside long-standing legal disputes over sustenance fishing rights by proposing more protective water quality standards in waterways important to tribal members. A bill presented to lawmakers Wednesday would create a “sustenance fishing” designation within Maine’s water quality standards with the long-term aim of reducing pollution levels so tribal members could safely subsist on fish from those waterways. Equally significant, the agreement is further evidence of improving relations between tribal leaders, state regulators and Gov. Janet Mills.
Yarmouth seeks input on trail planned off Sligo Road
Forecaster - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

Community Services is seeking public input on the best use of what’s known as the “sandpit parcel” in the new Village Run subdivision off Sligo Road. Karyn MacNeill, the community services director, said the goal is not to make this parcel “into a typical park or recreational site,” but to make sure the public land is being used in a way that will ensure its long-term sustainability. The town’s goal is to create a walking trail through the neighborhood that will provide internal recreation and leisure opportunities, and provide connectivity to West Main Street. A public meeting on the proposed trail project will be held at 6 p.m., June 6, at Town Hall.
Residents in 4 communities will soon find out whether they’re recycling right or ‘wish-cycling’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

Four Portland-area communities have hired summer interns to do curbside inspections and educate residents about “wish-cycling,” the costly habit of leaving nonrecyclable items such as plastic bags in the recycling bin. Falmouth, Scarborough, South Portland and Windham are teaming up to teach residents what to put in their bins – and, just as importantly, what to leave out. A group of about 10 interns will start patrolling those communities the week of June 17, sticking colored tags on bins to grade residents’ sorting performance.
Opinion: Proposal to revive offshore wind project does not pass the smell test
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 

The Legislature should do its job and, instead of directing the PUC to go to contract, it should compel Maine Aqua Ventus to respond to the issues that the PUC would like addressed in order to determine whether an agreement should be made or not. Once the PUC has made its decision, the Legislature can then determine the best way to move forward. ~ Andrew Fenian, Chamberlain; Travis Dow, Mohegan; and Wendy Carr, St. George
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