September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
Column: Leaping ganoids on the Kennebec
Times Record - Friday, August 31, 2018 

When the Edwards Dam in Augusta was removed in 1999, the Kennebec became a free flowing river from Winslow to head of tide in Augusta. Now a fast flowing section of river, it is largely undeveloped with an abundance of wildlife. Recently, a retired friend and I decided to revisit the paddle we had completed shortly after the dam was removed. Sturgeon encounters were the undisputed highlight of the trip. ~ Ron Chase
Discover Hope Woods in heart of Kennebunk
Other - Friday, August 31, 2018 

In the heart of Kennebunk, there is a hidden, and threatened, treasure nestled behind Kennebunk Free Library and the Unitarian Church. Hope Woods, 72 acres of undeveloped forest and open meadows containing a network of trails and an abundance of wildlife, provides a natural oasis of open space adjacent to Kennebunk’s downtown area. It is a recreational area with about 2 miles of meandering trails through a conglomerate of giant cedars, copper beech trees, a large hemlock grove and many towering pines.
Record traffic expected in Maine for holiday weekend
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Transportation officials are expecting a record number of cars and trucks to travel in the state this holiday weekend. Turnpike officials are expecting close to 1.2 million transactions.
Dozens ‘horrified’ witnessing humpback whale thrashing to escape fishing net in Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Portsmouth Herald - A group of 85 whale watchers witnessed humpback whale “Owl” thrash for 50 minutes while caught in a fishing net Thursday afternoon off the Isles of Shoals. Humpback whales are a protected species listed as endangered. The crew on the whale watch boat had a combined 65-plus years of whale-watching experience, including three Coast Guard licensed captains on board, and they had “never seen such a blatant whale harassment case.” The incident was reported and is under investigation by NOAA Law Enforcement. The fishing boat eventually dropped part of its net “and the humpback whale eventually fled at a rapid rate of speed.”
About a thousand dead fish wash up onto Old Orchard Beach
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

About a thousand dead fish washed up onto a section of Old Orchard Beach on Friday afternoon, even as the popular resort town began a busy holiday weekend, authorities said. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says the fish are likely menhaden, also called pogies. The cause of the die-off is not yet known, but the department said the fish were either killed in a feeding frenzy by another fish, or killed by a commercial fishing operation that couldn’t get all of them into a boat.
NOAA declares Maine seal die-off as ‘unusual mortality event’
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

The federal government is declaring the deaths of hundreds of seals off the New England coast this summer to be an “unusual mortality event.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said tests indicate dead seals found in New England tested positive for avian flu and phocine distemper. More than 240 seals have been found dead off the Maine coast in July and August, while more than 80 have been reported off New Hampshire and Massachusetts in those months. The agency says that declaring a marine mammal die-off as an “unusual mortality event” means the deaths will be prioritized for investigation and response.
Maine farmers are memorializing beloved animals by turning them into compost
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

There are few things as heart wrenching as saying that final goodbye to a beloved pet. And when that animal tips the scales at more than 1,000-pounds, few things are as logistically complicated. That’s we’re Michelle Melaragno comes in. Owner of Compassionate Composting in Auburn, Melaragno is fully equipped to remove a recently deceased large animal. She then transforms it into something the owners can choose to reclaim.
Crews extinguish dust-fueled fire at Athens wood pellet factory
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 31, 2018 

A small fire broke out at a wood pellet factory in Athens early Friday morning when dust ignited, but flames were extinguished before causing any major damage. Multiple fire departments were called about 2:30 a.m. to the Maine Wood Pellet factory in Athens in response to a report of a structure fire. Robert Linkletter, one of the owners of the factory, said late Friday morning that damage was minimal and he hoped the factory would be up and running again by the afternoon following cleanup.
Aggressive invasive plant found on boat in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

CBS 13 - A boat inspector found an invasive plant on a boat that was about to be launched into Long Lake in Bridgton. Addie Casali, with the Lakes Environmental Association, inspected the boat from Lake Champlain in Vermont last Saturday, as it was about to be put in at the Harrison launch. She found Eurasian milfoil, a highly aggressive and invasive plant, trapped around the boat’s propeller. Boaters should always inspect their own boats to make sure they have no plants on their boat, motor or trailer.
More Than A Dozen Windjammers Sailing Into Camden
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

More than a dozen windjammers are headed to Camden Harbor. The 25th annual Camden Windjammer Festival kicks off Friday with the arrival of more than a dozen windjammers and an evening capped by fireworks on the waterfront. Organizers say the event celebrates Camden's maritime heritage, including clipper ships and coastal schooners built in the harbor. It's billed as the largest gathering of windjammers in the Northeast.
The inside scoop on how to dig for clams in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

At low tide, the waves retreat, revealing the clam flats scattered along the Maine coast. And like clockwork, the diggers emerge. With a pail in one hand and a rake in the other, they roam the sand, searching for tiny clam-made holes in the ground that show them where to dig. In Maine, clam digging has long been a piece of coastal culture, and in many towns, visitors are welcome to give it a try. All you need is a little insider knowledge and in most places a low-cost license.
Maine largely escapes China tariff brunt, but US ports fear effects on ship traffic and jobs
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Ports and ground terminals in nearly every state handle goods that are now or will likely soon be covered by import tariffs. Port executives worry that this could mean a slowdown in shipping that would have ripple effects on truckers and others whose jobs depend on trade. So far, Maine’s ports on land, sea and air have largely escaped the brunt of the tariffs that already are in effect, as well as estimates for the damage of threatened tariffs. Based on 2017 export data, the tariffs stand to affect up to $14.8 million in paper exports, or 8.4 percent of the total exports of paper and paperboard from the Portland district to China.
Column: Bird migration a combination of order and chaos
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Birds migrate. This fact is universally understood, yet universally underappreciated. The science actually gets pretty complicated. Migration is neither a smoothly running event, nor a thoughtless occurrence. It’s a fascinating combination of order and chaos. The birds can read the signs in nature, and with a little practice, so can you. ~ Bob Duchesne
State issues emergency bear-trapping rule to protect Canada lynx
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

On Wednesday, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued an emergency rule that further delineated legal practices by the state’s bear hunters. The impetus for that decision: Wildlife officials had become aware of a device they are concerned could harm federally protected Canada lynx. Trapping in parts of Maine where lynx live is governed under that federal Incidental Take Permit, which was finalized in 2014 after years of study and work. The permit allows the state’s trapping program to continue so long as special care is taken to protect lynx, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
At Two Lights State Park, minke whales put on an unexpected show
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

At least one minke whale has made the waters near Two Lights State Park’s rocky shoreline a favored feeding ground this summer, and has often been spotted cruising a short distance from the shore in the midafternoons. While a solitary whale is often seen swimming along the surface, some lucky visitors have seen as many as three whales at a time.
Letter: Climate change does occur slowly – until human actions overpower nature
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

David W. Knudsen’s letter on climate change (Aug. 28), inasmuch as it flies in the face of both science and common sense. He states that it is happening so slowly that it “is likely that the great majority of people in the world will not perceive the effects of climate change during their lifetimes.” An interesting twist on climate change denial that would make the president proud. Sadly, since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, we have burned so much fossil fuel that the impact of the ensuing greenhouse gases has overpowered the slow, naturally occurring processes of climate change. It is at our peril that we fail to acknowledge our responsibility for global warming, and the rapid pace at which human-induced climate change is occurring on this planet. ~ Joe Hardy, Wells
A trust in land and sea: Ben Emory’s commitment to the Maine coast
Working Waterfront - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Ben Emory joined the staff of the fledgling Maine Coast Heritage Trust in 1971. There he would become a master of negotiating conservation easements, a relatively new concept that would prove to be a major focus of land trust work in Maine and across the U.S. A good part of the book consists of a history of the conservation movement in Maine over the past 50 or so years, and Emory is the perfect narrator. He has been a part of a lot of that history. Emory also underscores the challenges facing conservation in Maine, from negative PR to “massive failures of political leadership.”
To Predict Effects of Global Warming, Scientists Looked Back 20,000 Years
National Public Radio - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

A warming world could eventually make some of our most familiar ecosystems — deciduous forests, grasslands, Arctic tundra — unrecognizable. That's the conclusion of a team of over 40 scientists who took a novel approach to predicting the effects of how human-caused global warming will alter ecosystems. They looked about 20,000 years back in time.
Residents voice support, worry about proposed Norridgewock landfill expansion
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Thursday’s meeting, hosted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, served to gather feedback from residents on the public benefit of a proposed landfill expansion at Waste Management’s Crossroads Facility in Norridgewock. The expansion, which would add about 15 years of capacity to the landfill, also would include upgrades to a public transfer station and the addition of a composting and textile recycling program. The majority of attendees voiced support for Waste Management, though they did not expressly state support for the landfill expansion. A handful of people raised concerns and questioned the plan to add another 51 acres to the landfill at the facility.
Editorial: Our national monuments deserve better
Washington Post - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Large cuts to national monuments appear never to have been in doubt. Indeed, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended substantial reductions to national monuments across the country, reductions that President Trump claims he can make unilaterally under the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Environmental groups challenge that claim, but they will have a hard time winning their case, because the act gives the president wide discretion. These unique, irreplaceable sites deserve better than the Trump administration’s determined campaign to abolish environmental protections.
Campground allows access to Annabessacook Lake after milfoil prompts closure of Monmouth boat ramp
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

People who want to put boats into Annabessacook Lake will need to use the ramp at the Augusta West Kampground in Winthrop for the foreseeable future, after the rampant growth of an invasive water plant led to the closure a different ramp in the neighboring town of Monmouth. On Wednesday night, Monmouth selectmen voted to continue the closure of the boat ramp on Waugan Road, at the southwest corner of Annabessacook Lake, after first voting in early August to close the ramp temporarily.
Animals Are Trying To Adapt To The Gulf Of Maine's 'Marine Heatwave'
Maine Public - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are on course to be some of the warmest on record, and the "marine heatwave" is being associated with disruptions in the gulf's ecosystem. Some animals in the Gulf, though, seem to be adapting to the changes.
Selectman, business leader push back against teen’s balloon ban proposal
York County Coast Star - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Kennebunk High School senior Will Jones has been working tirelessly since he was 12 years old to educate the community about the dangers to marine life from balloons and trash in the ocean. Now, Jones is bringing forward a proposal to ban balloons in Kennebunk, appearing before the Board of Selectmen Tuesday. "I would be in total support of a ban on the mass release of balloons, but I have a real problem with banning individual items for sale,” said Bill Gallant from Mail-It, which sells balloons. Selectman Blake Baldwin agreed. He is owner of Video Creations and he offered to create a PSA video on the proper use and disposal of balloons.
Maine Denies Animal Rights Group's Lobster Memorial Request
Maine Public - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) has denied a request by an animal rights group to erect a tombstone on Route 1 in Brunswick where several thousand lobsters died in a truck crash last week. Ted Talbot, a spokesperson from DOT, says that the memorial sought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) would create a safety issue on the controlled access highway.
Waters off New England in midst of record year for warmth
Associated Press - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

The waters off New England are already warming faster than most of the world’s oceans, and they are nearing the end of one of the hottest summers in their history. That is the takeaway from an analysis of summer sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine by a marine scientist with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. The average sea surface temperature in the gulf was nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average during one 10-day stretch in August, said the scientist, Andy Pershing, who released the work Thursday.
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