March 23, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Vote for NRCM’s 2014 People’s Choice Award
Announcement - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 

You can vote for one of this year's six finalists for NRCM's People's Choice Award: Voting is open until September 1. This year's finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
• Rachel Burger, South Portland
• Robert Godfrey, Eastport
• Paul Haertel, Southwest Harbor
• Mary Anne Mitchell, Peaks Island
• Kit Pfeiffer, Whitefield
• Deb Wilson, Nobleboro
Fedco Seeds founder to speak in Belfast, Aug 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Belfast Co-op is hosting Fedco Seeds founder CR Lawn, who will give a free presentation titled, “Do you know where your seed comes from, and why does it matter?” At Belfast Free Library, Aug 6, 6:30 pm.
Citizen Hearing on Proposed EPA Clean Power Plan, Aug 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

New England EPA Administrator Curt Spaulding will describe the Clean Power Plan and hear what Maine people and experts have to say about it. At Lee Auditorium, Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland, August 6, 11 am - 12:30 pm. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and Voter Education Brigade.
Photographing Acadia National Park, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Photographer Colleen J. Miniuk-Sperry, 3-time Artist-in-Residence at Acadia Nat’l Park, will share her vast knowledge of both photography and ANP at an author talk and book signing. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, Aug 5, 7-8 pm.
Plastic Pollution: Art to Activism, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

Speaker: Dianna Cohen, Creative Advocacy Director Co-Founder, Plastic Pollution Coalition. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, August 5, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Bat species proposed for Maine endangered species list, Aug 4 & 5
Event - Posted - Monday, July 28, 2014 

Two bat species are being proposed for the Maine endangered species list because they have been decimated by white nose syndrome. Hearings: August 4, 6:30 pm, Portland City Hall; August 5, 6:30 pm, University of Maine at Farmington.
Nature Photography, Aug 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 26, 2014 

Jane Davis will lead a nature photography outing. At Gott Pasture Preserve on Wilson Pond, Wayne, Aug 2, 8-10 am. Must preregister. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Cultivating Seaweed Sustainably on Rocks & Ropes, Aug 1
Event - Posted - Friday, July 25, 2014 

Talk by Shep Erhart of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables. At Taunton Bay Education Center, Sullivan, Aug 1, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay.
Gulf of Maine Habitat, Jul 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 24, 2014 

Mark Dittrick will discuss the Gulf of Maine as a habitat: its past, present, and what might be its future. At Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, July 31, 7 pm.
Protect Cashes Ledge
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Cashes Ledge, located about 75 miles from Portland, is a unique underwater mountain range which provides refuge for a vibrant, diverse world of ocean wildlife. Modern commercial fishing technologies make Cashes Ledge extremely susceptible to damage from bottom trawling gear. Cashes Ledge needs permanent protection. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
1,000 Miles Campaign
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival. Orvis and Trout Unlimited have launched a campaign to reconnect 1,000 miles of coldwater streams, including in Maine (for eastern brook trout) Caribou Bog and Henderson, Mountain and Gulf Hagas brooks.
Land Trust Nature Sites: A Photographic Tour, July 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Photographer David White has explored many land trust properties and will share a magical, ecological world through his impressive high-powered lens. At Topsham Library, July 29, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Living on a Shrinking Planet, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Dr. Jonathan Foley, 2014 Heinz Award for the Environment recipient, native Mainer, and Executive Director for the California Academy of Sciences, will paint a picture of our global environmental challenges. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, July 28, 5:30-7 pm. Pre-register. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Pond Ecology, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Naturalist Chuck Dinsmore will teach about common plant and animal associates in freshwater ponds and lakes. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, July 28, 9-11 am. Members $10; non-members $12.
Maine Open Farm Day, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

July 27 is the 25th annual Open Farm Day, when farms around Maine open to visitors.
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News Items
11 Ways the EPA Has Helped Americans
Free Press - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

The budget proposal Donald Trump’s administration announced last week will slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding by nearly a third, crippling an agency that has played a key — but often unnoticed — role in American life for nearly a half-century. The main target of the president’s ire seems to be the agency’s programs that address climate change. Here is a look back at some of what the EPA has accomplished over the last 46 years since Richard Nixon signed an executive order in 1970 bringing the agency into existence. These successes were, almost unanimously, won despite the strenuous and well-financed objections of recalcitrant polluters, and are, almost unanimously, now taken for granted.
Maine bill aims to protect climate deniers
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

A Republican lawmaker in Maine wants to protect the rights of people who reject the science of climate change. In a recently introduced bill, state Rep. Larry Lockman includes provisions that would prevent discrimination against people based on political views — including their "climate change policy preferences." Lockman, who has previously dressed up as a vampire to speak out against the IRS, said the bill would also protect the free speech of climate change supporters.
Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s decades-long history of extremism
Mike Tipping's Tipping Point Blog - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Representative Lawrence Lockman has a consistent history of words and actions on rape, AIDS, taxes, education and gay and lesbian Mainers that should prompt us all, especially the voters who elected him, to have some significant concerns about his role as a legislator and public figure. At the very least, his history of extremism should be kept in mind when evaluating his current actions as a lawmaker.
U.S. Global Change program plugging ahead amid uncertainty
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Scientists with the U.S. Global Change Research Program are continuing to work under a cloud of uncertainty after the Trump administration revealed its so-called skinny budget. The program is in charge of putting together a report on the impacts of climate change in the United States every four years as per the 1990 Global Change Research Act, and the next one is due in 2018. However, after the Trump budget suggested cuts to the scientific community that are both vast and unspecific, the future of the program seems uncertain.
Maine fishermen see warning signs in lobster surge
Forecaster - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

After Maine’s lobster industry set sales records for a second straight year, area fishermen are enjoying the boom while the water is warm. Literally. Rising sea temperatures are benefiting Maine’s iconic crustacean, leading to an increase in population while other marine species, such as soft-shell crabs, have suffered a decline, according to fishermen who spoke at a March 16 Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association panel. But the factors for today’s success may portend tomorrow’s economic and cultural disaster, according to some area fishermen.
For true Mainers, canoe racing season starts even if there’s still snow
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Over the past 38 years, Dale Cross has become accustomed to taking frequent trips to the St. George River in March, and keeping a close eye on long-range weather forecasts. Cross is the race director of the state’s first two whitewater canoe races of the season. And if the St. George is still clothed in its winter coat come the third week of March, Cross begins to get a bit nervous. The St. George is the first race of the annual Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization’s series, and begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Former EPA staffers decry 'draconian' budget cuts
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

A coalition of former U.S. EPA staffers yesterday unveiled a scathing analysis of President Trump's proposed budget, calling cuts to the agency "draconian" and "a full-throttle attack" on environmental laws. The report by the Environmental Protection Network is based on an assessment of the "skinny" budget Trump released last week as well as an earlier leaked internal Office of Management and Budget "passback," which provided much more detail on specific proposed cuts. Overall, the White House aims to reduce EPA spending by 31 percent. That, the authors argue, would limit the agency's ability to protect environment and public health.
Maine searches for opportunities in offshore wind power
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s opposition to the cost of renewable energy has stalled Maine’s chances of developing an offshore wind power industry. But this month, his acting energy director went to England to learn about the economic development and government policies around offshore wind that are creating thousands of jobs and attracting billions of dollars in investment. Angela Monroe said that while offshore wind would still be more expensive than other energy sources for Maine, wind farms planned off the coast of Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and other states could hold promise for Maine companies.
Bangor needs $63 million to keep wastewater from spilling into Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Bangor’s sewer rates may soon rise to help fund nearly $63 million in projects during the next 15 years to stop wastewater spillage into the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream. The first major project outlined in a city plan to meet a federal mandate under the Clean Water Act is an estimated $22 million installation of a 3.8 million gallon wastewater storage tank along the waterfront behind Tim Hortons. It’s the first of several projects the city agreed to complete by 2032 in a 2015 consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, which was acting on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Letter: Let Maine’s development always be within reason
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

I must be the voice of reason on state mining regulations. The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee all but guarantees siding with the touchy-feely crowd. We need work in Maine. Whether it was the east-west highway and pipelines or the Bald Mountain mining project in Aroostook County referred to in the article, certain people want “their” georesources intact yet have no compunction about their homes (built with natural resources), their computers and their automobiles. But it doesn’t matter where any project is located in Maine when it comes to bulldozers. Do you think our beloved Maine Turnpike would have been allowed to be constructed today? ~ Bill Capistran, Kennebunkport
Letter: Support North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is stimulating economic growth in a region that needs it, protecting wildlife habitat and recreation and putting rural, northern Maine on the world’s radar. Our congressional representatives should fully support it. I’m deeply troubled to think the president may be considering pulling the rug out from under rural Maine. But what troubles me more is the idea that my elected representative, Bruce Poliquin, is not going to bat for this huge boon to the Katahdin region and rural Maine. ~ Debbie Gilmer, Orono
Brunswick enacts ban on single-use plastic shopping bags
Forecaster - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Town Council voted 8-1 Monday to ban single-use plastic bags from most town retailers starting Sept. 1. The plastic bag ban passed with little discussion. Councilor Dan Harris said, “We’ve been up and down on this issue,” he said, referring to past lengthy discussion about whether to encourage reduced consumption of single-use plastic bags with a fee, or to ban them outright. Most councilors ultimately supported the ban because it would reduce the impact on the environment. Included were those like Councilor Sarah Brayman, who also campaigned for a penalty on single-use paper bags.
LePage Says He Didn’t Sign $13 Million Biomass Bailout (He Did)
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage claimed Wednesday that he did not sign a bill last year that diverted over $13 million to several ailing biomass facilities, though he actually did. LePage signed the proposal in April of last year. The governor has repeatedly lamented its passage, but he has also said that bailing out biomass energy plants was the only way to preserve the logging jobs that depend on the plants. LePage also said that he plans to testify before Congress on legislation that deals with the president’s abilities to create national monuments. The governor has opposed the Katahdin Woods and Waters monument created by President Barack Obama last year. He has since asked President Donald Trump to rescind the designation.
White House slams door on carbon tax
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Trump administration is not considering a carbon tax, an official said after a White House press briefing yesterday in which press secretary Sean Spicer declined to rule it out. Interest in the administration's stance on the issue has persisted while a lively debate is reportedly taking place within the West Wing over President Trump's economic agenda and various parties aim to influence the result.
Dip in temps may mean sap won’t just go with the flow
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Warmer days, freezing nights. The sap is running – sporadically – just in time for Maine Maple Sunday, following a topsy-turvy stretch of winter weather that’s enabled sap to flow a little earlier than usual, only to be halted at times by late-season chills. This weekend Maine will celebrate the 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday, held every year on the fourth Sunday of March.
Biomass firm asked to explain financial status after loggers say they were not paid
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Regulators have asked a company that’s receiving state subsidies for operating biomass plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro to explain why loggers supplying the plants report not being paid in more than a month. On Wednesday afternoon, the lead staff attorney for the Maine Public Utilities Commission sent a letter to Stored Solar partner Bill Harrington asking for “an immediate update on the operational and financial status of the West Enfield and Jonesboro facilities and the status of any payment obligation to suppliers, contractors or employees.” Stored Solar has received $426,000 in subsidies for electricity generated in January and February, according to regulatory filings.
Alligators make a splash, but invasive species pose greater risk in Maine
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The discovery of five alligators in a taxi attracted a lot of attention in Augusta Tuesday, but such exotic animals pose relatively little risk in Maine compared with other invasive species. Greater threats to Maine’s woods and waterways are species such as the green crab, the emerald ash borer and the northern pike. However diminutive those species might look next to an alligator, they actually can survive here. Alligators, on the other hand, could not survive the winters in Maine.
The Republican War on Critters
Sierra Club - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Since the inauguration, the Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill have pushed several ideas that would put wildlife, including endangered species, at greater risk. The most wantonly (and weirdly) cruel initiative would repeal restrictions on carnivore hunting in wildlife refuges in Alaska, which belong to all Americans. Maine's U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I) both voted to kill a rule that protects wildlife, including baby animals, in the national wildlife refuges.
Topsham tour to explain timber-harvesting plan
Forecaster - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The town’s Tree Committee will host a site walk Saturday, March 25, for residents to learn about an upcoming harvest of timber on town-owned property. The 9 a.m. walk at the Topsham Solid Waste Facility, 97 Townsend Way, will be guided by Paul Larrivee, a licensed state forester. The walk will cover both the forested and harvested areas. Light selective thinning of about 75 acres began earlier this month, so the public will be able to see both the work that has taken place, and get an idea of what will occur.
Loggers Say They Haven’t Been Paid By Biomass Company Since Last Month
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures. But Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says Stored Solar, which operates plants in Enfield and Jonesboro, hasn’t paid many logging contractors in a month or more. Stored Solar has already received more than $400,000 in taxpayer subsidies this year.
Could Mattis and Tillerson buddy up on warming?
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis broke from the Trump administration's usual line in written statements made public for the first time last week in which he addressed the threat that climate change poses to national security. It is probably not likely that Mattis' work will give him much policy overlap with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who angered environmental groups this month when he questioned the scientific consensus about carbon dioxide's effect on climate change in a CNBC interview.
Documentaries highlight climate security risks
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Filmmakers who believe in action against climate change are using documentaries about global warming national security risks to reach skeptics about the issue. "Tidewater" is about how sea-level rise affects national security. "The Age of Consequences" focuses on how climate change is a catalyst of global instability, which the military must then respond to.
Trump's next target: The Clean Power Plan
Natural Resources Defense Council - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Next on President Trump's list of anti-environment rollbacks: The climate-saving Clean Power Plan. Trump is preparing to sign a devastating executive order directing the EPA to begin dismantling this landmark plan — President Obama's signature initiative to cut carbon pollution from dirty, coal-fired power plants and expand clean energy in the U.S.
Federal regulators put an end to turbulent season in northern Gulf of Maine scallop fishery
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Federal fisheries authorities are closing the scallop fishery in the northern Gulf of Maine at one minute after midnight Thursday after a contentious 22-day season that pitted the interests of part-time small boat fishermen from Maine against large, full-time scallop operators. Regulators announced the closure Wednesday after small boat fishermen — many of them Maine lobstermen operating with 40- to 45-foot boats — met their annual quota of 70,000 pounds.
Trump budget eliminates agency that brought $5M to rural Maine
Mainebiz - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Northern Border Regional Commission, a federal-state agency that has provided $5.4 million in funding to rural Maine projects since 2010, is targeted for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget.
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Maine fears lost lobster 
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