August 15, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Fish Lecture: Alewives, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Join experts Dr. Karen Wilson and Dr. Theo Willis from the University of Southern Maine to discover the fascinating lives of Maine's alewives. At Sheepscot General Store, Whitefield, July 14, 4 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Maine Open Farm Day, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 15, 2018 

Open Farm Day is an annual family adventure in which farms throughout all 16 counties open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the business of agriculture. July 22.
Hike Number 4 Mountain with Moosehead Trails, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 15, 2018 

Join local volunteers from Moosehead Trails at Number 4 Mountain for a day of hiking and trail work. Near Greenville, July 22, 2018 9 am - 4 pm.
Hike-the-Guide: Penobscot Shore Preserve Hike, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Join Coastal Mountains Land Trust for a Hike-the-Guide outing. At Penobscot Shore Preserve, Prospect., July 21, 9-11 am.
Redneck Regatta, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Join this wacky race of “boats” constructed of cardboard and duct tape. At Prince Thomas Park, Lincoln, part of the Loon Festival, July 21, 1-2:30 pm.
Confronting Rising Seas on Island and Coastal Communities, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Susie Arnold, Ph.D., Marine Scientist at the Island Institute will discuss the predicted impacts of sea level rise on homes, businesses, and working waterfronts. At Island Institute, Rockland, July 18, 10:30 am.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 18-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

The festival is a celebration of the Maine Woods and commemorates the history of the Wabanaki people and poet, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s three trips into the Maine Woods.
Reuniting kids with nature, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Brad Cook will share a message about reuniting kids with the great outdoors. Cook's hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2008 taught him exposure to the natural world may be the crucial missing piece children need in today’s technology-addicted society. At Rangeley Public Library, July 18, 6 pm.
Continental Divide Trail hike talk, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Thomas Jamrog will discuss his five months hiking the Continental Divide Trail. At Oakland Public Library, July 18, 6:30 pm.
Fur, Feathers and Feet, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

An introduction to birds and mammals presented by the Chewonki Foundation. Suitable for children ages 5 and older. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 18, 10 am.
Rope or bracelets, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

Rewild Maine will show how to use materials from the Maine woods to make your own rope or bracelets. Ages 5 and up. At Freeport Library, July 18, 4 and 6 pm.
Rare Ecosystems of the Downeast Lakes, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 10, 2018 

Justin Schlawin, Maine Natural Areas Program ecologist, will identify many special places in and around the Downeast Lakes Community Forest. At Grand Lake Stream School Building, July 17, 6 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
Forest Management for Wildlife Habitat, Jul 13
Event - Posted - Friday, July 6, 2018 

Learn about wildlife biology in eastern Maine and tour the habitat management techniques used at Downeast Lakes Land Trust. At Grand Lake Stream School, July 13, 9 am - 1 pm.
Former Maine Warden to speak at Rangeley, Jul 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 4, 2018 

Former game warden Daren Worcester will discuss his book “Open Season: True Stories of the Maine Warden Service,” which deals with a time before reality TV, GPS devices and dashboard computers, a time of coming of age for the Maine Warden Service. At Rangeley Public Library, July 11, 6 pm.
A White Mountain National PARK, Jul 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 3, 2018 

Stuart Weeks and Michael Kellett discuss the vision of creating a White Mountain National Park. At Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA, July 10, 7 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Maine delegation shows climate change, air quality are bipartisan issues
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 16, 2018 

The Environmental Protection Agency recently rolled back our federal clean car standards – the best plan we have to mitigate climate change from Washington, D.C. Untouched, the standards would increase fuel efficiency and avoid billions of tons of carbon emissions from 2018 to 2026. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is proposing to freeze these standards at the 2020 levels and block states’ ability to set their own emissions standards. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree make me proud to be a native of Maine, because they acted together to advocate for our environment and against standards like these. ~ Madeleine Fenderson, Environment Maine, Portland
Column: A budding journalist, reporting for duty
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

God save the student journalists. Kristen Waite, who grew up in Turner and graduated last year from Hebron Academy, is about to begin her sophomore year at Ithaca College in upstate New York. She’s a double major – journalism and environmental studies. But spend an hour sipping Starbucks coffee with her and you’ll soon detect a passion for the printed word that goes all the way back to middle school. Today, more than 200 newspapers across the nation are responding to a call by The Boston Globe to push back hard with editorials condemning President Trump’s endless attacks on journalists as “enemies of the people” and “dangerous and sick” purveyors of “fake news.” It can’t come soon enough. ~ Bill Nemitz
Wayne voters offer mixed opinions about future of town-owned land on Wilson Pond
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Profit or preservation? Wayne residents who spoke at a public forum Tuesday night were divided about the fate of a wooded 118-acre property that’s owned by the town, with some arguing the land should be preserved and others saying it should be sold to the highest bidder. The Open Space Committee is preparing to make a final report to the Selectboard. Selectmen, in turn, hope to place a proposal on the ballot for local voters in November, but so far it’s unclear what that proposal will be. Of more than 20 people who spoke at the forum, about half supported preserving the land, whether by operating it as a town forest or selling it to the Kennebec Land Trust.
Waterville group behind plastic bag ban proposals calls mayor’s arguments misleading
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

The group that asked the City Council to put a proposed ordinance banning plastic shopping bags at large retailers on the November ballot is defending the controversial move, even as the mayor on Wednesday leveled fresh attacks against the effort and those behind it. But members of the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition say Mayor Nick Isgro is trying to confuse the public with his messages against the ordinance.
California judge tosses lawsuit over L.L. Beans’ return policy
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Another federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit targeting outdoors retailer L.L. Bean’s new limited-time return policy, this one in California. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Tuesday granted the Freeport retailer’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit while leaving an opening for the plaintiff to amend the complaint. A federal judge in Chicago dismissed a similar lawsuit in June.
Like plastic straws, balloons are raising concerns for the environment
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Now that plastic straws may be headed for extinction, could Americans’ love of balloons be deflated? The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that fall back to earth can be deadly to seabirds and turtles that eat them. So as companies vow to banish plastic straws, there are signs balloons will be among the products to get more scrutiny, even though they’re a very small part of environmental pollution.
Here’s what people thought of Acadia National Park’s new transportation plan
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Acadia National Park released a summary of suggestions on Wednesday that came to the park through emails, during meetings and via posted letters in response to its draft transportation plan. With park traffic having increased by 60 percent during the past decade, park officials in April unveiled their draft of a plan to ease congestion and improve visitors’ safety and quality of experience. They hope to incorporate some of the suggestions and finalize the plan this winter. The 30-page summary report released Wednesday highlighted suggestions from 489 unique correspondences plus 5,750 form letters.
Deadline approaching to apply for permit to hunt deer in Maine this fall
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

The deadline to participate in the lottery for one of Maine’s growing number of deer permits is fast approaching. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. The state’s giving out 84,745 permits this year, which is 28 percent more than last year. The permits are “any deer” permits that allow hunters to take deer of either sex. The hunt takes place every fall and is one of the state’s biggest hunting seasons, along with moose, bear and turkey. The drawing is scheduled for Sept. 7.
Marine heat waves can wreak havoc on wildlife
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Even the oceans are breaking temperature records in this summer of heat waves. “Just like we have heat waves on land, we also have heat waves in the ocean,” said Art Miller of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Between 1982 and 2016, the number of “marine heat waves” roughly doubled, and likely will become more common and intense as the planet warms, a study released Wednesday found. Prolonged periods of extreme heat in the oceans can damage kelp forests and coral reefs, and harm fish and other marine life.
European frogbit, an invasive water plant, discovered in Maine for first time
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

State officials recently discovered European frogbit, an invasive water plant, growing in Maine for the first time. They found the infestation just outside Augusta, in the northeast corner of Cobbossee Lake in Manchester, and announced the discovery Wednesday. The news came just a week after the announcement that a different invasive plant, Eurasian water milfoil, was found in a nearby section of Cobbossee Lake. While the European frogbit was discovered Aug. 10, it might have been growing in the area for several years, said John McPhedran, a biologist in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Column: We can’t take to the woods anymore
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Louise Dickinson Rich’s autobiographical book, “We Took To The Woods,” an instant best seller when published in 1942, still serves as a succinct, humorous and profound description of every true Mainer’s fantasy — living deep in the woods undisturbed by modern gadgetry. Louise, Ralph and their two children lived in the wilderness on the Rapid River between Umbagog and Richardson lakes in the Rangeley region. There is no wilderness left here. Roads crisscross the north woods, and tourists raft and canoe down our best rivers to find adventure and escape from their city lives. In Maine today, we can’t take to the woods like Louise Dickinson Rich, and we are all underprivileged because of that. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Absent oversight, condo associations can stymie energy-efficiency goals
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Condo associations can be a barrier to improved energy efficiency. Condo associations can block the installation of solar or heat pump systems that need to pass over and through a condo building’s common elements. Rather than fully reckoning with the pros and cons of energy-efficiency projects, condo associations may focus, for example, on the appearance of a rooftop solar installation. Many condo associations in Maine and elsewhere are major energy wasters, and many Mainers face high heating bills. Legislative guidance to condo associations may be needed. ~ Wayne Olson, Portland, former director of finance, Maine Public Utilities Commission
Letter: Maine delegation shows climate change, air quality are bipartisan issues
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

The Environmental Protection Agency recently rolled back our federal clean car standards – the best plan we have to mitigate climate change from Washington, D.C. Untouched, the standards would increase fuel efficiency and avoid billions of tons of carbon emissions from 2018 to 2026. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is proposing to freeze these standards at the 2020 levels and block states’ ability to set their own emissions standards. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree make me proud to be a native of Maine, because they acted together to advocate for our environment and against standards like these. Our elected officials here in Maine should serve as examples to elected officials across the country. ~ Madeleine Fenderson, Environment Maine, Portland
Firms say they will file another suit against CMP, this time alleging fraud
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. will face a second lawsuit concerning its dealings with customers who complained about high electric bills last winter, this one alleging the company trained its service representatives to tell customers they were at fault for the higher charges. The three law firms, which sued CMP last month accusing it of overcharging customers, said Tuesday they plan to file the second suit alleging fraud on Wednesday.
Rehabilitation facilities at capacity, complicating unusual die-off of seals in New England
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

So far this month, 84 harbor seals have been found dead or stranded on southern Maine beaches, far outpacing the 10-year average of 38 strandings in the entire month of August, NOAA said. Many of the dead and stranded seals have been pups. Whatever is killing the seals also may be leaving others sick or weak. By Tuesday morning, Marine Mammals of Maine had responded to reports of four more seal deaths along the southern coast, including in Saco and Harpswell. The organization also took two live juvenile harbor seals found stranded on beaches to its facility in Harpswell for treatment. Doughty said the arrival of those two seals put the facility at full capacity.
More dead seals wash ashore as rescuers try to save sick animals
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

The discovery of at least 35 dead harbor seals on southern Maine beaches in the past two days, including 11 found Monday in Saco, comes amid an unexplained surge in the number of dead and stranded live seals in both southern Maine and New Hampshire in the past two weeks, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
State investigates spill of more than half a million gallons of wastewater from Maine mill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

State officials are investigating a wastewater leak from St. Croix Tissue, Inc. in Baileyville into the St. Croix River. The spill, which occurred Friday, Aug. 10, involved more than a half million gallons of partially treated wastewater that was discharged from an effluent line.
Editorial: Ignoring climate change puts Mainers in danger
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Climate change has become a polarized political issue, and instead of using research to drive response, politicians like Gov. LePage are using their preconceived notions to shut down research, even though it’s making people very sick. Maine cannot save the global climate on its own, but it can do a better job of protecting residents and visitors from the effects of air and water that are growing warmer. Doing that would take policy that’s driven by research and a governor who won’t insist on having it work the other way around.
Rockland council votes to limit the number of large cruise ships in the harbor
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

The Rockland City Council voted 3-2 Monday night to impose a limit on the number of large cruise ships that can come into the harbor. The vote came at the end of a three-hour meeting that included two hours of public comment, almost exclusively on the cruise ship issue, in which the public was once again nearly evenly divided on the issue.
490-acre solar farm proposal raises concerns in Farmington
Kennebec Journal - Monday, August 13, 2018 

A proposal to build a $110 million, 490 acre solar farm off U.S. Route 2 has divided some neighbors and raised concerns among members of the town’s planning board. The project, which is being developed by Florida-based NextEra Energy and its subsidiary, Farmington Solar LLC, would be located in the vicinity of Horn Hill Road and Hovey Road and consist of 301,300 panels, which the company says would make it the largest solar project in New England. “Why do we want to house the biggest solar project in New England?” said board member Gloria McGraw during a meeting with representatives from the project Monday night. She cited concerns over benefits to the town in terms of jobs and tax revenue and also asked whether the energy will help lower local power bills.
Sculptures of deer in Portland Harbor serve as art and advocacy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Three years after he placed a pack of lifelike dogs atop pilings on the Portland waterfront, artist Andy Rosen is back with another installation of animals, this time a pair of deer emerging from the rising sea near the Ocean Gateway marine facility. His project, funded with a grant from the Union of Concerned Scientists, calls attention to climate change and rising sea levels, as well as the role of science in public discourse and policies.
CMP launches ad campaign to say ‘we’re sorry’ in wake of billing controversy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. has launched a TV ad campaign in an attempt to revive a reputation tarnished by customer outrage over high bills, a potential class-action lawsuit and a state investigation of its billing and metering practices.
Why Acadia’s maintenance ‘to-do’ list keeps growing
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 13, 2018 

Maine’s only national park has a to-do list of maintenance projects that’s more than 350 items long, with a total price tag of about $59.8 million. But no one expects to complete all the projects. That’s because deferred maintenance is a perennial issue at Acadia and other National Park Service properties across the country, which cumulatively have more than $11 billion worth of overdue work to maintain their facilities and infrastructure. The backlog of projects have become a cause of concern because of the tourism economies that develop around park service properties.
Opinion: Planet’s current warming trend is not part of a natural cycle
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 13, 2018 

In response to David Dilley’s letter of Aug. 8 claiming that the Milankovitch cycle explains our current global warming, the facts are that: The warmest point of the last (Milankovitch) cycle was around 10,000 years ago, at the peak of the Holocene. But since 1750 the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has deviated from the natural cycle. Instead of decreasing, it has increased because of fossil-fuel burning. The world has also warmed unnaturally. We are now deviating from the natural cycle. Now, carbon dioxide is leading the warming. ~ Margot McCain, Portland
Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 12, 2018 

Deep in the commercial forests of northern Maine, trees are often valued for their lumber potential or for the ecological benefits they provide. But now a small and growing number of businesses from as far away as California may be investing in Maine’s woods as a way to address climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide – and larger trees means more of the greenhouse gas is locked away. The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit forest landowner, hopes to connect those companies with the vast Maine woods in a way that could benefit both.
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Environmental headlines:

LePage wants  to withdraw Maine
from regional air pollution program.

The Trump administration plans to ease
rules for auto emissions and efficiency.

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