August 14, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Lessons from the Great Conservationists of the Past, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Larry Nielsen, author of “Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World,” will speak at Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, August 21, 7 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Farm to Table Dinner, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Dinner features the creations of four Maine-based professional female chefs, followed by a mission auction and the music of folk musician, Bill Staines. Benefits Growing to Give, which grows and donates certified organic vegetables to local food banks and pantries. At Scatter Good Farm, Brunswick, August 18, 5-9 pm.
Beaver presentation and paddle, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Learn about beavers with Master Naturalist, Christy Stout. Enjoy a slideshow presentation followed by a paddle to look for beaver signs. At Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, near Bangor, August 18, 5 pm.
Merrymeeting Bay Rare Mud Plant Walk, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Justin Schlawin, ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program, will lead a walk among the rare mud plants of Merrymeeting Bay. At Choice View Farm, Dresden, August 18, 1:30-3:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Identifying Woodland Shrubs, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

Join Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and the Maine Forest Service for a walk & talk “Identifying Woodland Shrubs.” At Georges River Land Trust’s Appleton Preserve, August 16, 3-5 pm, pre-register.
Climate change communication workshop, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The Maine Climate Table, in partnership with GrowSmart Maine, will present a climate change communication workshop. At the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Norway, August 16, from 8:30 am to noon.
Rangeley Frog Jumping Contest, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The annual Frog Jumping Contest will leap onto the scene again at the Rangeley Blueberry Festival. Those entering should catch and release their frog or toad in the same location, to keep him or her happy and alive. At Episcopal Church, Rangeley, August 16, sign up starts at 12:30 pm, contest begins at 1 pm.
New wildlife teaching tools for a new school year
Publication - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Explore World Wildlife Fund's Wild Classroom, a growing library of animal- and nature-related toolkits to help foster children's curiosity and inspire the next generation of scientists and conservationists.
What Have Loons Told Us? Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

After 35 Years of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count, and with the help of thousands of “citizen science” volunteers, we know that in many ways loons are doing better than ever. At Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary, Mt. Desert, August 15, 7 pm.
Blazing Ahead: Rivalry That Built the Appalachian Trail, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan, a Maine-based author and photographer, will tell the story of how the Appalachian Trail was envisioned and built. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
Farming the Sea - Aquaculture in Maine's Future, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Author and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins will talk about the future of aquaculture in Maine. At Island Institute, Rockland, August 15, 10:30 am.
Landscape Design Lessons from Manhattan to Maine, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Patrick Cullina will talk about site design and plant and material selection on projects in New York City, above Long Island Sound, on the North Fork of Long Island, and on a privately-owned island just south of Rockland, Maine. At Bar Harbor, August 15, 4 pm, Beatrix Farrand Society members $10, non-members $20, students free, pre-register.
Blazing Ahead, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan speaks about the rivalry that built the Appalachian Trail. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
Comments on wind development in Maine due Aug 15
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 7, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage created the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission to study the economic impact of potential wind turbines; to assess the economic impact of expedited permitting rules and procedures; and to assess and develop recommendations in a written report. Comments to due August 15.
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News Items
An illustrated history of the right whale
Conservation Law Foundation - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

The North Atlantic right whale was given its name because they were the "right" whale to kill: docile, slow, feeding close to the surface. Now, they are killed by collisions with ships an entanglements in fishing gear. There are solutions ready to solve this problem.
America's State Parks
Other - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

The mission of the National Association of State Park Directors is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health, and economy.
Energy Department broke law with health care tweet, says watchdog
Associated Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

The Energy Department violated federal law when it tweeted about an opinion column by Energy Secretary Rick Perry urging repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law, a government watchdog said Thursday. The Government Accountability Office said the July 2017 tweet was outside the scope of the agency’s approved spending but did not violate a prohibition on grassroots lobbying or propaganda.
First map of ocean wilderness shows ‘nowhere is safe’ from human impact
Washington Post - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

The first comprehensive mapping of ocean wilderness revealed that no part of the ocean is untouched by humans, and only 13 percent could be classified as “wilderness.” “Nowhere is safe,” said James Watson of the University of Queensland, an author on the study. The authors called for better enforcement of existing fishing laws, minimizing ocean-based mining and runoff from land activities.
Only One-Eighth of the Ocean is Free of Human Impact
National Geographic - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Much is known about human impact on land wilderness, but until recently, less has been known about how human activity and climate change have affected marine vitality. In a study published Thursday in Current Biology, researchers have determined that marine wilderness accounts for only 13 percent—some 34 million square kilometers—of the ocean. Kendall Jones, lead author, said that "if we want to restore degraded ecosystems, wilderness provides important information on what we should be aiming for.”
Poland Spring taps Lincoln for new water source
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Poland Spring has picked the Bella Luna spring in Lincoln as its ninth spring water source in Maine, the company announced Thursday. It still has not chosen a location for its new bottling plant, a company source said. Poland Spring will sell the water as “100 percent natural spring water.” It’s a claim that has drawn complaints from consumers alleging the water is not totally from springs.
Maine study on workforce development has suggestions for incoming governor
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Maine needs to increase the size and skill level of its workforce to keep businesses in the state and attract new companies, three development groups said Thursday. A report issued jointly by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Development Foundation and Educate Maine said the state’s quality of life, its workforce and its natural resources are all important factors that keep businesses in the state and attract others. But the report, “Making Maine Work 2018,” said the state’s workforce is shrinking because of an aging population and because too many workers lack the skills needed in the current economy. The report suggests the state develop a comprehensive economic strategy.
Fiberight to begin processing some waste in October
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Half of the floorspace is no longer dirt at the Fiberight waste-to-biofuel facility in Hampden, and recycling equipment will begin arriving Friday, a Fiberight official said. About 72,000 square feet of concrete flooring has been poured and a few dozen LED lights have been hung from the ceiling since June, Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said Tuesday during a tour of the 144,000-square foot processing plant. Once the recycling and sorting equipment is assembled, that portion of the facility will begin processing waste in October, Stuart-Paul said.
Historic Biddeford mill to install state’s largest privately owned solar array
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill Campus, a sprawling former mill complex that includes residential units, plans to install the largest privately-held solar energy project in Maine. The large-scale solar array will produce enough electricity to more than meet the needs of the campus’s residential units.
MDF et al issue report on investment needs
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

The Maine Development Foundation, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Educate Maine today released a new report, “2018 Making Maine Work: Critical Investments for the Maine Economy.” It sets five goals and 16 recommendations for Maine to encourage investment and ultimately grow the economy. The report includes the results of a poll of Maine business and education leaders concerning the key factors that support business retention and expansion in Maine? The top three factors include quality of life and natural resources, climate and environment. Aside from quality of workforce, all other factors mentioned, such as tax policies, were rated as far less important.
Saco Island redevelopment is delayed by river commission
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

A $40 million mixed-use development proposed for Saco Island has been delayed following a vote by the Saco River Corridor Commission. The commission, a quasi-state organization whose purpose is to protect the environment along the Saco River corridor, voted Wednesday night to table the application of The Waters, an ambitious project proposed by developer Bernie Saulnier.
Editorial: Farmers wouldn’t need a bailout if Trump hadn’t imposed tariffs
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Even as President Donald Trump was tweeting that “tariffs are greatest” this week, his administration was preparing to dole out $12 billion to American farmers to alleviate the negative consequences of tariffs he imposed earlier this year. This is ludicrous. American farmers wouldn’t need the bailout if the president hadn’t imposed tariffs in the first place. Maine’s congressional delegation met with federal officials to share concerns about a trade war’s impact on the state’s lobstermen, who are also being hurt by Chinese tariffs. The Department of Agriculture declined to include lobstermen in the assistance plan. Maine blueberry growers have seen exports to China plummet this year. It is unclear if they will be included in the bailout. It would have been better to avoid the problem in the first place by not starting an unnecessary trade war.
Column: Sneaky cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

It was immediately clear that something was amiss. Above my head, a male yellow-rumped warbler was tending a youngster nearly twice his size. Wherever the warbler flew, the fledgling followed, demanding to be fed. This poor dad had been duped into raising a brown-headed cowbird. Dozens of species worldwide have adopted this reproduction strategy, but the brown-headed cowbird is the North American champion. ~ Bob Duchesne
Million-gallon spill from sewage plant closes Portland’s East End beach and trail
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

A section of the Eastern Prom Trail was washed away and the East End Beach was closed Thursday after an estimated 1 million gallons of partially treated sewage spilled out of Portland’s wastewater treatment plant, according to city officials. The washout occurred early Thursday morning when the wastewater overflowed from a treatment tank.
Opinion: Farmers like me put Trump in office. Now his trade war is smothering us.
Washington Post - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

President Donald Trump is considering expanding tariffs to apply to $500 billion worth of Chinese imports. This move would apply to nearly all of China’s exports to the United States. To mitigate tariff damage to U.S. farmers, who are already facing rising input costs and reduced export markets, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it would extend them $12 billion in aid. I am a farmer and a Trump supporter. I agree that China needs to be punished for stealing patented U.S. technology. But opening a new front in this trade war, while trying to reduce the blowback on farmers with a Great Depression-era transfer program, is not the right approach. It is the economic equivalent of treating a hangnail by cutting off your finger. ~ Kalena Bruce
Maine Lobster Industry Has Yet to Feel Full Impact of China Tariffs
Free Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Approximately 4,850 lobstermen work in Maine, plus another 1,150 student license holders. The state saw $433.7 million from 110 million pounds of lobster hauled in 2017, with $336 million from export sales. “The impact of counter-tariffs imposed by China on July 6 in Maine are narrow but deep, since 99 percent of the effect falls on our lobster industry, ” said Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center. “Beyond the lobster dealers that are exporting to China, there are the ripple effects in the communities where the industry supports the local economy.”
In Flux: Pondering Penobscot Bay’s Future
Free Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Last month, marine ecologist Bob Steneck drew an overflow crowd to Belfast for a presentation entitled “Penobscot Bay: An Ecosystem Colliding with the Anthropocene.” Many expected a look ahead at how climate might upend the bay. But surprisingly, Steneck invited his audience to look not forward—but back. We are, Steneck noted, facing a bay ecosystem so disrupted that it’s hard to fathom the size and diversity of species consumed by prehistoric Americans. Right now we’re enjoying the fruits of a “lucrative monoculture,” Steneck told his audience, in which lobsters represent 80 percent of the value of Maine’s fisheries. He is not alone in recognizing the great vulnerability in being so dependent on a single species.
LePage Proposes to Weaken Ozone Pollution Regulations
Free Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on a proposal to allow businesses to emit more chemicals that cause ozone pollution on Monday, July 30, at 1 p.m. Gov. LePage has directed the DEP to petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow most of Maine to withdraw from the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), which would permit new industrial projects to be exempt from having to purchase credits to offset ozone emissions. The deadline for comments is August 10.
Maine blueberry industry expected to be affected by trade disputes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

In Maine, growers of wild blueberries, a locally iconic industry, have felt the ripple effects of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China. In 2017, the state exported nearly 2 million pounds of wild blueberries to China, according to Nancy McBrady, the executive director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. So far this year, Maine has exported only 75,398 pounds of the fruit. “We had really been seeing some positive movement, and this round of trade disputes has thrown some cold water on that,” she said Tuesday.
Why Canada’s striped bass explosion isn’t a concern on the Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

In New Brunswick, a population explosion of striped bass in the Miramichi River — a legendary Atlantic salmon fishing destination — has salmon camp owners quite concerned. Are U.S. salmon conservationists concerned about stripers in the Penobscot and other Maine rivers? Andy Goode, vice president of U.S. programs for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, says we shouldn’t fret a bit. “Stripers are a native species, so they co-evolved with all the other 11 migratory fish in Maine, such as Atlantic salmon. There is no evidence or record that one native fish species is going to wipe out another, though fish populations are naturally cyclical with highs and lows over time.”
Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Utility Dive - A Maine Superior Court judge dismissed a case challenging the constitutionality of the wind power moratorium imposed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s January executive order on Friday. Renewable energy advocates have tried to challenge the legality of the order, which halts wind turbine permitting in the state. Maine is currently leading in Northeast wind generation. While the judge’s opinion agrees that LePage’s executive order conflicts with the wind permitting state law, he said the environmental and renewable energy groups haven’t proven harm for any incoming wind turbine projects.
Trump Admin Tries to Gut Endangered Species Act
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

The Trump administration has announced plans to gut the Endangered Species Act, ordering federal agencies to consider economic impacts before listing animals to be protected under the law. The newly proposed guidelines by the Interior Department would allow corporations involved in extraction to proceed with projects that would otherwise be prohibited. The Trump administration’s proposed rules are among several recent attacks endangering the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA chief suggests removing ‘climate’ from mission statement, adding focus on trade deficit
Washington Post - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

A recent presentation by the acting head of the United States’ top weather and oceans agency suggested removing the study of “climate” from its official mission statement, focusing the agency’s work instead on economic goals and “homeland and national security.” Critics say this would upend the mission of the $5.9 billion National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Carbon Tax and the Art of the Deal: Time for Some Horse-Trading
Inside Climate News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

When a Republican introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions even those who spoke approvingly of the bill tended to refer to it as a way to start a "conversation." For the bill to have any chance, it'll also have to start some horse-trading. Without some give and take, this carbon tax bill is likely to go where all others have landed: nowhere.
The Secretary Zinke Federal Investigation Tracker
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Outside - Controversy has tailed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke practically since he assumed the job. As head of the Department of the Interior, he oversees 500 million acres of public land—about one-fifth of the United States—and is charged with both preserving our nation’s natural resources and managing them for commercial use. “I’m a Teddy Roosevelt guy,” Zinke has said. “You can’t love public lands more than I do.” But what would Roosevelt, a celebrated conservationist who created five national parks and 18 national monuments, really think of Zinke’s efforts? To answer that question, we created this helpful tracker, which judges noteworthy moments in Interior Secretary Zinke’s tenure as they happen, rating each on a scale from Perturbed Teddy to Angry Teddy to Raging Teddy.
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