August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 23, 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Opinion: It’s time to get local about marine climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 5, 2019 

On Aug. 22, the first ever Northeast Shell Day has been planned as a single-day monitoring blitz aimed to create a snapshot of coastal marine conditions. Climate change projections for ocean acidification anticipate a world with steep declines in populations of shellfish and calcifying organisms. Already in the Northeast and Gulf of Maine acidification is harmful to shellfish; slowing growth rates and weakening the immune system’s ability to ward off disease. ~ Parker Gassett, Camden, graduate student researcher at UMaine
Missing AT hiker found dead in his tent in western Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 5, 2019 

A 63-year-old hiker who had not been heard from in 13 days was found dead by a game warden on the Appalachian Trail in western Maine on Monday. According to the Maine Warden Service, Jeffrey Aylward, 63, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was found dead in Township D on the AT at about 10 a.m. Monday. Wardens have no reason to expect foul play, and the hiker had experienced recent health issues.
Study: Maine Fishermen Should Plan For Accelerated Ocean Warming
Maine Public - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Climate change is triggering more and more surprise variations in temperatures in the world’s oceans, including off Maine, and those spikes are changing ecosystems in ways that looking at the past wouldn’t predict. That’s one of the conclusions of a new study out Monday from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which finds that the bigger-than-expected temperature swings are benefiting some species while hurting others, and that has effects that can be felt up the food chain by the humans that depend on those ecosystems.
Maine Farm to School Network receives USDA Farm to School training grant
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 5, 2019 

The Maine Farm to School Network at Healthy Communities of the Capital Area received a $25,000 USDA Farm to School Training Grant to build K-12 local food procurement capacity in Maine. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, USDA Farm to School grants can help farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. “This award will develop the capacity of Maine school food directors to purchase from and support Maine farmers,” said Stephanie Cesario, Maine Farm to School Network coordinator.
Puffins fill up nesting islands this year despite challenges
Associated Press - Monday, August 5, 2019 

One of the most beloved birds in Maine is having one of its most productive seasons for mating pairs in years on remote islands off the state’s coast. Maine is the only state in the U.S. where Atlantic puffins breed, and they do so on hard-to-reach places like Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Maine. The birds are well on their way to setting a record for the number of breeding pairs, said National Audubon Society scientist Stephen Kress, who has studied the birds for years. Kress said nearly 750 pairs nested on Seal Island and Eastern Egg Rock in 2018, and this year’s number will likely be higher.
Cuddling with farm animals can help young kids develop healthier immune systems
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Could playing with livestock improve your baby’s health? New research suggests it might. In a study recently published in Frontiers in Immunology, researchers found that the microbes found in fecal samples of rural Amish babies who were regularly exposed to livestock were more diverse than urban babies who were not. The scoop: the poop showed that babies regularly exposed to livestock have stronger, healthier guts.
Maine lobster sector fears NOAA rules will have heavy impact
Other - Monday, August 5, 2019 

IntraFish - The sector fears an official crackdown could even put lobster fishers and those depending on them out of business.
Passenger train between Portland and Westbrook could cost $100 million
Associated Press - Monday, August 5, 2019 

The Northern New England Rail Authority estimates it would cost more than $100 million for a potential rail line between Portland and Westbrook.
Legal challenge to Brunswick’s ‘solar panel tax’ shot down
Associated Press - Monday, August 5, 2019 

The Maine Superior Court has upheld Brunswick’s tax on solar panels that seven families challenged in court. The families argued that Brunswick’s tax was unconstitutional and had the ability to slow the growth of solar power locally. Despite the defeat in court, property owners won’t have to continue the fight, because of new incentives for solar energy use in Maine. Lawmakers this year passed a property tax exemption for solar energy projects. An attorney for the petitioners said there won’t be an appeal because of the new exemption.
Here’s how the hottest month in recorded history unfolded around the globe
Washington Post - Monday, August 5, 2019 

July was the warmest month the world has experienced since record-keeping began more than a century ago. Wildfires raged across millions of acres in the Arctic. A massive ice melt event in Greenland sent hundreds of billions of tons of water pouring into the Atlantic Ocean, raising sea levels. And temperature records evaporated, one after another. Scientists found that the planet is on pace for one of its hottest years, and the data all but guarantee that the period from 2015 to 2019 will go down as the warmest five-year period on record. Researchers who study climate change’s role in extreme weather found that climate change made July’s heat wave at least 10 times more likely.
Maine prepared to roll out new charging stations, electric vehicle rebates
Other - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Energy News Network - Maine is poised to unveil an expanded network of public electric vehicle charging stations and reveal more details for its first consumer incentives. The state is using funds from two lawsuits against Volkswagen to add several dozen public charging stations. Maine is also preparing to institute a flat $2,000 rebate for qualified electric vehicles, a $1,000 rebate for plug-in hybrids and an enhanced rebate for low-income individuals.
State, Feds Ask Mainers To Go On Beetle Patrol For Bad Bug
Associated Press - Monday, August 5, 2019 

State and federal authorities are asking Mainers to keep an eye on trees this month for the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest. The beetle feeds on hardwood trees such as maple, birch, elm and ash.
Oyster shell recycling aimed at reducing Casco Bay acidification
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Since June, a team has gone out on Tuesdays and Fridays to collect discarded shells from 10 restaurants as part of Ocean to Plate to Ocean, a pilot project by the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership and Maine Coastal Program to reduce ocean acidification by reintegrating the recycled shells into Casco Bay.
Lifejackets for Lobstermen project outfitting Maine fishermen
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Lifejackets for Lobstermen has sold more than 430 lifejackets to Maine and Massachusetts fishermen since April, traveling from port to port in two vans stocked with 11 different models of jackets and float aids to give fishermen a chance to see which style might work best for them. With grant assistance, Lifejackets for Lobstermen can sell these personal flotation devices to Maine and Massachusetts lobstermen for half off their retail price. That brings the costs to fishermen down to $19-$120. Lobster fishing deaths accounted for the highest number of occupational fatalities in East Coast fisheries from 2010 to 2014. Half of those were related to falls overboard. None of the recovered victims was wearing a lifejacket.
Column: Indigestible
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, August 5, 2019 

The Greens have been oozing around since 1984. They used to run candidates for governor and U.S. Senate with some regularity, but no success. They did elect a state representative and a few city councilors in Portland without noticeable impact. In recent years, the Greens have somehow managed to maintain their status as an official party, even though most people have forgotten they exist. Like neglected items in the back of the refrigerator, the Greens linger on past its best-used-by date. Which may explain why David Gibson is a Green candidate for U.S. Senate. ~ Al Diamon
Letter: CMP is seeing political climate change
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 5, 2019 

In just 18 months, membership in social media groups holding Central Maine Power accountable has grown to over 20,000. It remains doubtful that CMP fully understands how the political climate is changing. CMP has run roughshod over their customers, because they controlled the perceptions of politicians, media and regulators, selling themselves and their projects as “good for Maine” while delivering pitiful performance. If CMP is successful in pushing through NECEC it will be the epitaph on their tombstone. ~ The Rev. Darien “Deke” Sawyer, Jackman
Letter: Turbines could replace old dams
Kennebec Journal - Monday, August 5, 2019 

I write in regards to the July 7 editorial, “Dam removal signaled new era for rivers.” Dam removal provides a great benefit for the environment and the natural habitat for healthy fisheries. Underwater turbines in the East River in New York in the path of fast-moving currents have proved very successful. A screen around the turbine prevents fish from moving into the turbine blades. With this new technology, there is no need for dams. At the same time, it also protects the environment along with a new source of electrical generation. ~ Marcel LeRoi, Belgrade
Letter: Put greenery around I-95 exits
Kennebec Journal - Monday, August 5, 2019 

In regard to the Maine Department of Transportation’s complete clearing of the land surrounding Interstate 95 exits 109 and 112, DOT has been silent on its plans, if any, for these now mostly dirt-covered stark areas. Both exits are gateways to our state capital. They remind me of exits in Oklahoma or North Dakota, not the green Maine we know and love. Perhaps the DOT could commit to planting milkweed, wildflowers, and/or flowering shrubs or trees? I assume these plants aren’t a risk to drivers and are within the DOT’s budget. ~ Keith Taylor, Hallowell
Letter: Why remove the trees in Brunswick?
Forecaster - Monday, August 5, 2019 

Today while running errands in Brunswick, I was heartbroken to see piles of dead trees lining the median strip and sides of the road along Route 1. From Cook’s Corner to New Meadows, about 3 miles, complete and utter devastation. All the spring and summer nests destroyed. All the birds, mammals and their litters plundered and crushed. Even if people don’t see trees and forests as habitat first and foremost, what about tourism dollars and autumn leaf-peeping? Greater still, we understand that the simplest, quickest and most cost-effective way to curb or forestall climate change is the planting of trees. So much for those lovely old trees that made that particular drive so pleasant. ~ Sandy Maggie Aukeman, Georgetown
KLT gets local help filling gap left by removed trees
Turner Publishing - Sunday, August 4, 2019 

Where once tall trees stood, all that remained for the last several months along the edges of the Kennebec Land Trust’s Office property in Winthrop were large yellowing stumps. The tall white pine trees, of which the stumps were vestiges, were removed by an arborist because of safety concerns. The vacancy of the trees was visible to travelers along Main Street, and was all too apparent to those living and working in the area. In an effort to restore life and beauty, three community businesses — C.B. Mattson, Longfellow’s Greenhouses and D.R. Struck Nursery — lent their support in the installation of native shrubbery.
Letter: Shameful flip on solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Even though I am not a constituent of Reps. Stacey Guerin, Matthew Harrington, Teresa Pierce, Matthew Pouliot and Abden Simmons, I cannot stay silent in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and cowardice. I hope their flip from initially supporting LD 1444, the solar bill, with a supposed “veto-proof” majority to upholding the anti-solar governor’s veto will be remembered by voters in their districts. Come November they should find themselves out of a job. ~ Jason Langle, Orono
Blog: Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” ~ Kristine Snow Millard
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017 

A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia. Tommy Zhou was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
Blog: Singing is an act of territorialism for birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 7, 2016 

Birds don’t think about much, mostly just food and sex. Despite the simplicity of such a life, bird communication can be quite complex. Birds are renowned for their vocal abilities, but they use lots of visual cues, too. Perhaps nothing is more obvious than the crests sported by many species. ~ Bob Duchesne
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