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
Bigelow Lab’s ‘time machine’ aims to find out how shellfish will fare in the future
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

In the bowels of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Nichole Price is working on a plan to send Bangs Island mussels into the future. It’s a tough future, specifically one in which the chemistry of the ocean is changing so rapidly – warming and becoming far more acidic – that some species face extinction, and species that humans rely on for food, and their livelihood, are in jeopardy. She is researching how kelp farms might help mussels fight the negative impacts of ocean acidification. David Fields, another senior research scientist at Bigelow, is focusing on sending baby lobsters into that same warmer, more acidic future. Both of them can also take their experiments back in time, to a pre-Industrial Age, long before we started worrying about greenhouse gases.
Column: Island hopping around Yarmouth needs to be explored
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

The Royal River Conservation Trust is now in its 30th year. Owner of 11 preserves totaling nearly 500 acres, and holder or steward of nearly 3,000 acres of private and municipal land in eight towns, the organization has protected far more land than many locals will ever explore. I recently explored the spectacular Littlejohn Island Preserve. ~ Josh Christie
Opinion: Are fresh mussels from the ocean a thing of the past?
Sun Journal - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

By not creating and upholding policies to combat the cause of their demise — global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels — we are forgetting about the organisms that fed our ancestors and are a major part of our culture. The mussel is one of dozens of organisms we are at risk of losing. If we don’t urge our elected officials to act now on reducing our greenhouse gas output and taking tangible steps to combat climate change, we will lose much more of our identity as a coastal state than erosion and flooding from rising sea levels. ~ Madeleine Fenderson. Environment Maine
Opinion: Don’t weaken Maine’s part in ozone protection zone
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

Fossil fuel dependency and fossil fuel investor profits are shortsighted, corporate-driven answers to our lagging economy here in Maine. I oppose the Department of Environmental Protection’s petition to take most of Maine out of the Ozone Transport Region (the congressionally created compact that requires members to adopt added pollution control measures). Maine has some of the highest rates of asthma in the entire country, and we sit at the tailpipe of the nation. We need to continue to move forward on clean air protections instead of backward. ~ Sarah MacColl, Cape Elizabeth
Letter: Mainers must push for bills that protect the outdoors
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

It’s no secret that Mainers love the outdoors. Yet the state’s protected forests, lakes and coasts are under threat in Congress. The U.S. House recently passed H.R. 6147, a spending bill that cut funding for the EPA and conservation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill was also loaded with anti-environmental policy provisions that harm clean water, public lands and children’s health. Over the past 50 years, Maine has received approximately $188 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect the state’s parks, forests and refuges. These treasured places cannot afford cuts to such an important funding source. ~ Elizabeth Leape, Environment Maine
Letter: Hydro Quebec/CMP project will benefit Maine
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

Fossil fuel industry representative Dan Dolan maintains that the ew England Clean Energy Connect project will have no environmental benefit. This is inaccurate. Central Maine Power’s NECEC project will deliver millions of additional non-emitting megawatts to the Northeast. Across New England, carbon emissions will be cut by over 3 million tons. It also makes sense financially. The energy is stably — and competitively — priced over the long term, which will be helpful when extreme weather pushes natural gas and other energy prices through the roof because of high demand. ~ Lynn St-Laurent, Hydro Quebec, public affairs and media relations, Montréal
Letter: Don’t let scofflaws ruin recycling
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 29, 2018 

Sorry to hear that a few morons may ruin this great service for all of us (“Ecomaine paper, plastic recycling is jeopardized by everything from old sneakers to lobster shells”). Perhaps have a city employee stand guard just a few hours a week when it’s estimated that dropoff is highest to educate and maybe look at the leavings. Sort of like what I do part-time manning a boat launch — inspecting boats, and educating people about milfoil, hydrilla, water chestnut, other hideous invasive aquatic plants. Except this time it’s invasive trash. Or just put more signs up stating what’s permitted. ~ Ted Elliott, Augusta
State cemetery for veterans may offer green burials
Sun Journal - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

The iconic image of a veterans cemetery, which has white headstones aligned with military precision in perfect rows in a carefully groomed setting, is changing. The Maine Veterans’ Cemetery System plans to make more options available to veterans, their spouses and their dependents when their time comes. The newest possibility, likely to be in place within five years, is a “green burial” that avoids costly coffins and embalming in favor of preserving the natural landscape. Scott Brown, superintendent, said he envisions plots within a meadow filled with wildflowers and along a winding path through the woods at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.
Volunteers giving Augusta’s Howard Hill forestland a makeover
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

Kennebec Land Trust staff, interns and volunteers are working to create a newly blazed trail to remove some of the invasive plant species on Howard Hill. The now city-owned property provides a wooded scenic backdrop to the State House. A plan for the land envisions it as a “historic forest park” with parking in Augusta and Hallowell. The plan includes the creation of several miles of recreational trails and some clearing of trees which organizers said will provide expansive, in some cases cliff side, views of the state Capitol and the river valley surrounding it.
This Summer’s Heat Waves Could Be the Strongest Climate Signal Yet
Inside Climate News - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

Earth's global warming fever spiked to deadly new highs across the Northern Hemisphere this summer, and we're feeling the results—extreme heat is now blamed for hundreds of deaths, droughts threaten food supplies, wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. At sea, record and near-record warm oceans have sent soggy masses of air surging landward, fueling extreme rainfall and flooding in Japan and the eastern U.S. In Europe, the Baltic Sea is so warm that potentially toxic blue-green algae is spreading across its surface. There shouldn't be any doubt that some of the deadliest of this summer's disasters are fueled by weather extremes linked to global warming, said Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
For Maine bears, summer doughnuts precede fall hunt season
Associated Press - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

Maine hunters are allowed to lay bait to lure bears every summer. This year, the state is allowing the laying of bait starting on Saturday. Bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts. The hunt itself doesn’t begin until Aug. 27. The portion in which hunting over bait is allowed lasts until Sept. 22, though it’s still legal to hunt bears in Maine until Nov. 24.
Coastal Maine town votes to save its swimming hole
Lincoln County News - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

In a long-awaited referendum, Bristol residents voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to save the Bristol Mills Dam. Bristol voted 992-105 in favor of Question 1, to repair the dam and replace the fish ladder.
Why Maine towns and cities are investing in solar projects
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

There are well over 25 existing municipal solar projects around the state, and the number is growing. The price of solar panel pieces has plummeted in the past 10 years, experts said. A sizeable federal tax credit for renewable energy systems that doesn’t expire until 2021 has also really helped to entice municipalities to explore solar projects. Mount Desert Island is working toward energy independence for the island by 2030. It’s not just about the bottom line said Dylan Voorhees, the climate and clean energy project director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. But without the benefit of the bottom line, it’s unlikely that so many municipal projects would be getting off the ground.
Editorial: Refuse a plastic straw, but then take bigger steps to help the planet
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 28, 2018 

Plastic straws have been demonized lately. Now that many Americans are focused on pollution and environmental damage, they should take actions that will really make a difference. There are numerous other things you can do to improve the planet — recycle, compost and eat less meat. One of the most important is to speak out. Especially with an administration that doesn’t care about pollution and climate change, citizens must demand action at the state and local level. Voting for candidates who believe in reducing pollution and emissions is also important.
EPA withdraws break given to higher-polluting truck makers
Associated Press - Friday, July 27, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency acting chief Andrew Wheeler has withdrawn a break that the agency gave makers of higher-pollution diesel trucks on Scott Pruitt’s last day as agency administrator. The EPA released a Wheeler directive Thursday night reversing one that Pruitt issued on July 6. Pruitt left office that day in the face of unrelenting allegations he misused his office for luxury perks and other personal and political gain.
Pepperell Mill Campus solar array to span 3 buildings and cover 1.5 acres of rooftop
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 27, 2018 

It’s been nearly 100 years since the Saco River powered the textile mills that sit on its banks. Now a different form of renewable energy will power the sprawling brick buildings at the center of the city’s revitalization. The Pepperell Mill Campus soon will become home to the largest privately held solar energy project in Maine when nearly 1,200 solar panels are installed on the roofs of three buildings that house 100 apartments.
Another Fish Kill Near Brookfield Management Dam Worries Biologist
Maine Public - Friday, July 27, 2018 

A biologist for the Downeast Salmon Federation is monitoring what he says is another sizeable fish kill on the Union River below a Brookfield Asset Management dam in Ellsworth. Fisheries biologist Brett Ciccotelli says that he was alerted to the fish kill Friday afternoon and arrived to find hundreds of dead and dying baby alewives, also known as river herring, near the bottom of the Leonard Lake Dam. The facility is currently up for relicensing by Brookfield. Ciccotelli reported a similar fish kill at the same site a month ago.
Biddeford Mill Slated For Maine's Largest Privately-Held Solar Project
Maine Public - Friday, July 27, 2018 

Solar power faces some financial headwinds these days, but the industry is moving forward in Maine. A property developer announced Friday that a re-purposed mill complex in Biddeford will host a solar array that will be the biggest privately-owned facility of its type in the state. The mills of Biddeford and Saco originally got their energy from water wheels that were placed in hand-dug sluiceways under the textile factories in the early 18th century. Now, developer Doug Sanford will install 1200 solar panels on the rooftops of the million-square foot Pepperell Mill Campus, which houses a mix of light manufacturing, commercial businesses and residential units.
Peaks To Portland Race Will Go On, Despite Thursday Sewage Spill Into Casco Bay
Maine Public - Friday, July 27, 2018 

The Peaks to Portland fundraising swim will go on as scheduled Saturday. On Thursday about one million gallons of partially-treated sewage from the city's wastewater treatment plant spilled into Casco Bay. Dave Madore of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection says the primary concern is bacteria in the water. Portland officials said a water quality sample shows bacteria levels are well below the state beach closure limit. The city reopened the East End beach after a second batch of water sample tests was completed on Friday. The YMCA said earlier Friday that it was "anticipating that the race will proceed" as it awaits official test results. It then announced that the race would go on.
Tick-Borne Anaplasmosis Is Back In Maine
Maine Public - Friday, July 27, 2018 

The tick-borne disease anaplasmosis continues to be a concern after a spike in the disease last year, says state epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett. Bennett says nearly 300 cases have been reported so far this year, which is on pace with last year’s total of 663. Anaplasmosis appears to be spreading across Maine the same way Lyme disease did a decade ago. Left untreated, anaplasmosis can lead to severe health issues.
Maine’s historic cod fishery had worst year in history in 2017
Associated Press - Friday, July 27, 2018 

One of the most historic fisheries in the country hit an all-time low last year as cod fishermen continued to struggle with choking quotas and low abundance of the fish. Maine’s cod fishery has existed since at least the early 17th century, and it was once one of the strongest in the country. The fishery peaked at more than 21 million pounds of cod, a fish often used with the fish and chips dish, in 1991. But fishermen only brought 79,816 pounds of cod to land in Maine in 2017.
Maine company wants a chance at Bar Harbor-Canada ferry service
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 27, 2018 

A company that operates local passenger ferries in Hancock and Washington counties has jumped into the ring on offering ferry service between Maine and Nova Scotia. Downeast Windjammer Cruises has proposed paying the town of Bar Harbor $2.75 million over 10 years to operate a vehicle ferry to Canada from a defunct ferry terminal that Bar Harbor voters agreed to purchase in June. The company, owned and operated by Cherryfield resident Steve Pagels, also seasonally runs sailing cruises in and around Bar Harbor.
Editorial: Maine shouldn’t go backward on ozone regulations
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 27, 2018 

Ozone is harmful, sometimes deadly, pollutant. So a proposal from the DEP that most of Maine leave the Ozone Transport Region is a move in the wrong direction. The state’s petition to the EPA to remove most of Maine from the region reads more like a reiteration of the LePage and Trump administration’s ideological opposition to government regulations than a scientific case that Maine’s air quality no longer needs the protection the regional program offers. This petition is not in the best interest of Maine and should be withdrawn.
Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer
Associated Press - Friday, July 27, 2018 

In the United States, 35 weather stations in the past month have set new marks for warm overnight temperatures. The brutal weather has been supercharged by human-induced climate change, scientists say. Climate models for three decades have predicted exactly what the world is seeing this summer. And they predict that it will get hotter – and that what is a record today could someday be the norm. It’s not just heat. A warming world is prone to multiple types of extreme weather – heavier downpours, stronger hurricanes, longer droughts.
Editorial: Solutions to dirty recycling lie in each Maine home
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 27, 2018 

According to ecomaine, the nonprofit corporation that processes trash and recycling for more than 70 Maine communities, 15 percent of what it receives in recycling cannot be reused. For the confused, the answer is more education, in the hope that residents will take the extra time to properly sort their recycling. And for those who don’t comply, there are ways to make the message a lot more immediate. When the city of Sanford was presented with a bill from ecomaine for its contaminated recycling, it began rejecting bins with improper materials. In the first week, the city rejected 250 bins. In a recent week, it was down to two.
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