August 19, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 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
Bird Monitoring, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Join a marsh-wide survey of birds and help document all present species timed to catch the beginning of shorebird migration. At Scarborough Marsh, August 26, 7-10 am, free.
Head Harbor Passage Boat Trip, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

A birding trip to Head Harbor Passage and the surrounding Canadian Islands. At Eastport, August 26, 10 am – 2 pm; Maine Audubon Members $60, Non-members $75.
Don’t let Trump censor climate science
Action Alert - Friday, August 18, 2017 

President Donald Trump may censor a comprehensive and alarming new report written by scientists from 13 federal agencies — research that confirms climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already hurting people across the U.S. We deserve to know the truth about climate change — no matter how inconvenient it may be for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Life Happens Outside Festival celebrates Maine's outdoors and its passionate outdoor community. Featuring 6 outdoor villages, 40+ vendors, interactive workshops, exhibits, gear demos, food, and live music. Free giveaways, competitions, outdoor presentations, and the ability to purchase outdoor gear directly from the brands. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25-26.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Celebrate active, outdoor lifestyles. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25 & 26. Sponsored by Teens to Trails.
Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
Native Plants & Wildflower Symposium, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Includes talks, tours of two native-plant gardens, and a chance to view an herbarium. At McLaughlin Gardens and Homestead, South Paris, August 29, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, $20 for members, $30 for non-members, registration deadline Aug 21.
Katahdin Woods & Waters 5k Relay, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

This race in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is part of the 'Wild Maine Weekend' hosted by local area businesses. August 19.
Animals, Animals, Animals, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

International wildlife and travel photographer Gary Harmatz will share his photographs and stories of the wonderful world of exotic and highly endangered wildlife. At Blue Hill Public Library, August 19, 10 am.
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News Items
Beyond Borders Farmers Market puts down roots in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 11, 2017 

Every Friday since the start of July, a group of Somali Bantu immigrants have traveled from Lewiston to set up their market stalls in the parking lot of the Viles Arboretum in Augusta to sell vegetables — like beets, radishes, potatoes, carrots and onions — they grow and to make and sell the sambusas. Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization works with Somali immigrants from the Juba Valley of south central Somalia who have settled in the Lewiston area to give them a means to support themselves with skills they already have. Many were farmers, and they are using those skills in Maine.
Maine Public - Friday, August 11, 2017 

Elderberries hold great promise as a signature crop for Maine. The berries are being grown here more, now that they are being used in so many different applications, from liqueurs to medicine to a variety of dishes.
How Maine can be in a drought, even during record rainfall
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 11, 2017 

How can Maine be getting more precipitation and yet also have crops that suffer from a lack of water? The answer lies in how and where the rain falls in Maine, according to Sean Birkel, a research professor at University of Maine and the state’s official climatologist. Drought conditions can spring up relatively quickly, in a matter of weeks, whereas the trend of increasing precipitation is borne out by decades of weather data, he said. And the rain and snow that falls in Maine is not spread evenly throughout the state, which can result in significant differences within Maine from one season to the next.
Orono Bog walk vandalized for fourth time since May
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 11, 2017 

The Orono Bog Walk has been vandalized yet again, according to a local television station report. Nearly a dozen railings were kicked or torn off the boardwalk Wednesday night, some of which were thrown into the bog. The bog, which extends for 1 mile into the Bangor City Forest and abutting property owned by the University of Maine, was built in 2002 as part of a collaboration between the University of Maine, the city of Bangor and the Orono Land Trust. In recent years, it has had its fair share of run-ins with vandals in recent years.
Stunning photos and great stories about loons
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, August 11, 2017 

There is something very special about loons, and photographer Nick Leadley has captured that specialness in a spectacular way. In his book, "Gavia – Tales from Loon Country," Nick gives us dozens of stunning photos of loons, and dozens of stories about loons submitted by folks all over the state.
UMaine to Receive More Than $220K From NOAA to Study Tuna
Associated Press - Friday, August 11, 2017 

The University of Maine is slated to receive more than $220,000 from the federal government to support research of Atlantic bluefin tuna. The money from NOAA will help with UMaine's research about the tuna's age, growth and population in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The university hopes the work will help improve understanding of the Atlantic bluefin stock. New England fishermen caught more than 1.5 million pounds of Atlantic bluefin in 2015. The fish was also brought to shore elsewhere along the East Coast. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the fish as endangered.
Acadia’s found a new way to crack down on people who enter without paying
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 11, 2017 

Acadia National Park can fine motorists who don’t have entrance passes, but officials think they have a better way to crack down on violations. Park rangers began putting notices on parked cars on Thursday warning violators that they have 24 hours to pay $25 for a weekly entrance pass or they will face the usual $130 fine for failing to display a pass on their vehicles, said Christie Anastasia, Acadia’s public affairs specialist.
Letter: Climate-change report must be shared with U.S. public
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 11, 2017 

Good decision-making is grounded in the open exchange of and debate on ideas. That’s why I am so concerned about the possible suppression of the latest report on climate change, which is now in the hands of President Trump and the White House, awaiting permission for it to be released to the public. It is not a “manifesto” sort of thing. It is not political. It is a scientific report. Let’s look at it and debate and pressure our public officials to do likewise. ~ Elizabeth Oatley, Windham
Letter: No time to ignore man-made climate change
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 11, 2017 

Human-caused climate change is slow compared to a human life span, but is now 10 times faster than the natural climate change that ended the last Ice Age, and increasing. The cause, demonstrated by climate scientists the world over, are emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels (together with other gases including methane, CHFCs and ozone). They are the greenhouse gases that keep more of the sun’s heat in our atmosphere and oceans. So what’s the cure? Conservative economists all agree it is to impose a steadily increasing price on CO2 emissions (at the coal mine and oil/gas well) giving the money back to people in equitable shares as a dividend. ~ Peter Garrett, Ph.D., Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Winslow
Column: Souls vs. Fossil Fuels
Other - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

There are regions where economic stress coexists with a beloved way of life. It can be hard to make a living in parts of the rural West, northern New England and the South. But people stay put in these places for reasons other than the almighty dollar. They include community, tradition and quality of life. But the issues go beyond the matter of souls vs. fossil fuels. They involve conflicts between one source of income and other sources. U.S. taxpayers extend billions of dollars in corporate welfare to mining companies. It's fairly easy to preserve a house that George Washington slept in. It's hard to preserve a way of life, especially when the side that would end it can buy the politicians. But it's sure worth trying. ~ Froma Harrop
Border Commission awards $250,000 for Fort Kent levee extension
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The federal-state collaborative Northern Border Regional Commission recently awarded the town of Fort Kent $250,000 to help fund the installation of approximately 800 feet of concrete wall and earth fill to expand the existing levee on the St. John River to the Fish River Bridge. Fort Kent’s Director of Economic Development, Steven Pelletier, said that there are no safety issues with the current levee, but that the extension would help mitigate future flood damage in that part of downtown.
Rockland, Winslow getting Northern Border grants but federal program’s future in doubt
Associated Press - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The Northern Border Regional Commission is providing $650,000 to a pair of Maine communities to help improve local infrastructure. Rockland's aging fish pier will get an upgrade. Funds will also help the Winslow Business Park expand, creating new jobs. The Trump administration proposed eliminating funding for the commission. The U.S. House has passed a bill that would cut 2018 funding for the Northern Border Commission in half from its 2017 funding of $10 million to $5 million. A separate proposal in the Senate, which has not yet been acted upon, would increase funding for the commission to $15 million.
60 Percent Drop in Fines Shows Corporate Polluters Have Little to Fear From Trump
Other - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

An environmental watchdog group said Thursday that the Trump administration has so far shown little interest in holding companies accountable for polluting the environment, compared with President Donald Trump's recent predecessors. In keeping with a pattern of lax enforcement Trump took office in January, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department have collected just $12 million in fines from violators of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other anti-pollution laws, according to a new study released by the Environmental Integrity Project.
Judge rules against residents in dispute with Brunswick over sale of waterfront parcel
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

A Superior Court judge has ruled against Brunswick residents who wanted the town to hold a referendum on how best to use a waterfront parcel that the Town Council had decided to sell. More than 1,100 Brunswick residents signed a petition seeking the referendum – many wanted the land preserved as a public park – but the council rejected the petition and sold the 4-acre parcel on Maquoit Bay to a California couple for more than a half-million dollars.
2016 Hit Records For Global Temperature And Climate Extremes
National Public Radio - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The year 2016 was the warmest on record for the planet as a whole, surpassing temperature records that date back 137 years, according to an annual report compiled by scientists around the globe. For global temperatures, last year surpassed the previous record-holder: 2015. According to the annual, peer-reviewed State of the Climate report, it was also a year of other extremes and records, including the highest sea levels and lowest sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica. And, it was one of the worst years for droughts.
Verso Paper mill in Jay may get further investment
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The Verso paper mill in Jay could be in line for additional investment as the company considers all options for increasing value. In a conference call Wednesday to review its second-quarter performance, managers of Verso Paper said they have hired a consultant to look at each of the company’s seven mills and the company as a whole to determine how to wring the best value for shareholders. Last fall, the mill’s No. 3 paper machine was idled, resulting in the layoffs of about 200 people, and its No. 5 machine was refitted to produce specialty paper – a departure from the coated paper the mill has historically produced.
Column: Some shorebirds won’t be found at the shore at all in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The problem with shorebirds is that they are not always at the shore. Shorebirds also show up elsewhere, and some shorebirds wouldn’t be caught dead at the shore. The name “shorebirds” is just a blanket description for several different groups of birds that sometimes hang around the ocean shoreline. There are 38 species of shorebird that use Maine for at least part of the year. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine Environmental Group Slams Trump’s Proposed EPA Budget
Maine Public - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

State environmental activists took to Scarborough Beach on Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. The Natural Resources Council of Maine staged the event to highlight the direct effects it says Trump’s proposal would have on Maine: EPA grants to states for coastal water quality monitoring would be eliminated, as would a grant program that aims to reduce runoff pollution from pesticides. Also gone is a program that funds work to stop leaks from underground storage tanks. Hunter Lachance, a Kennebunkport 9th-grader who has asthma, said the EPA plays a vital role in regulating toxic emissions that can trigger his condition. Trump’s budget would cut EPA state grants for air quality planning and enforcement by a third. Lachance is one of more than a thousand Mainers who signed a letter to the state’s congressional delegation asking to keep the EPA’s budget at current levels.
It’s Been A Great Year For Butterflies in Maine
Maine Public - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

It is a big year in Maine for two kinds of butterflies: monarchs and painted ladies. One of the coordinators of the Maine Butterfly Survey, Dr. Herb Wilson of Colby College, says monarchs are having one of their best seasons in years. The executive director of the coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Bill Cullina, is excited about the butterflies, too. “We haven’t had a butterfly season like this since 2012.” Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of concern about monarch butterflies — their numbers had been dwindling. Wilson says monarchs face many dangers: They take several generations to migrate from Mexico to Maine and are threatened by many things along the way, including cold weather and pesticides. Their strong numbers this year are an encouraging sign.
NOAA awards $5.8 million in grants to support endangered, threatened species recovery
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Today, NOAA announces the award of nearly $158,688 to Maine to promote the recovery of Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot River. In the Greater Atlantic Region, NOAA awarded continuing grants to the Maine Department of Marine Resources for migratory characterizations of Atlantic salmon smolts and adults in the Penobscot River.
Breaking trail at John B. Mountain
Weekly Packet - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

What does it take to create a new walking trail through the woods? About one to two years of planning, Blue Hill Heritage Trust Associate Director George Fields said early last December. Fields was out in the woods, chainsaw in hand and goggle and protective gear in place, ready to break a new portion of a spur off the trail that leads to John B. Mountain, a BHHT-owned parcel with a Maine Coast Heritage Trust conservation easement. Seven months later, he returned, with two summer interns, to build a bridge over a narrow creek, clear the spring growth and mark the trail.
Nearly $16 million in work to strengthen rail system in Aroostook, northern Penobscot
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The project will allow the Maine Northern Railway to carry more freight and improve possibilities for job growth.
PETA wants to turn E.B. White farmhouse into ‘pig empathy museum’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants the Maine farmhouse of late children’s book author E.B. White to be converted into a “pig empathy museum.” White’s book “Charlotte’s Web” is about farm animals who talk to each other and prominently features a pig named Wilbur. The 1952 book is one of the bestselling children’s books of all time and has been the source material for multiple feature-length movies in the decades since its release. The historic 44½-acre saltwater farm in North Brooklin where White wrote the timeless story is for sale for $3.7 million.

Column: Bad Season for Right Whales
Free Press - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

This has been a deadly summer for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. By the first week of August, ten dead right whales had been found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or washed up on Newfoundland. There are only slightly more than 500 in existence. The spate of right whale deaths in the Gulf of St. Lawrence points out a painfully obvious fact. The Gulf of Maine is not the place it once was. Right whales give birth off Georgia and Florida in the winter months. The females don’t eat until they return to the Gulf of Maine in the spring. That’s when they chow down on a good meal of zooplankton. If there is less zooplankton in the Gulf of Maine, the whales are likely to travel to a location where it is in abundance. And that, unfortunately for them, seems to be the busy Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Geese killed in Biddeford Pool
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services culled a flock of Canada geese in Biddeford Pool to protect shellfish in the tidal area. Members of the Biddeford Shellfish Conservation Committee voted four to one to allocate $1,922 for the removal and euthanasia of the geese. Committee members were concerned the geese were raising the fecal count in the water to a level that would prevent harvesting of clams and mussels.
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