March 23, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 22, 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
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
Conservation and Management of Woodcock, Waterfowl, and Grouse, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Speaker: Kelsey Sullivan, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Perennial Vegetables for Maine, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery talks about perennial vegetables for Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 6:30 pm.
Don't let Trump make massive cuts to the EPA
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Trump aims to cut the EPA by more than 25%. Tell your Senators: Stop Trump from gutting our bedrock environmental protections.
Bats of the World, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Bats comprise nearly one-quarter of the world’s approximately 4,000 mammal species, yet humans continue to fear and misunderstand them. Chewonki presentation for K to 11 years old. At Patten Library, Bath, March 22, 4 pm.
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News Items
Neighbors, land trust pan plan to dredge river for Bath Iron Works
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A new proposal to conduct “emergency” Kennebec River channel dredging next month to allow a Bath Iron Works destroyer to depart has prompted those who work and live on the river to voice concerns about the impact and timing of the project. The work is slated to take place just as federally protected migratory fish — notably Atlantic salmon and shortnose sturgeon — begin to spawn in the riverbed. It’s also sparked fears of contamination among riverfront property owners and shellfish harvesters. Ed Friedman, a Bowdoinham guide and president of Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, said Wednesday, “FOMB remains very concerned about the effects of dredging on migratory fish species in particular, for which the river is federally designated as a ‘significant wildlife habitat.’
Opinion: Maine can’t afford to wait to improve its critical water infrastructure
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Significant investment in our country’s infrastructure is critical to sustain short- and long-term growth. Maine is no exception. But when it comes to infrastructure, safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater treatment are probably the easiest to take for granted. By combining collaborative delivery approaches to construction — such as construction management at-risk and design-build — with innovative technologies, it is possible to stretch infrastructure dollars without jeopardizing quality. But it can’t happen without a national commitment to rebuilding our country’s critical infrastructure. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. ~ Joseph Picoraro, PC Construction
Bald eagle population threatened by lead poisoning, US scientists warn
The Guardian - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Bald eagles have rebounded across the US since 1972, when the government banned the pesticide DDT. But 10-15% of bald eagles die in the first year because of lead poisoning, Stewart said, in part because the young birds almost exclusively eat carrion. Last week, nearly 30 doctors and scientists sent a letter to the department of the interior to “strongly support” a rule that Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump’s new interior secretary, revoked on his first day in the post. The rule, enacted by the Obama administration on its last day, would have banned lead ammunition across 150m acres of national wildlife refuges.
Climate Change in Maine
Other - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

In the last 120 years, average temperatures in Maine have increased by three degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists predict the state will heat up another three to ten degrees by the end of the century. Some call it “climate change,” while others prefer the term “odd weather.” Many have been aware of these shifts for decades, but many more are still holding out, not yet ready to diagnose these erratic weather patterns as indicative of a larger transformation. This immersive map of climate change testimonials by Mainers was created by Bates College students.
Opinion: When climate change affects livelihood, adapting trumps ‘believing’
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

In Maine, many of those directly affected by climate change – lobstermen, maple syrup farmers, indigenous peoples, timber workers – are reticent to use the terms dictated by national discourse. But they will happily relate the very specific ways in which their industry has been transformed by the recent string of abnormally warm winters. In Jay, a forester described how warmer winters were costing the lumber industry money because removing trees over half-thawed, muddy ground requires that new roadways be built. In Phippsburg, a lobsterman spoke of how warming in the Gulf was pushing lobster offshore into colder water, causing him to spend more time away from home. And in Mechanic Falls, a local farmer spoke of the negative impact erratic winter temperatures were having on his peers throughout the valley. ~ Elizabeth Rush, Bates College, Lewiston
Two-year study to assess microfibers’ threat to the oceans
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Comfortable clothes are emerging as a source of plastic that’s increasingly ending up in the oceans and potentially contaminating seafood, according to Gulf Coast researchers who are launching a two-year study of microscopic plastics.
Congressional panel says New England marine monument hurts fishing communities
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Members of subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee are objecting to the way President Barack Obama created a national marine monument off the coast of New England last year. Republicans say the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument lacked significant local input and scientific scrutiny. The subcommittee is chaired by Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican.
Editorial: Downsizing Maine’s bottle redemption program would be a recycling disaster
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Two years ago, Maine lawmakers were asked to scale back the state’s nearly four-decade-old beverage bottle redemption program. Wisely, they chose not to. This year in the Maine Legislature, lawmakers face the same choice. For nearly four decades, Maine’s beverage distributors have successfully prevented a large portion of their products from ending up in the landfill, and Maine residents have been committed to helping. There’s no reason to let up on this commitment now.
Judge upholds state permits for Hampden waste-to-energy plant
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

In a decision that affects trash disposal for more than a hundred Maine communities, a Superior Court judge has denied a competing solid waste disposal group’s arguments and upheld state permits for a new waste-to-energy plant by Fiberight LLC in Hampden. Justice Michaela Murphy, in a 30-page decision issued Wednesday, affirmed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to issue permits to Maryland-based Fiberight for air emissions, solid waste processing, stormwater management and compliance with the Natural Resources Protection Act for the $69 million waste processing and recycling facility.
Lawmakers, Businesses Say Worker Visa Restrictions Will Harm Maine Tourism Industry
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe. Those concerns have caught the attention of a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators, including Maine Republican Susan Collins, that wants an audit of the H-2B program to ensure all available visas are issued.
Maine keeps attracting visitors in steadily growing numbers – nearly 36 million
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Maine’s tourism industry saw its revenue increase for the fourth straight year in 2016, growing to $6 billion, a 6 percent bump over 2015. The 35.8 million visitors who fueled the growth included a resurgence of Canadian vacationers, according to the annual report from the Maine Office of Tourism delivered Wednesday during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta. Tourism is one of Maine’s largest industries, employing about 106,000 people, or one out of every six jobs in the state. The total economic impact is estimated at $9 billion, and last year tourists paid $596 million in taxes to the state.
Proposed NOAA cuts are alarming
Times Record - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Maine’s fishing communities are concerned over cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the elimination of the Sea Grant program, proposed in a budget memo by the Trump administration. “Here in Maine, we get $1.2 million of that money from NOAA each year, and I match that with at least $600,000 of non-federal support,” said Paul Anderson, director of the Maine Sea Grant College Program. “Our return on investment here at the university is around 7 to 1.
Poliquin supports, Pingree opposes bill to allow killing of denning wolves and bears in Alaska refuges
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a joint resolution that would allow the killing of wolf pups and bear cubs, and their mothers, in their dens on National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) voted to oppose the legislation. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) voted to support the resolution.
CEI presents 'Opportunity Award' to St. Croix Tissue
Mainebiz - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Braving Tuesday's nor'easter to attend CEI's annual meeting in Brunswick, St. Croix Tissue Inc., was awarded CEI's "2017 Award for Expanding Economic Opportunity" for its $120 million paper mill that has created more than 80 jobs. St. Croix was founded in Baileyville in 1904 to provide newsprint to the Boston Globe. It added two paper machines and two hydroelectric generation stations from 1906 to 1915. In 1963 Georgia-Pacific bought it and it was resold again in 2001 to Canadian paper company Domtar, which closed it in 2007, ending 100 years of papermaking. IGIC, a U.S.-based company for a Chinese investment firm, bought the mill in 2010 and converted it to natural gas in 2011. The expansion in Baileyville makes paper towels, facial and other tissues.
Editorial: This is no time to sow doubt about climate change
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

If there is anything leaders should agree on, it’s the need for empirical evidence. It was unsettling, to say the least, for the nation’s top environmental official to question the science of climate change, signaling a future of polluting policies and aversion to research. Anyone interested in a Mainer’s understanding of climate change should read a recent piece by Sen. Angus King, published in the Maine Policy Review. This is not a time to sow doubt about climate change. It’s a time to figure out how to make substantial, long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while also preparing for a time of rising temperatures and sea levels. Scott Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA could set America on a dangerous course backward.
Hawkwatching season is here
Maine Government News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Hawkwatching season is here. Freeport Wild Bird Supply will once again sponsor the Spring Hawkwatch at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, beginning on March 15th. 2017 marks the eleventh consecutive season for this project through which valuable data is collected while providing an enjoyable and educational experience for visitors. Zane Baker will be stationed at the summit from 9 am to 5 pm daily from March 15th to May 15th.
Trump Rollback of CAFE Standards will Accelerate Climate Change
Other - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

During a meeting with auto industry executives today in Ypsilanti, Mich., Donald Trump is expected to announce a weakening of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards. Known as the CAFE standards, the regulations govern fuel efficiency for new cars and trucks sold in the United States. Friends of the Earth Legal Director Marcie Keever offered the following response: Rolling back fuel economy standards will accelerate climate change and increase American’s addiction to oil. Donald Trump wants to go back to the 1970s, when weak emission controls choked our skies with smog from cars and trucks.
Public May Have Say On Plan for Future of Maine Shrimp
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Interstate fishing regulators are getting ready to vote on whether to send a plan about the future of the imperiled Maine shrimp fishery to the public. Regulators shut down the fishery in 2013 amid declining populations of shrimp, and say environmental conditions, including warming ocean temperature off New England, are poor for the recovery of the stock. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has been working on a plan to try to make the fishery more sustainable. Regulators are scheduled to vote Thursday in Portland about whether to send the proposal out for public comment.
EPA deputy accused of working with Monsanto to kill cancer study
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s investigation into one of the herbicide’s key chemicals. The boast was made during an April 2015 phone conversation, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by the weed killer.
Blog: Mainers – and our birds – are lucky to have Avian Haven
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Avian Haven in Freedom is a wonderful place, especially for birds. This nonprofit wild bird rehabilitation center works hard to help injured and orphaned birds and return them to the wild. Co-directors Diane Winn and Marc Payne, with some dedicated employees and volunteers, can be considered a bird’s best friends.
A Mini Version of Trump Is About to Take Over the USDA
Other - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Mother Jones - Perhaps savoring the similarities with himself, in January President Trump tapped former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as his pick for secretary of the US Department of Agriculture. Perdue has finally filed ethics papers required by the Senate. A recent report from Environmental Working Group characterized Perdue as "mired in ethical lapses, self-dealing and back-room deals that raise troubling questions about his fitness to run the department." The USDA includes numerous agencies, including the Forest Service, which manages our national forests.
Letter: Tax carbon emissions
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

I am concerned about global warming, and I recently joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an organization with a single mission: to enact a federal carbon fee and dividend bill. Fossil fuels would be taxed at the source — oil wells, coal mines, natural gas fields — making the price we pay for carbon fuels and goods produced using carbon fuels more in line with their true costs. Carbon fees and dividends are a step toward building a sustainable energy future, and the fact that conservatives and liberals are thinking along similar lines gives me hope. ~ Gerry Gross, Bangor
Letter: GOP lacks compassion
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Instead of trying to help the common people, the Republicans are trying to eliminate environmental and other protections for our public land. And who profits from this oppression? The wealthy, entitled and CEOs. The people will only take so much. Isn’t that why our country threw off our oppressors in England to begin with? ~ Valerie Walker, Frankfort
Letter: Indigenous Americans maligned
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

On March 4, I attended the Hancock County Action Assembly in Ellsworth. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills made strong statements on the issues of the day, including refugee rights. She conspicuously did not mention indigenous rights, however. I want to know how Mills squares her strongly positive support for the important issue of refugees from other lands with the negative stance she has taken over Native American rights to the Penobscot River. It’s not just a boundary issue; it’s a clean water issue that affects all of us. ~ Sam Bergman, Hancock
Blog: Winter Fly Hatches, Or, Let’s Tie One On
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 14, 2017 

The important winter fly hatches are happening now! Mayflies, caddis, emergers, spinners, nymphs — all rising in clouds from tying vises across America and beyond. I mean, what else do we have to do in the winter? ~ Nick Mills
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