August 21, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 20, 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
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.
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.
Wabanaki artists, culture event, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

40+ members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms, including basketmaking, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling. At Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, August 24, 10 am - 3 pm.
A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact, Aug 23
Announcement - Friday, August 16, 2019 

According to the EPA's own analysis, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy rule will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year by 2030. Learn about the impacts of Trump's deregulation campaign on a CNN Special Report "A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact." August 23, 10 pm.
Close Encounters of the First Kind, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Maine’s First Ship hosts Ken Hamilton for a discussion of the earliest European and indigenous people interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. At Bath Freight Shed, Bath, August 22, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Anniversary Celebration, Aug 23-24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Dinner, music, silent auction, awards, and toast to commemorate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s August 24th, 2016 proclamation. At New England Outdoor Center, T1 R8, August 23-24, $25.
Earth Day 2020
Announcement - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Earth Day, the global environmental movement for a cleaner, greener, safer and more just world for all, turns 50 next year. Want to help?
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News Items
Poland Spring ‘Good Neighbor Grant’ supports USM research and internships
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Nestlé Waters North America, through its Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, has awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the USM Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the University’s Environmental Science and Policy program.
Coast Guard rescues 4 crewmembers from sinking fishing boat
Courier-Gazette - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Four fishermen from a Portland-based boat were rescued Wednesday morning after their vessel sank in rough seas off Matinicus Island, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard received a distress call at 7:42 a.m. Nov. 14 from the Aaron & Melissa II from Portland. Two helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod flew to the scene and spotted the men. The four men were in a life raft and had their survival suits on when they were rescued.
Katahdin-area resort looks to expand with $1M events center
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

One of the Katahdin region’s largest resorts will get an events center and operations building as part of a $1 million expansion plan. Matthew Polstein hopes to add the two buildings to his Twin Pines Camps resort and New England Outdoor Center in northern Penobscot County near Millinocket by next fall. The Maine Land Use Planning Commission voted 5-0 on Wednesday to approve Polstein’s application to rezone two parcels totaling 32.68 acres on his 1,345-acre property along Millinocket Lake. He will submit building plans for LUPC review in a few months, he said.
With voter approvals in York and Eliot, river protection plan faces new scrutiny
York Weekly - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Attention shifts to Kittery and South Berwick now that a measure passed last week in both York and Eliot to designate the York River as a national Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The York River Study Committee will meet with Kittery and South Berwick officials, seeking their votes to approve designation — an important step before the measure begins its journey through the halls of Congress, which also needs to approve the designation. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who both championed the study bill, say they stand ready to introduce legislation.
Hike: Lake George Regional Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Covering 520 acres on the south end of Lake George, Lake George Regional Park is a popular place for local residents to hike, swim, picnic, fish and paddle, and in the winter, it’s a great spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snowmobiling. The park features two extensive trail networks, 10,000 feet of shorefront, two sandy beaches and waterfront picnic areas.
Aroostook County biomass plant shuts down
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

After winding down this fall, the ReEnergy biomass plant in Fort Fairfield ended operations on Sunday amid a falling market for biomass electricity. The 37-megawatt plant on Cheney Grove Road opened in 1987 to generate electricity from lumber mill residues and wood chips. ReEnergy Communications Director Sarah Boggess said one employee will be maintained there. “The operation is not financially viable,” Boggess said. The company has not decided what to do with the plant and property. It is possible the equipment could be sold, she said. ReEnergy’s Ashland facility is offline until early December, but will be continuing operations.
KELT will facilitate study for returning Woolwich meadow to salt marsh
Wiscasset Newspaper - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

A $249,999 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant will be used to study returning a vast meadowland in Woolwich to a tidal saltwater wetland. The area is near the busy junction of Route 1 and George Wright Road. Kennebec Estuary Land Trust will facilitate the study that partners the Maine Department of Transportation, the town of Woolwich, Bath Water District, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Bates College and three other state and federal agencies. The study is expected to take 18 months. MDOT has agreed to provide a $300,000 match.
Updated Population Estimates Show ‘Grim’ Outlook For Endangered Right Whale
Maine Public - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

The latest population estimate for the endangered North Atlantic right whale indicates the species’ recent decline has quickened — with some 30 fewer animals alive by the end of last year than there were at the end of 2016. An updated estimate by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientists pegged the number of North Atlantic right whales alive in 2016 in the low 440s. Scientists now say it’s likely that there are not more than 411 left.
Mainers set up a butterfly carpool to help migrating monarchs travel safely south
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

The population of monarch butterflies has declined 95 percent in the past 20 years, some of which may be caused by milkweed habitat reduction. But part of the decline may also be attributed to shifting climate temperatures. The migration of the species in the fall has been delayed by as much as six weeks in recent years because warmer-than-normal temperatures have failed to trigger the butterflies’ instincts to head south. Brittany Cooper of Hope found people to drive several late emerging butterflies from Maine to North Carolina. “They all made it,” Cooper said. “The woman [in North Carolina] said they looked strong and healthy and were able to fly away. It was a happy ending.”
National monument will cover part of the cost for new Katahdin-region economic director
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine’s national monument will cover a quarter of Penobscot County’s $115,000 annual cost to hire someone to focus on growing the Katahdin region economy for the next seven years. A portion of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s $350,569 annual payment in lieu of taxes to Penobscot County will fund an economic development director to work for East Millinocket, Medway, Millinocket, Mount Chase, Patten and Stacyville, said Jessica Masse, a member of the all-volunteer Katahdin Revitalization economic development group. The region has never recovered from the closure of the Millinocket, East Millinocket and Lincoln paper mills over the past decade.
Reported cases of Lyme disease show dramatic drop in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Lyme disease cases are on track to be the lowest in at least three years, and the hot, dry weather this summer might have been a contributing factor. Dry weather reduces the mobility of deer ticks, and also might reduce tick populations, experts say. Through Nov. 12, there were 1,069 Lyme cases in Maine, well below last year, when there were a record-breaking 1,852 cases for the entire year.
Column: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine is not keeping pace as the market for clean energy expands rapidly, while many states (as well as corporations, cities, and countries) have started to make a major energy transition. An impressive and diverse group of organizations has created a terrific plan called the “Energy Pathway for Maine.” Their plan includes principles that the state should follow to take advantage of rapidly expanding clean energy technologies, protect our environment and public health, increase energy independence, strengthen our overall economy, and increase prosperity for all Mainers. ~ George Smith
Letter: Is oyster farm a good fit with Maine’s ecological values?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

If the 40-acre factory planned for the middle of Maquoit Bay were an industrial plant of equivalent size, to be built on land in any of the surrounding communities, a hue and cry would likely go up bemoaning disruptive sprawl and its adverse impacts. Does it matter that a large, single-purpose commercial facility will take over an expanse of local seascape rather than, say, many blocks of local real estate? Mainers have taken creative steps to conserve the habitats of our coastal areas. What may seem to be clever schemes for economic exploitation of natural resources must never take precedence over the much wider, long-term values of our coastal waters. ~ Langdon Winner, Brunswick
Letter: Keep adjacency law
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine’s North Woods is the largest undeveloped forest in the eastern US, and it is being threatened by a proposal put forth by the Land Use Planning Commission, which seeks to eliminate the adjacency principle’s one-mile rule. This rule has protected Maine’s forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife habitat from sprawling development for the past 45 years, by guiding new development in the LUPC’s 10.5 million-acre jurisdiction to be within one road mile of existing, compatible development. The proposal would allow new development to extend 10 miles from “rural hub communities” and 2 miles from public roads. Eliminating the one-mile rule would be devastating not only for the people who love this untarnished wilderness for its beauty and recreational opportunities, but also for the countless species who call it home. ~ Rebecca Tripp, Searsport
A Half-Earth progress report from E.O. Wilson
 - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

E.O. Wilson answered the question of what we can all do to protect the future of life on this planet in his 2016 book, "Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life." In the book, Wilson lays out an almost deceptively simple prescription for saving life on Earth: Devote half of Earth’s surface to nature, and save 85 percent of global biodiversity. Recently, a partnership between Wilson's Half-Earth Project and Burt’s Bees was announced. Burt’s Bees, a company that makes personal care items, is going to fund the mapping of all the bee species in the world, which will in turn help determine the best habitat to conserve in order to protect the world’s bees.
Obituary: David R. Getchell, Sr.
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

David R. Getchell, Sr., 89, author, editor and outdoorsman, died on November 10. Over the course of 22 years, he was managing editor and editor of the Maine Coast Fisherman, National Fisherman, and founding editor of the Small Boat Journal and the Mariner's Catalog in Camden. Later, he co-founded the Maine Island Trail and created the Georges Highland Path, a 40-mile-long hiking trail system in the midcoast for Georges River Land Trust. Active in the founding or operation of several nonprofit environmental organizations, he always made time for his favorite sport of surf fishing.
Maine Warden Service blames hunters for getting stuck in bog
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

The Maine Warden Service on Tuesday blamed poor decision making and a lack of planning by a group of hunters for their getting stuck in a New Gloucester bog Monday evening. They were later rescued. Capt. Scott Doyle of the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department said the hunters were “cold and wet up to their hips” when they were rescued. But all of them refused medical treatment. “Their combined poor decision making created an unnecessary response by emergency personnel based on their lack of planning and unpreparedness,” MacDonald said. “Fortunately, the young woman involved, who showed signs of hypothermia, made her way out with the others before things became more urgent for her.”
EPA seeks to rewrite truck emissions rules
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to rewrite rules that limit pollution from heavy trucks. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said, “We are doing it because it’s good for the environment.”
Skowhegan accepts $93,000 more for Run of River park project
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

Another round of cash infusion for the planned $4.96 million Run of River white-water recreation park in downtown Skowhegan was approved Tuesday night when the Board of Selectmen accepted $93,000 from Main Street Skowhegan. The funding comes in conjunction with a vote by Somerset County commissioners to award the project $40,000 from the Community Benefit Account. The project has been promised $25,000 from the Quimby Family Foundation and a matching $25,000 from the Maine Community Foundation’s donor-advised fund, as well as another $15,000 donated last year for the study of the river bottom. County commissioners also agreed to award Maine Huts and Trails $35,000 from the county tax increment financing (TIF) district.
Maine Maritime announces deal to place training center at Bucksport mill site
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

Maine Maritime Academy is proceeding with plans to create an annex at the former Verso Paper mill site in Bucksport. If all goes as planned, the 2,400 MMA students and professional mariners the educational center is expected to serve would add a new customer base to the Hancock County town of 4,900. Bucksport has sought ways to reinvent itself following the 2014 closure of the paper mill, which employed more than 500 people. The annex will be near a $250 million salmon farm due to break ground at the mill site in spring 2019. The center will train academy students; help mariners maintain required certifications; and train visiting firefighters, offshore wind and oil-rig workers in fire safety and water rescue.
Editorial: Republicans strategy to terminate democracy is making American grate again
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are jamming as many wrenches into the gears of electoral politics as possible. Just in the past day, they have demanded recounts stop in races across the country. In Maine, they filed a lawsuit to stop the recount in the Poliquin-Golden race for the second congressional district seat. Why? They fear voters chose other candidates. If you cannot win fair and square, throw a tantrum, scream fraud, and hope to get away with it. If they get away with it, kiss your democracy good-bye.
Wood ash from fireplaces, stoves can sometimes help the soil
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

For gardeners who heat their homes in winter using stoves or fireplaces, good-quality wood ashes can be a soil-amendment bonus. But if applied improperly, they can be a caustic topping for foliage-heavy plants and seedlings. The primary benefits of recycling wood ash into the soil are for fertilizing and raising pH levels to make soil less acidic. Avoid using fireplace or wood ashes from pressure-treated wood, painted wood and cardboard. They carry chemicals that can harm plants. The same goes for charcoal residue from BBQ grills, fake fireplace logs and coal.
Maine blueberries, potatoes among crops to receive federal help
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

The federal government is investing more than a half million dollars in Maine to help boost production of crops including state staples like potatoes and blueberries. Maine Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb says the state is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to help food producers in the state. The program has been used over the years to improve Maine’s harvest of everything from hops to honey.
Opinion: Start listening, folks: All-out effort needed to prevent climate disaster
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

The recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was stunning in its findings and implications. The media have used the words “dire” and “grim.” But is anybody listening? Our greenhouse-gas emissions have so warmed the global biosphere that we are now subject to a wide array of devastating climate impacts. The climate crisis is the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced, demanding that individuals, governments and business entities the world over do their part to meet the ensuing challenges. This nation has made dramatic societal transformations in short periods of time when the situation called for it – as a response to two world wars and the Great Depression. Responding to the world’s climate crisis requires such a transformation. ~ Joe Hardy, Wells
Why Is the Gulf of Maine Warming Faster Than 99% of the Ocean?
Other - Monday, November 12, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the rest of the ocean. This year, the Gulf has experienced only 45 days with what have not been considered heat wave temperatures. Such persistent warmth can set off a series of other cascading effects on the marine life and fisheries that have historically defined the culture and economy of this region’s coastline. But what, exactly, makes this region such an acute hot spot for ocean warming? Scientists believe the Gulf of Maine’s C shape and the broad underwater plateau of Georges Bank keep warm water blocked in place longer than it would in more free-flowing systems.
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