August 19, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Family Discovery Series, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Explore and identify species in their habitat and learn how to collect and record data using iNaturalist, Nature’s Notebook, and eBird. At Fields Pond, Holden, August 19, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $15/family, Non-members $20/family.
Live Birds of Prey, Aug 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings will present an entertaining and inspiring evening featuring Maine raptors, including the majestic Queen Solomon, a Great Horned Owl. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, August 17, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $10; non-members $15.
St. John-Allagash Region public lands plan being updated
Announcement - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is seeking comments on management of Public Lands in the St. John-Allagash Region, including Gero Island, Telos, Chamberlain Lake, and Round Pond Public Reserved Lands. Public scoping meeting: August 30, 6-8 pm at BPL Northern Region Office, Ashland.
2017 Maine Ag Fairs
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

At Maine's agricultural fairs, you can eat, drink, see livestock demonstrations, and experience live entertainment.
Creating a Seashell Wreath, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

An evening of creativity and sculpture making wreaths out of seashells and sea glass. At Scarborough Marsh, August 16, 5:30–7 pm; Maine Audubon Members $17, Non-members $20.
Nature Pottery, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Explorers search Scarborough Marsh for natural artifacts like shells, grasses and flowers and incorporate these treasures into their own handmade pottery. August 15, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $7, Child Non-members $9, pre-register.
SFI issues RFP
Announcement - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which promotes sustainable forest management through partnerships with conservation groups that are contributing to the understanding of critical links between forests and communities. Deadline is Oct 10, 2017.
Hidden Wildlands, Aug 13
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 6, 2017 

This special nature exploration is set in a private estate in Cape Elizabeth encompassing more than 2,000 acres of exceptional wildlife habitat. August 13, 8–11:30 am; Maine Audubon Members $25, Non-members $35, pre-register.
Nature Sketching by Canoe, Aug 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 5, 2017 

Join artist Sally Powers for a special guided canoe tour that will give artists of all ages a unique opportunity to practice nature sketching. At Scarborough Marsh, August 12, 2–3:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $12, Non-members, $14.
Tree Walk and Walk, Aug 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 5, 2017 

Leader: Leslie Anderson. At Bowdoinham, August 12, 9:30-11 am. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
“Shadman” to teach anglers about his favorite species, Aug 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 5, 2017 

John A. Punola will share his hard-earned lessons about fishing for hard-fighting shad. At Veazie Salmon Club, August 12, 6:30 pm.
The Extinction Event, Aug 11
Event - Posted - Friday, August 4, 2017 

Art exhibit that raises alarm for the drastic changes in our climate which is causing a crisis for all species. Opening reception August 11, 4-7 pm; Spindleworks poetry reading at 5:30 pm; free, with suggested donation benefiting the Maine Audubon.
Summer Night Hike, Aug 11
Event - Posted - Friday, August 4, 2017 

Use your senses to discover the mysterious night life at Scarborough Marsh on this family-oriented hike. Aug 11, 8-9 pm, Maine Audubon Members $6; Non-members $8.
Stargazer’s Walk, Aug 11
Event - Posted - Friday, August 4, 2017 

This outdoor program will center around Maine’s spectacular night sky. At Fields Pond, Holden, Aug 11, 8:30–10 pm; Maine Audubon Members $5, Non-members $7.
Creatures of the Marsh, Aug 10
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 3, 2017 

Discover elusive insects, catch fish, explore the algae for slimy critters, look for mammals tracks and marsh birds. At Scarborough Marsh, August 10, 1-2:30 pm, Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7.
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News Items
Don’t Miss the Evening for the Environment
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The Maine Conservation Voters will host their annual Evening for the Environment on Wednesday, October 25, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm at Brick South, Thompson’s Point, Portland. This year’s keynote speaker is Brian Deese, a Senior Advisor to former President Obama who oversaw climate, conservation, and energy policies. I am also very honored to be receiving an award that night, the MCV’s 2017 Environmental Leadership Award.
Removing mercury from Penobscot River likely won’t be easy
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Exactly how does someone clean toxic mercury deposits out of a section of a tidal river more than 30 miles long? That’s the main question a federal judge is expected to decide next year as part of a court-ordered cleanup of mercury dumped over decades into the Penobscot River, by operators of the former HoltraChem chemical plant in Orrington. But any cleanup effort will likely include leaving some mercury in the river since removing it altogether could be too complicated and expensive.
Rollback of stream rules greeted with cheers, jeers
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed dropping an Obama administration policy that protected many tributaries, intermittent streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The June 2015 policy sought to clarify the scope of the 1972 Clean Water Act – a legacy of Maine’s late Sen. Edmund Muskie – after years of debate and conflicting court opinions over the regulation of pollution and discharges into smaller waterways. But courts suspended the Clean Water Rule and President Trump directed the EPA to begin the regulatory process to dismantle rules. Maine agriculture groups and conservation organizations were on opposite sides of the Obama administration regulations – and still are. The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposal through Aug. 28.
Opinion: New investments in public transportation strengthen the region
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Next summer, the Portland area will see an exciting new expansion of bus service to Gorham. The Husky Line is just the latest boost to public transportation in the Portland region. We’ve long had the economic engines of the Casco Bay ferry and the Downeaster train. In 2012, train service reached to Brunswick. In 2013, the Lakes Region Explorer, began connecting people in Bridgton region to Portland. Last summer, the Metro BREEZ bus launched a line for people in Freeport, Yarmouth and Portland. In a few weeks, that service will be extended to Brunswick. ShuttleBus-ZOOM customers in Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach now enjoy weekend bus service, and South Portland Bus recently added Sunday service. More improvements are on the horizon. A robust network will free us from our cars. ~ Kristina Egan, Greater Portland Council of Governments
Letter: Wind power not needed
Sun Journal - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The continuing destruction of Maine's pristine ridges and mountaintops for the benefit of politicians and foreign corporations must end. There is no need for Maine to be a conduit for the delivery of electricity to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. ~ Dudley Gray
China Board of Appeals sides with neighbors in latest turn of barn debate
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Town of China's Board of Appeals sustained an appeal filed against a decision made by the town’s code enforcement officer — the latest flash point in a contentious case pitting neighbor against neighbor for several months. The Greater Neck Road Neighborhood Association filed the appeal after the code enforcement officer didn't take action on social events held at the barn. The appeals board ultimately found that the addition of plumbing to the barn set it up to be used as a commercial structure, which would require a permit.
Loon Protection Program Yields Positive Results
Maine Public - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute is reporting a development that could have broad implications for efforts to protect loons. A loon chick that was relocated from Maine to a lake in Massachusetts last summer has returned to its second home, not the lake where it was born. And that’s raising hopes that loons could be restored to their former breeding range.
This Q&A Is Top Secret, Contains Leaked Info and Definitely Was Not Peer Reviewed
Moyers & Company - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe reflects on last week's rare 15 minutes of fame for a new 600+ page government report on the state of climate science and it's impact on you and me right now.
Maine's moment in the Sun's eclipse
Down East - Friday, August 18, 2017 

In the autumn of 1961 an inquiry from some farsighted scientists reached the Chamber of Commerce in Bangor, Maine. A forthcoming total eclipse of the sun, it stated, would occur late in the afternoon of July 20, 1963. Within the United States the total eclipse would be visible only over a thin strip of Alaska and along a path 53 miles wide across the middle of Maine. Since Bangor was the largest community within that path.
Rare blue frog found by Maine teen seeking frog jumping contestant
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Konor Dyer, 14, of Strong, came across the blue-colored amphibian as he looked for an entry in the frog jumping contest at this weekend’s Phillips Old Home Days, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “One never knows what one might find in the woods and waters of Maine,” the fisheries and wildlife department wrote. Dyer’s find means the frog was lacking a yellow pigment, which is a relatively rare occurrence. State officials usually receive about one report per year of a blue frog. “This year, we have had three, including a blue bull frog,” the department wrote. “We don’t think it is due to the upcoming eclipse, but really have no better explanation as to why this year’s count has tripled. Konor plans to return the frog to its home after the contest.”
Editorial: Why you’ll be better off from that trip to the beach
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

A day at the beach is one of the cherished rites of a Maine summer. Visitors and residents trek to the state’s numerous sandy beaches to splash in the chilly water and soak up the warmth of the sun. Here’s even more reason to make another trip to the beach before summer ends: Being at the ocean can improve your health. Being close to water, especially the waves of the ocean, relieves stress.
Kents Hill Orchard returns to ‘pick-your-own apples’ after three-year hiatus
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 18, 2017 

It will be just like old times with the pick-your-own apples at Kents Hill Orchard reopening after a three-year hiatus. John Harker, former director of production development at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, took over management of the trees for the Drakes, who retired. Most of the Drakes’ land on the hilltop was sold to the Maine Farmland Trust in a deal in 2009 and later went to Brian and Lee Ann Baggott in a deal to protect farmland and now produces field corn, sweet corn and other vegetables. But the Drakes kept 15 acres for themselves, three of them holding the apple orchard.
First 1-minute hike an eye-opening affair
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Last week, my colleague, Aislinn Sarnacki, and I headed deep into the woods of Maine, where we spent a couple of days in and around the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. When she went on a 1-minute hike, I figured I’d pitch in by finding a nice, shady spot, lying down for a few hours, and taking a nap. But that perfect plan was foiled when Aislinn invited me along on a pair of her hikes. I figured it’d only be polite if I tagged along. And honestly, how hard could they be? They are, after all, just one minute long. Or not.
‘Spectacular’ autumn foliage is forecast for New England
Associated Press - Friday, August 18, 2017 

New England’s fall foliage forecast is looking so fine it’s enough to make a maple leaf blush. For the first time in several years, little has conspired against a truly glorious autumn. There’s no more drought, the summer has been mild and the leaves — largely spared by marauding gypsy moth caterpillars — look healthy. Translation: A pretty great season for leaf peeping seems to be shaping up.
Maine’s biomass bailout bill isn’t helping loggers as much as it was supposed to
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Stored Solar LLC disclosed that in the first half of the year, it was only 31 percent of the way toward its year-end wood purchasing goal. It had purchased about 155,300 tons, while promising to purchase at least 500,000 tons by year’s end. The company also fell just short of employment goals. Stored Solar has generated enough power to collect about $1 million in state subsidies but has missed out on about $1.3 million in subsidies intended to make their way to employees of the facilities and, primarily, back into the woods to support loggers hit hard by the decline of Maine’s paper industry. Regulators did not require the second subsidy beneficiary, ReEnergy, to disclose its economic impact figures. ReEnergy has produced nearly all of the power allowed under its subsidy agreement.
New book features a lifetime of hunting and fishing stories
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

My hunting and fishing heritage and experiences have been very important parts of my life, which makes it very exciting to announce the publication of my new book, A Lifetime of Hunting & Fishing, published by North Country Press.
Opinion: Maine’s disastrous new solar rules violate our right to energy independence
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Thanks to the actions of a self-proclaimed anti-tax governor, Maine is about to become the first state where electric companies can charge fees for the energy you make and use at your own home or business. This will likely reduce your energy choices and increase energy costs for all Mainers. LD 1504, this session’s so-called “solar bill,” would have banned new fees on the energy consumers generate at home. It also would have lifted barriers to shared projects such as solar farms or community wind or hydro-energy projects. Despite LD 1504 being sponsored by a Republican, amended twice by Republicans, and initially passed with veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, it failed on the last day of this session. A small minority of Republicans — including seven who flipped their votes — in the House sided with LePage to uphold his veto of the bill. ~ Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, House Chair, Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee
Letter: Tax carbon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

For too long, too many of us have been burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the harmful effects of burning carbon-producing fuels. The Citizens Climate Lobby is urging Congress to take action to begin to reverse the effects of carbon pollution. The group has lobbied every member of Congress to support a tax on carbon-producing fuels. The money collected would be returned to consumers in the form of a dividend. To date, there are 48 bipartisan members of the House who are supporting this initiative. Please write and urge our delegation to take action. ~ Albert Bean, Bangor
370,000 Comments Opposed, 10 Leading Environmental Groups Cite Oil Spill Risks, Danger to Wildlife, Communities and Jobs
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A coalition of national environmental and conservation groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Oceana, League of Conservation Voters, Alaska Wilderness League, Surfrider Foundation, Greenpeace, CREDO Action and the Center for Biological Diversity joined over 370,000 Americans to officially voice their opposition to the move by President Trump to expand offshore drilling. Today marks the end of the 45-day comment period for a new offshore drilling program from 2019-2024.
Opinion: We should be deeply worried about NAFTA
Washington Post - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

If the NAFTA talks that begin this week are an “arena” where nations “compete for advantage,” as the president’s aides have described the president’s “clear-eyed” worldview, and the president’s unchanging and unyielding views on trade are now officially Objective No. 1 — then no one should expect a normal negotiation, and no one should rule out collapse. The winner in all this would be China, no longer competing against a unified and efficient North American manufacturing platform and a gigantic internal market. So just as when Trump pulled us out of the TPP and the Paris climate change accord, the global benefactor may well be the very country against whom Trump directed so much of his campaign rhetoric. ~ Nelson W. Cunningham was a trade and foreign policy adviser in the Clinton White House
$350,000 in Historic State and Tribal Preservation Grants to Maine
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt with the National Park Service today announced the distribution of $278,522 in historic preservation grants to Maine as well as $81,356 for historic preservation grants to Micmacs, Passamaquoddies and Penobscots in the state. This funding, part of $25.5 million going to states and tribes across the country today, represents a total of $58 million that the National Park Service has invested in the preservation efforts to every U.S. state this year.
Obama advisor to keynote Maine conservation confab; George Smith to get leadership award
Maine Conservation Voters - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Brian Deese, a Senior Advisor to former President Obama who oversaw climate, conservation, and energy policies, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Evening for the Environment, organized by Maine Conservation Voters. The group also announced Thursday that George Smith will receive the 2017 Environmental Leadership Award. Smith served as executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine for 18 years. The Evening for the Environment will be held at Thompson's Point in Portland on October 25 at 5:30 pm.
Lawsuit claims Poland Spring a ‘colossal fraud,’ selling groundwater
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

A lawsuit was filed in a Connecticut federal court on Tuesday and accuses Nestle Waters North America, Inc. of a “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.” The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Portland Spring brand water in recent years. It is seeking millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and appears to hinge on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meets the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of a spring. The suit comes as the company, a subsidiary of the Swiss food giant Nestle, is looking to expand its operations in Maine.
Second Town on Mount Desert Island Temporarily Bans Cruise Ships
Maine Public - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

The western side of Mount Desert Island is closer to becoming a cruise-ship-free zone after more than a hundred Southwest Harbor residents unanimously voted Tuesday night to impose a 180-day moratorium against the use of any town facilities by cruise ships. Last year, when the 310-foot-long Pearl Mist arrived in Northeast Harbor, she sparked a local controversy that ended when the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen voted to bar future cruise ship visits. When American Cruise Lines sent out feelers this year about the possibility of anchoring off in nearby Southwest Harbor and shuttling passengers back and forth from a private dock, the location was different — but the reception was the same.
Eastern U.S. most vulnerable to future harmful algal blooms
Summit Voice - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Scientists say it’s all but certain that global warming will increase potentially threatening outbreaks of freshwater algae that can produce toxins dangerous to people and animals. A team lead by Tufts University researcher Steven C. Chapra has developed a modeling framework showing harmful algal blooms will increase the most in the northeastern region of the U.S. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is part of larger, ongoing efforts among scientists to quantify and monetize the degree to which climate change will impact and damage various U.S. sectors.
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