September 16, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Ban coal tar sealants
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Coal tar-based pavement sealing products contribute dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to stormwater runoff. LD 1208 would prohibit the sale and use of coal tar sealant products beginning October 1, 2016. Hearing at Environment & Natural Resources Committee, Cross Building, Room 216, Augusta, April 23, 1 pm. ~ Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District
Howard Hill Walk, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Howard Hill is the scenic, forested backdrop to the Maine State House, and one of Augusta’s largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land. The Kennebec Land Trust is leading a campaign to conserve this iconic property. Join KLT and the Hallowell Conservation Commission for a hike there, April 29, 5:30-7 pm.
Winter Adventures in Baxter/Happenings on AMC Maine Lands, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Peter Roderick will talk about some winter adventures in Baxter State Park and AMC staff will discuss plans for future trails in the Maine Woods Initiative area east of Greenville. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 28, 7 pm.
Merrymeeting Audubon annual dinner, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon staff naturalist, eBird reviewer, moderator of the ‘Maine Birds’ listserv, and secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee is the featured speaker. He will discuss doing a Big Year. At St. Charles Borromeo Church Meeting Hall, Brunswick, April 28, 6-9 pm, $20 due April 21.
Acadia needs LWCF funding
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

If President Obama’s FY 2016 budget passes as written, almost $2.5 million will be directed to Acadia National Park from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for important land acquisition projects. Congress will discuss LWCF funding Wednesday, April 22. ~ Friends of Acadia
Our Disappearing Rainbow Smelt, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Claire Enterline of the Maine Dept of Marine Resources will talk about rainbow smelt, a small fish that lives in estuaries and offshore waters and spawns in shallow freshwater streams each spring. A century ago, streams teemed with these silvery fish. During the last 20 years, numbers have dropped dramatically. The rainbow smelt is now listed as a federal “Species of Concern.” At Topsham Public Library, April 28, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Discover New England Tourism Summit, Apr 27-29
Event - Posted - Monday, April 20, 2015 

More than 400 travel and tourism businesses, tour operators and other organizations from eight different countries will visit Maine this month. Maine is hosting the annual Discover New England Tourism Summit in Portland from April 27-29.
Piscataquis Natural Resource Priorities, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Monday, April 20, 2015 

The Piscataquis County USDA Local Work Group (LWG) will meet to help the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) determine local natural resource priorities and conservation programs in Piscataquis County. At USDA Service Center, Dover-Foxcroft, April 27, 9 am.
Springtime Splendor for Amphibians, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Seek out and assess vernal pools at the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust's new Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, April 26, 1 pm.
Birding the Burg, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Robin R. Robinson will lead “Birding the Burg” through the MacDonald Preserve on Spirit Pond in Phippsburg, a birding hotspot during migration seasons because of varied habitats that support a wide variety of species. Meet at Phippsburg Town Hall to carpool, April 26, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Phippsburg Land Trust.
Birding for Kids, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Designed to help children recognize common birds in their neighborhoods, as well as to introduce them to simple ways they can identify birds that are unfamiliar. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's Curtis Farm Preserve, April 26, 1-3 pm.
Urban Earth Day, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Opening prayer circle of hands, drum jam circle and dance, art for kids, etc. At Congress Square Park, Portland, April 26, 12-4 pm. Sponsored by Portland Citizens for Free Community Gathering and Sierra Club Maine.
Vassalboro Wildlife Habitat Spring Bird Walk, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Join Mike Waters, Cathie Murray and fellow birders for a spring hike at the 330-acre Vassalboro Wildlife Habitat. April 26, 2-4 pm. Preregister. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Wrenched, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 18, 2015 

This documentary captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation, which will carry Edward Abbey's legacy into the 21st century as the fight continues to sustain the last bastion of the American wilderness. Chris Phillips, a senior at College of the Atlantic, will discuss Ed Abbey and current issues facing public lands. At Reel Pizza Cinerama, Bar Harbor, April 25, 2 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Vaughan Woods Spring Walk, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 18, 2015 

Join a naturalist to explore several habitats, including Currier Spring and the old pasture. At Vaughan Woods, Hallowell, April 25, 2:30 pm.
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News Items
Scientists See A Hotter, Wetter, Less Snowy Future For Maine
Maine Public - Monday, September 16, 2019 

All this week, Maine Public - and more than 250 other news outlets all around the world - are reporting stories on climate change as part of the "Covering Climate Now" project. In Maine, scientists say that climate change means hot summers, warm winters, more rain, and less snow, along with a warming gulf of Maine, and that will affect the state's fisheries, its economy and traditional ways of life. Professor Ivan Fernandez of the Climate Change Institute at UMaine is one of the authors of the report, "Maine's Climate Future." He says that since the findings came out out in 2015, there have been many big changes in the state and globally, including an acceleration in the pace of change.
Democratic Presidential Candidates Focus On Climate Change On The Campaign Trail
Maine Public - Monday, September 16, 2019 

In August, a poll showed a sharp increase in the number of Americans who view climate change as a major threat to the well-being of the country ⁠— from 40% in 2013 to 57% now. It is of particular concern to Democratic voters, as reflected by the emergence of climate change as a leading issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The same poll indicates that of the voters who identify as Democrats or left-leaning independents, 87% view climate change as a major concern. And that view is reflected by many of the top Democratic presidential candidates.
5 facts you need to know about the proposed salmon farm in Belfast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

A proposal to build a $500-million land-based salmon farm here has drawn both broad support and loud opposition from the community, which largely remains divided over the project’s potential to spur economic growth versus the environmental harm it poses to Penobscot Bay and the surrounding area. Norway-based Nordic Aquafarms has filed thousands of pages of legal documents and permit applications with local planners and officials that aim to address some of these concerns. Here is a brief primer for those who want to learn more about the project.
How one man’s laziness is saving the environment around Pushaw Lake
Bangor Metro - Monday, September 16, 2019 

My laziness has paid off. My yard became the first certified LakeSmart property on Pushaw Lake. Maine passed a shoreland zoning law in 1971 aimed at the prevention of erosion. It worked. Degradation of water quality slowed. Some lakes improved. Unfortunately, many lakeside cottages in Maine were built before the law, sometimes within inches of the waterline, and crowded together. Drainage on camp roads often directs runoff toward the lake. Fertilized lawns have grown more popular. Water quality remains a constant worry. LakeSmart is a modern way to address the problem. The free program informs homeowners on how to maximize enjoyment of their properties, while minimizing erosion. Since moving in nearly 20 years ago, I have seldom done anything to discourage regrowth along my shoreline. It was too much like work. I never thought that I would be an environmental hero. But thanks to my innate laziness, I’m crushing it! ~ Bob Duchesne
The 179th Farmington Fair has begun
Franklin Journal - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Whether competing in events or getting to know the animals, kids at the Farmington Fair were all smiles.
Portland police investigate possible theft at recycler ecomaine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

A top manager at ecomaine’s Portland recycling facility was fired in March for destroying documents, and police are now investigating the theft of more than $300,000 from the publicly owned nonprofit. John Morin was fired from his position as plant manager on March 8 for “unexplained irregularities” at the facility and failing to follow procedures and policies. Meanwhile, Morin is named in a search warrant affidavit that says Portland police are investigating a suspected theft from ecomaine of an estimated $309,000 over a number of years.
Portland hopes to get a better handle on West End air quality concerns
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Portland announced Friday it will partner with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to install an air quality monitoring device in the West End. The sensor will monitor air quality 24 hours a day and will capture the same data as the monitors that are located on the other side of the Fore River in South Portland, where residents have expressed concerns about air pollution emitted by tank farms. Portland hopes to combine its data with South Portland in an effort to mount a regional effort that could help identify the source of any potential air quality contamination.
Property owners push back against landmark designation
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Several property owners along Forest Avenue and within Woodfords Corner are pushing back against the city of Portland’s efforts to designate their buildings as historic landmarks. City officials and preservationists say the designations between Interstate 295 and Woodfords Corner are needed to preserve the remnants of what was once the city’s “auto row,” where some of the first auto dealerships and showrooms were located, and could free up historic tax credits for renovations. But several property owners say they’re not interested in participating in that program, which will only add a layer of bureaucracy and increase costs for maintenance and restrict the types of upgrades that can be made to buildings.
Maine finally addressing climate change in the gulf
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Gulf of Maine is the second fastest-warming part of the entire world ocean, a side effect of climate change and the Arctic meltdown, with dramatic implications for life on the Maine coast. As the crisis has unfolded, Maine’s government has avoided taking action that would help the state understand and prepare for the impacts, including ocean acidification, a potentially catastrophic threat to Maine’s marine harvesters. That has changed suddenly with the end of the eight-year administration of Gov. Paul LePage, who dismissed the scientific evidence that human activity is driving climate change, and the Democratic takeover of the Blaine House and both chambers of the state Legislature this past January.
Column: Closing up camp bittersweet
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The last two weeks at camp, we slowly pack up the things we know we won’t need — hot weather clothes, food from the fridge and cupboards, cleaning fluids we know will freeze over the winter, a radio, magazines, books, a food processor I ferry between home and camp each year. It is a sad process, having to close up camp, but as the nights get cold, we know it is time to go. At some point, I realize it is not just leaving that makes me sad, but having to say goodbye to summer, too. ~ Amy Calder
Letter: Extend rail service to prevent Portland congestion
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The number of cars and trucks filing into Portland each day in unprecedented numbers is not only going to grow by the month, but also will bring to light heightened issues of parking inadequacies. am excited about the growth that Portland is experiencing, but we need to look at long-term solutions to the challenges created by this growth. The rail line study between Portland and Westbrook, which Patricia Quinn of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority cited as a “conversation starter,” may very well be the best first solution to dealing with a crisis that’s not going away. ~ Edward McKersie, Portland
Letter: Lobsters before whales
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Can you believe this? They want to have the lobstermen cut way down on the rope they are using to tie the traps together to save the right whale. My good Mainers and wonderful visitors, which would you like to have: a whale feed or a lobster feed? I guess I know the answer to that. If this rule is applied, I don’t think the lobstermen will be able to keep up with demand. These lobstermen work hard, and I think lobsters are much more important than right whales. ~ Dwight C. Whitney, Sr., Jonesboro
Summer of Blob: Maine sees more big, stinging jellyfish
Associated Press - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

The Gulf of Maine and some of its beaches, ever popular with tourists, have recorded a high number of sightings of a big jellyfish that has the ability to sting swimmers and occasionally does. The lion’s mane jellyfish, the largest known variety, can grow to 5 or more feet across, with tentacles more than 100 feet long. Such giant jellyfish are uncommon, but beachgoers say larger than average ones have been exceptionally plentiful this year in the gulf.
Monmouth dairy uses federal, local grants to go solar
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

In 15 years, The Milkhouse in Monmouth will no longer have energy payments. The dairy farm recently installed 192 solar panels on the roof of a winter cow-housing barn, which will be online in the next couple of weeks, according to Caitlin Frame, who owns The Milkhouse with her partner, Andy Smith. The solar array, installed by Insource Renewables of Pittsfield, is a 72-kilowatt, roof-mounted system. “We estimated it would save us about $10,000 a year and generate around 70,000 kilowats hours annually, which will replace all of the energy needs of our business,” Frame said.
2050 The Fight for Earth
TIME - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Man-made climate change has thrown us headfirst into a true crisis that touches every part of the globe, and we can’t waste any time making systemic changes to the global economy, geopolitics, and culture if we want life on Earth to survive. Thirty years from now, we’ll look back at 2019 as another inflection point—whether good or bad is up to us.
1,000 salmon escaped a farm near the Canada-U.S. border
Associated Press - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A salmon farming group is defending its effort to be transparent with the public about the problem of escaped fish in the wake of an incident in which hundreds of fish got loose near the border of Maine and New Brunswick. Cooke Aquaculture has said an equipment malfunction in August resulted in about 1,000 fish being released by Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., one of its divisions. The incident stoked criticism from environmental groups that say escaped salmon jeopardize the vulnerable wild Atlantic salmon population.
Colorful trails to enjoy this fall foliage season in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Each September and October, the trees of Maine put on a grand show, their leaves bursting into fiery colors. Here are a few trails and trail networks that I find to be exceptionally colorful in the fall.
• Viles Arboretum in Augusta
• Bald Bluff Mountain in Amherst
• Sargent Mountain in Acadia National Park
Opinion: Aquaculture poses threat to the lobster industry
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

As president of the Maine Lobstering Union, I know we have struggled with several concerns this summer from right whales to bait shortages to aquaculture leases. We need to take steps now to fix rules and regulations around aquaculture. If we don’t, it will encroach on ocean space for everyone. The lease sizes have gotten so large we are making Maine’s oceans attractive to out-of-state corporations. A corporation, business or individual can own 1,000 acres of the ocean. The leases can now be held for 20 years and they can be transferred without a mandatory public hearing. It’s time to make sure the rules and regulations are in place, so we aren’t losing our lobstering industry. ~ Rock Alley, Jonesport

Waters off the coast of Maine vulnerable to changing climate
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Clams, the basis of livelihood for generations of diggers from Cape Porpoise to Lubec, are back, at least for now, their numbers slowly recovering from a climate-driven disaster that will almost certainly strike again. The Gulf of Maine is the second fastest-warming portion of the world’s oceans, a vast laboratory for ocean scientists studying how global warming affects the marine environment and for policymakers trying to figure out how to minimize the damage to fisheries, communities or, as in the case of the 2012 lobster glut, civic peace. Their discoveries underscore the seriousness of the changes and the complexity of the required policy responses.
Free community college program teaches next generation of Maine loggers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine partnered with Maine Community College System, and companies like Milton CAT and Nortrax, to help Maine’s logging industry weather a tight labor market. It can cost as much as $100,000 to train a first-year employee with no prior experience. “It’s not sustainable,” said Dana Doran, executive director of the trade group. Free tuition is part of the draw for students. After 12 weeks of training, the graduates can expect to earn between $45,000 and $50,000 a year. Jobs are available throughout the state.
Could Millinocket become the next mountain bike mecca?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Matt Polstein has been at the forefront of ecotourism in Maine for a quarter- century as the founder and owner of New England Outdoor Center on the outskirts of Millinocket. The outdoors resort caters to snowmobilers, Nordic skiers, hikers, canoeists, rafting enthusiasts – and most recently, mountain bikers. Now, as executive director of Katahdin Area Trails, Polstein and others are working to turn Millinocket into a mountain bike mecca – one they think will bring significant economic impact to the former mill town. The vision: To build the trail system from Polstein’s resort to the heart of Millinocket, 10 miles to the southeast and throughout the forested region.
Column: When it comes to migration, timing is everything
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

The fall departure of those breeding birds is equally interesting but much more poorly documented than the spring sightings of various migratory breeding birds. To improve our understanding of the rhythm of Maine fall migration, I used the eBird database. Of the 85 species analyzed, 64 conformed to the expected pattern: earliest departures from the North Region and latest departures from the South Region. Eleven species showed no difference between two regions. Ten species showed surprising patterns. Spotted sandpipers departed last from the North Region. Nine species departed last from the Central Region. I think the explanation lies in the quality of the stopover habitat. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Answers in the debate among bowhunters
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Deer hunting has its unique topics for debate. Among bowhunters, the most contentious is probably fixed versus mechanical broadheads. Mechanical heads offer several distinct advantages. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Beauty so close you might miss it
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

All of Maine is so beautiful it makes me want to yell sometimes. We’ve got everything! Beaches? You want them rocky or sandy? Mountains? Plenty! Lakes, rivers, brooks, streams, and ponds? All present and accounted for! Even driving along the highway — which in most states is the most boring part of travel — the scenery is gorgeous, particularly in the fall. Sometimes being surrounded by such beauty can make you complacent about it; I always forget what a blessing it is to not have billboards until I leave Maine and go through another state. Living in Maine, constantly surrounded by natural beauty — beauty made much easier to see with our clean air — it can be easy to start to take it for granted. I, for one, will not be taking it for granted any longer — starting with the stars. ~ Victoria Hugo-Vidal
Opinion: One person can make a difference, even in today’s world
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Today, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges facing the world. But act we must! Instead of letting powerlessness take over, we owe it to ourselves and others to do what we can to leave our world better than we found it. It’s helpful to choose just one or two problems to focus on – something that you care deeply about. My top priority is addressing climate change and protecting the Earth so it remains habitable for future generations. Financial support is just as important. The limiting factor for most nonprofits is money, so a generous donation can be game changing for a well-run organization. Together we can make a big difference. ~ Marcia Harrington, Brunswick, Natural Resources Council of Maine board member
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