July 3, 2015  
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Geology of the Giant's Stairs, Jul 10
Event - Posted - Friday, July 03, 2015 

Join Bowdoin geology professor Rachel Beane to understand the geologic formation called the Giant's Stairs in Harpswell. July 10, 10:30 am – 12 pm. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to nearly 40,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Post-legislative session presentation, Jul 8
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

From proposed metallic mining rules to expanding access to solar energy to the Land for Maine’s Future program, the Maine Legislature made many important decisions on environmental issues this session. Join a presentation, discussion, and celebration of the just-finished legislative session with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff. At Lee Auditorium, Wishcamper Center, USM, Portland, July 8, 6-8 pm. RSVP.
Be a part of a music video and help protect the planet
Announcement - Monday, June 29, 2015 

Friends of the Earth is teaming up with the UN and a group of artists to release "Lovesong to the Earth." The song will be released, for free, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the climate crisis and International Climate Negotiations coming up later this year in Paris. All you have to do is record yourself, your friends, or even your pets holding signs that read “Keep It Safe” or “Lovesong to the Earth,” then submit the video online.
Film: Last Log Drive Down the Kennebec, Jul 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 25, 2015 

Dr. Richard Judd will show rare historical footage of river drivers and the Kennebec's final log drive in 1976. At Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, July , 6:30-8 pm, $5 members; $7 nonmembers.
Making the Best of It, thru Nov 1
Announcement - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 

An exhibit of works by contemporary Maine artists and photographers highlighting the spirit and work ethic of Maine's maritime people. At Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, June 6 - Nov 1.
Global Climate Change and a Shift in Food Production, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 

Tom Settlemire, Professor Emeritus of Biology and Chemistry at Bowdoin College and past president of the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, will discuss how Maine has changed from producing nearly 90% of its own food needs as late as the mid 1900s to now providing less than 20%. He will address what global climate change and a focused effort on local farms/food may do to bring more food self-sufficiency to Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, July 1, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Midcoast Senior College.
Maine hikes book signing, Jun 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 

Greg Westrich, author of “Hiking Maine: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures” and “Best Easy Day Hikes Camden,” will talk about Maine hiking trails at a book signing. At Epic Sports, Bangor, LJune 30, 6-7:30 pm.
State of Our Birds, Jun 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 

Doug Hitchcox, owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv, Audubon’s Staff Naturalist, and eBird reviewer, will share his passion for Maine’s 445 listed species, while discussing the major changes and fluctuations occurring with our avian fauna. At Topsham Public Library, June 30, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Climate change and Arctic landscapes, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Monday, June 22, 2015 

Given the vast area of the Arctic, changes to the biosphere have the potential to influence the atmosphere, thereby altering the rate and magnitude of global climate change. a team of scientists — Zicheng Yu, Lehigh University, David Beilman, the University of Hawaii, and Phil Camill, Bowdoin College — have examined how soil carbon storage and emissions might respond to warming. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom, June 29, 7 pm.
Shoreline cleanup in Gouldsboro, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 20, 2015 

Several shoreline cleanups are scheduled this summer by the Gouldsboro Solid Waste Committee, with the first planned for June 27. The targeted areas are the Corea shoreline and waterfront exposed to the ocean, where refuse tends to wash up on shore.
Help Release the Land for Maine’s Future Bonds
Action Alert - Friday, June 19, 2015 

Gov. LePage is holding Land for Maine’s Future bonds hostage as a political bargaining chip. Recently, both the House and Senate voted by over two-thirds in favor of LD 1378, as amended, a bill that would require the Governor to release voter-approved bonds unless there are legitimate, non-political reasons for holding them. The Governor has made clear he will veto LD 1378. It’s critical that two-thirds of the Legislature vote to override the veto and release the LMF bonds. ~ Maine Audubon
Maine Fare, Jun 26-27
Event - Posted - Friday, June 19, 2015 

Maine Fare is a unique food festival that brings everyone to the table — farmers, fishermen, foodies, nonprofits, food businesses, and eaters!– to celebrate a vibrant and delicious future for food, farming, and fishing in Maine. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree will speak on "Maine's Farming and Fishing Resurgence: Reflections on 40 Years of Island Life." Many other activities. At Belfast, June 26-27.
A New National Park, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 18, 2015 

EPI has proposed to donate up to 150,000 acres for a new National Park and National Recreation Area. NRCM staff will present photos and a film. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, June 25, 6:30 pm.
Community Activism Celebration, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 18, 2015 

Guest speaker: David Levi, chef-owner of Vinland, “Maine’s Most Radical Restaurant,” which uses 100% locally-sourced ingredients to promote an ethical, local, organic, closed-loop food system. At Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Toxics Action Center.
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News Items
Letter: Toxic environment
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 03, 2015 

There are many fine Democratic, Republican and independent representatives and senators in Augusta who have worked tirelessly to advocate for the people of Maine. So, please, do not blame the Legislature for its efforts to advocate for Maine towns, cities and people in this toxic environment created by the governor. ~ Mary Tedesco-Schneck, Bangor
Bald eagle takes to the skies in Orrington after rehabilitation
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

A bald eagle has returned to the wild. Mary Bird, transport volunteer with Avian Haven, and Maine Game Warden Dave Georgia Jr. worked together to release a mature bald eagle Thursday at the Orrington Picnic Park in Orrington. The eagle was discovered a few weeks ago by Georgia and was rehabilitated back to health by Avian Haven in Freedom.
A rare birder indeed
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Emily Neil conducted a month-long survey of grassland birds between Cary Plantation, south of Houlton, and points northwest of Madawaska. Sponsored by Mass Audubon, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the University of Delaware, the survey was designed to assess changes in the northeastern grassland bird population and to inform landowners of ways to improve bird habitat on their properties.
Maine Bike Advocates Applaud Passage of Safety Bill
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Advocates for Maine's bicyclists and pedestrians are celebrating one of the rare examples of political harmony in Augusta: passage of a bill designed to make Maine roads safer for those who are traveling on two wheels or by foot. Until now, traffic laws pertaining to bicycle use had been all over the place, codified in a number of different statutes. With the passage of LD 1301, the responsibilities of cyclists are spelled out clearly and in one place. Bicycles need to follow the laws in terms of stop signs, traffic signals, the same as cars do. In addition to encouraging bicycle users to ride safely, LD 1301 also aims to protect cyclists, as well as pedestrians and other non-motorists, by creating a new category of "vulnerable" road users.
LePage orders his chiefs to give him final say on new hires
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

In a memo sent to members of his Cabinet on Wednesday, Gov. Paul LePage demanded that no new hire be made without his written approval. There are more than 1,000 vacant positions throughout the executive branch. LePage had proposed eliminating many of those jobs in the new biennial budget, but the spending plan approved by the Legislature over LePage’s veto — which took effect Wednesday — got rid of far fewer than LePage wanted.
Northern New England states fight, track invasive bugs
Associated Press - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Ever vigilant, researchers in northern New England have added more tools to help them track the spread of an invasive beetle that has destroyed millions of ash trees. Dangling this year from tree branches all over New Hampshire and Vermont are horizontal chains of bright green funnels designed to attract and catch the emerald ash borer. The traps join the now-familiar boxy, purple traps that have been hung for the past few years as the beetle has spread relentlessly eastward.
Baby osprey and cormorants, highlights of outing
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

I brought my dog, Oreo, to Sandy Point Beach Park in Stockton Springs last weekend to go for a swim in the Penobscot River and walk the easy woodland trails of the park. I took photos with my 100-400mm lens. One of the osprey parents was sitting with its three chicks.
South Portland renews concern about contamination from dry cleaner
Forecaster - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

For at least 25 years, a harmful chemical has existed in soil beneath and air around Pratt-Abbott Cleaners at Broadway and Cottage Road. The DEP notified former city staff in 1990 of the contamination, but information about the contamination and ongoing investigation only came to the attention of current city staff earlier this spring, when they were finalizing the Mill Creek Master Plan. Now, with the possibility of future construction on or near the property as the master plan is implemented, city staff – and nearby residents – are concerned about how the remaining contaminated soil will be removed.
Trash-to-energy facilities fight to dispose of Maine towns’ waste
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Two trash-to-energy facilities — one established nearly 30 years ago, one in the planning stages — are at the center of a heated competition to handle the waste disposal needs of nearly 200 Maine towns beginning in 2018. Both facilities — Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., a plant in Orrington that burns trash to make electricity, and the Municipal Review Committee’s planned solid waste recycling and processing facility in Hampden that will turn trash into biofuel — need the waste-disposal contracts in order to operate.
Maine reducing deer hunting permits by 23 percent to protect herd
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Maine wildlife biologists say they are taking precautions to protect the state’s whitetail deer herd after a harsh winter by decreasing hunting permits by 23 percent from last year. The state announced this week that it has begun accepting applications for its annual lottery of any-deer hunting permits. Maine will allot 28,770 permits for this fall’s hunt – down from 37,185 in 2014. It’s only the fourth time fewer than 30,000 any-deer permits will be allotted since the permit system started in 1986.
Carry in, carry out policy working at Waterville parks
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

A day at the park is much more pleasant for Waterville Parks and Recreation Director Matt Skehan and employees Steve Buzzell and Sam Green since the city ruled that those who use parks are expected to remove their own trash. By removing trash cans, the local officials aren't stuck with vermin and cleaning up the mess of others.
Maine company sees golden opportunity in ‘green’ tool for the masses
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

John Rooks wants to put himself out of a job. That would be the ideal outcome of his latest initiative, he said. Rooks is the founder of The SOAP Group, a 12-year-old consulting firm in Portland that helps companies large and small improve their operations and cut costs by reducing waste and their environmental impact. Just as QuickBooks delivered easy-to-use accounting software to the masses, Rapport — a cloud-based software platform to allow small and midsized businesses to easily collect and track their own sustainability metrics — will “democratize sustainability” for millions of businesses, Rooks said.
Letter: Casco Bay steward offers kudos to chemical-free lawn care professionals
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 02, 2015 

Kudos to Scott Eldredge and John Bochert of Eldredge Lumber & Hardware for their June 23 Maine Voices column (“Protecting waterways both moral imperative and good business”). Friends of Casco Bay has long delivered the ecological lawn care message to homeowners associations, garden clubs, neighborhood socials, church groups and grass-roots community organizations. Businesspeople who speak out for chem-free lawns raise the bar, taking this issue to a higher level. They are putting their profits on the line to protect the environment. ~ Cathy L. Ramsdell, Friends of Casco Bay
Prindiville named executive director of UPSTREAM
Other - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Matt Prindiville, a veteran campaigner and Matt Prindiville, veteran campaigner to become new Executive Director previous Associate Director, has been named Executive Director. Founded in 2003, UPSTREAM is a national public-interest organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable society by addressing the root causes of environmental harm. Prindiville is a policy expert and campaign strategist who has helped develop and coordinate efforts to advance safer chemicals policy, toxics-use reduction and product stewardship throughout the United States. He is based in midcoast Maine.
LePage veto stops arsenic tests of Maine well water
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

A legislative effort to promote well-water testing in Maine was nixed this week when legislators failed to override a veto from Gov. Paul LePage. The bill was a response to recent scientific findings on arsenic, a carcinogen occurring naturally in the state’s bedrock, which is a particular problem in central and Down East Maine. Statewide, 150,000 people – one in 10 residents – could be drinking from wells with high arsenic concentrations.
Maine businesses grateful for bond bills that passed, but see ‘room for more’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Maine business leaders expressed both gratitude and disappointment Wednesday over the Legislature’s passage of two bond proposals totaling $100 million for roads and senior housing. But Maine business leaders had been pushing for far more, including $10 million to upgrade culverts and stream crossings statewide. Advocates for the infrastructure bonds, including representatives of Maine’s construction industry, have argued that the money would jump-start the state economy, create jobs, help the environment and boost tourism. Voter approval of state borrowing does not necessarily mean the bonds will be issued. The governor is still withholding $11.5 million in bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future conservation program and has used the bonds as political leverage. On Tuesday, LePage vetoed L.D. 1378, which would have forced him to issue voter-approved bonds – including those now pending for the LMF program – except in specific circumstances.
Auburn fire chief drafted drone into duty for river rescue
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

It was Frank Roma's love of Maine's natural beauty that helped rescue a teenager who was trapped in a roiling river in Mechanic Falls on Tuesday. Roma, the city's fire chief, was at the Little Androscoggin River, assisting that town's fire and rescue crews. When they puzzled over how to equip the teen with a life jacket, Roma offered up the "quad-copter" drone that he happened to bring to work that day. The drone delivered a lightweight line to the stranded youth, nearly 100 feet away. Once the boy plucked the line from the drone, he was able to reel in a life preserver in preparation for his water rescue. Roma bought the apparatus about a year ago, he said, to help him capture the unique landscapes and seascapes that had drawn him to Maine.
10 reptiles, amphibians to be studied for possible protection
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Federal protection may be needed for three amphibian species and seven reptiles, including the hard-biting, spiky-shelled alligator snapping turtle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says. The Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that those species will undergo further study to decide whether they merit classification as endangered or threatened. Among those species the agency says warrant scrutiny are a spotted turtle once found across the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida.
Maine forest products group asks potato board to oppose national park
Presque Isle Star-Herald - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

A spokesman for the Maine Forest Products Council met with the Maine Potato Board last week to seek its support in opposing the proposed establishment of a national park near Baxter State Park.
Marine Patrol Warns Swimmers and Boaters of Changing Water Conditions
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Officials in Maine and New Hampshire are warning swimmers and boaters to heed water conditions in the wake of heavy rainfall and several tragedies and near tragedies.
Atlantic salmon count on the Penobscot up to 560
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Mitch Simpson, a biologist for the DMR’s Division of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat, said in his weekly report that a total of 560 salmon had returned to the fish lift at Milford Dam as of Tuesday. That’s an increase of 103 from last week’s total. That total is the highest accumulated by June 29 since 2012 (562). Simpson reported in his email: “River herring are still coming in, but the run is tailing off. American shad numbers have picked up slightly since the last report. We have caught a total of 1,444 American shad to date. We have also caught six striped bass to date and I suspect we will continue to see a few more over the next few weeks.”
Harpswell report says rising sea threatens town roads
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Some of the Harpswell's critical infrastructure is vulnerable to rising seas, according to a new report, "Harpswell Coastal Flooding Risk Assessment," prepared by the Midcoast Council of Governments. Using modelling data developed by the Maine Geological Survey, MCOG identified areas that would be impacted by water levels one, two, three, and six feet above highest astronomical tide, which represents the highest predicted tide level in a year. The latest scientific predictions for sea level rise are one foot by 2050, and two to three feet or greater by 2100. MCOG identified three areas threatened under all four scenarios.
Plum Creek donates to AMC
Appalachian Mountain Club - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

The Plum Creek Foundation has supported the Appalachian Mountain Club's Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Program with a $2,500 grant.
Endangered piping plovers return to Maine in full force
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Listed as an endangered species in Maine and a threatened species on the federal level, piping plovers are nesting and raising their young on sandy beaches from Ogunquit to Georgetown. This year, biologists have counted at least 60 nesting pairs, a 20 percent increase from last year’s 50 pairs and twice as many as were counted just five years ago. Maine Audubon has worked for more than 30 years to restore Maine’s piping plover and least tern populations through education, monitoring and by fences and signs to protect nesting areas.
Conservation group tries new path to limiting CO2 emissions
Summit Voice - Wednesday, July 01, 2015 

Citing the growing threat to the world’s oceans, environmental advocates want the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The regulations have been used to limit emissions of other harmful chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, PCBs and asbestos. “Time’s running out to avoid a mass extinction of wildlife in our oceans,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It may not look like a toxic chemical, but when there’s too much CO2 in the ocean, it turns seawater corrosive and dissolves the protective shells that marine animals need to survive."
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Chemicals may alter placenta genes, threaten fetuses
By Brian Bienkowski - Women exposed to widely used chemicals while pregnant are more likely to have altered gene function in their placentas, according to a new study.
6/30/2015 11:00:00 PM

Combinations of 'safe' chemicals may increase cancer risk, study suggests
By Sasha Harris-Lovett - Lots of chemicals are considered safe in low doses. But what happens when you ingest a little bit of a lot of different chemicals over time?
6/30/2015 11:00:00 PM

Federal judge rules Maui County ban on GMO crops invalid
By Audrey McAvoy - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid.
6/30/2015 11:00:00 PM

New program offers safety net for dairy farmers
By Whit Richardson - A new program to help dairy farmers weather the tumultuous peaks and troughs of milk pricing got a boost from U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who was touring Maine farms Monday.
6/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

Boston University signs deal to serve organic Maine oats
By Kathleen Pierce - Aurora Mills and Farms in Linneus just signed a deal with Boston University to supply the school with Maine oats for the upcoming school year. It’s a big win for The County and the state’s burgeoning food economy.
6/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

What does “low dose” mean when it comes to exposure to toxic chemicals?
A major study reveals how exposure over 80 different chemicals could have synergistic impacts on the development of cancer
6/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine women in agriculture give USDA official food for thought
By Whit Richardson - The number two person in charge at the U.S. Department of Agriculture was in Maine on Monday to hear from local farmers – especially female farmers – about their challenges and to get a better understanding of Maine’s agricultural landscape.
6/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

Can We Wean Our Future Food Off Antibiotics?
By Lynne Peeples - Each year, at least 23,000 Americans die from drug-resistant infections carried by so-called superbugs – pathogens that were once easily treatable but that can now withstand modern medicine's full arsenal of antibiotics. And if recent forecasts are correct, it could get a lot worse.
6/29/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Greener Grilling
Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday. Plan on grilling? Green up your cookouts by grilling veggies—asparagus, z...
7/3/2015 4:00:38 AM

Maine Company Sees Golden Opportunity in ‘Green’ Tool for the Masses
Led by two local entrepreneurs, a startup begins filling a gap for small companies with software that improves...
7/2/2015 7:40:26 AM

Another Hairy Solution
Putting human or pet hair around trees and gardens not only adds nitrogen and trace minerals to the soil, it c...
7/2/2015 4:00:49 AM

LePage Vetoes Land for Maine’s Future Bond Bill
The measure seeks to force him to issue bonds for the conservation program. By Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Port...
7/1/2015 7:38:33 AM

Eat Your Weeds
Buy an illustrated guide to wild edible plants and scout your garden for lambsquarters, sheep sorrell, and oth...
7/1/2015 4:00:15 AM

Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill Calling for PUC to Develop Solar Policy
Vote shows bipartisan support for helping Maine catch up on solar NRCM news release AUGUSTA, ME – Today,...
6/30/2015 4:00:32 PM

$9 Million Down East Solar Project on Hold as Bill Vetoed
By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story PORTLAND, Maine — A bill to study a new way to compe...
6/30/2015 7:35:32 AM

A College in Maine That Tackles Climate Change, One Class at a Time
by Diane Cardwell New York Times news story BAR HARBOR, Me. — Like many residents of this picturesque island t...
6/30/2015 7:30:52 AM

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