December 14, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Solstice Lantern Walk at Brunswick Labyrinth in the Woods, Dec 21
Event - Posted - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Labyrinth in the Woods. A guided walk of the labyrinth will leave every 15 minutes 5-6 pm, or walk in solitude 4-5 pm or 6:15 – 8 pm. At Brunswick, December 21, 4-8 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

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). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
Bird & Nature Walk, Dec 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

At Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary, Falmouth, December 20, 8-10 am, $8.
Full moon hike, Dec 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Midcoast Conservancy will offer a full moon hike. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, December 20, 4:30-6:30 pm, $5, pre-register.
Nature Notes from Maine
Publication - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

40 interesting stories, 60 stunning photos, 10 ink drawings. Written by Ed Robinson (Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 2018).
Polar Bear Dip & Dash, Dec 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

A benefit for the Natural Resource Council of Maine’s work to fight climate change. At East End Beach, Portland, December 31, pre-register.
Great Winter Treks, Dec 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

Aislinn Sarnacki talks about great winter treks in Maine. At Orono Public Library, December 18, 6 pm.
2019 Acadia Artist-in-Residence Program
Announcement - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Art and artists have played a key role in the history of Maine’s Downeast Region, and the founding of Acadia National Park. The Artist-in-Residence program is dedicated to creating new ways for visitors to experience Acadia through the arts. Deadline to apply online for 2019: December 31, 2018.
Lessons from Maine’s Loons and Lakes, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Hear new executive director of the Maine Lakes Society and long-time director of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count Susan Gallo talk about the results of the 2018 Maine Loon Count and what it means for one of Maine’s most important and revered habitats. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, December 13, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15, pre-register.
Yale Climate Change and Health Certificate
Announcement - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Yale School of Public Health’s 18-week, fully online, Climate Change and Health Certificate is designed for working professionals who are eager to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change on the health of their communities. Apply for rolling admission by February 1 to be considered for the February 25, 2019, cohort.
Bird & Nature Walk, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

At Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary, Falmouth, December 13, 8-10 am, $8.
Glacial retreat impact on Unity area, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Kevin Spigel, professor of Geoscience at Unity College, discusses what happened to our landscape after the glaciers retreated. At 93 Main Coffee Shop, Unity, December 12, $5 donation suggested. Sponsored by Sebasticook Regional Land Trust.
Invasive Worms, Oh My! Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Presentation by Gary Fish, Maine State Horticulturist. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, December 12, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Microplastics in the Gulf of Maine, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Madelyn Woods, a marine biologist at the Shaw Institute in Blue Hill, will give an illustrated talk, “Microplastics in the Gulf of Maine.” At Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium, December 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Help wanted: Conservation forester
Announcement - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy seeks a Conservation Forester to manage 160,000 acres of timberland and ecological reserves at the Upper St. John River Forest. Deadline: January 3, 2019.
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News Items
Letter: Residents deserve notice of aquaculture applications
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources, by allowing Mere Point Oyster to provide no notice to residents prior to applying for its proposed 40-acre Maquoit Bay operation, endorses irresponsible aquaculture. On Sept. 12, my neighbor forwarded an application for a 40-acre aquaculture operation directly in front of our homes and docks. The application described on-site operations with tumblers, high-powered water sprayers, water pumps and a generator. All nearby homes will be affected by the noise. The 10-year lease is salable and may operate at night. Because it is just beyond 1,000 feet from our homes, we’ve had no notice, voice, recourse or rights. We will boycott Maine aquaculture shellfish products. ~ Connor Shirtsleeve, Brunswick
Letter: Rabbits as pets
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The Nov. 20 article about rabbits was very outdated. It had old, inaccurate information. A rabbit can live 12 to 15 years. They should not be kept in a cage their entire life. Most rabbits can live free roam in a home if you rabbit-proof properly. At the very least, they should live in an exercise pen. Rabbits are not good pets for children. Most do not like to be picked up or held. They have very fragile skeletons and a child dropping a rabbit can paralyze or kill it. Spaying and neutering is recommended for a pet rabbit. The article did not mention feeding a rabbit hay, which should be about 80 percent of their diet. Lettuce does not cause gas, although iceberg is not recommended. ~ Jayne Pride, Abbot
Scarborough approves tax deal for developers to build new downtown at the Downs
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Scarborough Downs is on track to be redeveloped into a mixed-use village center under a 30-year, tax-supported plan approved by the Town Council on Wednesday night. The deal with hometown developers was widely considered one of the most important and contentious decisions to face the council in decades, prompting Councilor Don Hamill to fly back from a vacation in Ireland just to vote against it. The council approved a credit enhancement agreement that would reimburse as much as $81 million in property taxes to the developers over three decades if they meet certain goals in redeveloping the 500-acre harness racing venue.
Kayak, paddleboard traffic more than doubles on York River as locals consider conservation plans
York Weekly - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

A Harbor Board paddlecraft survey was brought up by proponents and opponents during the recent debate over whether to give the York River a special Wild and Scenic River designation, and for understandable reasons. The survey shows a near doubling in the use of kayaks and paddleboards on the York River from the summer of 2017 to 2018. York and Eliot voters have approved a measure to designate the York River as a national Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The designation could open the door to new federal help on a preservation strategy for the river.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Gets Fact-Checked Live On Air By CNN
Huffington Post - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

CNN split its screen to run a fact-checking graphic alongside White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ briefing on Tuesday. A “Facts First” box listing key points about the government’s new National Climate Assessment flashed up as Sanders defended President Donald Trump’s rejection of the report, which was released over the Thanksgiving weekend and predicted that the U.S. faces warming of at least 3 more degrees this century.
Islesboro Residents Protest State Ferry Rate Hikes
Maine Public - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

More than 200 people attended a hearing in Belfast Wednesday to protest a state decision to double the fares that Islesboro residents pay to get to and from the mainland. The Islesboro fares went up in May, after the Maine Department of Transportation adopted a new, single ticket price for all its island ferries. Since then Islesboro ferry ridership has dropped, and ferry officials are now proposing that in addition to the new rate structure, they should be able to add a surcharge when needed to balance the system’s budget. Resident Rebecca Schnur said the rate hikes “will doom the ferry service budget to a death spiral. It’s not only fiscally irresponsible, it appears intended to sabotage the very department you are being paid to manage.” After a 10-day comment period, the state has up to four months to make a final decision.
Feds to spend $600K to help Maine company make bread with seaweed VitaminSea harvests southern Maine sugar kelp
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

The federal government is awarding a Buxton company $600,000 in grant money to develop a seaweed additive for bread. The company, VitaminSea, previously received funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation Research program in 2017 to study using kelp in bread-making. The funding announced Wednesday will be used to develop a prototype of the so-called SeaKelp+ additive, partner with bakeries on recipes for it and conduct market testing.
Some Bath businesses weren’t following the town’s plastic bag ban, so city issues reminder
Times Record - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Bath is reminding businesses that a ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene food containers went into effect several months ago. Bath Code Enforcement Officer Scott Davis said he found a handful of businesses that were not complying with the ordinance, prompting him to issue a reminder that the ban exists.
Column: 600 million cats
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Cats more or less domesticated themselves. Wildcats have been around for at least 5.3 million years. About 10,000 years ago, humans in the Middle East invented farming. Soon rats and other pests that wreck crops and housing and carry disease were attracted to the food sources, and wildcats followed them to the farms, where they befriended the humans. Cats have a lovable, angelic side, which cat lovers love; and they have a demonic side, which cat haters hate. They kill too many birds, and in some places feral cats are an out-and-out eco-problem. ~ Dana Wilde
Midcoast lobsterman pleads no contest to arson six years after fire
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

The Friendship lobsterman, whose feud with another fisherman led him and his sternmen to torch the other man’s Waldoboro boathouse, has pleaded no contest to arson more than six years after the fire. James R. Simmons entered the plea on Tuesday, Nov. 27. A second charge of arson was dismissed. He will be sentenced in January. He and his co-defendants will have to pay restitution, possibly $200,000 for the boat and $65,000 for the boathouse. There may be a restitution hearing in January.
Woolwich to sort through residents’ recycling bins to make sure they’re not costing town money
Times Record - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Woolwich wants to reduce its recycling costs, and it’s going to have a company go through your recycling bins to get that done. During the next month, Riverside Refuse, the company that picks up the town’s recycling and transports it to ecomaine’s solid waste facility in Portland, will inspect everyone’s recycling containers at the curb. They will refuse to accept containers with non-recyclable materials or recyclable materials that are in plastic bags.
Opinion: It’s time for Maine to build new relationship with tribes
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

The landmark Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, passed in 1980, ended territorial claims made in federal court by the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes. It provided federal funds for the tribes to purchase land, which they used to expand their reservations and restore at least some of the ancestral territory of the Wabanaki peoples who inhabited Maine for at least 10,000 years before European settlers arrived. The act was also supposed to lead to a new relationship between the state and the tribes, one based on equal status and mutual respect. That has, quite simply, never happened. I’ve proposed that the state reopen discussions about the Settlement Act, and invite the Indian tribes to participate in a new effort to amend the law, where necessary, and to figure out how to make it work better. ~ Mark Dion
Native-Led Nonprofit Buys Site Along Penobscot River
Maine Public - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Following a successful fundraising effort, a native-led nonprofit has purchased an 85-acre site along the Penobscot River in Passadumkeag. Lisa Henries is operations director of Nibezun, which preserves and restores Wabanaki traditions. When the land was put up for sale in 2015, a group of tribal members and supporters began an effort to purchase the parcel and existing facilities. Henries says the site contains the only land connection to Olamon Island, "traditional lands of the Penobscot people where there is old villages; there is burial grounds; there was a place for gathering medicines and many other cultural things as you can imagine." Nibezun plans to conduct educational activities at the site.
The National Climate Assessment: Northeast
Other - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

The Northeast region is characterized by four distinct seasons and a diverse landscape that is central to the region’s cultural identity, quality of life, and economic success. It is both the most heavily forested and most densely populated region in the country. The seasonal climate, natural systems, and accessibility of certain types of recreation are threatened by declining snow and ice, rising sea levels, and rising temperatures. By 2035, and under both lower and higher scenarios, the Northeast is projected to be more than 3.6°F warmer on average than during the preindustrial era. This would be the largest increase in the contiguous United States and would occur as much as two decades before global average temperatures reach a similar milestone.
Sportsman’s Alliance Pulls Its Support for CMP Corridor
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

After offering support last January for CMP’s controversial new corridor from Quebec to Massachusetts, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has pulled its support, after seeking guidance from its members, many of whom oppose the project. As a SAM life member and a strong opponent of the CMP project, I am delighted by SAM’s decision, although I wish they’d come out against the project, instead of taking a neutral, neither for nor against, position on the project. Given the serious concerns of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the strong opposition by all of our state’s major environmental groups, I am hoping SAM’s position will continue to evolve, and that they’ll soon join us in opposing the project.
Column: Yes, friends can disagree
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Over the years I worked with lots of admirable people, many of whom became my friends. Even if we disagreed on an issue, we worked together in a friendly manner. When Roxanne Quimby started buying up huge parcels of land and banning hunting and snowmobiling and closing roads, I created the “Ban Roxanne” bumper sticker. It was very popular in the north country. Then Roxanne’s son, Lucas St.Clair, arrived to become the chief advocate for creating a national park or monument on their land north of Baxter Park. Lucas came to my house, unfolded his maps, and asked me what I wanted. And he did everything I asked. We became good friends, and I became an advocate for his project. Most amazing, Roxanne and I became friends. ~ George Smith
Letter: Boycott Gardens Aglow as protest, visit Boothbay region displays instead
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

The Festival of Lights is on now through December and includes fireworks, events and beautiful displays in both Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. The wonderful Harbor Lights show, on Dec. 1, has been going on for 33 years and shouldn’t be missed. Attend and enjoy the festival, but please boycott Gardens Aglow at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Why? Because Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, without engaging the community, clearcut 24.8 acres of coastal forest – all of it habitat for several significant vernal pools – and built 849 parking spaces uphill from the Boothbay region’s drinking water supply. ~ Jason Anthony, Bristol
Letter: Another call to action on climate change
Times Record - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Last Friday, 13 federal agencies issued the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which states that climate change is affecting Maine’s forests, fisheries, farms, tourism and ecosystems—marine and land-based. It is already costing us in damage to property, infrastructure, health, crops, and fisheries. If we do not significantly lower global carbon dioxide pollution (stop burning fossil fuels) quickly, global warming will change the way we live and will cost the American economy as much as 10 percent of GDP by 2100. Two takeaways from both this report and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report issued in October are that transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources will reduce the risks of climate impacts and the best first step would be to put a price on carbon pollution. ~ Dodie Jones,, Brunswick
Region’s electricity market in trouble
Other - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

CommonWealth Magazine - The wholesale electricity market that has kept the lights on in New England for the last 20 years is going through a very tough stretch. Some say it may not survive, as states are pursuing long-term renewable energy contracts outside the market. The stakes are high, as geeky policymakers debate whether a competitive market is the best way to produce power in New England or whether we should return to a system that fell out of favor 20 years ago – letting state regulators decide which power plants should get built and at what cost.
This Year's Deer Harvest May Be Largest In 15 Years
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

State wildlife officials say preliminary numbers following the end of the regular firearms season on Saturday show that just over 30,000 deer were taken, compared to about 27,000 last year. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokesman Mark Latti says the higher numbers came despite rain on the first two Saturdays of the season. State biologists say snow statewide over the final two weeks helped hunters track game, which compensated for the slow start.
Quaggy Jo Mountain is Geologic Site of Month
The County - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

The Maine Geologic Survey has named Quaggy Jo Mountain in Aroostook State Park as November’s Geologic Site of the Month, according to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. Anyone can take a geologic tour of Quaggy Jo Mountain’s unique and impressive features through the Geologic Site of the Month guide, just released by the Maine Geologic Survey and archived on the Maine State Library’s Digital Maine Repository.
These new products are great gifts for outdoorsy people
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

Here is a list of new outdoor products that have turned heads this year. Many of them feature new materials and technology that is truly amazing.
Maine Water Company says fuel spill poses ‘no risk’ to water supply in Rockport
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

A tractor-trailer rolled onto its side on Route 17 Tuesday morning, spilling diesel fuel near Grassy Pond, one of two water supply sources for the Camden-Rockland area. Officials from the Maine Water Company — the public water utility that manages the water supply for the area — said there is “no risk” to the water being supplied through the system.
Column: Bald eagles are a delightful treasure
Times Record - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

Bald eagles are dependent on open water sources and when their waterways freeze over in the winter, they head south. But, those who live along coasts where the water doesn’t freeze can stay there all year. Such is the case for our coastal Maine population. But not for the majority of bald eagles living further inland. They migrate south each year and then come back as soon as weather permits. And they tend to migrate in groups. ~ Susan Olcott
Maine’s deer harvest tops 30,000 for the first time since 2004
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 27, 2018 

According to state deer biologist Nathan Bieber of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, hunters had registered 30,299 deer as of 7:30 a.m. Monday. The last time hunters shot more than 30,000 deer in Maine was in 2004. “Muzzleloader [season] could be another 750 to 1,000 or so,” Bieber said. DIF&W issued 84,745 any-deer permits spread over 22 of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts across the state, an increase of 28 percent.
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