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

The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 20-21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

At L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, September 20, 6:30 pm, food trucks; 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. September 21, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing, biking, talks, exhibits. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Climate Strike, Sep 20-27
Action Alert - Friday, September 13, 2019 

It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. Join in the streets September 20 and the week after to demand climate justice for all.
• Portland City Hall, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bowdoin Art Museum steps, Brunswick, Sep 29, 10 am
• Meetinghouse gazebo, Farmington, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Longley Square Park, Norway, Sep 20, 4:30 pm
• Sidewalk at Main and Temple St, Waterville, Sep 20, 4 pm
• Front of Bangor High School, Sep 20, 11 am
• Resistance Corner, Downtown Belfast, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bar Harbor Village Green, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Dike on Route 1, Machias, Sep 20, 1:30 pm

Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
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News Items
Aurora borealis could be visible in Maine this weekend
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

There could be a widespread northern lights event coming to the northern U.S. this weekend. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks issued a forecast of the Kp level, the index used to measure light in the atmosphere, expected in the next few days. Scientists are forecasting a Kp value of 6, and call for ‘high auroral activity.’ As long as weather permits, the lights could possibly be seen in central Maine and northern Maine.
For the first time in 8 years, 1,000 Atlantic salmon have returned to the Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

Three previously uncaptured salmon were caught at the Milford Dam fish lift this week, raising the season total to 1,097. This is the first year since 2011 that more than 1,000 Atlantic salmon have returned to the Penobscot River. Atlantic salmon are listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in all Maine rivers.
After months of repairs, Planet Uranus returns to Maine’s 95-mile solar system model
Presque Isle Star-Herald - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

After being absent from its place along Route 1 in Bridgewater since the winter months, the planet Uranus is now set in “orbit” along with the additional seven planets and three dwarf planets in the Maine Solar System Model. The Maine Solar System Model currently extends 95 miles from University of Maine at Presque Isle to the dwarf planet Eris in Topsfield in Washington County, and includes a 50-foot-diameter “sun” at UMPI’s Northern Maine Museum of Science. Community volunteers from schools, colleges and construction companies built the model over a period of four years between 1999 and 2003, and added dwarf planets in 2008. The Maine Solar System Model is the largest such model in the Western Hemisphere.
Opinion: Taxing the rich won’t pay for Democratic promises
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

The Democratic presidential candidates’ solutions are fiscally irresponsible and impractical. The price tag for Bernie Sanders’ climate plan comes in at an astonishing $16.3 trillion. His proposal aims to reach “100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at the latest.” In other words, he intends to rid the country of cars and power plants that run on fossil fuels in roughly 10 years. Joe Biden’s federal/state climate plan calls for a $1.7 trillion federal contribution to his overall proposal of $5 trillion over 10 years, while Elizabeth Warren’s climate plan is a $2 trillion proposal. The Democratic presidential candidates’ pandering to a base obsessed with so-called financial justice is turning their primary campaign into the theater of the absurd. Even at extraordinarily high tax rates, the “rich” aren’t rich enough to fund what these presidential progressives are promising. ~ David Winston, longtime adviser to congressional Republicans
Opinion: The Earth will remember humans for the mess we left behind
Bloomberg News - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

We have caused huge shifts in the plants and animals sharing the planet with us, driven many species to extinction, left a layer of radioactive fallout from exploding nuclear bombs, accidentally changed the composition of our atmosphere, and left a layer of plastic that will in all likelihood still be around in a million years. The earth is not, as long believed, too vast to be changed by humans, and with a population of 7 billion and climbing, we are not too small to leave an indelible mark. ~ Faye Flam
Letter: Protect South Portland residents – enforce local air pollution ban
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

I like to keep things simple when it feels overly complicated. South Portland is home to a number of bulk oil storage facilities and tank farms. They collectively emit 633 tons a year of volatile organic compounds, 104 tons of which are hazardous air pollutants. That is a lot of toxins for the schools, the day cares and the people living near the tanks. We already have Chapter 16 of the city code, which prohibits air pollution, fining anyone or any company found to be in violation. As a city we need to stand together and protect each other. ~ Rachel Burger, South Portland
Letter: Chemical-free answers available to most household dilemmas
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 31, 2019 

From weed killers to air-freshening room spray, there’s a seemingly harmless chemical solution for nearly any issue. Fortunately, though, one can use the internet to research potential safer alternatives, one of which may be to recognize the interconnectedness of all life, and just…let…be. Our challenge, then, is to question what we’ve been conditioned to believe. Did you know that a half-teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a tad of water makes a fully functioning underarm deodorant? ~ Susan Veligor, Portland
Scientist Who Successfully Rebooted Puffin Colony To Retire
Associated Press - Friday, August 30, 2019 

A scientist who helped re-establish puffins on islands off the Maine coast is retiring at month’s end. Dr. Steve Kress served as executive director of the Seabird Restoration Program and vice president of bird conservation at the National Audubon Society. Kress said that about 1,000 puffin chicks were moved from Newfoundland to Eastern Egg Rock, starting in 1973. He said he’s proud to have succeeded in rebooting the colony. The seabird work continues under the leadership of Dr. Donald Lyons, who spent 20 years at Oregon State University working on seabird science and conservation.
Waterville plastic bag ban launches Sunday
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Starting Sunday, shoppers at large stores in the city will have to bring their own bags to tote their merchandise — or use paper bags if stores supply or sell them. Sunday is the day the city’s plastic bag ban goes into effect, prohibiting stores that are 10,000-square-feet or larger from dispensing single-use plastic bags to customers at checkout. That would include stores such as Shaw’s, Hannaford, JC Penney and Walmart. A statewide ban will go into effect on Earth Day, April 22, 2020.
Auburn man puts a new spin on fishing equipment
Sun Journal - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Trolling around Lake Auburn recently with a new spin on a tried-and-true piece of fishing equipment, Mike Ouellette of Auburn sat back and watched six lines evenly spread out behind a friend’s boat to test the latest prototype of his patent-pending Spread-Em Portable Outrigging System. He has applied for a patent for his invention.
How Maine Companies, Conservationists Are Helping Native Pollinators Thrive
Maine Public - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Just about every third bite of food you take was made possible by a bee. Bees are required in the production of everything from apples to zucchini, and even important cattle feeds such as alfalfa require bees for pollination. To meet high demand over the last 50 years, Maine growers have relied on trucking in thousands of hives of non-native honey bees to pollinate crops such as blueberries and cranberries. But with honeybee colonies now facing sudden declines and hive-rental costs soaring, there’s a renewed focus on establishing habitat for native pollinators. The goal of the project is to protect and preserve all the native bee species that could serve as pollinators.
Opponents Of CMP Transmission Project Work Toward Statewide Vote On 2020 Ballot
Maine Public - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s controversial plan to build a new transmission line through western Maine have quietly submitted language that could lead to a statewide vote on the project. “It appears to basically direct the members of the Public Utilities Commission to declare that this is not in the best interest of the people of Maine,” says Maine Secretary of State Mat Dunlap. Dunlap says former Wilton state Sen. Tom Saviello is the lead member of a group of opponents seeking approval to circulate petitions on the question.
E-bikes soon to be humming along trails in Acadia and other national parks
Associated Press - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Motorized electric bicycles soon may be humming along serene trails in national parks and other public lands nationwide. It’s part of a new Trump administration order – hotly opposed by many outdoors groups – that will allow e-bikes on every federal trail where a regular bike can go. Adam Gariepy, manager of the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop, said Friday that he’s “tentatively happy” about the new rules. But he has reservations because some e-bikes like his can reach around 28 mph, he said. That speed could be dangerous on trails that have a mix of bicycle riders, horses and carriages, hikers, families and pets.
Maine offers rebates for buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 30, 2019 

A $5.1 million legal settlement won by Maine against German automaker Volkswagen Group and its affiliates is being used to fund a new statewide rebate program for buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles. The program, announced Friday by Gov. Janet Mills, will provide rebates of $1,000 to $2,000 on qualifying plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles, with higher rebates being offered to low-income households and government entities, including tribal governments.
With no start date set, Maine-Nova Scotia ferry season may be extended
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, August 30, 2019 

The province of Nova Scotia is considering extending the ferry service season this year once international ferry service starts up between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, according to news reports. The ferry season was originally planned to run from June 21 to Oct. 15. With work still being done on the terminal in Bar Harbor, the start date has been postponed indefinitely, but provincial officials are still hopeful that the ferry will run this season.
South Portland warns park visitors about pond algae that can kill dogs
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 30, 2019 

A pond in South Portland’s Hinckley Park has tested positive for a type of algae that produces toxins that can be fatal for dogs. The South Portland Parks and Recreation Department posted warning signs Friday based on testing results that showed a blue-green algae bloom could possibly produce the same toxins that have killed pets in other states this summer.
Column: Biking Islesboro on the Ritz
Times Record - Friday, August 30, 2019 

Islesboro is one of my favorite bicycle outings.  The 14 mile long island offers sweeping vistas, numerous picturesque coves and harbors, and lightly traveled primarily paved roads.  Located three miles from Lincolnville Beach in Waldo County, it is just a twenty minute ferry ride from the mainland with several crossings each day. Islesboro is also an exceptional sea kayak destination.  Nearby Warren Island State Park opposite the ferry terminal offers outstanding campsites for paddlers some with breathtaking views of the mountainous mainland.  ~ Ron Chase
Bowdoin interns help Bath update Climate Action, Comprehensive plans
Times Record - Friday, August 30, 2019 

For the past several months, Emma Kyzivat and Noah Eckstein, both rising Juniors at Bowdoin College, interned at Bath City Hall to help the city update its Climate Action and Comprehensive plans. In its 2007 emissions report, the city established a goal of reducing municipal emissions by 20% reduction by 2017. Kyzivat found that the city exceeded that goal, reducing emissions by 27%. Eckstein’s research will provide the groundwork necessary for the city to discuss its strategic goals for the future.
Opinion: The Earth will remember humans for the mess we left behind
Bloomberg News - Friday, August 30, 2019 

We’ve caused huge shifts in the plants and animals sharing the planet with us, driven many species to extinction, left a layer of radioactive fallout from exploding nuclear bombs, accidentally changed the composition of our atmosphere, and left a layer of plastic that will in all likelihood still be around in a million years. Long after time and erosion have turned all our feats of art and engineering to dust, our mess will remain. The earth is not, as long believed, too vast to be changed by humans, and with a population of 7 billion and climbing, we are not too small to leave an indelible mark. ~ Faye Flam
EPA Aims To Roll Back Limits On Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Industry
National Public Radio - Friday, August 30, 2019 

The Trump administration is proposing to slash restrictions on the oil and gas industry for methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that is a powerful driver of climate change. "This would be a huge step backward," said Ben Ratner, a senior director at the Environmental Defense Fund. "It would cause greatly increased pollution and a big missed opportunity to take cost effective immediate action to reduce the rate of warming right now." The Trump administration argues it would save the oil and gas industry $17 million to $19 million annually in compliance costs. But that's "such a small fraction of the industry total cash flow that it's just laughable," says Harvard University's Steven Wofsy, a professor of atmospheric and environmental science.
5 East Coast Governors Push Feds On Offshore Wind Power
Associated Press - Thursday, August 29, 2019 

The governors of five East Coast states are urging federal regulators not to put any additional roadblocks in the way of the country's nascent offshore wind industry. The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia said in a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that offshore wind power will help strengthen America's energy independence while creating thousands of jobs.
New Canadian National Park is Good for Maine’s Birds
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, August 29, 2019 

What is the largest protected area you know? Thaidene Nene, a new Canadian national park reserve, is more than 25 times larger than Baxter State Park. At more than six million acres, Thaidene Nene is one of the largest land protection actions in recent history. It is a gift from a First Nation community. Thanks to an agreement between Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation and Parks Canada, the Deninu K’ue First Nation, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and the Northwest Territories government, Thaidene Nene will now be protected forever. These newly protected lands support ten million or more breeding birds, most of which migrate south to winter from southern Canada and the U.S. south to southern South America. Some of those birds migrate through or winter in Maine.
Key Permit Decision Nearing For CMP's 141-Mile Transmission Line Project
Maine Public - Thursday, August 29, 2019 

A key permit decision for Central Maine Power's transmission project through western Maine could be made in less than two weeks. The state's Land Use Planning Commission has scheduled deliberations for Sept. 11 on whether the 141-mile project meets state siting standards for the unorganized territories that would host the line, which CMP wants to build to bring hydro-electricity from Canada to serve customers in Massachusetts. LUPC's hearings on the issue have run side-by-side with those held by the Department of Environmental Protection, which will decide on a separate land use permit for the project. DEP staff are expected to issue a draft permit in October. The final decision will be made by DEP Commissioner Jerry Reid.
Maine Issues Warning Amid Region's Growing Number Of Dangerous Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
Maine Public - Thursday, August 29, 2019 

An increase in reported cases of mosquito-borne diseases in the Northeast this year is prompting the Maine Center for Disease Control to urge residents to take precautions. Several states in the region have seen a growing number of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis cases. There is no specific treatment for these potentially deadly viral infections, and in Massachusetts, one human and four animals have died from Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE. While there have been no reported cases of either disease in Maine so far this year, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is advising residents and visitors to wear insect repellant, long sleeves and pants, and to empty any pools of standing water where mosquitos might breed.
Hike: Ice Pond Preserve in Hancock
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 29, 2019 

Home to a small pond that area residents used to cut ice from, Ice Pond Preserve covers 42 acres of mossy forestland and small meadows. Owned and maintained by Crabtree Neck Land Trust, the preserve also features 1.6 miles of hiking trails, a brook and small wetland areas.
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