July 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 20, 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
Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival celebrates 25 years, Jul 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

More than 50 folk artists and craftsmen in the northeast and an outstanding line-up of talented musicians will gather in Grand Lake Stream for the 25th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival, July 27-28, 10 am - 5 pm.
Invasive forest pests, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Hildy Ellis, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, discusses forest insect invaders. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, July 27, 10 am – noon
Odd Alewives and Oyster Tasting Cruise, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

At Damariscotta River Cruises, July 27, 5-7 pm.
Sustainable Forestry Walk, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Forester Charlie Spies and wildlife biologist Steve Pelletier will discuss striking a proper balance between competing wildlife, recreational, aesthetic and timber interests. At Crystal Spring Farm-North trailhead, Brunswick, July 27, 10 am. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Trump's USDA buried sweeping climate change response plan
POLITICO - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The Agriculture Department quashed the release of a sweeping plan on how to respond to climate change that was finalized in the early days of the Trump administration, according to a USDA employee with knowledge of the decision. Staff members across several USDA agencies drafted the multiyear plan that outlines how the department should help agriculture understand, adapt to and minimize the effects of climate change. Top officials, however, decided not to release the plan.
Belfast fish farm project wins preliminary OK for key state permit
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Nordic Aquafarms this week took a significant step forward in its plans to build a $500 million land-based salmon farm in Belfast. The company has received a preliminary OK from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands on its bid to install buried water intake and discharge pipes on submerged lands in Penobscot Bay. The application process for this permit has not been without bumps, however. Project opponents have argued that the easement Nordic obtained to cross intertidal land to get to the bay is invalid. BPL says the courts, not the agency, is the right body to determine whether Nordic Aquafarms has sufficient right, title and interest.
We Have 35,000 Male Turkeys
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine is home to 35,000 male turkeys according to our Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The department has been banding hundreds of turkeys to help them come up with an estimate of the state’s total population of turkeys. DIF&W wildlife biologist Kelsey Sullivan has written an interesting column about this.
Letter: Good people are being driven out at EPA
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

In spite of the importance of the EPA that ensures our clean water, clean air and protects the public’s health, the current Administration is putting its survival at risk by a continued deliberate decrease of its workforce. Behind the scenes, the Administration is making it more difficult for many at the EPA to continue to work. One of the new directives practically eliminates telecommunicating, so important to a workforce where often housing expenses drive many to the outskirts of the cities where the offices are located. Along with reducing the EPA’s own environmental footprint, teleworking has enabled a dedicated, talented workforce to continue working at the EPA even though the salaries prohibit living near their jobs. ~ Norma Dreyfus, Arrowsic
Letter: Fish farm and Belfast Bay
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Here’s a report on one 19th century year’s catch in Belfast Bay from the Maine Mining and Industrial Journal, between the monument and the head of tide on the Passagassawakeag River: “The fish product of Belfast bay, including clams, for 1879 is reported as follows: mackerel, 1,000 barrels; smelts, 10,000 pounds; lobsters, 75,000 pounds; clams, 5,000 bushels; flounders, 8,300 dozens (99,600 fish); total value about $10,000.” This doesn’t include the salmon that were routinely caught in the weirs between Bangor and Rockland in 1880, or the cod, haddock and halibut that kept hook fishermen occupied in small boats out of Belfast in many years. This historical natural wealth of healthy protein could, however, be put in jeopardy by proposed salmon farms in Bucksport and Belfast. ~ William Burgess Leavenworth, Searsmont
Letter: My job at Hampden waste plant
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Last week, the BDN reported that the opening of the Hampden waste plant was delayed “again.” Several weeks ago, a letter to the editor encouraged Bangor residents to keep separating their recyclables from the trash even though Bangor is going to a one bin system. As a recycling technician employed at Coastal Resources of Maine, I’d like to set the record straight by saying the plant is open and our process of separating recycling from household trash is working. Coastal Resources has taken the guesswork out of your recycling. My job is separating your recyclables from the trash. It’s a good job — let me do it. ~ Heather Bisho, Bangor
Angus King steps up for hunters and wildlife
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, today announced his support of the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act. The bipartisan legislation would promote hunting traditions and ensure the continued successful funding of wildlife conservation through the purchase of hunting and recreational shooting equipment.
Portland panel gives mixed review of proposed great black hawk sculpture
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

A proposed sculpture of a rare hawk that took up residence in Deering Oaks park last year received mixed reviews from Portland’s Public Art Committee. Anne Pringle, president of the Friends of Deering Oaks, asked the art committee to accept a life-size bronze sculpture of the great black hawk into the city’s public art collection. The committee voted unanimously to accept the sculpture by David Smus, but indicated that the idea of attaching a squirrel to the piece might need to be reconsidered. The hawk flew to Maine in 2018 from its native South America, making an improbable journey that attracted the attention of birders from across the country and world.
Peter Moore III, a master craftsman of Native American arts, dies at 65
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Peter Moore III, a master craftsman of Native American artistry who worked to preserve Passamaquoddy arts and culture, died Saturday at his Indian Township home. He was 65. Moore, a Passamaquoddy, is best known for his intricate carvings that depict images of wildlife such as an eagle, a hawk and a bear.
Photo album: Alewives on the Machias River
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Photographer Leslie Bowman was on hand in East Machias documenting the annual alewive harvest on the Machias River. Students from a local elementary school participated, and some of the fish, also known as river herring, were preserved for research. But most were fried and eaten by locals in keeping with tradition.
New Maine ferry fee proposal would end flat-rate tickets
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The Maine State Ferry Service will likely eliminate the flat-rate ticket structure that has generated frustration among islanders during the past year, according to a proposal released by the Maine Department of Transportation earlier this month. The proposal comes more than a year after the Maine DOT — which operates the ferry service — implemented the flat-rate structure, which more than doubled the ticket costs for residents of Islesboro.
Rumford man summonsed in opossum case
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

A Rumford man has been summonsed for animal cruelty, a civil violation, after authorities said he cut off the tail of an opossum and left the animal for dead. Erik Matthews, 32, faces up to a $2,500 fine and could be required to pay for the care, housing and medical treatment of the injured opossum that is living at Misfits Rehab in Auburn. Matthews could also be prohibited from owning any animals. Matthews is accused of cutting off the tail off the opossum last month. The opossum had roamed the Rumford neighborhood for a couple of years and was popular among some residents.
Gardiner bridge project paves way for cleanup of decades-old contaminants
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Excavators at work along Cobbosseecontee Stream on either side of Bridge Street are cleaning up decades of industrial pollution in conjunction with the state bridge replacement project that’s now underway. Work under the supervision of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to clear contaminants caused by successive businesses in the city's historic industrial corridor started last week and is expected to continue for a couple weeks more, but it’s not expected to affect the timeline of the bridge replacement project.
How fast can the political pendulum swing? Ask Maine.
Christian Science Monitor - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The governor of Maine for eight years, Republican Paul LePage, viewed renewable energy, as “an existential threat” to the state. He promoted fossil fuels, vetoed clean energy bills, tried to tear up environmental regulations, courted offshore drilling, refused to issue voter-approved conservation bonds, and sought to tax protected forestland or open it to development. He also refused to put up signs to direct tourists to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Mr. LePage decamped the State House in January after Janet Mills was elected. In the session that ended last month, the Legislature passed and Governor Mills signed an unprecedented array of environmental bills. Environmentalists nationwide have perked up at Maine’s dramatic six-month turnabout. Some see it as a model for what might happen federally when the Trump administration leaves and the president’s efforts to roll back environmental safeguards ends.

You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week
CNN - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Globally, we are ingesting an average of 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, a new study suggests. This plastic contamination comes from “microplastics” — particles smaller than five millimeters — which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even the air. These tiny particles can originate from a variety of sources, including artificial clothes fibers, microbeads found in some toothpastes, or bigger pieces of plastic which gradually break into smaller pieces when they’re thrown away and exposed to the elements. They make their way into our rivers and oceans, and can be eaten by fish and other marine animals, ending up as part of the food chain.
LePage appeals to Trump on lobster regulations
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage sent a letter this week to President Trump opposing proposed regulations designed to protect endangered North Atlantic rights whales that LePage says will be detrimental to the state’s signature lobster industry. In his three-page letter, LePage called the proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the number of end lines – the ropes that connect traps to buoys – by 50 percent “another federal overreach in response to big money environmentalists.”
Despite Lack Of Signs, Thousands Are Finding Their Way To Maine's National Monument
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

As motorists stack up at Maine's century-old Acadia National Park, visitorship to the state's fledgling Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument - just turning three - is nowhere near as fierce, but it's growing. "So, it's been, I think, fairly constant," says park Superintendent Tim Hudson. "We've been picking up, you know, 6, 7 per cent a year." While highway signs directing visitors toward the park still haven't been put up, Hudson says more than 18,000 visitors found Katahdin Woods and Waters last summer, hailing from 45 states and 9 countries. Hudson says this year also appears to be steady.
Maine, N.Y. breweries collab on lobster roll-inspired beers
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Butter or Cream? It's the century-old New England decision between its two most popular lobster roll styles — cold with mayonnaise, if you're a traditional Mainer; and hot with butter, for others "from away" and the sandwich's birthplace of Connecticut. Last weekend, Maine's Bissell Brothers and New York's Other Half released 'Butter' and 'Cream,' IPAs imitating New England's two lobster roll styles.
A 7-foot shark was found growing around a plastic ring embedded deep in her muscles
Other - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

WTKR - When Dr. James Sulikowski, a professor of marine science at the University of New England, and his team was chumming the waters off the coast of Maine just after dawn July 2, they hoped to attract a porbeagle shark that they could tag and collect samples for research. Sulikowski and members of the Maine-based Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab were able to get a shark to follow their chum line to the bait. They landed a 7-foot porbeagle shark with a strip of plastic lodged around her neck. Sulikowski was able to remove the plastic. After the research team collected some samples, they attached a satellite tag to the shark’s dorsal fin and released her, hoping to track her recovery.
Opinion: Can protecting land promote jobs? A New England study says yes.
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Some worry that land protection will inhibit economic growth by restricting local resource use or building opportunities. Others counter that land protection can support local economies because it promotes sustainable resource use, tourism and recreation and attracts new residents and businesses. To assess these competing views, we looked at New England. Since 1990, these six states from Connecticut to Maine have protected more than 5 million acres of land, creating a unique natural experiment in conservation. Our results show that saving land can also help economies. ~ Katharine Sims, Amherst College, and Jonathan Thompson and Spencer Meyer, Harvard University
Editorial: Finding the right way to protect right whales
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The worrisome decline of the Atlantic right whale has been well-documented. And while 85 percent of diagnosed deaths between 2010 and 2018 were related to entanglements in fishing gear — of both U.S. and Canadian origin — it is often unclear which fishery is responsible. A key in the coming months will be for Maine to remain engaged in the federal process while voicing objections as they arise. That seems the most likely route to a more workable plan that can help reduce right whale deaths without unfairly placing an undue burden on the Maine lobster industry.
Belfast city councilors and a waterfront developer keep wrangling over Harbor Walk
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

Belfast developer Paul Naron and city officials have been feuding for months over what to do with a popular trail that travels through his two waterfront properties. City councilors have made it clear that they want Naron to give the city a permanent easement for the Belfast Harbor Walk to guarantee public access into the future. But Naron, who said that he wants the walkway to remain open to the public, has balked at giving the city this much control over his land. Despite both public and private negotiations the two parties remain at an impasse.
Interstate Lobster to demolish, replace Harpswell wharf after receiving grant
Times Record - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The Interstate Lobster Inc. in Harpswell has been awarded $155,500 in funding from the Land for Maine’s Future Program, which will be used to demolish, replace and expand the wharf at 241 Ash Point Road. LMF distributed just over $1 million to be used for six projects along the Maine coast in an effort to preserve working waterfronts. Tom Miragliuolo, Senior Planner at LMF, said the renovation of the wharf is predicted to take at least 18 months. “This isn’t a grant, we’re not just giving them money. It’s a contract between the landowners and the state.”
CMP project is part of Maine’s climate change solutions
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

As the scale of a warming climate comes into focus and as real-life solutions take shape, Mainers are now confronted with what role we’re willing to play. The New England Clean Energy Connect is as clean as wind and solar, is the equivalent to the annual demand of 93% of Maine homes and is cheap enough to undercut the price of all our other electricity sources. It will displace generation from existing coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power stations, and will be a leap toward vital emission reduction goals. Meanwhile, a particular array of interests has aligned and coordinated against the project. It is a dangerous gamble to think we’ll have better choices if we just wait for a better solution, ignore the problem or leave it for someone else to fix. ~ Benjamin Dudley, Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs
Rare albino porcupine spotted in Kennebunkport
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

A rare albino porcupine lounging on the lawn of the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is drawing national attention after the museum asked for help identifying the animal on Facebook. True albino porcupines occur in about one in 10,000 births. This is not the first sighting of an albino porcupine in southern Maine. In December, a hunter spotted an albino porcupine in the Windham woods.
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