May 23, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
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News Items
We Made Plastic. We Depend On It. Now We’re Drowning In It.
National Geographic - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Because plastic wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin—a figure that stunned the scientists who crunched the numbers in 2017. Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year.
Let there be dark: Advocates push Maine as astrotourism destination
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The state's many precious resources include the largest light-pollution-free swath in the eastern half of the U.S. 
A new effort is underway to protect it with 'dark sky' designations and promote it as an out-of-this-world attraction. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is where the darkest skies in the state were measured last year.
Cold snap tested reliability of region’s power grid and arguments against fossil fuels
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

As Maine shivered through last winter’s historic cold spell, the region’s electric system faced an unprecedented prospect: rolling blackouts. Natural gas was scarce and pricey. A power line failure sidelined one of New England’s largest power plants. Solar panels were covered with snow and wind turbines were buffeted by storms. The combination forced grid operators to ramp up 1960s-era aging oil-fired plants to keep the lights on. The specter that operators might need to selectively switch off power to save the grid is proof to large electricity users in Maine that it’s past time to increase natural gas pipeline capacity in the region. But the Conservation Law Foundation argues the best way to maintain a reliable grid is with continued investments in efficiency and renewable energy.
How iconic author of ‘Silent Spring’ inspired Sandra Steingraber’s career as environmentalist
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Dr. Sandra Steingraber will be speaking at Maine Audubon in Falmouth this Thursday in celebration of environmental giant Rachel Carson. We called her to talk about the new book she edited, “Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment,” a compilation that includes a reissue of Carson’s 1962 book, many of her letters, and an introduction by Steingraber about how that seminal book came to be. Steingraber told us why she doesn’t like to use the word “prescient” to describe Carson and how “Silent Spring” made an impression on her when she was just 3 years old.
Here’s how to attract more butterflies to your garden
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Butterflies should have a place in every garden. They are colorful, not unlike flowers that have lost their anchoring roots, flitting from plant to plant. And they are quiet, meaning they don’t disturb sleep like some early-morning wild things do. Andy Brand, plant curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, offers tips on how to attract butterflies to a garden.
Column: Show respect to fellow turkey hunters
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has done a commendable job growing the wild turkey population in terms of both number and range, while continuing to increase hunting opportunities through longer seasons and larger bag limits. However, the one area over which they have the least control, interference, continues to be an issue. Don’t enter the woods where you know another hunter is present. ~ Bob Humphrey
After 40 years living alongside wild turkeys, half of Mainers are tired of them
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Wild turkeys were reintroduced to Maine four decades ago, mushrooming to an estimated population of 50,000 to 60,000 today. Some folks aren’t so thrilled to have them back. According to a state survey released this spring, a third of Mainers feel wild turkey are too prolific and their population should be reduced. Only half of Mainers surveyed in the statewide survey said the state does a good job managing wild turkey. More than 85 percent of Mainers strongly support hunting wild turkey. That percentage grows to 94 percent in southern and central Maine, where the birds flourish.
Column: Lake George is in full bloom this time of year
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

A nice place to enjoy the unfolding of spring is Lake George on the Canaan-Skowhegan line. Surrounded by low ridges and rolling hills, all matted with emerging green, the lake offers an easy four-mile circuit. ~ Michael Perry
Column: Congress is sucking up fake research in its zeal to fight welfare fraud
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Sam Adolphsen, so-called “Senior Fellow” at the Foundation for Government Accountability, presented testimony to a subcommittee last week in Washington about welfare reform. The subcommittee is an arm of the oversight panel that has a mission and commitment to expose waste, fraud and abuse in the name of good government. Adolphsen got his start in Maine as a right-wing activist. The alleged expertise of and “research” by the foundation is the real fraud. What’s hard to believe is that House Republicans believe it. The Congress is making serious decisions about food policy that will affect hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans, and it’s basing these decisions on junk science and voodoo economics that got its start here in Maine’s political soil. ~ Cynthia Dill
Editorial: Congress should start over with a better Farm Bill
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Instead of putting billions of dollars worth of scientific research to work to make Americans healthier and farms more productive, the latest version of the the Farm Bill that was debated last week in the U.S. House of Representatives would have doubled down on subsidizing big business while cutting back on nutrition assistance for people in need. If the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill were to become law, a handful of industry giants would get help from the government to produce food that’s bad for consumers and the environment while the most vulnerable members of our society would go hungry. And small farmers, like most of those in Maine, would continue to struggle, navigating a system that’s rigged against them.
Opinion: Put blame for failed leadership where it belongs – with the majority in the Maine House
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Portland Press Herald has singled out me and House Republicans as the reason the Legislature went home early and failed to do the right thing for the Maine people. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead of blaming me and a minority of Republicans, the Press Herald should be demanding that Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D) and Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R) call the Legislature back into session and make sure legislators complete the work the people of Maine elected them to do. ~ Paul R. LePage (R), governor of Maine
Letter: Farm Bill, as is, poses threat to endangered species
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Endangered Species Act has faced dozens of legislative attacks in Congress recently, with the most recent one showing up in this year’s version of the Farm Bill. The latest proposal would allow pesticides to be approved without considering the harm they pose to endangered species, essentially making it legal to kill an endangered species with a pesticide. ~ Gail Presley, Rockland
Letter: Don’t roll back emission standards
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Rolling back auto emission standards would double pollution nationwide by 2025 when compared to the safety standards now in effect. Worse, if the federal standard is lowered, Maine and more than a dozen other states which now have a better safety standard than the current federal standard would be forced to live under a dirtier federal standard. This is not acceptable. We cannot go backward, because adding more pollution to our one and only world is killing us and the planet. Why is this even being considered ~ Marla Bottesch, Norridgewock
Fly-fishing legend draws fans to Phillips
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby of Phillips was the state’s first registered Maine Guide. She was a journalist, an expert fly-fisher and hunter, and a conservationist. She grew up in Phillips, guided in Rangeley and is buried in Strong. The three-day celebration of Crosby began Friday at Fox Carleton Pond Sporting Camps with fly-casting lessons, panning for gold and western Maine history lessons. Many visitors walked the first part of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, a 45-mile stretch along the Sandy River from Phillips to the Rangeley village of Oquossoc.
Two years after Madison paper mill closed, town faces uncertain future
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Madison is not alone in the loss of its paper mill, which at the time of closure in 2016 was the town’s largest taxpayer and one of its largest employers. The number of jobs in paper manufacturing, once a hallmark industry in Maine, has been cut by nearly half in the last decade. There’s no clear timeline for what recovery looks like after a paper mill closes, said Sarah Curran, looking at the future of the state’s forest economy. Curran works for the Maine Development Foundation and runs an initiative called For/Maine. Mike Croteau, a former union president at the Madison mill, said, “Life goes on, but it hasn’t been easy for some of us. People should understand that when these mills close, a lot of these guys end up having to get state assistance."
Blog: Blackflies, the little blackflies…
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

In Spring, a young angler’s fancy turns to stark dread, dread of small black blood-drinking insects arriving in clouds, swarms, battalions, and armies to drive him to the very brink of madness. As if fishing weren’t madness enough. Allow me to introduce a fly who needs no introduction to any Mainer who even occasionally ventures into the Great Outdoors: Simuliidae. ~ Nick Mills
Column: Bidding a fond farewell to the "Boy" Scouts
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The Boy Scouts of America announced this week that the word “boy” would be stricken from the Boy Scouts of America starting in 2019, and next February girls will be allowed full scouting privileges. The Boy Scouts of America has been part of the American fabric for 108 years. At least, for history’s sake, they could have kept the name and still have permited girls to belong. If you are an old scout like me you just can’t help feeling some pangs of sadness about this historic alteration. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Obituary: Edward Kaelber, 94, founding president of COA
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Edward Kaelber, founding president of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and founder of the Maine Community Foundation, died Thursday. He was 94. Mr. Kaelber became the college’s first president in 1970 and led the institution for 12 years. The college was founded in 1969 with a mission to use human ecology as a guiding, interdisciplinary approach to education.
Whale watch recognized
Mount Desert Islander - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, a Canadian-American regional partnership, has named the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company the recipient of its annual Industry Award. The award is presented to recognize demonstrated innovation and leadership in efforts to improve the well-being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that call it home. The council cited the company’s “leadership in ecotourism and educating the public about wildlife, fisheries, oceanography, and conservation of the Gulf of Maine.” They also praised the company’s “efforts to support conservation of fisheries and marine mammals through generous donations, collaborative research and environmental advocacy.”
Gas leak repaired in South Portland rail yard
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

South Portland firefighters found and repaired a gas leak in a railway car at Rigby Yard early Saturday morning. Firefighters traced the leak to railway car carrying propane and issued a hazardous designation for the area near the railway car, which was located on AmeriGas Propane property used for offloading rail cars onto trucks. An AmeriGas employee worked with the South Portland Fire Department’s hazardous materials response team to get into the top of the sealed car to tighten a leaking valve.
Radiation from Cell Phones, Wifi Are Hurting the Birds and the Bees; 5G May Make It Worse
Other - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Newsweek - Technology is quite literally destroying nature, with a new report further confirming that electromagnetic radiation from power lines and cell towers can disorientate birds and insects and destroy plant health. The paper warns that as nations switch to 5G this threat could increase.
Rockland advocates say food sovereignty ordinance ‘makes sense’
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

With a unanimous vote earlier this week, the Rockland City Council approved the state’s 33rd food sovereignty ordinance, and became the first county seat to become food sovereign. In October Gov. Paul LePage signed into law an amended state food sovereignty bill that allows municipalities to regulate local food systems, including production, processing, consumption and direct producer-to-consumer exchanges, which were previously regulated at the state and federal level but excludes meat and poultry production and sales, which remain under state and federal control.
With 3 weeks to go in season, Maine’s baby eel harvest tops $20M
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The value of landings so far in Maine’s 2018 baby eel fishing season have topped $20 million, the fishery’s highest annual value since the state adopted a statewide catch limit in 2014. Record prices this season of around $2,500 per pound for baby eels, also known as elvers, already have made the 2018 season the third-most valuable ever in Maine. According to Maine Department of Marine Resources, as of Wednesday evening fishermen had caught 8,416 pounds, or 87 percent of Maine’s annual catch limit of 9,688 pounds.
New charity receiving Poland Spring aid lacks federal nonprofit status
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Despite not having yet acquired nonprofit status, a still-forming charity has a $150,000 commitment from Poland Spring as the retail water seller extends its influence in northern Penobscot County. The Northern Penobscot Activities Council announced the first of three $50,000 donations it will receive during the next three years from the retail water seller. Brian Souers, the council’s advisory group president, said Poland Spring and his group could really benefit their neighbors. Poland Spring is building a water-truck loading station on Route 2 in Lincoln for completion this summer and has declared the land of 13 lakes a possible site for a $50 million bottling plant that would also buy from the Lincoln Water District.
Letter: Pruitt must go
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Donald Trump loved to say he’d “drain the swamp.” But when our president appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, he was giving an alligator the choice of keeping a swamp as is, pouring more filth in, or working to turn it into a meadow. In wasting obscene amounts of taxpayer money, it’s clear that this swamp creature has no place leading one of the most important agencies in our federal government. His blatant disregard for public health is seen in his efforts to dismantle the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. It is time for Pruitt to resign. ~ Matthew Hubbell, Cape Elizabeth
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