September 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 24, 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
Learn about Marine Mammals of Maine, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Learn more about Marine Mammals of Maine, the current status of seals in Maine, and how to tell if a stranded animal really needs help and what you should do. At Kennebunk Free Library, October 1, 6 pm.
Drop-in volunteers needed to work on Acadia National Park projects
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Drop-in volunteers are needed to work on trails, carriage roads and outdoor projects during sessions organized by Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia. At park headquarters, September 29, 8:15 am-12:15 pm. No experience is necessary.
The Nature of Craft, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

A fine art and craft show. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Residents alarmed by proposed expansion of Maine shellfish farm
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Portsmouth (NH) Herald - Frustrated residents from the Eliot and Kittery sides of Spinney Creek appeared before the Select Board Thursday night, seeking recourse about their concerns of the proposed expansion of Spinney Creek Shellfish. Spinney Creek Shellfish, at 27 Howell Drive in Eliot, is applying to the Maine Department of Marine Resources to obtain a three-year aquaculture lease on 3.67 acres of Spinney Creek, a salt pond between Eliot and Kittery off the Piscataqua River. The new lease is for raising oysters and littleneck clams (quahogs) in suspended cages.
The battle for dominance in the Maine Legislature could come down to a handful of races
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Voter reaction to two politicians not even on the ballot in 2018 – Gov. Paul LePage and President Trump – could play heavily in determining which party controls the Maine Legislature for the next two years. Power at the State House is currently split near evenly, with the Republicans holding a one-seat majority in the Senate and Democrats with an only slightly larger three-seat advantage in the House. That balance of power may shift in 2019.
Maine has plenty of options for renting a bicycle
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Bike rentals have always been part of summer in Maine. But in recent years, there are more offerings – from shops renting high-end mountain bikes and electric bikes to the very first rental shop catering to cruise ships in Portland Harbor. Across the state, bike rentals generally run around $30-$40 a day. Mountain bike rentals run a bit more, around $50 for a half day or $89 for a full day.
Column: Lots to like about Great Moose Lake in Hartland
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

At 3,584 acres, Great Moose Lake in Hartland is an ample body of water with lots of beautiful spots to explore. The lake is situated about an hour’s drive west of Bangor in Somerset County. Plan a visit when the weather forecast calls for light winds. ~ Michael Perry
Column: Roseate spoonbill makes unlikely stop in Dover-Foxcroft
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

On Aug. 27, Dan Furbish and Dennis Peacock were birding in Dover-Foxcroft and saw a pink bird perched on a tree around the margin of a farm pond. It was a roseate spoonbill, a record for birders in Maine. In North America, roseate spoonbills typically are found in coastal marshes in Florida and Texas. One would imagine that a wayward spoonbill in Maine would be found in a place like Scarborough Marsh. The appearance in a farm pond well away from the coast boggles the mind. Why do birds show up in unexpected places? I think the explanation for the spoonbill is a phenomenon called post-breeding dispersal. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: It’s fair to say that fowl hunters will find success
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually sets waterfowl hunting regulations based on harvest data from the previous season, biological and climatological data collected prior to the current season and input from the public. The black duck breeding population remained healthy enough to support a two-bird limit again this year. The mallard limit will remain at four birds, including two hen mallards. Favorable water conditions on the breeding grounds should result in numbers of most other species being similar to last year. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: What shared family camps can teach the country about working together
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

When no other humans are at my extended family’s rustic camp, I’m still surrounded. Immersion in nature is part of this Down East setting’s timeless appeal. But over the last year, I have thought more about the web of human relatives whose memories and identities are grounded here. As the tenor of politics grows more darkly divisive, sundering friendships and family ties, I think about this place and why its center holds. How has it kept people together, working more or less in concert, for 70 years? Over the decades, we’ve found that the effort invested in listening and accommodating, as we inch our way toward consensus, yields unexpected dividends. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: Get busy at the Common Ground Country Fair
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

The Common Ground Country Fair, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s annual three-day festival of all things organic, sustainable and Maine-made magic, starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Please don’t be embarrassed if your reasons for visiting the fair have more to do with eating smoky lamb kebabs and wood-oven fired pizza than they do sitting in on a talk about tillage or watching a demonstration of gymnastic dance in harmony with your horse. ~ Mary Pols
Opinion: Tourist-turned-resident tweaks her to-do list
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Living permanently in Maine is a dream come true. For over 40 years I vacationed in and around Wells, Ogunquit and Kennebunk. I have lived in Wells for six years now, and I am happy as a clam at high tide! I live in a wonderful community, have wonderful friends, volunteer, work part-time and celebrate numerous opportunities to experience the culture and beauty of Maine. When we live in the middle of the place we love best, we tend to take it for granted. I have come to the realization that being a tourist doesn’t mean I have to come from far away to appreciate all the things I love about Maine. ~ The Rev. Charlotte Hendee, Wells
Green Drinks brings awareness, networking to Farmington
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

A collaborative event on Tuesday evening drew a crowd to Tumbledown Brewing in support of community, food security and land conservation. The first High Peaks Green Drinks threw a spotlight on the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust- a conservation group working in Franklin County- while providing a community-networking opportunity for locals. Green Drinks is an international event that aims to bring environmentally-minded people together to learn about, discuss and fundraise for different organizations.
Column: Blood trackers crucial to finding wounded animals
Sun Journal - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Anyone who hunts big game animals long enough, no matter how well-meaning and ethical, will wound an animal. Some animals will be recovered and some will not. Maine is fortunate now to have nine experienced, competent and state-licensed blood trackers who are available to help any hunter track a wounded animal. These trackers and their trained dogs are only a phone call away. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Plastic bag ban fans conduct Waterville cleanup
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

They fanned out all across downtown Waterville on Saturday — big kids, little kids, moms, dads and City Council candidates — all volunteers to combat what they see as a growing threat to the environment. Litter. Specifically, plastic bags. Linda Woods is coordinator of the Sustain Mid Maine Coalition, sponsor of Saturday’s community cleanup in support of Waterville’s Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot for a ban on plastic shopping bags at stores over 10,000 square feet. “We’re trying to call attention to plastic bag litter in the city and what it looks like — the damage it’s doing to the river, the sidewalks and the new River Walk,” she said
Maine has first confirmed equine case of West Nile virus
Associated Press - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Maine officials say a horse in York County has tested positive for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says it’s the state’s first confirmed case of the disease in a horse on record. The virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The horse was not vaccinated against the disease. The animal was showing neurological signs last week. The department said it’s undergoing supportive veterinary care and is not a threat to infect other animals or people.
Scientists: Expect more intense hurricanes
Associated Press - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

A warmer world makes for nastier hurricanes. Scientists say they are wetter, possess more energy and intensify faster. Their storm surges are more destructive because climate change has already made the seas rise. And lately, the storms seem to be stalling more often and thus dumping more rain. Study after study shows that climate change in general makes hurricanes worse.
The private intelligence firm keeping tabs on environmentalists
Grist - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Welund North America is a private intelligence firm that promises to help oil and gas operators mitigate the threat posed by an increasingly sophisticated activist movement. The company depicts the environmental movement as one of the energy industry’s most dangerous adversaries — comparable to the challenges posed by international industrial espionage.
Massive gourds are the new stars of Bangor Community Garden
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

This year, for the first time, the Bangor Community Garden is growing giant gourds, a number of which have already surpassed the height of the gardener tending them. On Sept. 13, the longest of the gourds, Buster, had reached well over 8 feet.
Maine's rebuilt scallop fishery looks to year of more growth
Associated Press - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Maine is known for producing scallops that are somewhat bigger than other East Coast states, and some are plucked from the icy waters by hand during winter. Others are harvested by boats with fishing gear. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has said strict management of the harvest has allowed the scallops to rebuild from collapse in the mid-2000s. The state is looking to continue that trend this year with a season that keeps fishermen restricted to tight limits on the number of pounds they can harvest. Fishermen are also limited in the number of days they can fish, and the state is looking to trim a few days.
Giant pumpkin grower from Veazie finds her luck
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Weighing an estimated 1,500 pounds, the giant pumpkin had taken over the backyard, its vines snaking out in all directions. Sitting amid a sea of leaves on Sept. 12, the orange monster was packing on a few final pounds before its debut at the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest in a few weeks. “Watson’s his name,” said the pumpkin’s grower, Sarah Whitty. At her home in Veazie, Whitty had been growing the pumpkin since April. Her goal was to exceed 1,000 pounds, and based on measurements, she’s surpassed that goal by far. Her pumpkin may be one of the largest at this year’s celebration.
This scientist says Maine spiders make good roommates
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

None of Maine’s resident spiders produce venom that is fatal to humans, said state entomologist Kathy Murray, but any spider is capable of biting if they are picked up and pinched or otherwise mishandled. Few people like to see spiders or cobwebs inside their homes, but in limited numbers spiders can be helpful roommates since they capture and eat other bugs.

Warming seas, bait fish drawing whales closer to Maine shores, experts say
York County Coast Star - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Several whales, including both minke and humpback, have been seen feeding close to shore along the southern Maine seacoast in recent weeks, giving both boaters and spectators watching from land a rare glimpse of some of the Atlantic Ocean’s largest mammals. Experts say rising water temperatures have drawn the whales closer to shore this year. Tony LaCasse, of the New England Aquarium in Boston, said the higher water temperatures, believed to be brought on by climate change, have led to bait fish called menhaden, locally known as “pogies,” appearing closer to shore.
Letter: Trump administration takes aim at the Endangered Species Act
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

We can now add to the list of our nation’s environmental plights the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act. When my husband and I first moved to Kennebunkport in the late 1970s, we didn’t know that we had endangered species habitat on our property. It was – and is today – habitat for the piping plover. We modified our actions to support these birds. To our delight, more piping plover chicks successfully fledge their sandy nests. This year, Maine has more productive, nesting pairs than ever. The Endangered Species Act works. Take time to submit comments to the Department of the Interior opposing these rules. The deadline is Sept. 24. ~ Virginia S. Almeder, Kennebunkport
Letter: Salmon farm a gamble
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

I believe that the Belfast city councilors have the best intentions regarding Nordic Aquafarms. However, I would rather see this tax revenue come from a company that isn’t going to use enormous amounts of water, and one that is using proven technology. If a solar farm were proposed for that area, I’d be thrilled. The Belfast city councilors are gambling with our tax dollars, the Little River watershed, and the health of Penobscot Bay, in hopes that the fish factory will succeed and bring in higher tax revenue. If you add unknown factors resulting from climate change, this becomes an even bigger gamble. ~ Sally Trophy, Belfast
Letter: Uses for cloth bags are neverending
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

Recently, some people have used the argument that single-use plastic bags are better for the environment than cloth bags. However, the cloth bags I have been using for the past 10 years are still employed in multiple ways, lugging groceries, hardware supplies, clothing, and just about any items I purchase that will fit in the bag. For 10 years these same bags have traveled about town, with no damage to the environment. Plastic bags are trapped in tree branches, littering our sidewalks, and causing irreparable damage to the ocean and marine organisms. How many cloth bags do you see draped in the bushes? Please vote responsibly and ask big-box stores to stop providing single-use bags. ~ Judi Silver, Waterville
Is the United States About to Lose Its Best Conservation Program?
Center for Biological Diversity - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Time is running out for one of the United States’ most successful — and least-known — conservation programs. Virtually every county in the United States has benefited from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, signed into law in 1964 with the goal of protecting natural areas and cultural resources and increasing recreational opportunities. In its more than 50-year history, the fund has helped 42,000 projects across the country, ranging from wilderness areas and historic battlefields to local tennis courts and trails. When expiration loomed in September 2015, Congress gave it a short three-year extension, which is now about to expire. If legislators fail to reauthorize the program before September 30, the fund will immediately run dry.
Maine governor candidates square off on energy, economy in E2Tech forum
Mainebiz - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Three candidates in Maine's governor's race offered their visions for the state's energy future at a Portland debate. Thursday's 90-minute forum was organized by the Environmental & Energy Council of Maine (E2Tech). Democrat Janet Mills and independent Alan Caron both said that they would support solar power. Mills had similarly strong words about Maine lagging in attracting offshore wind power investment. Caron said he would like to see Maine become energy-independent in 30 years. Independent Terry Hayes said she wouldn't have an energy policy in her first 100 days. Instead, there would be a comprehensive economic development plan. Republican Shawn Moody didn't attend.
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