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
Right whale spotted off coast in Wells
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

At least one North Atlantic right whale has been seen swimming near the coast of York County, providing some beachgoers a glimpse of one of the rarest large whales in the world. Wells police issued an alert warning boaters to stay clear and not to interfere with the whale, which appeared to be taking a food break on its slow migration north to Canadian waters.
Boaters spot rare right whale off York County, and others see whales from shore
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

At least one North Atlantic right whale has been seen swimming near the coast of York County in the past few days, providing some Mainers with a glimpse of one of the rarest large whales in the world. Wells police issued alerts warning boaters to stay clear and not to interfere with the whale, which appeared to be taking a meal break on its slow migration north to Canadian waters.
Exploring Prouts Neck in Scarborough; What Winslow (Homer) Saw
Yankee Magazine - Monday, May 14, 2018 

More than just the former home of American landscape painter Winslow Homer, Prouts Neck in Scarborough is the quintessential coastal peninsula.
Celebrating Acadia birds amid Year of the Bird, climate change worries
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Since the late 1990s, enthusiastic birders have been flocking to Mount Desert Island every year, to celebrate the diversity of songbirds, seabirds and raptors found in Acadia National Park and surrounding areas. Now, as the Acadia Birding Festival marks its 20th anniversary from May 31 to June 3, the gathering comes at a time of urgency, as a new Audubon and National Park Service study identifies as many as 66 species of Acadia birds that could become locally extinct by the year 2050, if nothing is done to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Millions of bees arrive to replace winter losses
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

We are just entering, by far, the busiest time of year for beekeepers. This is especially true for me as I prepare for the arrival of hundreds of packages of bees for my customers — more than 4 million bees. I’ve been travelling all over Maine teaching beginner classes to give prospective beekeepers an idea what to expect and how to look after their bees. This is also the time of year where I prepare hives to head out to the blueberries for pollination. If you should see a swarm, give a beekeeper a call as soon as possible. We can then come out and capture the bees before they move on to their permanent home. The swarm can then be placed into a new hive that the beekeeper can care for and protect from mites. Bees which have moved into the wild will usually die from mites within a year. ~ Peter Cowin
Maine hunter returns to what he loves at 86 – it just took a few surgeries
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Daybreak is a sliver on the dark horizon when Lou Haskell parks his pickup truck on a rise and starts unloading his gear. It’s 4:59 a.m. Maine’s spring turkey hunting season opens with civil twilight, the half-hour before sunrise in Bangor. Which means technically, Haskell, 86, could have been hunting two minutes ago. He’s not exactly impatient, but he’s eager. He has two new knees to try out.
Column: Do the right thing
Forecaster - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Though I would like to see Democratic candidate Lucas St. Clair replace Bruce Poliquin as Maine’s Second District congressman, I fear he and/or some supporters may have undermined his candidacy by running ethically questionable television ads. When I first saw the Maine Outdoor Alliance ad about Lucas St. Clair and creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument I assumed it was a campaign ad. But then the final pitch was “Call the Trump administration and tell them to leave our Katahdin Monument alone.” The trouble is Trump is already leaving the Katahdin Monument alone. One of the people associated with Maine Outdoor Alliance was the best man at St. Clair’s wedding. The only way St. Clair’s candidacy survives this ethical lapse is for him to admit that someone made a bad mistake.
Letter: Attack on endangered species
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 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. Having worked as an endangered species conservation scientist for 15 years, I know that unregulated pesticides pose significant threats to populations of fish, bees, birds and other wildlife. ~ Gail Presley, Rockland
5 Maine Islands to Visit This Summer
Yankee Magazine - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Island day-trips and getaways can be ideal escapes because they often require an extra boost of effort. It’s an investment of time and, in many cases, a willingness to forgo more modern amenities. But that investment yields some real rewards. A slower pace. A return to nature. An experience you’ll remember for years. Here are five noteworthy Maine islands to visit this summer:
• Chebeague Island | Casco Bay
• Squirrel Island | Boothbay Harbor
• Vinalhaven Island | Penobscot Bay
• Monhegan Island | Outer Islands
• Mount Desert Island
State recruiting Maine birdwatchers to collect data for atlas
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

State wildlife officials are launching a project that will enlist the help of birdwatchers across the state and could help document what’s happening to the populations of meadowlarks, along with many other species. That project, the Maine Bird Atlas, is recruiting volunteers to systematically collect data on birds that are breeding and wintering here. On Sunday, almost 30 area birders came to an information session about the project, which was held at Viles Arboretum.
Forest rangers contain wildfires across Maine
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Maine forest rangers had another busy day Sunday trying to contain wildfires that broke out across the state. They say they responded to fires Sunday in Passadumkeag, Howland, Albany Township, Dover-Foxcroft, Winthrop, Greene and Buckfield. Among the causes listed were: children playing with matches, unextinguished campfires, faulty vehicle exhaust, and debris burning with no permit.
Salmon farmers say Maine site suitable for large project
Associated Press - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

A Norwegian firm that plans to build one of the largest land-based salmon farms of its kind in Maine says it has confirmed that the site is suitable to host the facility. Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a 40-acre inland salmon farm capable of producing more than 60 million pounds of fish per year. The firm says tests confirm that its planned Belfast site has “clean, abundant and sustainable groundwater” from test wells.
Scientist and chef encourage consumption of invasive crabs
Associated Press - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Chef Matt Louis, owner of two restaurants in Portsmouth, unveiled a new menu item that uses green crabs as a main ingredient. He teamed with scientist Gabby Bradt to help create the green crab stew with chicken sausage and chili oil. Brandt says the crabs “decimate everything” and are badly hurting New England’s soft shell clam populations.
Lobster industry fears shells are weakening, but evidence is mixed
Associated Press - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

More people outside the U.S. are enjoying the New England tradition of cracking open a freshly cooked American lobster, and that experience hinges on one thing – the lobster getting there alive. That’s a looming problem, according to some members of the American lobster industry, who are concerned that lobsters’ shells are getting weaker. Scientific evidence about the issue paints a complicated picture.
Trump's 'Energy Dominance' Gets Slow Start On Federal Land
National Public Radio - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

President Trump's goal of achieving "energy dominance" for the United States includes producing more oil and gas on federal land, but new government statistics show a mixed record on this front during his first year in office. Trump has cast himself as an ally of fossil fuel industries. At a 2017 event he told energy industry leaders, "You've gone through eight years of hell," referring to the time former President Obama was in office. But by two measures there was more oil industry activity on federal lands during the Obama years than Trump's first year.
How To Die Down East
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Given that I have ALS, you might expect I would not enjoy Buck Tilton’s book, How To Die Down East, but I did. This is a very funny book, focusing on “50 ways to kick the bucket in Maine.” Those ways range from being “battered by a bear” to “murdered by mosquito.” You could be “chewed by a coyote, obliterated by an owl, fooled by frozen water, or lit up by lightening.” OK, there are a few ways that are realistic, including heatstroke and hypothermia and wild mushrooms.
Plogging – part jogging, part picking up trash – catching on in the U.S.
Washington Post - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Plogging is a combination of jogging and “plocka upp,” the Swedish term for pickup. The fitness trend has begun to spread in the United States, with plogging Facebook groups and social events sprouting up across the country. Plogging helps people take ownership of their own community. It can also help runners work on muscles they typically don’t focus on, and the slower pace can serve as the “perfect recovery day.”
Republican field pledges to follow LePage’s lead
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

The four Republicans running to replace Gov. Paul LePage are all vowing to carry on his legacy. Rep. Ken Fredette of Newport, state Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon, former Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew of South China, and entrepreneur and businessman Shawn Moody of Gorham oppose expanding Medicaid, seek to cut the income tax and want better workforce development. [No mention of protecting Maine's environment.]
Are littleneck clams the next frontier in aquaculture?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Jordan Kramer went into aquaculture for the oysters, starting Winnegance Oyster Farm in 2014, and now has regular customers that range from wholesalers Harbor Fish and Upstream Trucking to restaurants in Portland. Last year, he began to diversify with Mercenary mercenaria (quahogs or hard-shell clams), using seed he purchased from Muscongus Bay Aquaculture, which has a hatchery in Bremen. He’s hoping to bring the quahogs to market in September, if all goes well this growing season. At that stage, they’d be called littlenecks (bigger quahogs are usually called cherrystones).
Column: Brendan Murtha, 18, has already encountered 700 birds
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

We spotted Brendan Murtha and a small group in the woods near Bowdoin College, binoculars at the ready, and stopped to talk. It turned out they were members of Bowdoin Naturalists, a new group. One of the co-founders, Zoe Wood, was with Murtha, walking slowly through the woods observing everything from the birds to tree bark. After Murtha told us he was 18 and already has a life list of 700 birds he has spotted or heard, we wanted to know more. We learned about his plans to spend the summer on a remote island doing climate change-related research, his love of “Big Days” and how his father inspired his passion for birding. ~ Mary Pols
Column: Appreciating Mother for sharing the gift of wonder
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

As winter gives way – finally – to spring, and we celebrate Mother’s Day, I think of how well my mother fulfilled Rachel Carson’s counsel to parents. For children to sustain their “inborn sense of wonder,” Carson wrote, they need the companionship of an adult willing to join with them in “rediscovering… the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” I am grateful to my mother for being that companion, encouraging me to pay close attention and to honor beauty. From her, I have learned that a sense of wonder is meant to be shared. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: Longtime sportsman’s health has changed, but his love of the outdoors has not
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

A year ago George Smith, 69, told his friends that he had ALS and it was uncertain how the disease would progress. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, mainly involves the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. The disease is progressive, and currently there is no cure and no effective treatment to halt or reverse its progression. Yet in the woods of Maine, in this fierce sportsman, I found a friend. Last week I fished with Smith to learn just how my friend’s life had changed, and to check that his love of the wild places in Maine had not. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Column: Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway offers history and beauty
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Roberts Farm Preserve is a conservation and recreation project of the Western Foothills Land Trust, on the grounds of a farm that was built in the late 1700s. Just over a decade ago, the land trust negotiated for the preserve’s purchase after an effort in the early 2000s to develop the land into a technology park never materialized. The 165-acre preserve now supports a network of over 7 miles of trails, including multiuse and universally accessible routes. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Waiting for those southerly winds
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Although the spring migration was underway by early February, we are at its peak now. Warblers, thrushes, cuckoos, flycatchers and other migratory species are streaming through Maine. Some will breed here and others will continue north. Each species has its own migratory schedule, timed to ensure arrival when its favored food is available. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Back to the earth after years of use
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 13, 2018 

Somewhere in the woods of Maine lies a walnut stock and a block of slate developed into a wild turkey call. Perhaps someone else will find it and it will bring them good luck. More likely it will, over time, return to the earth. Eventually the shellac will wear away, water will seep into the wood and freeze, cracking the tight grain. Moss will grow on the slate surface and ever so slowly etch away at its polished finish. And though it’s just a few ounces, my vest will still feel noticeably lighter. ~ Bob Humphrey
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