Read some highlights from July 2022 news stories and opinion pieces related to the environment, including Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife, in this News & Noteworthy from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
July 28, 2022
NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett is quoted in this recent Seacoastonline.com news story about removal of dams on the Kennebec River, which is the best chance of protecting endangered Atlantic salmon.
An effort is underway in Maine to protect grassland birds like the Bobolink, already at risk due to climate change. A group called Ag Allies works with farmers to keep their agricultural land productive while also protecting birds that nest in hayfields and other locations. Learn more in this Maine Public news story.
Read this recent Washington Post story about how Maine lobstermen and women are seeing the impacts of climate change on the lobster industry, with the Gulf of Maine warming faster than almost anywhere else in the world’s oceans. Learn how some of them are beginning to harvest seaweed as another source of income.
Have you ever seen an Atlantic Puffin during the summer in Maine? NRCM does a puffin cruise each summer to see these birds on Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay. NECN recently did a story on puffins and how they are one of the many wildlife species at risk due to climate change.
The Legislature passed a bill this year to provide$2 million in funding for a pilot program to educate teachers about how to teach their students about climate change. Learn more about how this is welcome news for teachers and students alike in Maine.
We will end this week’s News & Noteworthy with a Bangor Daily News piece by Karin Tilberg, Executive Director of the Forest Society of Maine, which is a tribute to four Mainers who made an impact on Maine’s forests, and who we have recently lost: Marylee Dodge, Sherry Huber, Ed Kfoury, and John McNulty. Marylee and Sherry are past members of NRCM’s Board of Directors. We remember and honor them and their work to protect Maine’s forests.
July 21, 2022
We will kick off this week’s News & Noteworthy with an op-ed by NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro, which recently appeared in the Bangor Daily News. Jack writes about the path Maine can take and is taking toward a clean energy future.
Recently, NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett traveled to Patten to speak with citizens there at a forum, which also featured Wolfden Resources, a company wanting to build a mine near the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Read more about that meeting and why NRCM opposes this project in this Bangor Daily News story.
Last week, NRCM and NRCM Rising hosted our largest event in more than two years as we celebrated six outstanding young leaders with our 2022 Brookie Awards. One of those awardees, Kiara Firschkorn, was featured in a news piece on News Center Maine. NRCM Rising Director Todd Martin also spoke about the Brookies and the importance of Maine’s young environmental changemakers in this news story.
The Brunswick, Maine, recycling committee gave a shout out to NRCM and our Take Action Toolkit in a recent “Recycle Bin” column, which they write weekly for the Times Record.
July 14, 2022
Some big news for us today is that NRCM will be celebrating our second class of Brookie Award winners at an event in Portland this evening. Our six awardees are young people making a difference in Maine’s environmental movement. Learn more about this year’s Brookies at www.brookieawards.org. One of this year’s awardees, Anna Siegal, worked with Maine Youth for Climate Justice to get Maine to divest its money from fossil fuel companies.
The town of Jay, in western Maine, is working with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments to secure a grant to help reduce that town’s energy use and the costs they are paying for energy. Learn more in this Sun Journal article.
The City of Bath has created a new position in their municipal government — a director of sustainability and environment. Learn about this new position and the person hired to be the first person in this role in Bath in this Forecaster news story.
Read this op-ed by Kathy Scott, a member of the Trout Unlimited national board, about why the four dams on the Kennebec River between Waterville and Skowhegan need to be removed in order to protect the endangered Atlantic salmon and open up that stretch of river for restoration, like has happened further down the river since the 1999 removal of the Edwards Dam and the 2008 removal of the Fort Halifax Dam.
And finally this week, the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor recently announced that it has acquired North Woods Way wilderness center in Willimantic (in the Moosehead Lake region). This will create some wonderful educational opportunities for students there.
July 7, 2022
Maine’s state motto is Dirigo, which means “I lead.” And once again, Maine led the nation as the first state to pass an extended producer responsibility for packaging law in 2021. We are now joined by Oregon, Colorado, and this week, California! Californis passed a plastic reduction bill that includes EPR for packaging. Learn more in this Grist article.
In other good news this week, a federal judge threw out rollbacks to endangered species protections. The rollbacks happened under the previous presidential administration, and currently President Biden’s staff are working to increase protections for endangered species.
In the bad news category this week is the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to limit the power of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate climate-changing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Portland Press Herald recently wrote about ways to modernize a power line in the Brunswick/Topsham area, thanks to a new law that requires Central Maine Power and other utilities to work with the state to look at alternatives to new poles and wires. Read more in this piece by Tux Turkel.
It was recently announced that the McCain Foods plant in Aroostook County plans to increase their renewable energy use, with plans to be 50% solar. This is part of the company’s broader sustainability plan. Read more in the Sun Journal.
And let’s end this week’s news highlights with news from the other end of the state, Cape Elizabeth to be specific, where two young brothers have created a sustainable, zero-emissions lawn care business. These 17-year-olds own Solar Mow, and their father, Phil, is co-founder of ReVision Energy.