Read highlights from November 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.
November 17, 2022
The big news of the week here at the Natural Resources Council of Maine came yesterday, when we announced that Rebeccah Sanders will be our new CEO beginning in January 2023. Learn more about Rebeccah.
Another solar project is coming to Central Maine, this time in Benton and Clinton.
The Bangor Daily News reported this week that Maine is about to receive $1 billion for more than 80 projects through funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. See a list of some of the projects, including ones that will provide clean, safe drinking water, public transit improvements, clean energy and efficiency, and more.
Many of us have explored sections of the Eastern Trail in southern Maine, and we are excited to hear that in the coming years, that trail could connect to other trails and be expanded as far south as North Berwick. Learn more.
News of more trails in Gray also has us excited. These trails, at Thayer Brook Preserve, will be funded in part by the Land for Maine’s Future program, and will include connecting those trails to already existing trails near Gray-New Gloucester High School.
Finally this week, we have more good news: Maine’s outdoor recreation economy, according to a recent report, generated $2.8 billion. That is an increase of more than 19 percent over 2020.
And a note about next week’s News & Noteworthy: NRCM’s office will be closed next week from November 21-25, so the next News & Noteworthy will be posted in December. Have a wonderful holiday week, and check back on December 1st for more news about Maine’s environment.
November 10, 2022
As you can imagine, most of this week’s news was about the elections, which happened on Tuesday, so our News & Noteworthy will be a lighter than usual, though we want to highlight a few news stories from the week.
This week we have had some record-breaking warm temperatures around the state. A 70-degree November day isn’t something Mainers usually experience, but that all changed this year. To many of us, the news that this is part of a trend brought on by climate change is not a surprise. Not all Mainers agree, and this piece from Maine Public’s “Climate-Driven” series shares the skepticism about climate, and an opportunity for finding common ground, with some Maine residents.
NRCM Federal Policy Advocate Anya Fetcher shares her op-ed in this week’s Sun Journal about the progress we have seen since the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress 50 years ago, and how a new case in front of the Supreme Court could cripple it.
November 3, 2022
Let’s start the week off with some good news about land conservation. Frenchman Bay Conservancy recently added two easements on land along the northern part of the Union River and its tributaries, in the town of Aurora. They now have “forever wild” easements on more than 3,000 acres in that area, which will protect wetlands and forests from development.
The Federal government announced last week its plan to increase offshore wind power while also protecting the right whale. Read this Associated Press news story to learn more. You can also learn about the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which powers England, in this CBS news story.
Speaking of energy, a group advocating for a consumer-owned electric utility to replace Central Maine Power and Versant, announced this week that it has enough signatures to put a question on the ballot.
The city of Biddeford announced a three-strikes-and-your-out rule when it comes to recycling. The city is paying high costs for contaminated recycling, so if people put items into their recycling bins that aren’t recyclable, after the third time, they can no longer get their recycling collected each week.
November is here, and that means it is deer hunting season. Deer hunting in Maine is a long-held tradition, for men AND women around the state. Read about some women who have been hunting for 50 years or more.
The Maine Monitor has two recent stories about climate change and energy: one about how the cost of oil this winter is one of many reasons that Maine is focused on getting people to install heat pumps in their homes, and the other is some good news for owners of commercial buildings, who will soon have a chance to get Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy loans to improve efficiency, add clean energy like solar, and more.
ICYMI: The Maine Monitor wrote a story last month about towns along the Maine coast that are faced with changes to their communities due to sea-level rise from a rapidly warming Gulf of Maine.
Also from the Maine Monitor: Mainers are aware of the prevalence of PFAS (“forever chemicals”) in soil around the state, and even in some deer that were harvested during recent hunting seasons in certain parts of the state. But what about PFAS in food packaging? In 2019, the Maine Legislature passed a law requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to create rules to prohibit PFAS in food packaging, but those rules have been slow to come.