Protecting Maine's Environment

NRCM is a leader in protecting Maine's environment.

Since 1959, NRCM has worked statewide for clear air and water, healthy people and wildlife, protected forests, sustainable communities, and clean energy solutions and efficiency.

NRCM was created by Maine people, for the benefit of all who love Maine. Since 1959, NRCM has led efforts to keep Maine a special place. NRCM harnesses the power of science, the law, and the voices of more than 20,000 supporters from across Maine and beyond.

Today, NRCM has 27 staff members and is the state's leading organization working for safeguards that ensure the health of Maine’s land, air, waters, and wildlife. We continue to take on Maine's most pressing environmental threats – climate change pollution, inappropriate land development, food waste, risks to clean water resources. Keeping Maine a special place to live, work, and visit will remain at the heart of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Photo at right by Gerard Monteux

Conserving Maine's Environment

NRCM is a leader in conserving Maine's environment.

NRCM works to protect Maine’s natural areas and wild, undeveloped character, particularly in the North Woods. We support responsible land development and sustainable forest practices that protect sensitive ecosystems and wildlife. We work for increased public ownership of Maine lands, so future generations will know the Maine we love today.

Protection of Maine’s wilderness was one of the issues for which NRCM was founded in 1959. More than a half-century later, much progress has been made but major threats to Maine’s wild places continue.

We worked to establish the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument just east of Baxter State Park and continue our efforts to push for Land for Maine’s Future funding to acquire special places, watchdog Maine’s public lands and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. By weighing in on harmful development proposed in Maine’s North Woods, we helped stop the ill-conceived East-West Highway from being built and ensured a greatly scaled-back development proposed for Moosehead Lake.

Photo at left by Gerard Monteux

Restoring Maine's Environment

NRCM is a leader in restoring Maine's environment.

Clean, healthy waterways are vital to Maine's environment and our day-to-day lives. They help ensure safe drinking water, suitable habitat for fish and other wildlife, and recreational opportunities that make Maine a special place to live, work, and visit. NRCM is working hard to protect and restore Maine’s lakes, rivers, and streams, now and for generations to come.

But Maine's waterways face huge challenges. We defend safeguards for Maine’s clean, beautiful lakes when they come under attack. Our Community Toolkits address plastics and other pollutants that cause problems in streams, rivers, and coastal waters.

Pollution is one issue; dams are another. Dams continue to choke waterways across the state; many of these are obsolete and harm fisheries resources that are worth far more than the small amount of power they generate.

One such dam was the Edwards Dam in the Kennebec River in Augusta. NRCM’s work with coalition partners to remove the Edwards Dam has become a national model for success. The Penobscot River Restoration Project is another shining success, completed in 2016, is already restoring extraordinary benefits for the wildlife and people of Maine.

Photo at right: Great Works Dam on Penobscot River. Photo by Point of View Helicopter Services