Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

Federal Funding Preserves Nearly 100 Acres Of Brunswick Wetlands

Apr 17, 2018
Acadia National Park / via Bangor Daily News

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Maine will receive $570,000 in federal funding to help preserve 96 acres at Woodward Point, protecting wetlands and buffering uplands in northern Casco Bay.

The funding will allow the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust to acquire the area, which is a designated estuary of national significance and “cradles” all of one and part of a second commercially important shellfish beds, according to a release from U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Trump administration is defending former President Barack Obama's Atlantic Ocean monument and asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from fishermen trying to eliminate it.
The fishing groups sued to challenge the 2016 creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument is a 5,000-square-mile area off New England and is the first of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jack Smith / Associated Press/file

DURHAM, N.H. - University of New Hampshire scientists have discovered a previously undiagnosed parasite transmitted by ticks and a virus in the Canada lynx.
The New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory uncovered the findings during a recent research study. Two senior veterinary pathologists led the project and are expected to present their results Tuesday at the 74th Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference in Burlington, Vermont.
The striking, snow-loving feline has been listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2000.

A combination of freezing rain and sleet has delayed or closed schools across northern New England.
Wind gusts as high as 60 miles an hour were forecast Monday. The freezing rain was expected to turn into rain by Monday afternoon, turning heavy at times.
It has been unseasonably cold in the region. Portland, Maine, and Concord, New Hampshire, set records on Sunday for the coldest day for the midpoint of April in recorded history.

Conservation Groups Oppose Development Changes Proposed For Maine Woods

Apr 14, 2018
Bangor Daily News

Conservation groups in Maine on Wednesday urged state officials not to expand the distance limit that determines where subdivisions and commercial projects can be built in the state’s Unorganized Territory.

Central Maine Power

This story was originally published at 4:56 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018.

As part of a deal to win a state permit for a major transmission project eight years ago, Central Maine Power (CMP) agreed to transfer the scenic Kennebec River Gorge to the state. But that never happened. Environmentalists say that raises troubling questions about a new CMP project that would cross the same gorge.

Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he believes Maine residents will be "very happy" with a revised proposal on offshore drilling, which notes there are few reserves off the coast of Maine.

The secretary's comments on Wednesday in Washington suggest that the Maine coastline may be excluded from the next version of the Interior Department's plan for offshore drilling.

The Portland Press Herald reports Zinke was responding to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, noting there was strong opposition to drilling off the Maine coast.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke insists that his department is not changing scientific reports to edit out references to climate change. Zinke's response came under questioning by Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree at a budget hearing Wednesday.

“There is a pending report about the national parks and the impact of climate change on the national parks, and there has been reporting to say there has been some editing to take climate change out of the document.”

Regina Asmutis-Silvia/WDC

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is awarding more than $700,000 to Maine’s Department of Marine Resources to study whether lobstermen’s gear poses a mortal threat to the endangered right whale.

There are about 450 right whales left on the planet, and some scientists say entanglement in lobster-trapping gear is making their extinction more likely. But many Maine lobstermen are skeptical and are pushing back against calls for new regulations on their ropes and buoys.

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the state of Maine more than $700,000 to help provide better data to try to protect endangered right whales.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources say the grant funds a three-year project set to begin this summer that will support work aimed at improving and increasing the amount of data on fishing gear. The data can be used to inform future protections for the whales.

Some Of Maine’s Most Reliable Heat May Be Under Our Feet

Apr 8, 2018
Gina Philippon / BDN

When John Nickels was in the United States Navy and stationed aboard a submarine, he read a book about then-President George W. Bush and his use of geothermal technology at his Texas ranch. The retired submariner has been hooked on the subterranean heating and cooling systems ever since.

Tons Of Trash Going To Landfills Due To Hampden Waste Facility Delay

Apr 6, 2018
Alex Acquisto / Bangor Daily News

The solid waste processing and recycling facility that was slated to open April 1 in Hampden could take months longer to be operational, meaning that trash from 115 municipalities will meanwhile be dumped in landfills.

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

NANTUCKET, Mass. - Federal ocean managers are extending a voluntary speed restriction zone off of Massachusetts to try to help protect endangered right whales.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established the zone to protect a group of eight North Atlantic right whales spotted 20 nautical miles south of Nantucket on March 29. The agency says the zone will be in effect through April 12.
NOAA asks mariners to route around the area altogether or transit through it at 10 knots or less.

WINSLOW, Maine - A traveling petting zoo in Maine says its reindeer has unexpectedly given birth to the first baby reindeer in the state in more than 20 years.
Pony X-Press co-owner Ed Papsis says the reindeer is a dark brown female calf and it was born at a farm on Easter Sunday.
Papsis tells the Morning Sentinel that the new reindeer has yet to be named. Her mother's name is Cocoa.

Brian Jackson / AP Photo

State lawmakers are giving an initial thumbs down to Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to raise the bar for new wind energy projects in Maine.

The governor wants to limit streamlined permit reviews to wind projects only in eastern Aroostook County. And he wants to expand reviews of their visual impacts to anywhere within 70 miles of significant scenic resources.

Rep. Paul Stearns, a Guilford Republican, says he sees the scenic harm wind farms can do first hand.The porch of his camp on Piper Pond in Abbot is in the shadow of the Bingham wind plantation.