Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

Dangerous Wind Chills Put Northeast in Deep Freeze

Dec 16, 2016
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — Low temperatures and high winds have put the Northeastern U.S. in a deep freeze.

Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

Climate change poses a threat to property and infrastructure up and down the East Coast, and in Portland, residents and planners are starting to devise a response.

BOSTON — Government fishing managers will hire a shrimp fisherman from Massachusetts to help perform research about the future of the New England shrimp fishery.

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries say they want to hire a shrimp trawling vessel to collect samples of Northern shrimp. The fishermen will also be allowed to bring 1,200 pounds of shrimp per week to shore and sell them.

The project will begin on Jan. 15, 2017 and last eight weeks.

CARIBOU, Maine — The best tasting in water in Maine can be found by tapping into the top of the state.

That was the finding of the Maine Rural Water Association’s 30th Annual Drinking Water Taste Test, held on Dec. 8 in Bangor. The Aroostook County city of Caribou took home the title.

Caribou won the championship by besting the other finalist, Point Sebago, in a taste off. Point Sebago won in the "non-disinfected" category, while Caribou won for the disinfected group.

In Touching Final Act, Woman Leaves Waterfront Land in Cushing to Town

Dec 12, 2016
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News

CUSHING, Maine — Thelma “Terry” Dodge became owner of an empty waterfront field in Cushing on Nov. 15. The next day, she died at the age of 92.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Snow is falling throughout northern New England, with speeds reduced on snow-packed roads, crashes and spin-outs, and numerous schools canceled or delayed.

The National Weather Service forecast snow across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine with up to a foot of snow forecast for parts of southern Vermont. At least several inches were on the ground in parts of the region by Monday morning. Rain was expected to mix with the snow in southern New Hampshire.

Courtesy photo

One of the giants in Maine’s conservation movement has died. Clinton “Bill” Townsend, an attorney, river advocate, environmental watchdog and lifelong fishermen, passed away at his home in Canaan this week at the age of 89.

Mike Groll / Associated Press file

By Michael Casey and Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PETERSHAM, Mass. — The scourge of insect pests is expected to put almost two-thirds of America’s forests at risk over the next decade.

The problem is projected to cost several billion dollars every year for dead tree removal and jeopardize longstanding U.S. industries that rely on timber.

Zoe Sobel / Alaska's Energy Desk

In a windowless room at Maine Maritime Academy, Glenn Burleigh is standing calmly at the controls of a massive tanker. He is stuck, encased in a sea of ice, waiting for an icebreaker to break him free.

BOWDOINHAM, Maine - Several Maine communities are considering joining forces to combat a moth species notorious for an itchy, painful rash caused by the hairs of its larvae.

The browntail moth is an invasive insect that came to New England just before the turn of the 19th century. The moths begin their lives as caterpillars with poisonous hairs that can cause skin irritation resembling a poison ivy rash.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A recreational rail-trail project that has been nearly 30 years in the making was completed Friday with the addition of two final miles connecting Ellsworth to Calais 87 miles away.

The multi-use Downeast Sunrise Trail is the longest trail of its type and part of the East Coast Greenway, which extends all the way to Key West, Florida.

The final phase of the $1.3 million project is expected to boost the Ellsworth-area economy.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science / Flickr/Creative Commons

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

TOWNSHIP 14 RANGE 7, Maine - State and federal wildlife authorities are investigating the killings of a pair of rare Canada lynx in Maine.

The Maine Warden Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the lynx were shot to death in northern Oxford and Aroostook counties.

The lynx is listed as a threatened species under U.S. endangered species laws and killing one unlawfully carrier a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year.

The warden service says the lynx are increasing in population in Maine.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Acadia National Park is shutting down the Park Loop Road to motor vehicles this month.

The closing takes effect on Thursday for all of the 27-mile road except for a two-mile stretch from the Sand Beach entrances to Otter Cliff Road, and Jordan Pond area.

The scenic road is still open to pedestrians and bicycles.

After the snow flies, it’ll be open to snowmobiles. Also closing for December is the 3.5-mile road that leads to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Maine officials say an 87-mile recreational trail system that has been in the works for almost 30 years has been completed.

The Downeast Sunrise Trail stretches from Pembroke to Ellsworth. The project began in 1987. An 85-mile stretch of trail from Pembroke to Hancock was completed in 2010.

The second phase of the trail extended it another two miles into Ellsworth. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says that piece of the trail is now complete.