Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts - Federal fishing regulators are soliciting public comments about possible changes to lobster fishing in southern New England.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking the feedback about changes that could include restricting the number of lobster traps or permits an individual or a business would be allowed to own.

Green Groups, Fishermen At Odds Over New Menhaden Rules

Nov 15, 2017

Environmentalists and commercial fishing groups on the East Coast are divided over a decision to increase the amount fishermen can catch of an ecologically important small fish.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved changes to menhaden fishing rules, including an 8 percent increase in East Coast quota. The decision came Tuesday and followed a string of public hearings. The commission had been considering several new ways of managing menhaden, some of which included reducing quota.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Nearly 200 world leaders are in Bonn, Germany, for a United Nations conference this week to discuss ways to speed up goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

PORTLAND, Maine - Plans to top an aging landfill in Portland with a solar array have been delayed after trash was found popping through the topsoil.
The Portland Press Herald reports that state officials have ordered the city to ensure the landfill's cap is at least 2 feet thick before work on the solar array can begin. They also say the landfill's height and slope should be increased to prevent water from pooling on top of it.

CAPE MAY, N.J. - Federal fishing regulators are considering requiring more commercial fishermen to assist with a program that seeks to protect sea turtles.
The National Marine Fisheries Service requires observers to be placed on fishing boats in some fisheries to collect data that help with minimization of harm to turtles. The service says it wants to include a group of mid-Atlantic fisheries to the program next year because of the need to collect more data about accidental catch of sea turtles.

BAR HARBOR, Maine - Maine's congressional delegation says legislation is necessary to ensure clam and worm harvesters are allowed to keep plying their trade near Acadia National Park.
Sen. Angus King, an independent, and Susan Collins, a Republican, are introducing the bill in the U.S. Senate. They say generations of clam and worm harvesters have made their living on Acadia flats, and the government must allow them to keep doing so.

LINTHICUM, Md. - Interstate fishing regulators are deciding whether they want to change the way they manage a tiny fish that plays a critical role in the ocean's food chain.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is taking up the subject of menhaden on Monday and Tuesday at a meeting in Linthicum, Maryland. The fish are the subject of one of the largest fisheries in the country.
Menhaden are fished to provide fish oil, feed for aquaculture operations and bait. The fish also are a key source of food for larger fish, whales and dolphins.

CARIBOU, Maine - Northern Maine already had a dusting of snow. Now residents are poised for the season's first accumulation of the white stuff.
The National Weather Service says up to 3 inches of snow is expected Thursday night and Friday morning as the temperature drops into the 20s. It's part of a wave of cold air that's going to send temperatures plummeting into the teens by Friday night.
The snow is actually behind schedule.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

For the first time in about three years, the Land for Maine’s Future board is considering funding for more than two-dozen conservation and water access projects around the state.

The projects range in size from a boat landing in Lubec and a 129-acre farm in Arundel to the 23,000-acre Bix Six Township in remote Somerset County on the Canadian border. But funding is limited, and the competition is fierce.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The next time you buy a pass to drive into Acadia National Park, the price may have nearly tripled. The Trump administration is proposing a substantial increase in fees at Acadia and 16 other national parks, in part to help address an estimated $11 billion in infrastructure needs within the system nationwide.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine says its citizens can help the state's agriculture industry take on a nasty pest by assuming the role of stink bug detective.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the brown marmorated stink bug is a major pest for farmers in some states. The bug is originally from Asia and was accidentally introduced into the mid-Atlantic states in the 1990s.
The stink bug later spread to 44 states, including Maine. Maine entomologists want to know how widespread it is here, and what risk it could pose for crops.

Unusual ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Blamed For Widespread Power Outages

Nov 3, 2017
Abukar Adan / Maine Public

The type of storm that hit New England hard early Monday morning and knocked out power to nearly half a million Mainers is an unusual meteorological event sometimes referred to as a “bomb cyclone.”

Drought May Have Aided Storm That Walloped Maine, Northeast

Nov 2, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine — Drought conditions, recent rainfall and an unusual storm path in Maine may have contributed to the large numbers of trees that toppled during a storm that walloped the Northeast this week, officials said.

Credit Campobello Whale Rescue

A record number of right whale killings this summer has put environmental groups on the offensive, potentially leading to stricter regulations for Maine lobstermen, even as most of the animals turn up dead in Canadian waters.

A group of environmental organizations has notified federal officials they intend to sue if regulatory agencies fail to better protect the endangered species, following what’s believed to be one of the deadliest summers for North Atlantic right whales in centuries.

AUGUSTA, Maine  — Maine hunters are taking to the woods to participate in the state's expanded deer hunt.