Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

NAPLES, Maine - An aquatic pest has been found on another Maine lake.

Officials say invasive milfoil has overtaken half an acre on Long Lake, raising fears that it could spread and create problems for boaters and swimmers.

Milfoil has reportedly infested the neighboring Brandy Pond and the Songo River for years but Long Lake in Naples had been thought to be safe from the plant.

Volunteers were searching the lake Tuesday to determine the extent of the infestation. A team is also at the lake to begin removing the invasive plants.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

The beaches of southern Maine are bouncing back — ten years after a St. Patrick’s Day storm took a bite out of coastal communities and after other storms and a prolonged rise in sea levels in 2010 that caused even more erosion.

How Can Maine Be In a Drought, Even During Record Rainfall?

Aug 11, 2017
Julia Bayly / Bangor Daily News

Maine has been getting more rain and snow each year, in part because of more intense storms brought on by climate change, yet the state is still experiencing droughts, according to weather forecasters and climatologists.

ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine is slated to receive more than $220,000 from the federal government to support research of Atlantic bluefin tuna.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King say the money from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will help with UMaine's research about the tuna's age, growth and population in the northwest Atlantic Ocean.

State environmental activists took to Scarborough Beach on Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 30 percent.

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press

If you think you are seeing more butterflies than usual, you’re right — it is a big year in Maine for two kinds of butterflies: monarchs and painted ladies.

One of the coordinators of the Maine Butterfly Survey, Dr. Herb Wilson of Colby College, says monarchs are having one of their best seasons in years. The executive director of the coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Bill Cullina, is excited about the butterflies, too.

Drought Conditions Beginning to Reappear in Parts of Maine

Aug 7, 2017
Nick McCrea / Bangor Daily News/file

Despite a wet spring, abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions are developing in parts of the state.

Parts of northeastern Maine are experiencing drought conditions while a majority of Aroostook County and parts of central and coastal Maine are classified as abnormally dry, according to an Aug. 3 report from the U.S. Drought Monitor Mitigation Center.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The Beach to Beacon road race is celebrating its 20th anniversary. But there’s another milestone for Saturday’s Cape Elizabeth race event — it has achieved the highest certification for sustainability.

The Council for Responsible Sport has classified the Beach to Beacon as a zero-waste event, because 90 percent of its waste is diverted from landfills. It was the first major road race in the U.S. to achieve top status.

If you want to achieve top-level sustainability for a big event like the Beach to Beacon, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.

PORTLAND, Maine - Fishing managers say river herring are at historic lows along the East Coast, and their population remains depleted.
An arm of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission concluded that herring are low in abundance due to multiple factors including but not limited to fishing. River herring include alewife and blueback herring, which spend most of their lives at sea before returning to rivers and streams to spawn.

Brian Gratwicke / via Wikimedia Commons

PORTLAND, Maine - One of the most important little fish in the sea is in good shape.
That's the analysis of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which reviewed the Atlantic menhaden population and found it remains healthy. The commission says the fish is not experiencing overfishing.
 Atlantic menhaden are harvested by fishermen for use as bait and to make fish oil. They travel in schools that can number in the thousands and are a key link in the ocean food chain.

PORTLAND, Maine - The city of Portland is replacing recycling bins with new covered carts in an effort to reduce litter.
The Portland Press Herald reports that residents will receive the two-wheeled carts beginning Aug. 7. City Hall Communications Director Jessica Grondin says the 25,000 containers cost about $1 million.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public/file

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills is joining a lawsuit with more than a dozen other states against the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Administrator Scott Pruitt for delaying the designation of areas affected by harmful levels of ozone.

The designations were required by October of this year under stricter Clean Air Act standards implemented in 2015. Pruitt has postponed the designations for one year, but Mills says there is no time to waste.

PORTLAND, Maine - A key ocean management panel has shot down a plan to try to preserve southern New England's lobster population with new fishing regulations.
An arm of the interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted against proposed new restrictions on Tuesday. Members of the panel say they don't feel the proposed measures would go far enough to rebuild the lobster population, which is suffering due to warming ocean temperatures.

PORTLAND, Maine - Interstate fishing regulators are set to decide on new fishing restrictions to help rebuild the population of lobsters in southern New England.
The New England lobster fishery is based largely in Maine, where fishing managers say catch has soared to new heights in recent years. But the population has collapsed off of Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts as waters have warmed in those areas.

Courtesy University of New England

The number of great white sharks may be increasing in the Gulf of Maine.