Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Authorities in Kodiak, Alaska, are telling residents to move to higher ground after a strong earthquake struck nearby, prompting tsunami warnings for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia, while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a watch.
A dispatcher at the Kodiak police department answered a call from The Associated Press by saying, "If this about the tsunami, you need to get to higher ground immediately.''

Federal ocean managers are making more than $2 million available to try to help fishermen catch less of the wrong fish. "Bycatch" is a longstanding issue in commercial fisheries, and fishermen have long sought solutions to the problem of catching rare species when seeking exploitable ones.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it is providing about $2.4 million for "projects that increase collaborative research and partnerships for innovation" in reducing bycatch.

PORTLAND, Maine - New England residents are dealing with a messy commute.
The National Weather Service says a storm that arrived Tuesday night could bring 6 to 8 inches of snow to parts of the region before it ends Wednesday evening. Steady snow was falling in parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine during the morning commute. Some accidents have been reported, but no injuries
School has been canceled in numerous communities.

SULLIVAN, Maine - A conservation group has acquired about seven acres in Down East Maine as part of a dam removal project.
The Downeast Salmon Federation says it has taken ownership of the parcel in Sullivan that surrounds the head of tide of Smelt Brook, which has been blocked by a stone dam for more than 50 years.
The group says the acquisition is part of a "multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project'' designed to reconnect Smelt Brook to Smelt Cove.

World's Largest Sea Turtle Could Come Off 'Endangered' List

Jan 16, 2018
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region

Federal ocean managers say it might be time to move the East Coast population of the world's largest turtle from the U.S.'s list of endangered animals.
An arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has received a petition from a fishing group asking that the Northwest Atlantic Ocean's leatherback sea turtles be listed as "threatened,'' but not endangered, under the Endangered Species Act.

HALLOWELL, Maine - Business owners in Maine's Kennebec County say they weren't adequately warned about flooding over the weekend.
The Kennebec Journal reports the National Weather Service issued a flood warning Friday for the Kennebec River before upgrading it Saturday. Officials say at least a dozen cars in Hallowell were submerged and basements in the city were damaged.
Hallowell business owners say they weren't warned by emergency officials. Police in Augusta warned drivers about parking in the flood plain.


Anyone active in Maine’s outdoors scene either knows or knows of George Smith.

For 18 years, he served as executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. He also hosted a TV show called Wildfire, and is perhaps best known for his articles, columns, blogs and books about the Maine outdoors, sporting camps and the sights and sounds of the state he loves.

In one of those columns last week, Smith revealed that he has been diagnosed with ALS.

Maine Calling’s Jennifer Rooks spoke with Smith and with Nell Davies from the ALS Foundation on Friday.

Heavy rain and ice jams that contributed to some headaches in northern New England are in the past, and weather officials are now keeping an eye on a snowstorm.
In  Maine, the Kennebec River spilled its banks in Augusta, flooding several parked cars.One neighborhood in Littleton, New Hampshire, dealt with rising water on Sunday, and homes were evacuated in northern Vermont.

The January thaw is about to give way to a return to winter weather in northern New England.
The National Weather Service says rain will begin Friday night and will transform briefly into freezing, rain, sleet and snow on Saturday as colder temperatures return.
Meteorologist James Brown says the icing will be mostly in southern Maine and New Hampshire, and will make things slippery for motorists.
But he says there won't be enough ice to cause widespread power outages. Colder temperatures are on tap starting on Sunday.

Jack Smith / Associated Press File

Federal wildlife officials say the nation’s once-threatened population of Canada lynx is in recovery, and can be taken off the endangered species list. The move caps years of controversy over the species’ health in Maine.

A week after major coastal flooding caught some Mainers off guard, the Maine Emergency Management Agency is urging residents across the state to get prepared for more potential flooding — this time along inland waterways — during this week’s sudden thaw.

“When flooding occurs those waters tend to rise pretty quickly, and you don’t always have a lot of time to think about things, so now is the time to start preparing,” says Susan Faloon with MEMA.

CONCORD, N.H. - Crews in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, will be collaring moose soon as part of a yearly study to learn more about their health.
The states are working to learn how moose density and weather interact to boost tick-caused moose mortality and reduce moose birth rates.
Northern New Hampshire residents may be seeing a helicopter overhead soon as about 45 moose cows and calves are collared for the fourth year of the study in the state.

The extended deep freeze that caused misery across New England is over.
The National Weather Service reports that temperatures are warming across the region, and some places could see temperatures in the 50s by week's end.
That's a warm respite from subzero cold two days ago.
Forecasters say that through Tuesday, Portland went 15 days without the temperature hitting 32, dating to Christmas Eve. It was a similar situation in Boston, dating to Dec. 26.

BRUNSWICK, Maine - A Maine marine biologist says footage of her swimming with a humpback whale shows the large mammal protecting her from a tiger shark.
Nan Hauser, president of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation and a Brunswick resident, says she uploaded footage of her encounter Monday and it quickly spread across the internet.

BANGOR, Maine - The weeks-long deep freeze is keeping Coast Guard ice breakers busy on the New England coast.
The Coast Guard says ice-breaking tugs have been at work on the Penobscot River since last month and that ice has begun forming elsewhere in rivers and harbors.
Capt. Michael Baroody, commander of the Coast Guard in northern New England, said it's an earlier start than the past two seasons thanks to extreme cold. He said he expects that Coast Guard ice breakers will be "extremely busy for the foreseeable future.''