Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

WINDHAM, Maine - Researchers in Maine say a lake's recent algal blooms are prompting concerns over the health of the body of water.
Beginning in May, water quality tests will begin at Highland Lake in Windham and Falmouth, after a mysterious algal bloom has reappeared every July for the last four summers. The Portland Press Herald reports the nonprofit Highland Lake Association and other parties will host a public forum March 21 about the health of the lake.

Center for Biological Diversity

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.

Steven Senne / Associated Press

BOSTON - The arduous recovery from the latest storm to pummel the Northeast will likely stretch through the weekend as utility crews work to clear downed trees and power lines and restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers - with a possible third nor'easter in the offing.

Jim Cole / Associated Press

After five years of declining moose permits, the state’s wildlife biologists altered course on Wednesday, proposing a plan that would increase the number of permits by 20 percent for this year at a meeting of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council.

AP Photo

Another week, another nor'easter, making the commute on slick snow-covered roads slower than molasses running uphill. And, if anyone happened to driving uphill in Bangor, they were actually traveling on top of molasses — or more accurately, molasses-treated road salt. The sticky liquid is used help salt adhere to the highway's surface.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

A nor'easter that's sweeping across the Northeast has dumped as much as 19 inches of snow and caused more than 20,000 power outages in Maine.

Another Nor’easter, Packing Heavy Snow, Heads For Maine

Mar 7, 2018
National Weather Service

Five days after a nor’easter brought high winds and coastal flooding to parts of Maine, another storm is expected to bring to most of the state what the one before did not: heavy amounts of snow.

Western parts of the state could get nearly 20 inches of snow, starting late Wednesday and continuing into Thursday, according to weather forecasts Tuesday morning. More than a foot of snow could fall in the Greater Portland and Bangor areas, according to the National Weather Service.

New Hampshire has been shaken by a 2.4-magnitude earthquake in the central part of the state.
The United States Geological Survey says the earthquake was centered northeast of the village of Contoocook, in the town of Hopkinton. It struck just after 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Residents in Penacook, Henniker, Boscawen, Webster, Dunbarton and Concord, among other communities, reported hearing a boom and feeling some shaking. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

AUGUSTA, Maine  — Maine wildlife officials say 73 percent of moose hunters were successful in harvesting their quarry during last year's hunt.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says 1,518 hunters succeeded in getting their moose last year, when 2,080 moose permits were issued. The success rate was slightly more than the 71 percent success rate hunters have had over the past five years.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

BOSTON - Utilities are racing to restore power to tens of thousands of customers in the Northeast still without electricity after last week's storm as another nor'easter threatens the hard-hit area with heavy, wet snow, high winds - and more outages.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that stretches from eastern Pennsylvania, across most of New England, from late Tuesday night into Thursday morning.
More than a foot of snow is forecast for some interior areas.

Taking On 'Microfiber' Pollution, A Laundry Room At A Time

Mar 6, 2018
Alexander Nolte / via Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — The fight to keep tiny pollutants from reaching the dinner plate might start in the laundry room.

Innovators are coming up with tools to keep tiny pieces of thread that are discharged with washing machine effluent from reaching marine life. Such "microfibers" are too small to be caught in conventional filters, so they eventually pass through sewage plants, wash out to waterways, and can be eaten or absorbed by marine animals, some later served up as seafood.

Kay Aikin/Introspective Systems / via Bangor Daily News

Isle au Haut residents plan to install a sophisticated microgrid this spring that could eventually end their reliance on expensive power and heating fuel from the mainland.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's fox hunting season is ending for the winter.
The Pine Tree State has a small but active group of hunters who pursue foxes. The season ends on Wednesday. There is no limit on the number of foxes a hunter can harvest during the season, which begins in October.
There are a handful of clubs remaining in New England for traditional fox hunters who pursue the animals on horseback with hounds.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Coast Guard is urging members of the public who haven’t done so already to remove their ice shacks from the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers as it begins its annual spring breakout to reduce the risk of flooding as snow and river ice melts.

Chief Warrant Officer Robert Nichols says the operation begins Wednesday, and is being done in two phases using four ice breakers — three at 65 feet and one at 140 feet.

Beech Trees Dominating Northeastern Forests, Worrying Scientists, Landowners

Feb 26, 2018
Brian E. Roth / University of Maine/via AP

PORTLAND, Maine — Beech trees are dominating the woodlands of the northeastern United States as the climate changes, and that could be bad news for the forests and people who work in them, according to a group of scientists.