Waterkeeper Vessel Launched for 2015!

May 27, 2015 at 11:37am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper vessel is back on the water for its second season. Interest is keen from folks who want to climb aboard and explore Great Bay and the Piscataqua River and other waters up close, and to discuss the challenges facing the estuary and the solutions for securing its health. The threats to this estuary of national significance are very real – loss of eelgrass and oysters; stormwater pollution; excessive nutrient levels; and more shellfishing closures than ever before. While the challenges facing the estuary are significant, CLF and our Waterkeeper program have been instrumental in putting our waters on a path to recovery by addressing some of the most significant pollution problems. In Exeter and Newmarket, new sewage treatment plants with nitrogen controls should be completed by 2018. As well, nitrogen discharges read more…

Farmland vs. Asphalt

May 26, 2015 at 4:06pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Valuable farmland in Vermont is under siege. A proposal is on tap to build more than 1 million square feet of hotel, conference center, industry, shops and houses on very valuable farmland at a rural highway exit. CLF joined over 50 local residents at a contentious initial hearing for the project. Going forward, CLF and partners will participate in the state permitting (Act 250) proceedings. Vermont’s  thriving farm economy, our healthy environment and our healthy climate all depend on good farmland. Vermont’s many acres of valuable farmland support a wide and diverse range of agriculture. From apple orchards and berry farms, to community gardens, dairy, and livestock farms, these all rely on good quality farmland. That good quality farmland pays us back in more than just the food and crops it read more…

Farmers and Lawyers: A Match Made in Maine

May 26, 2015 at 8:24am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Noah Fralich moved back home to Maine with one ambition: to open a business on his family’s land in New Gloucester. His fledgling cidery business was just getting off the ground when he hit a snag – the name of his business was already trademarked by someone else. Now, in the midst of trying to grow his business, he was confronting a significant legal issue, with limited means to afford a lawyer to help him solve the problem. Noah’s not alone. Like many small businesses, farmers and food entrepreneurs in Maine have a slew of legal needs that, if not addressed properly from the outset, can lead to big problems down the road. Ensuring that our local food producers not only survive but also thrive will strengthen our environment, our communities, read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – May 18-22

May 22, 2015 at 1:27pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

May 18 – Oil and Gas Drilling: A Threat from Neighboring Waters – A recent proposal for offshore oil production in Canada poses a real threat to New England’s marine environment. The Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Drilling Project’s proposed lease blocks are located directly adjacent to the northeast peak of Georges Bank. May 20 – Healthy Ocean Hill Day 2015: One for the Record Books – As part of the Blue Vision Summit’s Healthy Ocean Hill Day, over 150 ocean advocates spoke up for the big blue on Capitol Hill. People from across the country divided into state or regional groups and met with their respective Congressional representatives for a total of 163 Hill visits – a record for the Blue Vision Summit. The New England group met with 16 read more…

CLF Announces Bradley Campbell as New President

May 21, 2015 at 11:06am by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

As a member of the CLF community, I want you to be among the first to know that Conservation Law Foundation has named a new president, Bradley M. Campbell. Brad is a nationally recognized environmental leader and energy entrepreneur who has held senior roles at the White House, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Most recently, he served as principal of the law firm he founded in 2006. We are truly honored and thrilled to have Brad leading the CLF team. His depth of experience, national reputation, and expansive network will take our work to unparalleled heights during a critical time as we work to build our clean energy future, counter climate change, and safeguard the health and prosperity of New England communities. read more…

Lead Law Moving Forward in New Hampshire Legislature

May 21, 2015 at 10:39am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

While many of us believe childhood lead poisoning is a thing of the past, the sad truth is that it’s not. In fact, every year, more than 1,000 New Hampshire children are poisoned by lead, with deteriorating lead-based paints the primary cause. The impacts of lead poisoning can be devastating and lifelong. Children can suffer a loss of IQ, behavioral difficulties, and organ and nerve damage. While the problem is statewide and affects all communities and people of all walks of life, many of the children impacted come from families that are already struggling, including low-income families living in substandard housing. It doesn’t have to be this way. A bipartisan bill, SB 135, is making its way through the New Hampshire legislature that would protect children in our state. The read more…

EPA Video Highlights Long Creek Restoration Project in Maine

May 21, 2015 at 10:39am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new video telling the story of the restoration of Maine’s Long Creek, which winds through South Portland’s busy Maine Mall area and empties into Casco Bay. Before CLF took action seven years ago, polluted stormwater would drain off of the Maine Mall area’s many paved surfaces – like parking lots and flat roofs – and flow into Long Creek, killing aquatic life. In 2008, CLF petitioned EPA and asked it to issue a permit requiring area businesses to clean up the pollution. EPA issued the permit, and since then landowners, municipalities, and other stakeholders have worked together to form the Long Creek Restoration Partnership. Under the permit, property owners have completed a number of restoration projects, including repaving an area of roadway read more…

New England Canyons and Seamounts are the Atlantic’s Deep Sea Treasures

May 20, 2015 at 2:11pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

New England is a region full of remarkable marine landscapes. An area like Cashes Ledge speaks to the immense beauty and diversity found in our local ocean, but it is not the only one. Approximately 150 miles off the coast of southern New England, where the continental shelf drops off into the ocean abyss, lays a chain of undersea canyons and nearby seamounts that are home to an incredible richness of marine life. The canyons plunge thousands of feet deep, some deeper than the Grand Canyon, and the seamounts rise as high as 7,000 feet above the seafloor, higher than any mountain east of the Rockies. Much like Cashes Ledge, these habitats give rise to an elaborate underwater world of marine species. Communities of brilliant cold-water corals line the walls read more…

New Legislation in Vermont

May 18, 2015 at 3:29pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

It was a long and tiring Legislative session this year in Vermont. On a very warm Saturday in May, Vermont’s legislators headed home. But not before making some good progress on key CLF priorities. Clean Water The key water quality bill, H.35,  focused on Lake Champlain. It sets a roadmap for further work. It provides funding for some additional staff for education and outreach as well as enforcement. It also creates a Clean Water Fund to keep track of funds spent on water quality. Renewable Energy The RESET law, H.40, finally eliminates the odd practice in Vermont that allowed the sale of Vermont created renewable energy credits to customers in other states while still claiming the power is renewable for meeting Vermont’s renewable energy goals. The bill would set the read more…

How NOT to Fix the MBTA: Governor Baker’s Reform Bill

May 18, 2015 at 2:38pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Last week, I testified before the Massachusetts State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation. I was there, along with hundreds of other people, including Governor Baker himself, to comment on the Governor’s proposed MBTA reform bill, which would put the beleaguered transit system under the authority of a fiscal control board, among other reforms. Governor Baker has challenged the state legislature to pass this bill by June 30. But the Governor’s bill is a bad deal for the MBTA and the people of Massachusetts who deserve (and need) an equitable, reliable, and safe transportation system. CLF is urging the legislature to reject this bill as written, as it fails to address key reform issues with the MBTA, while also cutting much-needed funding not only for public transit but for other parts read more…