This Week on – June 29 – July 3

Jul 2, 2015 at 1:54pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

June 29 – Fish Feature: Atlantic Sturgeon – Our new Fish Feature series will share posts from New England Ocean Odyssey’s weekly “Fish Fridays.” New England Ocean Odyssey uses breathtaking images and captivating stories to highlight the amazing riches and diversity of New England’s ocean and bring attention to the issues facing it. By Talking Fish. June 29 – Going to the Mat for Fish and Fishermen – For more than four decades, the California-based fishing advocate has worked to find common ground between taking care of the environment and looking out for the needs of family fishermen. Armed with passion and determination, the law school graduate and former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant is a recognized leader in the shaping of fishing and environmental rules that affect millions of people nationwide. By Lee Crockett. June read more…

Local Engagement, Local Waters

Jul 2, 2015 at 11:12am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Throughout the Seacoast, something is happening – residents concerned about their local waters (waters in their backyard, so to speak) are becoming active and tackling important issues. It’s a great thing to see, and it bodes well for the future of our Great Bay estuary and all the rivers, streams, and bays that are part of it. read more..

This Week on – June 22-26

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

June 24 – Beyond the Data: Captivating Moments at Cashes Ledge – Two weeks of diving, research, and filming on Cashes Ledge has come to an end. Robbie Lamb, a PhD student and diver with the Witman Lab at Brown University, spent the beginning of June diving off of the R/V Tioga, visiting sites throughout the Gulf of Maine, and making several dives per day to document marine life. He recounts his experiences here. June 25 – Fishing’s Future and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – The Senate voted to end debate on President Obama’s fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While the full text of the TPP has not been publicly released, it will be important for the U.S. government to ensure that the fisheries-focused piece of the agreement provides for read more…

Oppose Big and Unpredictable MBTA Fare Hikes

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:29pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

It's urgent that you act now and contact the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Tell them to leave in place the current limits on fare increases, so that riders are protected from big and unpredictable fare hikes. read more..

An Inspiring Day in Washington: RI Energy and Environmental Leaders Day

Jun 25, 2015 at 11:54am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

One of the perks of living in the smallest state in the union is access. We’re never more than an hour from the Atlantic Ocean, a half hour from the Narragansett Bay, or five minutes from one of the many rivers that feed into the bay. And we’re just as close to our policymakers as we are to our spectacular natural resources. Tuesday was a prime example of that closeness. At the invitation of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, I and other members of the Rhode Island environmental community flew down to Washington, DC, on Tuesday to attend Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day. read more..

CLF Supporters Defend Public Transportation and Protections for MBTA Riders

Jun 24, 2015 at 11:20am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

When a new bill from Gov. Charlie Baker threatened to make public transportation more expensive and less reliable, CLF supporters and other transit activists took action. Thanks to your efforts, some of the worst provisions of this bill are no longer on the table. read more..

UPDATE: Take Action: Restore Energy Efficiency Funding in Maine

Jun 23, 2015 at 4:25pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

With one stroke of his veto pen, Governor Paul LePage planned to wipe out more than $35 million in funding for energy efficiency in Maine, which would have cost Mainers $200 million a year in lost savings and higher energy bills. But Maine's legislature stood strong, overriding the governor's veto and restoring the state's energy efficiency funding. read more..

Portsmouth to Proceed with Long-Awaited, New Sewage Treatment Plant

Jun 22, 2015 at 4:12pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Portsmouth, New Hampshire, City Council recently reaffirmed its commitment to build a new sewage treatment plant at the site of the present antiquated facility on Peirce Island. Completion of the long-awaited upgrade may still be a few years away, though it could have happened sooner if the City had elected to shift its plans to a location at the Pease Tradeport. But the decision to rebuild at Peirce Island is still good news for the Piscataqua River and Great Bay estuary, which can’t afford further delay. Portsmouth’s current sewage plant at Peirce Island is still failing to meet one of the most basic requirements of the Clean Water Act – so-called “secondary treatment” to reduce suspended solids and other pollution. While EPA has provided a ramp-up period to achieve read more…

This Week on – June 15-19

Jun 19, 2015 at 4:39pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

June 17 – Fishery Council Vote: Major Losses Overshadow Small Victories – The Council, which is charged with protecting New England’s fishing habitats and economies, finalized its votes on the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. After 12 years of work and the availability of the most sophisticated science modeling and analysis ever used by the region’s fisheries managers, the Council hammered the final nail into the coffin of what could have been a landmark victory for ocean habitat protection in New England. June 19 – NOAA Must Act to Save New England’s Fish and Habitat – The New England Fishery Management Council dealt a serious blow June 16 to the region’s ocean health with a vote to sharply reduce the amount of seafloor set aside to protect marine habitat for read more…

Senator Whitehouse Reintroduces Carbon-Tax Bill

Jun 18, 2015 at 10:34am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In December 2014, Rhode Island’s U. S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced an excellent carbon-tax bill into the Senate, and I wrote a generally laudatory blog about the legislation. On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Senator Whitehouse reintroduced a similar, but somewhat more refined, version of the bill, S-1548.  Here is a link to the text of the bill; and here are the high points (with the relevant page numbers for those who are interested). Senator Whitehouse’s bill imposes a tax on carbon emissions.  This alone is a very big deal, but there are two aspects that make it even better. First, the carbon tax starts at the hefty rate of $45 per ton, and ratchets up at the rate of 2% per annum, plus inflation.  [Page 4, line 21; page 15, read more…