Faces of Ocean Planning: Rebecca Clark Uchenna of the Island Institute

Feb 8, 2016 at 12:05pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

“Island life” is pretty unique. For some islanders, day-to-day life means relying on ferries to the mainland to go to work or buy groceries and other household goods. For many others, livelihoods depend on occupations deeply rooted in the sea – from fishing, to owning marine-oriented businesses, to preserving local maritime history and culture. Each island community is different, but they all share one thing in common: the vitality and productivity of the surrounding ocean is essential to ensuring that their island community continues to thrive. In that regard, their stake in an ocean management plan is very high. Rebecca Clark Uchenna is part of the Marine Programs Team at the Island Institute, which helps sustain island and coastal communities in Maine. By understanding the complex challenges, needs, and priorities associated read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – February 1-5

Feb 5, 2016 at 5:01pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 1 – A Cartoon Crash Course – Thanks to the Pew Charitable Trusts and cartoonist Jim Toomey, the artist behind “Sherman’s Lagoon,” we now have ten animated, and even funny, videos that help explain some of the more complex concepts and actions that go into protecting our oceans. Protecting Ocean Ecosystems, by Talking Fish. February 2 – Fish Talk in the News – Tuesday, February 2 – In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, WBUR features Cashes Ledge; NE groundfishermen plan for at-sea monitoring costs; Maine shrimp hits the market thanks to spawning study; and FDA bans imports of GM AquAdvantage salmon. In the News, by Talking Fish. February 4 – NOAA Study: Climate Change Threatens Important Marine Fish and Invertebrate Species – Yesterday, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration released a major read more…

Right Whales and Cashes Ledge: How to Make a Good Thing Last

Feb 5, 2016 at 4:46pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In late January, North Atlantic right whales scored a big win when the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the critical habitat for the endangered whale from 4,500 square nautical miles to 28,000 square nautical miles. The original area included only a portion of Cape Cod Bay and an area east of Nantucket near the Great South Channel. This major expansion adds almost all of the Gulf of Maine, east to Georges Bank, and south all the way to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Gulf of Maine expansion includes Cashes Ledge – an area known for its rich biodiversity and abundance of fish and marine mammals and a place that CLF has been fighting to permanently protect for years. This is great news for the North Atlantic right whale – the world’s most read more…

Local Action, Global Impact

Feb 5, 2016 at 4:35pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Taking action to tackle climate change comes naturally to New Englanders. We spend a lot of time outdoors and we see first-hand that our climate is changing. Many of us burn wood to heat our homes. We’ve been doing this for generations. It just makes sense. Wood is a local fuel that is available and low cost.  Many of us also grow vegetables that feed us and our neighbors. Local food tastes better, isn’t trucked here from far away, and it always delights us to see the bounty of our humble backyards. It all seems part of our natural frugality and common sense. On broader matters of energy, the same ethic holds. New England states are leaders on energy efficiency. While other regions are busy selling more electricity and producing read more…

CLF Takes Another Major Step Towards a Cleaner Lake Champlain

Feb 3, 2016 at 10:00am by  | Bio |  2 Comments »

Today marks the end of a two-year process CLF initiated to address farm runoff to Lake Champlain. Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, has signed the revised decision that lays out the framework for farmers to implement Best Management Practices to help meet our clean water goals. The new program negotiated by the Agency of Agriculture and CLF is critical to achieving the unprecedented phosphorus reduction targets set out in the pollution budget for Lake Champlain. It also provides a timeframe of implementation that allows farmers to plan ahead for any steps that they might have to take to reduce runoff from their operations. Click here to read more about the new agricultural program negotiated by CLF.

Coal-Fired Power Plant Owner Shows No Commitment to Bridgeport or the Environment

Feb 2, 2016 at 1:31pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

A little over a year ago, the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, home of one of the last coal-fired power plants in New England, passed a resolution calling for the plant’s owner, PSEG, to shut down the 50-year old behemoth and rehabilitate the property for its next use. But PSEG decided instead to double-down in Bridgeport, announcing it would add a second fossil-fuel plant on the same property and that it would keep burning coal “for as long as it makes financial sense.” The City then formed a Citizens Action Committee (CAC) to investigate. Last September, the Committee issued its report, calling on PSEG to do the right thing: shut down the outdated coal-fired plant, which continues to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of poisonous pollutants and greenhouse gases into read more…

UPDATE: Misguided Canadian Pipeline Proposal Would More Than Double Oil Tanker Traffic Through the Gulf of Maine

Feb 2, 2016 at 12:35pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Update: On Jan. 21, 2016, the Montreal Metropolitan Community – representing 3.9 million Canadians – said it will not support the Energy East proposal, delivering a substantial blow to the project. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will not approve projects without local support, so the move by the MMC puts the new prime minister in the spotlight.  This is the third in a three-part series on the recent oil-related developments in Canada – and what they mean for New England. You can read the first blog, introducing the problem with Nova Scotia’s new exploration leases and the threats they pose to endangered whales here. The second blog in the series unpacks the long-term, big picture impacts for oil exploration in New England.  TransCanada, of Keystone XL infamy, submitted a revised application recently for its Energy read more…

Update on the Invenergy Power Plant

Jan 29, 2016 at 5:19pm by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

The Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB), which is considering a proposal to permit a new 900 MW fossil fuel power plant in Burrillville, Rhode Island, held two meetings this month. January 12 Preliminary Hearing On January 12, the EFSB held a Preliminary Hearing in the Docket. At the Preliminary Hearing, Invenergy presented a broad overview of its proposal (though many more details and much additional information remains to be fleshed out before this case is over). At the Preliminary Hearing, CLF’s Motion to Intervene in the docket was granted; this makes CLF a full participant in the litigation.  More specifically, CLF will present opposition to the Invenergy proposal based on three major issues:  (1) carbon emissions and climate impacts; (2) the fact that the plant is not needed for grid reliability; read more…

This Week on TalkingFish.org – January 25-29

Jan 29, 2016 at 3:40pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

January 25 – Misguided Canadian Pipeline Proposal Would More Than Double Oil Tanker Traffic Through the Gulf of Maine – TransCanada, of Keystone XL infamy, submitted a revised application recently for its Energy East proposal, a pipeline that would transport millions of gallons of dirty tar sands oil to New Brunswick for refining. That refined petroleum product would then be shipped through the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine, and on to locations around the world. The proposal significantly increases the risk of an oil spill in the Gulf of Maine, which would cause calamitous and lasting damage to its fragile ecosystems. By Sean Mahoney, Protecting Ocean Ecosystems. January 29 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, January 29 – In this edition of Fish Talk in the News, a read more…

Gov. Baker’s Clean Energy & Climate Plan Merely Skims the Surface of Meaningful Climate Action

Jan 29, 2016 at 2:04pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Last week, the Baker Administration released its first update to Massachusetts’ Clean Energy and Climate Plan. This plan – a requirement of the state’s landmark climate law, the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) – is intended to guide the state in reaching its statewide emissions limits of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. In its updated plan, the Administration confidently asserts that it will meet the state’s aggressive emissions reduction goal on schedule. But, up until now, all signs showed that the Administration was NOT on track to reach that goal. A recent analysis by the Global Warming Solutions Project showed that, by 2020, Massachusetts would not reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20% below 1990 levels – trailing the mandated target by 5%. The Administration’s strategy to make read more…