This Week on TalkingFish.org – April 7-11

Apr 11, 2014 at 4:48pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

April 8 - Court Issues Decisions on NOAA’s Fishing Rules - On Friday, the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC issued a pair of rulings concerning NOAA’s proposals for allowing new fishing in long standing protected areas and increasing catch levels above legal limits. The rulings were in response to challenges brought by Conservation Law Foundation with Earthjustice. April 10 - Is NOAA studying river herring to death? - If you’ve been following the (mis)management of river herring over the last few years, you may not even be surprised at the latest shenanigans of the NOAA fisheries officials: a delay tactic in the form of a “working group.” This powerless, unmanageably large, and unfairly stacked “Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG)” is purportedly meant to comprehensively address the multifaceted problems facing river herring. But it looks more read more…

#ACleanLakeStartsHere

Apr 9, 2014 at 2:54pm by  | Bio |  2 Comments »

Riding the single chair ski lift to 3637′ summit of General Stark’s Mountain at Mad River Glen is among my life’s great pleasures. The lift pulls you ever upward through the forest at treetop height. You sit comfortably in solitude soaking it all in. The experience imparts a sense of serenity that competes with the giddy anticipation of the long, fast descent that awaits. The best moment comes when your chair attains the elevation that affords you a sweeping panoramic view over the spine of the Green Mountains to the shimmering shores of Lake Champlain that lie beyond, stretching northward in the distance to the Canadian border. It is a compelling visual reminder that “The Lake Starts Here.” When the snow melts it flows downhill into one of the many Vermont rivers that feed into Lake Champlain. These rivers and read more…

Act Now to Support Maine Farms and Food!

Apr 8, 2014 at 5:01pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Maine legislature is considering a bill that would help Maine farms bring more of their food to our tables. “An Act To Support School Nutrition and Expand the Local Foods Economy” (LD 1431) supports Maine in producing and consuming more of its own food. Under a two-pronged approach, the bill gives crucial start-up capital to emerging food hubs that meet certain criteria and incentivizes public schools to source Maine-grown or -harvested foods. It’s a win-win for Maine. (You can read more about this bill in my previous blog post.) Please act now! The Maine legislature will vote on this bill any day. Please show your support for Maine farmers and fresh local food by calling members of Maine’s Appropriations Committee, Senate President Justin Alfond, and House Speaker Mark Eves, read more…

Did the King Give Away Maine’s Beaches or Not?

Apr 4, 2014 at 10:57am by  | Bio |  2 Comments »

This winter has been too long. Like many Mainers who live near the coast, I am dreaming of walking on the beach and exploring pools of water along our rocky coast. But after the State Supreme Court’s confusing decision about Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach, the question is: where can I go to do this? The part of the coast between the high tide mark and low tide mark – called the intertidal zone – includes Maine’s treasured stretches of sandy beaches and famous rocky shoreline. The intertidal zone provides many of us with recreation and solace, and forms the backbone of our summer tourist industry. The public has enjoyed Goose Rocks Beach for more than 100 years. Before the Supreme Court’s recent decision, the public could access Maine’s intertidal zone, read more…

Gender Justice, Environmental Justice

Apr 3, 2014 at 4:47pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

CLF is pleased to highlight the great work of our Vermont intern, Taylor L. Curtis, who is the lead and driving force behind a month-long symposium Sex, Gender, Expression and the First Amendment Project (SGE1) held at Vermont Law School from March 20–April 12 – exploring the intersection of free expression, sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Inspired by the artwork of Evie Lovett, the program includes panel discussions, a film, an art exhibit and Gayla, a celebration of the historic queer art form of drag. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, and transgender rights attorney and activist Jennifer Levi provide lively presentations and support for the event. “As Evie’s work inspired the creation of this Project,” Taylor L. Curtis said that her “hope is that read more…

Ocean Planning: The Path Forward for Deepwater Wind

Apr 3, 2014 at 4:04pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Thomas Edison, in his quest to produce a reliable, long-lasting source of light said, “Hell, there are no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something.” As environmental advocates we are constantly battling against this idea that rules and process delay progress and chill innovation. As advocates for ocean planning, we have argued that just the opposite is true – using good data, understanding how people and species use the ocean will eliminate conflict and facilitate the appropriate siting and development of offshore wind projects. This morning, at a hearing to decide the fate of Deepwater Wind’s proposed 30-megawatt wind project off the coast of Block Island, Coastal Resources Management Council member, David Abedon, used this Edison quote to suggest that Thomas was wrong about rules stifling innovation, at least in read more…

Transportation Matters for Maine

Apr 3, 2014 at 10:50am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Let’s face it, Maine is a big rural state (larger than the five remaining New England states taken together), where lowering greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles has been and will be a continuing challenge. CLF’s Maine office is actively engaged in three different projects with a wide range of partners who are determined to find practical solutions while improving the quality and sustainability of transportation services. For more than two decades, as the Portland area has grown and expanded, there has been talk of creating a transit district in southern Maine that could improve and expand customer service across the diversity of travel modes, including fixed-route and on-demand bus services, ferries, and passenger rail. CLF has a seat on the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System transit committee, and Public Policy read more…

A Fix for Natural Gas Leaks: Contact Your State Senator

Apr 3, 2014 at 8:30am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Literally thousands of natural gas leaks, invisible to the naked eye, are releasing methane across Massachusetts right now. That’s right, Massachusetts, home of innovation and the clean tech economy is also home to some of the oldest natural gas pipelines in the country. Even the State House sits atop some pipelines from the 1800s. The most recent count by local distribution companies like NStar, National Grid, and Columbia Gas, added up to 25,236 leaks. Too often these leaks erupt from their invisibility through explosions that shatter lives and devastate communities. At the same time they exact a heavy cost on customers who pay for the gas whether or not it makes it to their home or business–to the tune of $640 million to $1.5 billion between 2000-2011 according to a 2013 read more…

Patrick Administration’s New Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Poised to Rev Up Key Clean Energy Sector

Apr 2, 2014 at 3:03pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Last Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick announced the roll-out of a brand-new electric-vehicle (EV) rebate program in Massachusetts. At a celebration of the launch of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority’s electric transit bus fleet, Governor Patrick announced that the new $2 million initiative – the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOREV) program – will provide rebates for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. The MOREV program provides rebates of up to $2,500 for plug-in hybrids or EVs with 10 Kilowatt hours (KWh) or greater electric storage capacity (e.g., battery or fuel cell), or up to $1,500 for plug-in hybrids or EVs with less than 10 KWh electric storage capacity. These rebates will be available for new purchased vehicles or leased vehicles with a minimum three-year lease. Electric vehicles have much to read more…

You’re Fired! – I Quit!

Apr 2, 2014 at 1:07pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The owners of the troubled Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant chose to “quit” before they were “fired.” The recent regulatory decision by the Vermont Public Service Board highlights the long and troubled history that led most Vermonters to completely lose faith in the owner’s ability to responsibly manage the plant. In stark terms the Board recognized that the “sustained record of misconduct has been troubling to observe over the years.”  Specifically, the Board stated: “In its twelve years of operating in Vermont, Entergy VY has failed to comply with numerous Board orders and statutory requirements. It has failed to follow procedural requirements that protect the integrity of Board proceedings. The Company has engaged in unacceptable conduct that erodes public trust and confidence in its capacity to act in good faith read more…

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