Maine Congresswomen Say Sectors are Working for Local Fishermen

Apr 5, 2011 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Portland Head Light, marking the southwest entrance to Portland Harbor (Photo Credit: Maine Department of Conservation)

The success of the new sectors approach to groundfish management, in which fishermen fish in community-based cooperatives (“sectors”) allocated a share of the annual catch limit in the fishery, is becoming more and more recognized as politicians such as Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree are speaking out in favor of the new system. Today, Congresswoman Pingree issued a press release declaring that the new sector regulations are working and noting that under the sector system, revenue for Maine fishermen is up over the previous year. The press release, which can be read in full here, also notes that Congresswoman Pingree spoke with Eric Schwaab, the top federal fisheries regulator, to reinforce her support for the current system and ask him to keep the regulations in place. A recent article in the Portland Press Herald also offered evidence of sectors’ success with quotes from a Maine sector fisherman saying that the new program has allowed fishermen to earn more money and reduce bycatch. The article also noted that Maine Senator Olympia Snowe recently asked federal regulators to continue with the sector system. CLF has long been on the record in support of Amendment 16 and the sector management plan it created, and it’s certainly encouraging to hear our local leaders and fishermen agree that sectors are helping to rebuild New England’s groundfish stocks and sustain its coastal communities.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your MA, ME and NH Senators to Stand Up for Clean Air!

Mar 16, 2011 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Take a deep breath. Are you taking your clean air for granted? Don’t.

Today, the EPA proposed a rule to reduce hazardous emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants, such as mercury, arsenic, heavy metals, acid gases and dioxins, which cause thousands of deaths every year. This “air toxics rule” finally implements instructions that Congress gave to EPA in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. This much overdue effort, which builds upon decades of Clean Air Act implementation by EPA, protects the public health and serves as a reminder that if the EPA was stripped of its authority to enforce the Clean Air Act, essential safeguards like this wouldn’t exist.

The Clean Air Act is the most successful law our country has ever had to protect public health, preserve our environment and boost our economy. However, the key tool to ensure that protection is in jeopardy. Our senators are facing mounting pressure from our country’s biggest polluters to block the EPA’s ability to do its job, leaving harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources unchecked and threatening the health of our families and communities. Tell your senators that you expect them to protect you and your family, not big polluters.

New England states have shown leadership in passing progressive environmental laws to protect the health and homes of New Englanders. But it’s not just about us. Our region bears the brunt of pollution from power plants in the Midwest transported here by prevailing winds, which adds to pollution produced locally. Without federal EPA regulation, New England will remain vulnerable to harmful emissions literally blowing into our region.

Tell your senators today that you don’t take clean air for granted and that they shouldn’t either. Ask them to defend the EPA’s ability to do its job and enforce the Clean Air Act. Our region and our nation’s health, economy and environment depend on it.