Our Work in Maine

Maine’s inherent appeal rests with its distinct, expansive ruggedness that extends from the Great North Woods to the rocky coast. Our natural resources are treasured not only because they drive our economy but also for the outstanding recreational opportunities and unique habitats that they provide.

CLF’s work in Maine strives for a balance between harnessing the state’s natural resources and restoring, preserving, and improving them. This work takes many forms but always seeks solutions that are both good for the people of Maine and our environment.

How we heat and power our homes and transport people and goods has an enormous impact on our environment and economy. Maine has the largest percentage of homes in the United States that still heat with oil, and its transportation sector is the state’s single largest source of greenhouse gases. CLF is committed to developing new sources of renewable energy from our woods, wind, and waters and alternative modes of transportation that are more affordable and less polluting. We are also working to reduce our demand for energy and support more efficient, less expensive means to deliver that energy.

CLF considers each project independently and fights to improve or defeat ill-designed or unnecessary energy projects – whether from renewable or carbon-based sources. Thus, we provided critical support for the first generation of wind farms in Maine while simultaneously leading the battle to defeat a coal gasification plant on the shores of the Sheepscot River in Wiscasset.

CLF has been instrumental in improving water quality in Maine’s fresh- and saltwater bodies. We have fought to address various sources of water pollution, including industrial discharges, wastewater treatment facilities, storm water runoff from pavement, and the airborne deposition of mercury and other pollutants from coal-burning power plants in the Midwest. To accomplish these goals we use public-private collaborations and legal action, often setting new precedent. For example, we forced a paper company to install fish passage at its dams on the Presumpscot River to restore river herring, shad, and – someday – salmon. We also worked with public and private interests to address stormwater runoff around the Maine Mall, the most heavily paved area of the state.

The species that use these waters as habitat have also been a major focus of CLF’s work in Maine. Whether restoring groundfish like cod and halibut to marine waters or Atlantic salmon and herring to our mighty coastal rivers, CLF uses the courtroom, laboratory, and boardroom to employ practical solutions to maintain sustainable populations of these iconic, economically valuable species. Our work focuses on root causes of these problems: haphazard and sprawling development, inadequate infrastructure, outdated harvesting methods, and lack of political will.

Through strategic legal engagement and long-term commitment, CLF continues to ensure a thriving Maine environment.


Maine Advocacy Center
53 Exchange Street, Suite 200
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 210-6439

Sean Mahoney
VP and Director