Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

The Nature Conservancy

This week we’ve been reporting on climate change and its effects on Maine, but there are those who dispute that climate change is real or that it is caused by human activity. To help depolarize the debate, The Nature Conservancy has created a how-to guide for talking with family, friends or colleagues who doubt the reality of climate change.

State Director Kate Dempsey spoke with Maine Public’s Ed Morin for Here and Now:

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

In case you haven't noticed, heavy downpours are increasing in the northeast. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, they've increased by 70 percent since 1958. A heavy downpour is defined as a storm that produces two or more inches of water in 24 hours. And as temperatures warm, scientists are predicting that they'll become more frequent and intense.

Courtesy Central Maine Power

PORTLAND, Maine - Central Maine Power wants to re-route its proposed electric transmission line to avoid remote Beattie Pond at a cost of nearly $1 million.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In northern Maine, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs has for decades been trying to protect important tribal cultural resources, including traditional foods, from pollution. And warming temperatures are expected to further that threat. But the Micmacs and other Maine tribes are taking steps to adapt.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

This summer’s media coverage of several dogs that died shortly after swimming in water tainted by toxic algae has brought public attention to the phenomenon of algal blooms. Federal agencies consider them an emerging public health issue and a major environmental problem across the U.S.

Eric Gray / AP

In August, the Pew Research Center released a poll showing a sharp increase in the number of Americans who view climate change as a major threat to the well-being of the country ⁠— from 40 percent in 2013 to 57 percent now. And it is of particular concern to Democratic voters, as reflected by the emergence of climate change as a leading issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Humans have been tilling the soil for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, we've mostly been focused on what we take out of it - bushels of wheat, barrels of apples and so on. But as researchers learn more about how soil and its organic components actually work, it's become clear that farming has a role to play in climate change.

PORTLAND, Maine - High numbers of a species of jellyfish that can grow to huge sizes have been sighted in recent months in the Gulf of Maine and some of its beaches.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

All this week, Maine Public - and more than 250 other news outlets all around the world - are reporting stories on climate change as part of the  "Covering Climate Now" project. In Maine, scientists say that climate change means hot summers, warm winters, more rain, and less snow, along with a warming gulf of Maine, and that will affect the state's fisheries, its  economy and traditional ways of life.

Maine Public is participating in an international reporting initiative, #coveringclimatenow, to highlight the effects of climate change in the week leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, in New York City.

Nationwide, Concerns Grow Over Tainted Sewage Sludge Spread On Croplands

Sep 15, 2019
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

For more than 20 years, the eastern Michigan town of Lapeer sent leftover sludge from its sewage treatment plant to area farms, supplying them with high-quality, free fertilizer while avoiding the expense of disposal elsewhere.

Nick Sambides Jr. / Bangor Daily News

Researchers for the Atlantic Salmon Federation have captured and removed 53 Atlantic salmon from a New Brunswick river after an estimated 1,000 of the farm-raised fish escaped from a Cooke Aquaculture facility near Deer Island in the Bay of Fundy.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine company is promising to install $400,000 in odor-control equipment on petroleum storage tanks in response to neighborhood complaints and a proposed federal consent decree.

Pesticide Criticized In Bee Deaths Could Also Kill Birds

Sep 12, 2019
Margaret Eng/Saskatchewan Toxicology Centre / via Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Scientists studying a widely used pesticide say even small doses of the chemical can have crippling health effects on migrating birds, and it might be contributing to declines in their overall populations.

BOSTON - Commercial fishing of an important species of bait fish is going to be shut down in one of its key areas in New England for about six weeks.

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