Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press/file

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that a New York City woman was attacked and killed by a great white shark off the coast of Harpswell earlier this week. It’s the first recorded fatal shark attack in the state’s history.

Maine forestry officials say the source of a May wildfire that consumed 45 acres in Baxter State Park remains undetermined, but it was not caused by lightning.

Jun Dumaguing / Associated Press

The coast of Maine is home to a number of whales. Humpback, minkee and pilot whales are a familiar sight. Less common, however, is the beaked whale. Yet, just in the last few weeks, two beaked whales - a Blainville's beaked whale, which had never been seen here before, and a Sowerby's beaked whale - stranded and died on beaches in York and Phippsburg. Maine Public's Jennifer Mitchell spoke with Linda Doughty, director of Marine Mammals of Maine, about what's known about the unusual strandings at this point.

National Weather Service

Hot conditions since May coupled with very little rainfall have caused not just drier than average conditions in Maine, but actual drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Popular Portland Beach Closes After Sewage Discharges Into Casco Bay

Jul 20, 2020
Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public File

The popular East End Beach in Portland was closed Monday after a malfunction at the East End Wastewater Treatment Plant caused a wastewater discharge into Casco Bay, officials said.

Toby Talbot / AP Images

Maine is joining a coalition of 15 states in setting aggressive new goals to increase the number of electric trucks and buses on the region's roads. The states agreed this week to ensure that within a decade 30 percent of all new medium and heavy-duty vehicles sold in their jurisdictions are electric vehicles, and that 100 percent of those new sales be zero-emission only by the year 2050.

SANFORD, Maine - Powerful thunderstorms have pummeled parts of southern Maine, knocking down trees and leaving some people without electricity.

BANGOR, Maine - The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says reports of dead fish in four northern lakes are no cause for alarm.

Microplastics Are Harming The Gulf Of Maine’s Baby Lobsters, Study Finds

Jul 13, 2020
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/via Bangor Daily News

A study by scientists at a marine research laboratory indicates that plastic pollution in the Gulf of Maine likely is creating problems for the lobster population.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Every year, several thousand adventurous souls set out to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. But this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, thru-hikers have been advised to put their dreams on hold.

Some have refused.

That refusal has created tension between those who want to push personal boundaries and those who say there should be limits on public safety.

Courtesy Campobello Whale Rescue

PORTLAND, Maine - A worldwide conservation organization says the status of a rare species of whale has worsened to the point where it deserves greater attention from the global environmental community.

Courtesy Maine Audubon

SACO, Maine - State and federal authorities are investigating two cases of vandalism of nesting enclosures that are designed to help rare shorebirds in Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

The state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands has signed a revised deal with Central Maine Power to lease a public parcel for the utility’s controversial power line through western Maine. It makes some key changes, but opponents say under the state constitution, the lease still needs to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature.

Mark Fisher / National Geographic

To better understand the forces and effects of climate change, National Geographic funded a mission last year to Mount Everest. The expedition was documented in a special called "Expedition Everest," which will air Tuesday night on the National Geographic Channel. The lead scientist on the expedition was the University of Maine's Paul Mayewski, who heads UMaine's Climate Change Institute.

Caroline Losneck

A nonprofit tech company has released a powerful online tool for analyzing a property’s flood risks now and into the future.