Patty Wight/Maine Public

Recent reports of bacterial contamination in lakes caused in part by warm temperatures raise the question: What is the condition of the waters around us? We look at the water quality in our lakes, rivers and ocean, and how they measure up for human recreation and environmental health.


The mounting environmental crises American faces, including droughts, floods, hurricanes and coastal erosion, are profoundly connected and are affecting the lives of citizens in every corner of the country. We’ll learn the latest on the multitude of environmental issues facing the nation and hear about some practical solutions.


From open office space to green building materials, we’ll discuss how companies are creating a productive, healthful and forward-thinking office environment.

Maple syrup might be ubiquitous in pantries and pancake houses now, but new research suggests that might not always be the case. Climate change could eventually render the sticky stuff extinct.

The mill at Freedom Falls before the 2012 renovations begun and after.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Mon., June 18 at 9:30 pm

When environmentalist Tony Grassi takes a crazy gamble to rehab an abandoned Mill, he inspires both skepticism and hope that its revived bond with the river will breath new life into the town of Freedom, Maine. With the help of a colorful team of builders, masons, engineers and architects, he sets out to reconstruct a forgotten historical treasure. Can his 21st century vision of conservation re-power this rural community, which is now welcoming a new generation of young farmers?

Fishermen hoist a net full of pogies, also known as menhaden, into their boat along a cove in West Bath, Maine, on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. They use the fish as bait for lobstering and said they caught about 30,000 pounds.
Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo/File

A big decision about the future of a little fish is attracting the attention of ocean conservation groups.

Industry players are petitioning the Marine Stewardship Council to certify the menhaden fishery as sustainable. The London-based council’s sustainability certification is one of the most recognized seafood labels in the marketplace.

Maine and a Changing Environment

Apr 21, 2017

Maine Calling is live from Bowdoin College, Smith Auditorium, 1-2 pm. The general public is welcome to come join the audience.

From the peaks of Katahdin to the coastal shores, Maine offers a unique platform for studying and surveying almost all aspects of climate change.  We'll hear from experts on how a changing environment has affected the state, and what steps can be taken to mitigate the impacts of a warming climate. 

Guests:  Dave Carlon, associate professor of biology and director of the Coastal Studies Center

Jennifer Mitchell

Over the next few weeks, students from College of the Atlantic will be trekking across ice covered lakes and bushwhacking over frozen marshes on behalf of Acadia National Park. They’re on the trail of one of the park’s most fearsome predators.

The Gulf of Maine’s blue mussel population is all but disappearing in the inter-tidal zone, according to ecologists at the University of California, Irvine. The population has declined by more than 60% over the past 40 years.

Ten years ago, before Cascade Sorte became an assistant professor of ecology at the University of California, Irvine, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Massachusetts, where she started to hear rumors about blue mussels.

“So people were seeing blue mussels did not appear to be as abundant as they had once been,” says Sorte.

Paul Dobbins of Ocean Approved shows off the kelp grown off of Bangs Island in Casco Bay.

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Sat., Aug. 20 at 11:30 am

Follow a group of environmentalist, regulators and natural resource managers as they tour aquaculture farms along Maine’s coast.

Paul Williams/www.ironammonite.com

Forty years ago, Maine’s forests were devastated by a cyclical spruce budworm infestation that destroyed 25 million cords of white spruce and balsam fir trees. Forestry experts say another infestation is only a couple of years away, and while Maine is better prepared to respond, the economic impact would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine businesses would receive a 40% increase in funding for their participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade program known as RGGI under a bill advanced by the governor's office. But opponents say changing the RGGI distribution formula would actually result in increased business energy costs.

Winnipesaukee River Basin in New Hampshire

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., April 21 at 10:00 pm
Sat., April 23 at 11:00 am

Clearing the Water: The story of the Lakes Region Clean Waters Association is the story of citizen action and the importance of protecting the environment. It is the story of how a small, local group of active citizens provided leadership to the entire country in the very early days of the environmental movement.

The Lakes Region Clean Waters Association was founded in late 1969 to clean up New Hampshire's Lake Winnisquam. Through door-to-door campaigning, informational meetings, dogged research, good PR, law suits and threats of law suits, the Clean Waters Association challenged the City of Laconia to do something about its sewage discharge into the lake. The actions of this group led to the construction of a major state run waste water treatment facility that today serves 10 communities in the Lakes Region.

Clearing the Water: The story of the Lakes Region Clean Waters Association was produced by John Gfroerer of Accompany Films.

Visit the Accompany Films website for home video options and other information.

Group Looking Up at Chestnut Tree
MPBN/Susan Sharon

A century ago American chestnut trees dominated the eastern woodlands from Georgia to Maine. Growing straight and tall they were prized for timber. Wildlife depended on the nuts they provided every year.

People ate the chestnuts, too, scooping them up by the sackful every Fall. Then came an exotic blight accidentally introduced from Asia and the species was virtually wiped out.

That's why scientists are excited by a recent find in western Maine, a record-breaking find that is raising their hopes for the future.

The unusual discovery was made from the air. Dr. Brian Roth, a forest scientist with the University of Maine was surveying areas most likely to have habitat conditions favorable for chestnut trees and - voila! Flying over some woods in Lovell he saw a telltale sign.

"In July, when nothing else is blooming, this tree will have a large amount of white flowers in its crown," says Roth. "The old timers talk about the hillsides in the Appalachian Mountains being covered in flowers as if it was snow and so we were able to key in on the particular weeks that these were blooming and did find this tree."

This is not just any tree. This is an American chestnut tree worthy of the record books. And this week, a gaggle of reporters, photographers and members of the American Chestnut Foundation, trudged out on a rainy December day to see Brian Duigan of the Maine Forest Service confirm some crucial measurements.

Gina McCarthy (l.) U.S. Senator Angus King (r.)
Irwin Gratz/MPBN

The Environmental Protection Administration chief was in Maine this morning, trying to re-assure Maine's smaller farmers that a new, clean water rule won't affect them. But national farm groups are saying they don't buy it.