PORTLAND, Maine — The New England Fishery Management Council is set to consider a request for an emergency action about the haddock catch limit in the Gulf of Maine.

The council's meeting takes place Wednesday. The council — an inter-governmental body that represents state and federal interests — is being asked to modify the annual catch limit for the 2014 fishing year for Gulf of Maine haddock. The action would be contingent on a July 2014 stock assessment.

A Washington, D.C., consulting group says a less costly, less damaging dredging plan would still allow Searsport's Mack Point to accommodate larger tankers and cargo ships.

  The Isleboro Islands Trust opposes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' dredging plan for the channel off Searsport and hired the firm Dawson and Associates to research alternatives.

In its report, released today in Augusta, Dawson also calls for further environmental and economic study before any dredging is allowed to move forward.

Tom Porter / MPBN

Later this month a special commission will convene in Maine to study ocean acidification and look for ways to mitigate it. It was established by legislation passed in April, making Maine the first state on the East Coast to enact a law specifically to study the threat posed by the changing chemistry of the seas. The lawmaker behind the measure says ocean acidification is a problem he witnesses on a daily basis.

Glennia / Flickr/Creative Commons

Several environmental leaders, scientists and business representatives in Maine have welcomed new rules for cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. This follows the announcement today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Supporters say Maine already has a head start on complying with the new rules.

Paul Schaberg marshals a small team of scientists, surveying a stand of red spruce in Colebrook for frost damage from last winter.

“So what are you guys seeing, are you seeing any injury yet?” he calls out.  

“We’re just seeing green needles,” hollers back one of his helpers.

“Happy, happy trees,” responds another.

You know it's springtime in Maine when the birds wake you up before your alarm clock does. Right now is peak season for the spring bird migration. That means bird watchers -- both amateurs and experts -- are out with their binoculars in woods and fields all over Maine. Jennifer Rooks headed out to Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park with ornithologist Jeff Wells.

When Jeff Wells heads into the woods, he hears things most of us don't.

"That super-high pitch sound, 'zzzz,' that's a blackburnian warbler," Wells says.

Not background noise. But discrete, individual voices.

Court documents in an old tax dispute indicate that the owners of a pipeline that crosses Maine - and could be used to transport tar sands oil - is several years past its retirement date.

The National Wildlife Federation has uncovered court documents from an old tax dispute that it says show yet another reason why any plan by the Exxon-owned Portland Pipe Line Corp. to transport tar sands oil through the pipeline that runs across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont is risky. Jim Murphy is senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation's northeast regional center.

  Steve Curwood is Executive Producer and Host of Public Radio International's environmental news magazine Living on Earth. He discussed the environmental issues in the news.

Host Jennifer Rooks speaks with:


Feb 20, 2014

  Just what happens to your paper, plastic, cans and bottles when you put them into the recycling bin?

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

George M. MacDonald, Director Sustainability Unit Bureau of Remediation Maine Department of Environmental Protection 

Victor Horton, Executive Director, Maine Resource Recovery Association 

Kevin Roche, General Manager, EcoMaine 

Jo Josephson, President of the Sandy River Recycling Association

Solar Storms

Jan 20, 2014

  Our panel discussed solar flares and geomagnetic storms and how they can - and do - affect life on earth - from the electric grid to satellite operations to aviation routes. And why is Maine legislature considering doing something about it.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Rep. Andrea Boland/D-Sanford 

Tom Popik/Founder, Foundation for Resilient Societies 

Max Riseman/Meteorologist 

Dr. Peter Pry/President of EMPACT America

  With winter here, now's a good time to make sure you're prepared as best you can be for a possible disaster. Representatives from the Red Cross and Maine Emergency Management Agency answered questions and gave advice on how best to prepare in case a disaster strikes.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by:

Lynette Miller, Communications Director,  Maine Emergency Management Agency

and Paul Clark, Red Cross Disaster Readiness team

  The debate over a new national park in Maine - hear the latest on a move to declare up to seventy-five thousand acres of Maine wilderness, wilderness that's home to some of the state's best fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, canoeing and views, part of a national park, and another seventy-five thousand acres a national recreation area.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by:

Lucas St. Clair, president of the board of Elliotsville Plantation Inc.

and Don Kleiner, Executive Director, Maine Professional Guides Association 

  What are the potential effects of climate change on big game and other wildlife. A just released report details the effects of a warming world on big game wildlife.

Host Keith Shortall was joined by 

Dr. Doug Inkley, a certified wildlife biologist with expertise in ecology and wildlife management, and is the National Wildlife Federation's Senior Scientist. 

Eric Orff, Sportsman and New Hampshire Outreach Consultant for National Wildlife Federation, and owner of Conservation Matters since 2007. 

  Humankind's obsession with living near the ocean. The good, the bad and the sandy.

Host Keith Shortall was joined by 

John Gillis: author of "Islands of the Mind"; "A World of Their Own Making: Myth Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values"; and "Commemorations". A professor of history emeritus at Rutgers University, he now divides his time between two coasts: Northern California and Maine.

Bees and Honey

Jun 11, 2013

  The important role bees play in Maine and the increase in beekeeping in our state.

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Dr. Frank Drummond, Univ. of Maine professor of insect ecology 

 and  Peter Cowin, the bee whisperer