Apr 16, 2016

Maine Port Safety Forum 4/13/16 Audio:mass rescue operations, underwater mapping

Rescued Titanic passengers aboard the Carpathia
On April 13, 2016 the Maine/New Hampshire Port Safety Forum was held in Belfast, Maine 
Topics included a review of  mass rescue operations for passenger vessels, Underwater mapping update by NOAA, and more.  

Here is audio from those two presentations. Recordings of the rest uploaded as time permits

Lt Cdr Meghan McGovern, NOAA Office of Coast Survey 

Latest NOAA underwater mapping projects Penobscot Bay etc 13 minutes

Arn Heggers USCG Preparedness Specialist
Mass rescue operations Part 1 6min 40sec
Mass rescue operations Part 2 9min 30sec
Mass rescue operations Part 3. 4min 2sec

More audio to be uploaded.  check back!

Apr 10, 2016

Penobscot Watershed Conference, April 9, 2016 FULL AUDIO

NORTHPORT. On Saturday April 9th, the Point Lookout Resort on Ducktrap Mountain hosted the Penobscot Watershed Conference

People around Penobscot Bay's 8,500 square mile watershed came together to discuss and give presentations on  the myriad threats to Penobscot Bay and its River watershed,  Listen below to audio from this important assemblage of 23 speakers, fielding questions from  among the  hundreds of interested people attending. People who've variously devoted their lives to protecting, understanding, 
worshipping, exploiting and/or enjoying Maine biggest watershed.and bay: Penobscot!
1. Butch Philips & Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Traditional Opening Ceremony,11 min

2.  Paul Anderson,  UME biologist & Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis Welcoming remarks 5 min

3 Curt Spalding, US EPA Region 1 Administrator   14 min

4.  Chellie Pingree  US Congresswoman, 1st District 16 min

5.  Robert Steneck. Keynote Speaker 27min: Marine Scientist 26 min.Theme: "Navigating the Penobscot River through turbulent times toward an uncertain future: a 4,000 year retrospective."

PART 2 "Restoring Fishery Health, Projects, Big and Small"
6. Gordon Russel, Lower Penobscot Watershed Coalition
7. Laura Rose Day, 27 min Penobscot River Restoration Project
8. Alex Abbott, 20 min  US Fish and Wildlife Service
9. Matt Bernier, 19 min NOAA Funding Opportunities, the Habitat Blueprint

PART 3 "Current Uses of the Bay"
10 Carl Wilson, 14 min Maine DMR
11.Cyrus Sleeper 13min 23sec So.Thomaston lobsterman (noise during recording)
12 Taylor Allen, 10min 38sec Rockport Marine
13 Barry King. 14min 48sec Schooner Mary Day.
14 David Gelinas. Penobscot Bay & River Pilots. 13min30sec

PART 4. "Indicators of Environmental Health: the Bay."
4A. "Dynamic Conditions and Foodweb of the Penobscot Estuary"
15,Lauren Sahl, 12 minutes Maine Maritime Academy
16. Rachel Lasley-Rasher 10min 46sec, UMaine
17. Karen Wilson, 11min 38sec USM
19.James Gilbert, UME, Seals. 10 minutes

4B. "How Healthy IS the Bay?"
20. Larry Mayer UMaine Biogeochemistry of the River & Bay 12 min
21. Keri Kaczor, ME Seagrant/Coop Ext 12min 43sec
22. James Wilson UMaine River & Bay restoration and fishery economics

4C. "Citizen & other Monitoring Programs"
23. Christine Tilberg GOMCME 5min 44sec

 Islesboro Islands Land Trust  media release after the conference 

Mar 30, 2016

Big Gas. Rockland planning board reviews, approves gas ordinance changes

On March 29, 2016  the Rockland Planning Board reviewed amended, then approved the latest draft of  proposed changes to two ordinances sections to set standards that Big Gas or any other power-generator wannabees would have to meet if they wanted to set up in that city.  The drafts will be considered twice by the city council   Listen below by clicking on the meeting links.
PDF copies of draft ordinances used at the meeting  draft chapter 16     draft chapter 19  

Audio of 3/29/16 planning board meeting  meeting 
    Intro and Chapter 16 Site Plan Review

  2. Chapter 19  emissions changes  sec 19- sec 302 to 19-309
  A. Broke into sections Part 1  10min30sec  ** Part 2 10 minutes  Part 3  12minutes  **  Part 4  7minutes  

More to come(Noise) 

(1) *One chapter 16 change the PB  adopted was based on my urging them to add notifying the abutting townswhen applications recvd  to the first paragraph - not just abutting property owners.  Ended up  adopting notifying the county about proposals for utility scale gasplants - they would have to deal with emergency management if it blew or otherwise required evacuation disaster response etc  With the understanding  that the county would sent  the notifications, if any, to Rockland's abutting town's  emergency planners.

(1) Some of the board members said that they felt the proposed changes to Zoning and Performance Standards were stringent enough to deter most would be gas burners especially those unwilling to be smaller and meet tighter limits than they'd face in other towns.  Some thought  deter ALL gas wannabees

Mar 27, 2016

Rockland Big Gas/Big Energy draft ordinance public Q&A session (AUDIO) 3/24/16

On March 24, 2016 area residents gathered at Rockland City Hall  to quiz the panel drafting a city power plant ordinance, for both gas power plants and solar farms.  
Courier Gazette coverage of the meeting

The panel said that it is working to "beef up" the city's performance standards for all energy  applications, not only Big Gas

Residents raised a variety of concerns  Below listen to audio recordings of the meeting. More to come

Intro slide show, in process 15min
Q&A 1  Power plant sizes 8min 38sec
Q&A 2 Water Use. 8min 10sec
Q&A 3 Water use 2. 8min 49sec
Q&A 4 Site Use 8min10sec
Q&A 5 Water Use 14min 30sec

Rockland Breakwater - Texters beware!

Rockland Breakwater - texters beware.
Many an ankle has been broken by incautious visitors . 
See image of full causeway (arrow points to  site below)
Closeup of above, looking toward land

Upper end of the main intertidal fissure
Closeup of above

The one below almost got me when I wasn't looking.


Another foot catcher

Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat from Nonfishing Activities in the NE US. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-NE-209

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-209

Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat 
from Nonfishing Activities 
in the Northeastern United States  

Table of Contents

Mar 24, 2016

Conserving Inshore Juvenile Cod Habitat via HAPCs. Key government and academic guidance documents

Habitat Area of Particular Concern, for Inshore Juvenile Atlantic Cod

Orange = Inshore juvenile cod HAPC.
Offshore coral canyon HAPCs not shown .
1. Contacts
2. Summary: What's an HAPC?
3. What are Land based impacts to HAPCs?
4. Selection process
5. Maps of 2 alternatives for inshore juvenile cod HAPC. (MLW to 20 meters is Council's preference
6. Land-based impacts to inshore juvenile Atlantic Cod HAPC
7. Research and conservation of inshore juvenile atlantic cod habitat area of particular concern

1.  Contacts  
Michelle Bachman NEFMC fishery analyst  mbachman@nefmc.org   978/465-0492 ext 120

*  Andy Applegate NEFMC Ecosystem based fishery management   (978) 465-0492 (ext. 114)  email:  aapplegate@nefmc.org

* Ron Huber, Friends of Penobscot Bay  ron.huber@penbay.org 207-691-7485

2. Summary  Habitat Areas of Particular Concern 
HAPCs are being delineated in the waters around the American coasts. New England Fishery Management Council-delineated HAPCs are  specific marine locations that fishermen, academics, the New England Fishery Management Council NEFMC, NOAA and NGOs come to agreement  as being  particularly essential habitats during some point in the lives of the finfish and shellfish species that commercial and recreational marine fisheries capture.

NEFMC's Description of HAPCs "The intent of the habitat areas of particular concern designation is to identify those areas that are known to be important to species which are in need of additional levels of protection from adverse impacts, "Designation of habitat areas of particular concern is intended to determine what areas within EFH should receive more of the Council's and NMFS' attention when providing comments on federal and state actions, and in establishing higher standards to protect and/or restore such habitat".  NOAA's definition of Habitat Ares of Particular Concern 

3. Land based impacts to HAPC. 
 NOAA Tech Memo Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat from Nonfishing Activities  in the Northeastern United States

4. Selection Criteria  and decision matrix To become listed as an HAPC the location must meet  a majority of these criteria. See Habitat
1a. Importance of Historic Ecological Function 
1b. Importance of Current  Ecological Function
2.  Sensitivity to Anthropogenic Stresses
3.  Extent of Current or Future Development Stresses
4.  Rarity of the Habitat Type

4. Delineator. The New England Fishery Management Council is responsible for identifying HAPCs in the waters from Rhode Island to the Canadian border, from the low tide shores to the entire American EEZ portion of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, as well as the Nantucket Shoals south of Cape Cod 

Inshore Juvenile Atlantic Cod HAPC  
In 1999  NEFMC first concluded  that the shallow waters of New England meet all of the criteria except (4) Rarity of the habitat type. Evaluations since then have confirmed their earlier conclusions.  

The  Council found that the shallows of our New England coasts:
1a. Have well documented historic ecological functions for juvenile atlantic cod and their ecological partners,
1b. Have well documented  current ecological functions for juvenile atlantic cod and their ecological partners,
2. Are sensitive to anthropogenic stresses, such as  dredging, wastewater discharges, pesticide runoff
3. Are under stress from development, with more development pressures anticipated.
4. Are a common habitat type. Maine has more than 5,000 miles of shoreline, the amount within 65 feet of shore must be a large number of square miles

In 2004 the council prepared a review of the known habitat needs of inshore juvenile atlantic cod 
In 2006  the council  examined the inshore juvenile cod HAPC and looked at other  HAPC proposals aroudn the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank (72pg pdf)
In 2013 the NEFMC DEIS on HAPCs refined its proposal for the Juvenile Atlantic Cod Habitat Area of Particular Concern 

Alternatives: The Council set two alternatives. These are: mean low water to either the 10 meter  or 20 meter depth contour,. The Council's preferred alternative is the 20 meter depth contour alternative   

Note: Friends of Penobscot Bay supports the low water to 10 meter depth contour as most vulnerable to landbased impacts, as well as easy to delineate. FOPB feels that 20 meter depth contour covers habitats so much  less impacted as to be 

Map of 2014 New England inshore juvenile cod HAPC

http://penbay.net/hapc/hapc_10_inshore juvcod_map.jpg  2000 to present

Alternative inshore juvenile cod HAPC map  0 to 10 meters    closeup of the ten meter alternative

Reports and research relevant to the inshore Juvenile Atlantic cod HAPC & HAPCs generally

*   Read 2016 presentation on offshore corals protection  given by Michelle Bachmann of NEFMC at the 2016 Maine Fishermen's Forum. (pdf)

List of  landbased threats to inshore juvenile atlantic cod   Text version of list

HAPC guidance on Human Activities that Impact Fish Habitat.- MidAtlantic Fishery Mgmt Council

Impacts to Marine Fisheries Habitat from Non-fishing activities in the NE US

Hatchling cod need soft microplankton for first food  GLOBEC 1998
 * Text version Scott M. Gallager, Jeff Van Keuren and Phillip Alatalo. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.1998

Spatial Distribution of Ages 0 and 1 Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) off the Eastern Massachusetts Coast, 1978-1999, Relative to ‘Habitat Area of Special Concern’ (based on inshore trawl surveys)

Proposal to Establish a Marine Sanctuary in Midcoast Maine. 1989. Part 1  Part Two

Mar 17, 2016

Big Gas 3/22/16. Rockland's latest draft of utility scale powerplant ordinance. Plus Index & Links

Rockland, Maine is lobster capitol of Maine. This small city on the western shore of  Penobscot Bay is in the throes of developing a powerplant ordinance geared toward  gasburning powerplants. Big Gas is having a big say in its contentsPlease take a look at the March 22, 2016 draft  (below) and tell us what you think.  NOTE: Coming EventMarch 24, 2016   Public review of latest version of the energy ordinances..

At issue: Gas dealmaker Energy Management Inc has been pushing a plan to build a fueled-by-tanker-truck gas power plant in Rockland. This would be follwed by  running gas pipelines  along the western shore of Penobscot Bay to Belfast.  Recent media coverage

March 22, 2016 version.
AIndex of  draft changes  below.  Existing Chapter 16 Site Plan Review  and Ch 19 Zoning and Planning 
3/22/16 Changes to Chapter 16 of Rockland Ordinance
C. 3/22/16 Changes to Chapter 19 of Rockland Ordinance

Earlier version:
February 23, 2016 version of draft utility powerplant ordinance changes

2/23/16 Changes to Chapter 16 of Rockland Ordinance Site review and planning    yellow=most recent edits, red=previous changes 

2/2316_Changes to Chapter 19 of Rockland Ordinances  (Performance standards)  
yellow=most recent edits, red=previous changes 

Fr left:Pro-gas Rockland city officials:city atty Beal. Mayor Ruf,
 city mgr Chaousis & City Councilor Clayton (facing away)

Hear the above two  draft documents discussed & further amended  at the 3/10/16  Rockland planning board meeting   Audio mp3s)