Last night (February 27, 2015) Casco Baykeeper emeritus Joe Payne gave a talk and took part in a discussion at the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church on organizing a Penobscot Baykeeper Program. (For those who couldn't make it to the event, listen to the hourlong event at this link: (mp3))
Joe gave his strong support to organizing a Penobscot Baykeeper. A LONG overdue event, he says. The now retired Casco Baykeeper suggests a unique affiliates-styles Penobscot Baykeeper program that reflects the enormous size of the bay and and the diverse societies, economics and ecology of the different reaches.
This could be whichever divisions make sense: for example: East Penobscot Bay, west Penobscot Bay and the Fox islands & islesboro. Or upper bay/outer bay. Or even single harbors like Belfast Baykeeper.
Whichever it is. Joe said, each would benefit by being organized around people with great knowledge of and devotion to, their reach of Penobscot bay, Eventually a baywide leader would arise among the affiliates, he said, and a bay wide Penobscot Baykeeper might emerge. Or the affiliate system may prove to be an effective system on its own.
On raising money, Joe said, and all agreed, the money is out there. the businesses the philanthopists, the people all who would have a voice for the ecology and enviornment of their bay or their reach of Penobscot Bay.
In the discussion part of the meeting, Joe took questions from pesticide activist Jody Spear, right whale defender Mark Dietrich, retired school teacher David Smith a critic of the new hardrock mining rules of the Lepage administration, educator-on-sabbatical Linda Bowie on project-based teaching, deep ecologist Hugh Curran of Morgan Bay, a critic of excessive aquaculture
and meeting host Ron Huber of Friends of Penobscot Bay.
However it is done, all agreed, a Penobscot Baykeeper is LONG overdue!