Aug 24, 2015

Second Battle of Penobscot Bay: Fierce fighting along the western bay corridor.

Struggle for the bay.
In the West: Wins, stalemates, losses.

Searsport, Belfast Rockport and Rockland are most in contention by Big Energy and Big Sprawl, or are in imminent risk of same. Let's go down the list 

Searsport.
WIN *GAC Chemical has vowed to, by the close of this year, remove acid wastes from their Stockton Harbor shore and create a neutralizing lime trench between the tainted slope and the intertidal beach below. This first serious response to our request - repeated on and off since 1998 - may markedly reduce the impact of Maine's worst ocean acidification source. In exchange GAC gains a "pollution pardon" for those particular deposits next to the abandoned acid plant. We'll give them a pat on the head, too.

LOSS * The Mack Point Wood is reeling from fragmentation caused when natural coastal forest and soils along its southwestern reach was replaced with acres of tarp and cable clad salt piles taller than the trees they replaced. by an enterprising landowner who deforested more than 15 acres.

LOSS * A shredded automobile export operation named Grimmel has gotten an annual town permit to operate. This having followed fast trackage by Maine DEP and DMR or their respective sign-offs on the project. There is now only the grim wait.

*IN PLAY State officials running the Searsport megadredge application have fast tracked it by rejecting an effort to have the Maine Board of Environmental Protection assume jurisdiction. The dreaded Patty Aho, via her subchief Suzanne "the Butcher" Miller of the eastern Maine DEP office, is certain to approve, and Islesboro will have to once again massively increase its cash burn rate to equip its Warriors of the Law with the litigatory weapons needed to combat both the LePage administration AND the Obama Administration.

Rockland

* Big Gas. IN PLAY The Carbonistan initiative from Boston to gas Rockland has been challenged but only slowed; a northern gas front is equally likely to open up the bay coast by way of Belfast. The Rockland site is a stone's throw from the city schools and athletic fields. It is even closer to the Little League Field.
A public information on the gas plant /pipeline proposal meeting was held. The gasser wannabees were not there, The public was, or course FORBIDDEN TO SPEAK, but could submit questions on little pieces of paper that had to pass through at least two censors before being aired. Mysteriously, few questions critical of the proposal made it to the moderator's microphone. Thus passeth democracy, one more razor cut to the body politic.

Belfast IN PLAY. Will Belfast save the bay by fending off a predicted northern gas invasion? (See rockland, below) Or will the Sprawl Army gas Belfast, then press south along the western Bay shore, linking up with a north expanding pipeline from Rockland? A pincer movement, spreading suburbanization and urbanization, and all their ecological disruptions in its wake? Belfast has a soul. Will it rise to the occasion. Time will tell.

Rockport
* WIN South coast forests of Clam Cove saved from subdivision by land sale to unidentified 1%ers for wooded family compound.

IN PLAY *Ecomapping of western Rockport Harbor from its coastal forests to its rocky submerged cliffs moves forward on two fronts:
(1) A snapshot comparison of the present with Rockport as documented in Beedy Parker's seminal 1984 book "A natural history of the Camden and Rockport area,covering weather patterns, geological composition of the land and the varieties of plant and animal life found here."

(2) IN PLAY A continuing log of marine and tidal and shallow subtidal observations of selected areas of the harbor using standard estuary documentation gear. Seasonally Identify the species mix of the present Rockport Harbor from several points.

Around the Bay. IN PLAY
No surer way to ruin the bay's rich ecosystem of microflora and microfauna in their shallow water haunts than by replacing the natural forests, swamps and meadows above them with asphalt and cement pavements, with roofs and chemlawns, transforming that tea into a poisonous iridescent technobrew called "stormwater".

Because that sort of gutting of the bay's coastal forests tends to take place in bites, it is important to preemptively document the existing environmental and ecological conditions of today's shoal ecosystems rimming the bay's coasts, from just below the tide to shoals edge edge of the shoal. This prior to their being impacted by tainted stormwater runoff.

PENOBSCOT BAY NEEDS YOU!   if you would like to help video document our bay's shallow water habitats call Ron at the Friends of Penobscot Bay at 207-593-2744 or email coastwtch@gmail.com

Or if you'd otherwise like to help take care of Maine's biggest bay and the wild atlantis below its surface! A bay is a terrible thing to waste.

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