Apr 9, 2018

Maine's Rocky Coastlines as juvenile cod habitat

On January 3, 2018, the New England Fishery Management Council designated new Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC)for inshore juvenile cod. A recent NOAA description

The HAPC applies to areas of gravelly, rocky or vegetated habitats and adjacent sandy areas in coastal waters from Maine to Rhode Island, from the high tide line out to the 20 meters depth contour.


Defined as pavement unless sampling determines less than 10% pebble-gravel content.

NEFMC staff infolved with HAPCs 
Michelle Bachman (lead)NEFMC fishery analyst  mbachman@nefmc.org   978/465-0492 ext 120
*  Andy Applegate (asst) NEFMC Ecosystem based fishery management   (978) 465-0492 (ext. 114)  email: aapplegate@nefmc.org

While not rare in the Gulf of Maine, these habitats need special protection for three reasons:
* They provide young-of-the-year and year-old cod shelter from predators and important feeding habitat.
* They are particularly sensitive to human activities.
* They are also important habitats for many other fish.

These places need to be located and documented so that govt decisionmakers can block would be coastal development projects that would send sending polluted runoff and silt into these areas. Join a mapping team this spring and summer!

AMTRAK to Rockland plan would use loudest, worst polluting RR engines allowed.

From an alert sent out by RENEW Rockland, 

The Amtrak Downeaster service has been proposed to extend to Rockland.   AT ISSUE that the Amtrak trains that would head to Rockland are dirtier worse polluters

According to local environmental NGO Renew Rockland, and the US EPA they would be some of the oldest and dirtiest trains allowed by law. Further, they will bring  significant noise, fumes and vibrations to the Rockland residential neighborhood that they will terminate in.

Dirty Engines US EPA regulates emissions from locomotives It has 5 tiers of emission standards that a train must meet - Tiers 0 though 4. The Amtrak trains that they will run to Rockland are Tier 0: the worst. 

 RENEW Rockland has been voicing concerns for sev eral months about the dirty trains  Including Rockland city councilors and the City Manager.

"Everyone who we’ve spoke with has expressed understanding and agreement that these are serious concerns." a member of Renew Rockland said.  But we have just found out that the City Council, by way of our City Manager, has sent a letter to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) expressing the City's“full support” of the new service. 

"There is no mention of idling concerns in this letter - there is no request for mitigation of impact from noise or fumes — nothing at all has been asked from this company, in return for the City’s support" The Renew Rockland said. 

There has also been no commitment made by NNEPRA to take any steps to limit exposure to residents from fumes or noise. They have not even committed to follow similar, and minimal, protocol that the Eastern service had (backing out of the residential neighborhood in between pick-up/drop-off of passengers) to ensure that any idling is kept to a minimum. 

There are some very simple steps that they could take to significantly cut down on residential exposure — and with relatively minor investment they could greatly reduct impact —  but unless the City makes requirements of their operation, we are left with little to no protection or regulations to protect us from impact on our health and homes.

Concerned about the lack of public process in regards to this issue? — please send a letter to council (you can send it to Stuart Sylvester our City Clerk : ssylvester@rocklandmaine.gov ).

Also  The NNEPRA board is seeking public comment for the February 26th board meeting. **** Please consider writing them a letter if you have any concerns at all about this service that you would like to see addressed, please email the board directly (below) and ‘cc the Executive Director, Patricia Quinn (Patricia@nnepra.com).

Mar 31, 2018

Webinar audio: "Where and Why: Citizen Science in Ocean/Coastal Acidification Monitoring" 3/30/18

On March 30, 2018, Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN) held a webinar on  "Training for Citizen ScientistsListen below to audio mp3s of this hour long webinar.   Watch  video of full meeting (youtube)
Because local conditions  affect vulnerability to coastal acidification, NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program and NECAN  are helping citizen scientists in coastal acidification (OCA) monitoring.  Citizen science programs and researchers can take steps now to help protect marine environments from ocean and coastal acidification.

Mar 30, 2018

Searsport shipping news March 7 to march 20, 2018

Shipping news, March 7 - March 20

Commercial marine traffic at Searsport and Bucksport
Mar 23, 2018

Photo by: Ethan AndrewsMarch 7
New England, a 599-foot Irving Oil tanker, arrived in Searsport from Portsmouth, N.H., and delivered gasoline, diesel and No. 2 heating oil. It departed March 9 for Saint John, New Brunswick.
March 9
Denali, a Kirby Corp. tug and fuel barge, arrived in Searsport from New York and delivered ethanol. It departed March 10 for Portland.
March 10
Chemical Pioneer, a 662-foot chemical tanker, arrived in Searsport from Philadelphia and delivered caustic soda. On March 12, it left Mack Point and anchored in Searsport Harbor, then departed March 15 for Port Comfort, Texas.
March 11
Leopard Star, a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker, arrived in Searsport from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and after spending the night anchored in the harbor, docked at Mack Point and delivered kerosene. It departed March 15 for Rotterdam, Netherlands.
March 15
Tanja, a 606-foot bulk carrier, arrived in Searsport from Vila do Conde, Brazil, and delivered clay slurry. It departed March 17 for Portland.
March 17
Coho, an articulated tug and fuel barge operated by Kirby Corp., arrived in Searsport from Saint John, New Brunswick, and delivered asphalt. It departed March 19 returning to Saint John.
March 20
East Coast, a 600-foot Irving Oil tanker, arrived in Searsport from Portland and delivered gasoline. It departed later that day for Bucksport, where it delivered jet fuel. It departed March 23 for Saint John, New Brunswick.
Poland Pearl, a 600-foot general cargo ship, arrived in Searsport from South America and delivered road salt. It departed March 23 for New York.
Denali, a Kirby Corp. tug and fuel barge, arrived to Searsport for the second time in March, coming from New York and delivered ethanol. It departed March 21 for Boston.
Shipping news is compiled using automatic identification system (AIS) data from marinetraffic.com, local sources and direct observation at ports.
Chemical Pioneer delivers caustic soda to Mack Point in Searsport March 12. (Photo by: Ethan Andrews)

Mar 29, 2018

GAC Chemical Remediation of onshore acidic waste - June through December 2014

GAC Chemical  removed a sizable quantity of  acidic waste that had been dumped along the shore of Stockton Harbor -  June  through December 2014

10/16/14 Maine ocean acidification meeting AUDIO October 10, 2014. Augusta Maine.

11/8/14   Kidder Pt History. Aug1974, Delta Chemical, sulfuric acid plant acid fail causes shipwreck.
11/10/14 Kidder Point, Searsport. Acid and oil spills, 1983 to 2011
11/14/14 GAC Chemical's reported Acid & Oil Spills on Kidder Point from 1994 to 2012
11/14/14 Delta Chemical's 42 reported Kidder Pt Acid & Oil Spills from 1983 to 1994.

12/4/14  GAC Chemical Corp VRAP Public Communication Plan, November 2014
12/4/14 GAC  VRAP: 11/13/14 Email Prof Mark Green,St Joseph's College to GAC' consultant CES
12/4/14 GAC Chemical Corp VRAP 8/27/14 Summary of Investigations (2 pages)
12/5/14 GAC VRAP Site spills history & subsurface Sampling Plan
12/5/14 GAC Chemical VRAP site online documents archive
12/5/14 GAC Chemical VRAP Plan CES Remediation and Shoreline Stabilization Plan

GAC VRAP Investigations Summary Report. November 2014 (14 pages)

12/5/14 GAC's VRAP12/1/14 Public Communication Plan.
12/5/14 GAC VRAP Deed Restriction, Certificate of Completion February 12, 2003 - 1PAGE

Maine ocean acidification meeting October 10, 2014. Augusta Maine.

Listen to MP3 audio recordings from the 10/10/14 Maine Ocean Acidification Commission's meeting in Augusta.   Read agenda

Discussion of using crushed clamshell as counter to acidification

1. Prof Mark Green St Josephs College & John Lewis of Maine DMR. 7min

2. Susanne Miller MDEP, Richard Nelson lobsterman & John Lewis DMR 8min

Legacy land based acidic waste source
Senator Chris Johnson, Ron Huber, Friends of Penobscot Bay, Susanne Miller MDEP on GAC Chemical cleanup. 4min 30sec

Mar 28, 2018

Rockland's South Channel 2006 - 2014

Note: these pictures show a large and one or two closer up images of each year.


2004 closeup


2007 closeup

2007 closer in

2011 close up

2011 closer up


2011_2 closeup



2012 closeup

2012 closer up


2014 closeup

2014closer up