Oct 31, 2007

Sears Island Joint Use Committee met, sets 341 acres aside for future port.

By Tanya Mitchell VillageSoup/Waldo County Citizen Reporter

SEARSPORT (Oct 31): The Sears Island Joint Use Planning Committee learned the basics of creating a document that would spell out how the island will be used in the future at its meeting Friday, Oct. 26.

As a result of the April 12 consensus agreement that came out of the Sears Island Planning Initiative Steering Committee meetings, 341 acres will be set aside for development of a future port, while 600 acres are earmarked for recreation/conservation purposes.

Along with fixing the boundary line to reflect that land division between the state Department of Transportation and those interested in keeping the island open for conservation, the JUPC is charged with drafting a conservation easement to make the land-share arrangement work for both parties.

The next JUPC meeting is slated for Thursday, Nov. 15. Read full story

Oct 26, 2007

Wiscassett coal degasification plant would create 770 tons of toxics-rich slag per day.

The coal degasification plant proposed for the shore of in Wiscassett would produce about 770 tons of boron-rich slag per day. I understand by looking at the literature. Where's that going to go?

Boron is a significant component of that slag. Aquatic toxicity of Boron in the leacheate from this type of slag. is described below (can you explain what the findings to this paper mean? (it is also toxic to waterfowl at some concentration.

The scientfic literature is equivocal. We need some science on the topics of boron toxicity. There are concerns about impacts to fresh and waters zooplankton and importantly to Wiscassett's fisheries, to eelgrass.

Inshore GOM herring fishery closed till January 1, '08

From the Federal Register: October 25, 2007
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States:

ACTION: Closure of Atlantic herring fishery for Management Area 1A.

SUMMARY: NMFS announces that effective 0001 hours, October 25, 2007, federally permitted vessels may not fish for, catch, possess, transferor land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring in or from Management Area 1A (Area 1A) per trip or calendar day until January 1,2008, when the 2008 TAC becomes available, except for transiting purposes as described in this notice.
This action is based on the determination that 95 percent of the Atlantic herring total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to Area 1A for 2007 is projected to be harvestedby October 25, 2007.

Regulations governing the Atlantic herring fishery require publication of this notification to advise vessel and dealer permit holders that no TAC is available for the directed fishery for Atlantic herring harvested from Area 1A.
DATES: Effective 0001 hrs local time, October 25, 2007, through 2400hrs local time, December 31, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Frei, Fishery ManagementSpecialist, at (978) 281-9221.

Getting lost between Matinicus and Rockland

It's the sort of minor tale of the sea that that "the Humble Farmer' might memorialize on his weekly radio show:

Lobster boat leaves Matinicus Island and becomes lost on en route to Rockland.

Was it storming? Did deep fogs fill the mouth of the bay? Was the crew desperately ill, or worse? Apparently not. Skies were clear. It was a little after 3 in the morning, and their chart plotter was broken and it was blowing about 15 knots out of the southwest, with a 4 foot swell. But still...

Coast Guard Station Rockland's public releases on the hapless lobster boat's two October 23rd incidents follow:

23 October
At 2:55am, Station Rockland received a report of a 40 foot lobster boat with two people on board that was disabled near Matinicus Island. When no commercial providers responded to the Marine Assistance Request Broadcast, Station Rockland responded with its 47' Motor Life Boat and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Scott Self as the Coxswain.

Two and one half hours later:

At 5:39am, the MLB arrived on scene, took the boat in tow and proceeded to Matinicus Island. At 6:37am, just outside Matinicus Harbor, the boat was able to regain propulsion and the tow was dropped. The disable boat went into the harbor and the MLB returned to Rockland. Case Closed.

Four Hours Later

23 October
At 9:50am, Station Rockland received a report from the same boat they had just towed, that they were underway enroute Rockland when their chart plotter had broken and they didn't have any local charts. They did have GPS, but no way to tell where they were. Another commercial fishing vessel over heard the radio traffic, was near their position and offered to help. The commercial fishing vessel was able to locate the lobster boat and escort them back to Rockland. Case Closed.

CWO3 Curtis Barthel
Commanding Officer
CG Station Rockland

Matinicus is about 18 miles from Rockland. Its hard to think of any lobsterman who couldn't navigate this pretty straightforward route

The answer? They were delivering the lobsterboat from Away.

The Coasties didn't reveal whether they were downeasters bringing a lobster boat from Jonesport, or up from Portland, or even Canadians.

Oct 17, 2007

Mack Point's security analyzed

Maine port officials say facilities secure
By BDN Staff
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

By Rebekah Metzler
Boston University Washington News Service

WASHINGTON — The small size, remote locations and relatively low-value cargo of Maine’s ports in Searsport and Eastport make them easier to manage and to secure, according to security agents from the two ports. Full story

Oct 3, 2007

Bay saved from toxic river dredge spoils

Construction firm Cianbro, poised to redevelop the abandoned Eastern Fine Paper site on the Brewer shore of Penobscot River, has bowed to bay fishermen and other citizens' concerns, and abandoned plans to dump dredge spoils from its site into Penobscot Bay. The company will instead spread spoils dredged from its waterfront onto its land and use them as part of the redevelopment.

The company had planned to dump its spoils at the Rockland Disposal Site, but pressure from Penobscot Bay Alliance, Maine Lobstermen's Association and others moved them to abandon the plan in favor of land-deposition.