Jul 27, 2008

Sears Island! Full circle fair panel says: Don't sink natural Noah's Ark

Blue Hill hosts the Full Circle Fair once again, and this time defenders of wild Sears Island will hold forth on one of the stages. Their message is clear:

* A natural Noah's Ark. Sears Island hosts nearly every coastal Maine plant and animal and marine species, in an irreplaceable mix of upland, wetland, intertidal and marine habitats.

* MDOT plan will torpedo this ark! Will fragment and outright destroy 100s of acres of these habitats. Juvenile cod and salmon will lose the Sears Island shoal

* Noise and stench of port operations will permanently reduce upper bay air quality. Will drive wildlife away from remaining “protected” areas outside port boundaries. Ship traffic will drive fish away from nursery grounds.

* Container ports never stop growing - will consume whole island over time.

* So-called ‘Joint Use Plan’, will fast-track port sprawl on Sears Island. Compromiser Sierra Club leaders support MDOT plan; won’t poll membership!

2. GET ON THE ISLAND Take the Sears Island Road, north of downtown Searsport, straight to the island. Park on the causeway. Forests and meadows straight ahead, Beaches and tidepools to left and right. Take your pick!

3. GET THE MESSAGE. No splitting Sears Island into industrial port zone and remainder natural zone. The island ecology and the adjacent fish nursery shoal are too small not to be harmed by constructing and operating a 300 acre container port.

4. GET CONNECTED Call or email these groups. Save the island & save the bay
Fair Play for Sears Island 548-9962 pearlsb4swine1@verizon.net
Penobscot Bay Watch 691-7485 coastwatch@gmail.com www.penbay.org

5. GET MOVING! Time is running out! Help save the island and bay today.
Help plan and take part in creative, educational and scientific activities to bring the risks to Sears Island to the attention of Maine’s greater public. Join the on-island fun. Show wild Maine you care about her.

It's as simple as that.

Jul 25, 2008

Sears Island - JUPC to wrap up in September. Then...?

The current dealmaking over the island the Joint Use Committee appears to be finally sputtering to its conclusion. According to Tanya Mitchell's July 24 article at the Republican Journal, the committee, which is expected to finish its draft conservation easement in September, has once again revised its plan. this time adding a third party environmental watchdog, possibly MDEP. Possible someone else.

Mitchell wrote:
"The [Joint Use Planning Committee] easement draft also includes new language regarding a "third-party enforcer," which in the case of Sears Island would be the state Department of Environmental Protection. "

"Adding DEP, said Ulbrich, [MCHT] serves as a back-up plan to ensure the easement remains a strong document into the future. "It gives them the right to enforce restrictions of the easement if we [MCHT] fall down on the job," she said."

Okay... MDEP can be reasonably responsive given enough pressure from the public. How about DMR? The biggest 'fall down on the job' is going to be the savaging and ravaging of the seagrass areas and the nursery shoal edging the island, by dredging and operation of vessels at the port - if it were ever built. Is MDEP up to that? Where's the Department of Marine Resources? Its the eelgrass, people.

Jul 17, 2008

Taming the Island. Wasumkeag mowed.

From: Soulful Sea:
Well, I know I’m kind of a sentimental sort. Maybe a bit of a kook, but tonight when I arrived on the island I was shocked and saddened to see that the mowing tractor had been on the island. I can’t tell you how bugged I was to see my grasses and flowers and ferns and berries all taken down by a mowing tractor that had been on the island.

I know some poor sap prolly thought he was doing a good thing…. Protecting the innocents from the encroaching forest….

I can’t tell you how bugged I was to see my grasses and flowers and ferns and berries all taken down.I’m sure he probably had extra gasoline in his tractor or maybe he just needed to work a few more hours in his day……

But god damit…. It really pisses me off. I mean, why was there a need to cut down the wild plants today? Why the hell are they busy pushing aside barricades to run a tractor up on the island to cut down the plants?

It’s just that I have a relationship with so many of them. I love the tall grasses and the soft ferns and the flowers……

Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature.. –Tolle

If only they knew how sweet the scent of milk weed is at dawn….

Jul 12, 2008

Sears Island JUPC meets July 18 noon-3pm, Searsport

Friday, July 18, from Noon-3pm, join the Joint Use Planning Committee at the First Congregational Church, 8 Church Street, Searsport. This will be their first get together since getting a hostile reception at their Belfast Public Info Event Everyone is welcome. Bring your recorders
At that event, the MDOT -sponsored group got an earful over its 'product' after all this time, years into the MDOT NGO Committee concensus process.

Still far short of what would needed to successfully protect the bay and the wild island itself from the negatives associated with an industrial port.

MDOT has not made its draft agendas available yet.