Mar 14, 2015

Three waterkeepers tell Friends of Penobscot Bay: set up a baykeeper!

Our bioregion's three waterkeepers  have visited Penobscot Bay in recent months to talk with those interested in getting a Penobsot Baykeeper project. 

Matt Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper
Listen to a January 7, 2015 talk & Q&A by  Fundy Baykeeper Matthew Abbott;  a February 27, 2015 talk & Q&A  by Casco Baykeeper emeritus Joe Payne and a March 14, 2015 talk & Q&A  by  Great Bay/Piscataqua River Waterkeeper Jeff Barnum

 A common thread of the discussions  has been setting up a unique affiliates-style West Penobscot Baykeeper program as start up, with expansion to other reaches as local communities sign on to the value of waterkeeping Penobscot Bay.
This acknowledges the  enormous size of the bay and and the varied societies, economies and ecology of its different reaches, and also focuses on the most environmentally and ecologically challenged western reaches of Penobscot Bay. 

Joe Pay, Casco Baykeeper emeritus
There are immensely significant  geographic,  ecological, environmental, economic and cultural differences between the reaches which loosely consist of  West Penobscot Bay from Port Clyde to Stockton Springs;  tidal Penobscot River from Prospect to  head of tide at  Veazie;  East Penobscot Bay from Stonington to the town of Penobscot;  Islesboro and the Fox Islands; and the outer islands

West Penobscot Bay and its coastal forests face increasing commercial, residential and industrial development pressure  along the US Route 1 corridor. The pace of development in East Penobscot Bay and on the major islands  is much slower  and lower impact.  Our board members have collectively more than a century worth of experience on (mostly) west Penobscot Bay in one way or another. .

While all-volunteer  Friends of Penobscot Bay has been committed to  carrying out FOPB's missions on a shoestring budget,  a paid part time, regional waterkeeper is a good first step and necessary as development pressures increase under an industry-friendly  administration.
Jeff Barnum, Great Bay/Piscataqua keeper

An affiliate waterkeeper program may prove to be an excellent way of achieving this over the medium run, while gaining us the many support benefits  of being part of an association of more than 100 waterkeepers around the natoin and the world - each of whom has faced similar challenges fighting for clean water, healthy habitat & successful renewable fisheries and scenic natural assets

While there have been some successes along our way in Penobscot Bay, there is a great deal more that we could accomplish. Affiliating with this noble movement may be just the thing. 

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