Dec 14, 2017

Owls Head waters getting federalized. Listen to 12/12/17 meeting on federal anchorage proposal.

Are Owls Head's outer waters getting Federalised?
Listen to a 14 minute discussion, (mp3)  at the 12/12/17 Rockland Harbor Mgmt Commission meeting, on a plan to designate a federal anchorage area off Owls Head, to facilitate cruise ships bringing passengers to Rockland Harbor
Rockland Harbor civic boundaries, Rockport, Rockland & Owls Head

 Penobscot Bay & River Pilots Association has asked the US Coast Guard to designate the waters of Owls Head's Broad Cove as  a Federal Anchorage Area,  specifically to facilitate projected increases in visits to Rockland Harbor  by large cruise ships. Read  July 6, 2017 submission to USCG by David Gelinas  president of Penobscot Bay & River Pilots

On December 12, 2017 the Rockland Harbor Management Commission had a  discussion of  the Federal Anchorage proposal. LISTEN TO THE 14 MINUTE DISCUSSION (mp3)

Gelinas, a veteran ships pilot, told the Coasties that rising cruise ship traffic  to Penobscot bay calls for  more methodical  management of anchorage use by oversized cruise ships  at the mouth of Rockland Harbor. much of which is within the town borders of Owls Head.

"Not only are the numbers of cruise ships on the increase," Gelinas wrote "but the average size of such vessels is on the increase as well. Having a larger, dedicated anchorage area will assist in keeping this traffic coming to our state, and will serve all mariners with a clear illustration of where such vessels will likely anchor when coming to Penobscot Bay."

Dec 12, 2017

Rockland Harbor Commission considers plans to realign, privatize portions of its inner harbor. AUDIO MP3s

Listen below to the city's December 12, 2017 meeting of its Harbor Commission.

Topics: Landmark Corp's presentation on (1) planned finger pier in-filling of  part of`city's Inner Harbor by Yachting Solutions (2)  Reshaping city mooring field. (3) Installing a lengthy wooden wave attenuators -serious scenic public view blockers?

Introduction of meeting attendees 2min12 sec 
Attendees List  at  end of recordings below. 

Full 57 minutes  of part 2

1. HMC members: Louise Maclellan Ruf,(chair) Melissa Maker, Matthew Ondra, Richard Whitman, David A. Leon. Tom Peaco HMC alternate,(also head of Pen Bay Chamber of Commerce).

Harbormaster Matt Ripley,   
Assistant Harbormaster Mark Tibbetts. 
Lisa Westkaemper Rockland City Council.  
City manager Tom Luttrell.   

Phil Morong, Yachting Solutions
Chris Laughton, Yachting Solutions; 
Mark Sabatini, Landmark Corporation; 

Ron Huber, WRFR community radio; 
Steve Betts, Courier Gazette, 
Dave Getchell of Maine Boats & Harbors, 

Ken Pride, Rockland Yacht Club launch pilot ,  
Lynne Barnard, resident of Main Street  
Chris Johnson  & Don Johnson residents of the South end.
David & Ellie Wiley,

Who owns Rockland Harbor? 
You and I. Us.  The state of Mainethrough its Bureau of Parks and Lands owns and administers all the submerged lands of Rockland Harbor (and all of Maine's state waters) on behalf of the people. 

 The Submerged Land Rules' Preamble makes that clear.
"The State of Maine holds Submerged Lands, as defined herein, in trust for the benefit, rights and use of the general public." ..."Because exclusive, private uses of Submerged Lands restrict the public's ability to exercise their rights to use and enjoy these lands, the issuance of any conveyance requires careful consideration of the impacts of such conveyances on public trust rights as well as a just and fair compensation to the public for the private use of Submerged Lands." 

* Revenue for Rockland?
What does Rockland get for allowing  exclusive use by Yachting Solutions of this part of Rockland's inner harbor?  Nothing.  The state  gets revenue from  leasing harbor floors  for slips (and for aquaculture.)   See the  Maine Submerged Lands Rules in Section 1.8 "Fees",  which state that

"The annual rental fee for slip space that is rented or otherwise made available for private use for a fee is based upon a percentage of the gross income of the Lessee."  
[Gross income of the lessee's slip rentals public or private. Detailed below]

These rules also require owners of such a development project  to  "Provide significant public benefits to the People of Maine, to offset the loss of Submerged Lands occupied by the structure,...." But the definition of "significant public benefits" is an eye-of-the-beholder term to local, state and federal permit reviewers. What's significant to one permit reviewer or decisionmaker may be of little consequence to another.

* Loss of moorings for local boaters.  Yachting Solutions' Bill Morong  said at the November HMC meeting that remaining moorings can be rearranged.

How practical is mooring field rearrangement in  a small harbor like Rockland's?  There's a lively lobster fishery, increasing recreational fisheries, . a coast guard base, windjammer fleets ferry terminal and 

Right, rearranged further from the Public Landing, perhaps in Owls Head, which would mean the little revenue from those moorings would be  lost. The interests of Rockland residents are of no interest to YS, the City, the State of the US National Park Service

"Gross income means one of two things:
1. "The total annual income received by a lessee from seasonal or transient rental to the general public of slip space over submerged land." 

2. For "...facilities with slip space that is not rented or leased to the general public"...."by calculating a regional average slip space rental fee and applying that to the portion of total linear length of slip space made available to private users for any portion of that year

Dec 7, 2017

Maine AquaVentus Project: Federal and state officials and others involved

The plan to build and operate a pair of floating wind turbines off Monhegan Island requires  coordination between local state and federal officials, academia , the interested public, wind industry    Read below of 13 federal officials, 27 state officials, 4 UMaine academics, 3 consultants and 1 representative  of ORPC the underwater turbine power company.
Dept of Energy 
Diana Heydar;
Lori Gray;
Wende Mahaney;
Mark McCollough;
Army Corps
LeeAnn Neal

US Coast Guard
Michele E. DesAutels;
David Bourbeau;
Mike R. Johnson;

Wilson, Carl <>;
Marc Denis Nault;
Tierney, Katherine <>;
Kemper, Keel <>;
Chamberlain, Kristen <>;
Benoit, Nathaniel <>;
Stratton, Robert D <>;
Beyer, Jim R <>;
Callahan, Beth <>;
DiBello, Carol <>;
Noll, John <>;
Beyer, Stacie R <>;
Hallowell, Dawn <>;
Keliher, Patrick;
Cotnoir, Sarah <>;
Todd, Charlie <>;
Nixon, Matthew E <>;
Sullivan, Kelsey M <>;
Bergeron, Mark <>;
Cloutier, Rene <>;
Taylor, Joyce <>;
Perry, John <>;
Spiess, Arthur <>;
Mohney, Kirk <>;
Hopkin, Megan M <>;
Marden, Kendall R. <>;
Bensinger, Peggy <>

Jeff Thaler;
Jake Ward;
Damian Brady;
Tony Viselli;

Peter Browne <>;
Andy Qua
Kayla Easler <>

N Johnson

Dec 6, 2017

Dec 2, 2017

Maine Legislature 2018 - 1st wave of new marine fishery/marine environment bill proposals

Maine Marine Resources Committee. Bills coming before it  in 2018.

Three carry over bills from 2017  & 12 new "Legislative Requests" for 2018  that should turn into LD bills coming before Maine's Marine Resources Committee very soon.. 
Stay tuned for more Resolves. 

1. Carry Over Bills 
LD 703 An Act To Address Marine Debris Resulting from Commercial Activities 
LD 922. An Act Directing the Commissioner of Marine Resources To Investigate the Conditions of Sheepscot Pond Related to a Management Plan for Anadromous Fish Species
LD 1519 An Act To Define the Intertidal Zone for the Management and Enforcement of Shellfish Conservation Ordinances 

2. Legislative Requests

LR: 2593 An Act To Correct Errors and Inconsistencies in Maine's Marine Resources Laws, Representative Kumiega of Deer Isle

LR 2639 An Act To Authorize the Commissioner of Marine Resources To Limit the Number of Shrimp Licenses That May Be Used in Certain Seasons. Commissioner

LR: 2482 An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Use of Personal Flotation Devices in Boats
LR: 2602 An Act To Increase the Safety of Nonmotorized Watercraft in the Ocean by Requiring Lights When Visibility Is Impaired
LR: 2466 Resolve, To Establish a Task Force To Investigate the High Rate of Addiction among Persons Who Fish Commercially
LR 2554 An Act To Amend the Law Regarding the Temporary Medical Allowance for Lobster and Crab Fishing License Holders

LR: 2518 An Act To Impose a 3-year Moratorium on Allowing Anadromous Fish Species in Sheepscot Pond in Palermo and To Study the Consequences of Allowing Anadromous Fish Species To Enter Sheepscot Pond, Representative Zeigler of Montville

LR: 2626 Resolve, To Join the International Alliance To Combat Ocean Acidification

LR: 2779 An Act To Include the Natural Resources Protection Act in the Maine Metallic
Mineral Mining Act

LR: 2779 An Act To Include the Natural Resources Protection Act in the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act.Ralph Chapman
LR: 2781 An Act To Include the Site Location of Development Laws in the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act. Ralph Chapman
LR: 2785 An Act To Limit Eligibility for a Metallic Mineral Mining Permit Chapman

Dec 1, 2017

Understanding the effects of ocean wind energy extraction upon the Gulf of Maine water column,

The scientific communities and regulatory agencies are slowly but solidly agreeing to focus attention "[o]n the Effect of Offshore Wind Farms on the Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics"  Follow the figures below for a quick summary. (Note light blue square is a 5km by 5km ocean windfarm)

Elke Ludwig's above study is behind a paywall but she is only one of a growing number of scientists willing to agree that windpower is an extractive industry.

And that chronic ocean wind energy extraction from a floating or grouted-in ocean wind park has measurable effects on the velocity of surface water downstream of each turbine.

And that this becomes an energy deficit in the waters below that surface water, both reducing the Coriolis Effect on water direction, and empowering the upwelling of waters normally below the thermocline.

The big question is: how much wind energy extraction must take place before water column energetics lower enough to destabilize the water column - especially in the summer, when GOM waters are normally pretty stratified? 

And what will that cause, ecologically  speaking?
A smaller farm: about 200 million cubic meters of water upwelling per day
A larger farm:  about 1 billion, 600 million cubic meters of water upwelling per day.  That according to the author's "guesstimate", below the Summary, Conclusion, and Outlook.