Jul 17, 2018

Belfast's secret river

One of midcoast Maine's best kept secrets in Belfast along its southern border with Northport on water district land is the Little River Community Trail. Three of us hiked it Sunday morning to see where a Salmon aquaculture initiative is proposed, finding workmen with chainsaws and a skidder removing trees.

From a picturesque ocean viewing dam on Route 1 a pine needle-coated trail meanders northwesterly beside a narrow pond called Little River Reservoir through swales, knolls and groves of evergreens with fluctuating pretty undeveloped frontage vistas. Except for the brick Water District office near the lower dam the only building in sight along the shore was a white house on the Northport side. A chewed-off tree stump next to its trunk signalled the presence of beavers.

Further ahead the pond narrows into a stream called Little River, remaining in view of the trail rising above it as a field comes into sight to its right, and then both intersect newly-paved Perkins road meeting Congress Street and Herrick Road, about a mile from the trail head by the lower dam.

After a short distance on the road another dam appears across the street and a second trail continues along the bank of the pond it forms, although the map calls it “Little River Community Trail,” and names the second pond “Upper Little River Reservoir.” even though the trail is bisected by two streets.

Almost as lovely as the lower trail, upper Little River Community Trail winds around the Airport and emerges at “Walsh Field Recreation Area” opposite Troy Howard school on Lincolnville Avenue.

For over 40 years I have driven by both ends of this lovely trail without knowing it existed. Walking through the pond-side needles on a summer day reminds me of Henry David Thorough's Walden Pond where I learned how to swim as a child.

On stakes and trees along the trail were bright colored surveyors' ribbons. Let's hope that construction of the aquaculture initiative doesn't mar this precious resource so the wild life habitat around these trails remains for posterity.

Pictures here show some of the features of Little River Community Trail.

Randall Parr

Jul 14, 2018

Regarding Penobscot Bay Aquaculture initiatives

Appleton citizen Randall Parr addresses common concerns about the proposal for land based salmon farming

Apprehensions been voiced about land-based Atlantic Salmon farms proposed near Penobscot Bay.

In their aquatic environment over 95 percent of baby wild salmon die before adulthood, while most of those in salmon farms fed copious amounts of food without predation should live through maturity.

Fish oil, which fresh Salmon when eaten as food provide, contain Omega-3 fatty acids that help heart and circulatory systems is prescribed by doctors to reduce risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death for humankind. Salmon also contain Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron,  Zinc, Iodine, Magnesium, and Potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week as part of a healthy diet.

Concerns were raised about the quantity of water Salmon farms would extract to circulate in fish tanks from wells in Belfast. Copious rainfalls in recent years continue to amply recharge aquifers in coastal Maine, and unlimited seawater is available for desalinization for land-based fish farms.

Land-based Atlantic Salmon farms can be expected to increase jobs, incomes, sales, tax revenues, and economic activity. These projects should expand the economy, reduce youth out-migration which has bedeviled Maine for decades, keep small businesses alive, and workers busy.

Fecal discharges through underwater pipes extending into Penobscot Bay from shore in Belfast has  been another concern of citizens. Predicted waste pipe contents have not yet been made public, but filtered salmon excrement is expected to be its principle contents. Due to over-fishing and other reasons, wild Haddock, Cod, Swordfish, Tuna, Atlantic Salmon and other Penobscot Bay fish populations have fallen in recent years, reducing the natural recurrence of fish excrement in the water.

Fish poop augments water plant propagation like fertilizer stimulates vegetable growth on land. Containing nitrogen and nutrients, fish waste nourishes species at the bottom of the food chain, which sustains fish and sea creatures that eat them and others that feed on them.

Chlorophyll-containing green water plants also photosynthesize oxygen from carbon dioxide in seawater so that fish can absorb it through their gills into their bloodstreams like mammals do from air through our lungs. If current aquaculture initiatives pan out, wild Cod, Haddock, Tuna and Swordfish poop reduction, due to decline of these species may be offset by farmed Salmon waste, which could increase sea life in the bay and make wild fish more abundant.

Some are afraid that forest wild life habitat will be clear cut to build this facility. Citizens should participate in this process to prevent that.

We should encourage these initiatives but ensure they have positive environmental impacts by participating in the process.

Randall Parr
Appleton, ME 04862

Jul 13, 2018

Getting Stonington pleasure boats to use pump outs.

Come on Stonington!  Maine law requires pumpout stations at “marinas”.

 A marina  provides services and has 18 or more slips or moorings for boats greater than 24' in length.


New No Discharge Areas!  Key: P = Public Pumpout Station $5 maximum charge M = Pumpout Boat, get pumpout service at your mooring! R = Reserved for customers only, $10 maximum charge. = Designated Maine Clean Boatyard or Marina = No Discharge Area VHF 
Merchant's Landing Moorings 594-7459 9 P 
Rockland City Landing 594-0312 9 P 
Journey's End Marina 594-4444 9 P 
Landings Marina 596-6573 9 P 

Camden Pumpout Boat 236-3353 9 P 
Wayfarer Marine 236-4378 9 P 

Belfast Boatyard 338-1142 9 R 
Belfast City Landing 338-1142 9 P 

Port Harbor Marine at Bucksport 469-5902 9 P Mid-Coast Marine 223-4781 16 P 

Castine Town Landing

 Each marina must provide an easily accessible pumpout station that is functional during normal working hours and at all stages of tide or water level. The fee the marina can charge is limited to a maximum of $10, as long as the State supplies the facility with a grant to cover a portion of the cost for installation and maintenance of the system. The DEP is required to apply for grants from the Federal Clean Vessel Act Grant Program to fund pumpout installation through the Maine Pumpout Grant Program.

Jul 7, 2018

Whole Oceans discharge application online. Shows importance of chemical biosecurity.

Maine DEP recently released an application by land based salmon farm developer Whole Oceans. READ IT,  AT LINKS BELOW.   WO proposes to uptake and discharge millions of gallons of water to and from the tidal Penobscot River as it passes Bucksport.

Because those uptaken river waters will be lived within and breathed for a day by millions of atlantic salmon,  replaced by  continually imported riverwater,passing it through the fishes, then discharging into Penobscot River their complete life cycles.. Maine DEP sa lead state agency is investigatine that water, along with a coterie of commenting state agencies: DMR DIFW, MCP,  Submerged Lands and more.

* Part 1 Discharge application 12 pages

*  Purchase & title 27 pg

* Topographic map 2pgs  Attach c

*  Food Processing Facility permit 6pgs  Attachment D

* US EPA New  Source Dischargers 5pgs

* Water Effluent Flows Sterilizing discharges 4pgs

* Estimated Annual Chemical Use for outfall 003. 2pgs

 * Fish Rearing Application 4pgs

*  Outfall information from WO. 3pgs

*  Description of waste treatment facilities. 10pgs

* Certificate of Public Outreach

*  WO Rsponses to Significant Issues. 3pages

Jun 28, 2018

Maine land-based salmon farming. Business, State and federal officials involved

Nordic Aquafarms
Erik Heim, CEO Nordic Aquafarms, Inc.    erik.heim@nordicaquafarms.com
Public affairs Ted O’Meara  ted@tedomearacommunications.com 
+47 900 74 907 (207) 653-2392

Whole Oceans    
Robert Piaiso CEO (207) 747-1400
Ben Willauer CDO bwillauer@wholeoceans.com
Jennifer Fortier Outreach & Development Associate (207) 747-1400
Bill Taylor of Pierce Atwood 207) 791-1100 WO's Attorney  

Maine DEP Gregg Wood  Gregg.Wood@maine.gov
* Fish Rearing Facilities

Inland Fish & Wildlife ?  Bureau of Resource Mgmt  (207) 287-8000

DMR Jon Lewis Aquaculture Div dir jon.lewis@maine.gov 633-9594              Maine Coastal Program Kathleen Leyden. kathleen.leyden@maine.gov             287-3144 cell: 557-4014

* Agriculture  Conservation and Forestry Michele Walsh, Maine State Veterinarian Michele.walsh@maine.gov; (207) 287-7615

Army Corps of Engineers  - 2 staff
Nordic Peter Tischbein.623-8367 ext 3 Peter.Tischbein@usace.army.mil
Whole Oceans Shawn Mahaney .623-8367   shawn.b.mahaney@usace.army.mil
* EPA  Danielle Gaito (gaito.danielle@epa.gov) (617) 918-1297
*NMFS   Max Tritt  Fishery Biologist for Maine Atlantic Salmon.
207-866-7322. max.tritt@noaa.gov

* US FWS Wende Mahaney Wende_Mahaney@fws.gov
(207) 902-1569    Maine Field office

Land-based salmon farming in Maine - how oversight went from DMR to DACF

On November 11, 2017, Maine PUBLIC LAW 2017 CHAPTER 94 came into effect.
Titled  An Act To Transfer Responsibility for Licensing of Landbased Aquaculture from the Department of Marine Resources to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry"  It describes the authority for the transfer to the land agriculture agency and how it will decide how safe these are.

Says Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry will deny land based salmon aquaculture licenses, if  either DMR or IFW informs DACF  "that the aquaculture activity presents an unreasonable risk to indigenous marine or freshwater life or its environment.Sounds like a strongish standard (no "unreasonable risk"), but only as strong as the information that the agencies have to determine its reasonableness or unreasonableness. Given tthis is new hitherto unused technology, it won't be easy.

Text of Public Law 2017 Ch 94 Law: 
(Sentences separated for ease of reading)

"Transfers authority for the licensing of land-based aquaculture from the Department of Marine Resources and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. 

"The Commissioner of DACF shall refuse to issue a license if the Commissioner receives information from the Commissioner of either DMR or DIFW that the aquaculture activity presents an unreasonable risk to indigenous marine or freshwater life or its environment. 

"The risk factors that DMR and DIFW shall consider include but are not limited to: risk of accidental or intentional introduction of marine or freshwater organisms, or organism products, into the waters of the State, risk of the introduction or spread of disease within the State and interference with the enforcement of possession, size or season limits for wild marine or freshwater organisms. 
The Commissioner of DACF shall monitor licensed facilities annually and if there are risks noted such as listed above the Commissioner shall notify DIFW and DMR"

(End )

Rocklanders crash 6/27/16 harbor commission/cruiseship industry meeting, take part. AUDIO MP3s

 On June 27, 2018, a dozen people, including two journalists, ignored  postings by Rockland
Harbormaster Matt Ripley and City Manager Tom Luttrell claiming that a meeting  of city and state officials, held in the harbormaster's office 8 am  was not open to the public. 

Citing the Maine Open Meetings  Law, they attended anyway. The meeting  featured briefings by Amy Powers of MaineCruisePro and Cruise Lines International public relations VP Mike McGarry,  followed by  lengthy questions and answers sessions in which the uninvited-but- there-anyway public participated and networked with the other participants.

0. At request of Amy Powers,all attendees  including puiblic introduce selves 1min15sec.

1. Introduction 1 Tom Luttrell. Rockland city manager 37 seconds

2. Introduction 2 Amy Powers 3min 33sec.

3 Michael McGarry Cruiselines International VP Govt & Public relations 2min 55sec

4. Questions and Answers 

Q&A 1. 8 min 32sec

Q&A 2  10 min 35 sec

Q&A 3   7 min 57sec

Q&A 4  11min 38sec

Q&A 5   7min

Q&A  6. 8min 31sec

Q&A  7 to meeting end 8 min 18sec

Jun 17, 2018

A Likely Scenario During a Future Winter i New England.  
Examining a new report on Maine's power grid performance 
from December 24, 2017 to January 8, 2018.

OPINION:The story of a windmill. By Dale Landrith Sr. | Jun 29, 2017

September 22, 2015 selectboard discussion 
.  Is Camden Energy Committee being revived? 22 min mp3

July 28, 2015. Appointing new energy committee 11min mp3
July 14, 2015 Wind supporters critique opposition 18min mp3

VIDEOJuly 14, 2015 *&*July 28, 2015 Camden Selectboard meetings where forming a new Energy Committee came up:

Want to get involved? Write us! ** Attend an Energy Committee meeting.
Reports *** Archive *** Ragged Mountain news
Ragged Mountain on the Web *** LINKS *** PHOTOS

Jun 2, 2018

Rockland tiny houses subcommittee

The complete June 1, 2018  "tiny homes" discussion held by a  Rockland city housing committee  

Note: Intro includes scheduling for next meeting

* Lisa Westkaemper head of committee 
* Allison Han aka Allie  Nurse
* Tom Marshall - also on Comps and ZBA and County Budget Committee
* Marcel Valliere planning board member 
* Tia Anderson Hab Humanity  architectural planning
* Sam Radley Harbor Mgmt Comm rehabbed houses for less than 100K sales
* Radley wife same stuff as Sam
* Ron Huber WRFR & FOPB

May 26, 2018

Bipartisan support for Maine Public Bank at May 21, 2018 Midcoast Clean Elections Candidates Forum.. 7minute audio Q&A.

Midcoast Maine Clean Elections candidates unanimously support a Maine State Bank.
Listen at the link below
Simmons, Doudera, Ringelstein, Matlack,Miramant,Evangelos, Pleuker, O'Brien

On May 21st, seven Clean Elections candidates took part in a forum at Watts Hall in Thomaston. Among the questions raised, Randall Parr of Appleton asked the candidates for their position on the proposed Maine State Bank.  All candidates expressed support.  In 2017, Dave Miramant sponsored LD 237 An Act To Establish a State Bank which failed  in the Maine legislature's Committee on Insurance and Financial Services

Candidates in order of statements

*Bill Pleuker, House, Warren, Appleton, Hope, Union

*Jeff Evangelos, (former representative) Friendship, Waldoboro,
Washington, Union.

*Dave Miramant, State Senate (Incumbent) Knox County.

* Ann Matlack, House, St George, South Thomaston, Thomaston,

* Zak Ringelstein, US Senate.

* Vicky Doudera, House,  Camden, Rockport.

*Abden Simmons, House, Friendship, Waldoboro,Washington, Union, (Incumbent)

Parr is a member of Maine Public Banking Coalition, and  author of   Occupying a new Maine Economy. The coalition has worked to establish a Maine State Bank.








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!