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Browsing posts tagged with: invasive species

Action Alert: Urge Sen. Susan Collins to Come Out Against Pruitt

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
Posted on:

This morning, Republicans in the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee suspended the rules in order to bypass a boycott by Democrats on the confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The full Senate is expected to vote next week on whether Pruitt will become the next EPA Administrator.

We need Senator Susan Collins to uphold Maine’s honored tradition of speaking up for the environment by opposing Pruitt. Sen. Collins recently expressed reservations about Pruitt’s nomination, saying she is concerned “about the number of times he has sued the very agency that he has now been tapped to lead.”

Please contact Sen. Collins, thank her for raising concerns, and urge her to vote against Scott Pruitt’s confirmation:

  • DC office: (202) 224-2523
  • Augusta: (207) 622-8414
  • Bangor: (207) 945-0417
  • Biddeford: (207) 283-1101
  • Caribou: (207) 493-7873
  • Lewiston: (207) 784-6969
  • Portland: (207) 780-3575

Be patient: Many of Sen. Collins’ voice mailboxes are filling up quickly.

Be persistent: We’ve found that you might have to try a few times to get through.

Don’t give up hope: Together, our calls and actions are making a difference.

Thank you for taking action!

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

 

Action Alert: Take Action to Ban Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Food Containers

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Posted on:

Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee is holding a public hearing on LD 103, An Act to Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers, on Monday, February 6 at 1:00 p.m. in room 216 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta. Please attend and show your support for eliminating polystyrene (Styrofoam) food containers.

LD 103 proposes to prohibit the sale or distribution of polystyrene food service containers beginning January 1, 2018.

Maine Audubon strongly supports efforts to decrease the use of polystyrene because of its harmful effects on wildlife, especially coastal and marine wildlife. We strongly support LD 103.

Please attend the upcoming public hearing and testify in support of LD 103. If you can’t attend, please take a moment and contact ENR Committee members and urge them to support LD 103.

  • Senator Tom Saviello, chair (Wilton)
    [email protected]
    (207) 645-3420
  • Senator Amy Volk (Scarborough)
    [email protected]
    (207) 229-5091
  • Senator Geoff Gratwick (Bangor)
    [email protected]
    (207) 947-0637
  • Representative Ralph Tucker, chair (Brunswick)
    [email protected]
    (207) 725-7639
  • Representative Dick Campbell (Orrington)
    [email protected]
    (207) 287-1440
  • Representative Bob Duchesne (Hudson)
    [email protected]
    (207) 745-7748
  • Representative Jessica Fay (Raymond)
    [email protected]
    (207) 415-4218
  • Representative Denise Harlow (Portland)
    [email protected]
    (207) 409-0870
  • Representative Jonathan Kinney (Limington)
    [email protected]
    (207) 637-2366
  • Representative John Martin (Eagle Lake)
    [email protected]
    (207) 444-5556
  • Representative Jeff Pierce (Dresden)
    [email protected]
    (207) 441-3006
  • Representative Scott Strom (Pittsfield)
    [email protected]
    (207) 313-3895
  • Representative Stanley Zeigler (Montville)
    [email protected]
    (207) 323-6044

Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles are killed every year due to floating marine debris and beach debris, which includes polystyrene.

Styrofoam packaging (polystyrene) rarely gets recycled, breaks down easily into smaller pieces, and is lightweight, so it easily is blown into our waters where it can be ingested by wildlife. Once ingested, polystyrene cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the gut. This can prevent food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death.

Turning the tide on decreasing plastic debris requires a global effort. Many are helping by taking action at the local level. Now is the time to take action at the state level as well.

Please attend the hearing February 6 at 1:00 pm and contact ENR committee members, urging them to support LD 103.

Thank you!

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

 

Action Alert: Take Action to Ban Plastic Bags

Friday, January 20th, 2017
Posted on:

Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee is holding a public hearing on LD 57, An Act to Phase Out the Use of Single-use Plastic Shopping Bags, on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. in room 216 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

Please attend the hearing and show your support for eliminating single use plastic bags.

LD 57 proposes to prohibit retailers from using plastic bags to bag products at the point of retail sale, with some exceptions, starting September 1, 2020. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale and must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.

Maine Audubon strongly supports efforts to decrease plastic debris because of its harmful effects wildlife, especially coastal and marine wildlife. We support LD 57 and also support adding a fee for paper bags and a ban on the use of Styrofoam food packaging.

If you can’t attend the hearing, please take a moment and contact ENR Committee members and urge them to support LD 57.

  • Senator Tom Saviello, chair (Wilton) [email protected]
  • Senator Amy Volk (Scarborough) [email protected]
  • Senator Geoff Gratwick (Bangor) [email protected]
  • Representative Ralph Tucker, chair (Brunswick) [email protected]
  • Representative Dick Campbell (Orrington) [email protected]
  • Representative Bob Duchesne (Hudson) [email protected]
  • Representative Jessica Fay (Raymond) [email protected]
  • Representative Denise Harlow (Portland) [email protected]
  • Representative Jonathan Kinney (Limington) [email protected]
  • Representative John Martin (Eagle Lake) [email protected]
  • Representative Jeff Pierce (Dresden) [email protected]
  • Representative Scott Strom (Pittsfield) [email protected]
  • Representative Stanley Zeigler (Montville) [email protected]

Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles are killed every year due to floating marine debris and beach debris which includes plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish. Once ingested, a plastic bag cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the gut. This can prevent food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death.

Marine life can also become entangled in plastic bags causing serious injury or death. Entanglement can lead to suffocation, starvation, drowning, increased vulnerability to predators, or other injury. It can also hinder an animal’s movement which results in exhaustion or development of an infection from deep wounds caused by tightening material.

Turning the tide on decreasing plastic debris requires a global effort. Many are helping by taking action at the local level. Now is the time to take action at the state level as well.

Please attend the hearing January 25 at 10:00 a.m. and contact ENR committee members and urge them to support LD 57.

Thank you!

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

 

Action Alert: Voice Your Opposition to Pruitt’s Confirmation as EPA Administrator

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
Posted on:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is at the heart of our nation’s protection of clean air and water. Its work is absolutely critical to the health of America’s wildlife and habitat.

President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA poses a clear and present threat to wildlife in Maine and around the nation. In this role, Pruitt would be in a very powerful position to undermine core environmental protections.

We need your help in opposing this nomination.

The Senate’s confirmation hearing for Pruitt is set for Wednesday, January 18. Sen. Susan Collins will play a pivotal role in determining whether this confirmation is successful. Please contact Sen. Collins today and urge her to come out NOW in opposition to Pruitt’s confirmation:

  • DC office: (202) 224-2523

  • Augusta: (207) 622-8414

  • Bangor: (207) 945-0417

  • Biddeford: (207) 283-1101

  • Caribou: (207) 493-7873

  • Lewiston: (207) 784-6969

  • Portland: (207) 780-3575

Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt denies the realities of climate change, falsely claiming that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” He has repeatedly fought the very agency he has been chosen to lead. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, he challenged the EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution and to protect clean drinking water. He called the Clean Power Plan “unlawful and overreaching” and sued the EPA in order to protect the interests of polluters and the fossil fuel industry.

The U.S. Senate must not approve Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator.

We need more than just Sen. Collins’ vote against Pruitt — without additional Republican votes, we cannot succeed. We need Sen. Collins to voice her opposition NOW, and to be a leader in her Senate Republican caucus, persuading her colleagues to join her in opposing Pruitt. Voting the right way in the final moments is not enough.

Please call Sen. Collins now and urge her to oppose this anti-science, anti-conservation nomination — and to encourage her colleagues to do the same.

There is so much at stake for Maine’s people and environment. Thank you for your support.

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

 

Action Alert: Protect Maine from Invasive Plants

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
Posted on:

For the first time ever, Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is proposing a list of invasive plant species. If approved, it will be illegal to import, export, buy, sell, or propagate any living and viable portion of a listed plant species.

The creation of the list of invasive plant species in Maine is a long overdue step towards protecting the economic and ecological interests of our state.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry by Friday, December 16, and encourage them to approve the invasive plant list.

Email: [email protected] or
Mail: Division of Animal and Plant Health
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

WHY AN INVASIVE SPECIES LIST IS IMPORTANT
Species such as burning bush and Norway maple can currently be purchased in many locations throughout the state; however they will quickly take over natural areas and outcompete native species. Invasive plant species frequently grow unchecked which can result in:

  • Increased costs for farmers and foresters as the invasive species spread and dominate the landscape.
  • Diminished recreational opportunities as invasive species clog waterways and change our forests.
  • Increased difficultly for many wildlife species to find food and shelter as invasive species crowd out native plants. For example, studies have shown that berries of nonnative shrubs such as glossy buckthorn are less nutritional than native berries and act as a diuretic for some birds.

A list of invasive plant species will save uninformed consumers from making purchases they will later regret as the plants take over their yards, and then neighbors’ lands.

The process to define invasive species in Maine began nearly a decade ago, and the proposed list of species reflects thoughtful and thorough work from the nursery industry and natural resource professionals.

Please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by this Friday, December 16, and let them know you want them to approve the invasive plant species list that will make it illegal to import, export, buy, sell, or propagate listed plant species.

Other nearby states such as New Hampshire and Massachusetts have banned the sale of invasive species and Maine Audubon supports Maine taking the next phase to protect our natural resources.

Thank you for your support.

 

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

 

Taking Back the Farm: Purple Loosestrife

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
Posted on:

This is the first in a small series of blog posts I’m calling Taking Back the Farm. Each post will focus on an invasive species that is present at Gilsland Farm. I hope you can take some of the information from these posts to identify and eradicate any non-native and invasive species you find on your property.

 

IMG_2276

Purple loosestrife

Native to Eurasia, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a terribly invasive plant that can be found across the country. With tall, pinkish purple racemes it is an unfortunately beautiful plant but it can quickly take over swamps and meadows. Without some control, this non-native flower will continue to push out our native flora and create monocultures unsuitable as habitat for other wildlife.

Removal is difficult and requires lots of labor. As with all invasives, there is no single step to eradication. However a combination of tactics and continued effort will keep invasives at bay and give our natives a chance to flourish. The most effective way to get rid of purple loosestrife is to dig it up by the roots. You want to completely remove the entire plant from the area. Put all parts of the plant into trash bags but make sure there is no risk of plant matter being spread on the way to, or at, the landfill. Burning the plant matter is the most effective disposal method.

**DO NOT put this in your compost as the seeds will thrive.

 

IMG_2270

Purple loosestrife removal party

We recently had a purple loosestrife removal party at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm. Employees volunteered an hour before work and we removed as much of this invasive as we could find. Our main goal was to at least cut and remove all the flowerheads — before any went to seed — to prevent the plants currently here from spreading. It will take more effort (more “parties”) but I am thrilled with the success of this first step.

 

IMG_2297

Holy Donuts helped motivate our crew.

Before getting started, do your homework. Make sure that you are able to identify purple loosestrife and don’t accidentally remove anything that should be there. There are many “loosestrifes” (Lysimachia), but only one purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Hint: the Lysimachias are all yellow. And there are some plants that can look fairly similar. Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis) is a common roadside flower and blue vervain (Verbena hastata) also grows in wet meadows — but both are those are welcome natives.

 

IMG_2103

Blue Vervain

-Doug

Doug Hitchcox Head Shot - please credit  M. Kathleen Kelly (1)Meet Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon Staff Naturalist

A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.

Submit your question for Doug: