News & Notes


MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon and Partners Launch Fish Lead-Free Campaign

Posted on: Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

PrintMEDIA RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

July 23, 2014

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Maine Audubon and Partners Launch Fish Lead-Free Campaign
Passage of 2013 Loon Protection Bill spurs two-year educational initiative

Falmouth – Maine Audubon and its partners announced today the launch of the Fish Lead Free campaign. The goal of the campaign is to increase the use of lead-free tackle on Maine’s lakes and ponds by providing lead-free products and lead-tackle recycling assistance for anglers, as well as building awareness of Maine’s current lead tackle laws. Fish Lead Free is a cooperative partnership among Maine Audubon, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine BASS Nation, Maine Lakes Society and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Generous funding for the Fish Lead-Free campaign has been provided by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust and Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust.

The campaign will offer lead tackle exchange kits for organizations and individuals, access to a loon multi-media presentation and other resources to help anglers transition to lead-free tackle. The campaign also funds a Tufts Veterinary student to help with the collection and necropsy of dead loons found on Maine’s lakes and ponds. To sign up for more information and to see a schedule of presentations, please visit fishleadfree.org. If you find a dead loon in Maine, please call the Loon Hotline at (207) 781-6180 x275 to report the location and to receive more information about the necropsy process.

Can you spot the lead sinkers on a lake bottom?

Can you spot the lead sinkers on a lake bottom?

2013 Lead Tackle Legislation

In 2013, the Maine State Legislature banned the sale and use of lead fishing sinkers one ounce or less, with phase-in of a ban on the sale of bare lead-headed jigs 2.5” long or less in September 2016, and the use of those jigs in September 2017.

The passage of the law was prompted by findings that lead poisoning is the leading cause of death of adult loons in Maine. Almost one third of dead adult loons recovered from Maine’s lakes and ponds over the last 25 years had died from lead poisoning. For every two loons that die in Maine from natural causes like illness or disease, one loon dies from ingesting a small lead sinker or jig-head. Adult loons catch fish with lead sinkers and jigs attached or they pick up lead objects while eating gravel they need for digestion from lake bottoms.

Lead is highly toxic and just one lead object can lead to lead poisoning in a loon. Loons can die within two to four weeks post-ingestion. Early signs of lead poisoning include abnormal behavior like beaching themselves and not swimming away from people or predators. Over time, symptoms progress to general organ failure, including tremors and muscle paralysis. Loons become easy targets for their predators and are unable to take care of their chicks once the onset of lead poisoning has begun.

How can you help?

  • Switch to lead-free tackle made from nontoxic materials like tin, bismuth and steel
  • Sign up your community group for a free “Loons and Lead” presentation
  • Attend a local tackle exchange or work with Maine Audubon to organize one in your community
  • Report dead loons to Maine Audubon’s Dead Loon Hotline at (207) 781-6180 x275.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

Canoe Volunteer

Posted on: Monday, July 21st, 2014

A volunteer is needed at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center to put away canoes at the end of the day.  This position would be needed daily from 4:00pm – 5:00pm but can be based on your availability.  You can volunteer as often as a few days per week, or as little as once a month.

This volunteer position is best suited for a teenager with a parent, or an adult.  Any questions contact Linda at 207-883-5100 or e-mail smac@maineaudubon.org 

Accounting Associate

Posted on: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Maine Audubon seeks a 3/4 time Accounting Associate. This position reports to the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer and is located at the organization’s headquarters in Falmouth, Maine at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center.

Purpose of the position:

Under the direction of the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, this position is responsible for accounts payable, preparation of bank deposits, payroll processing, and revenue coding and data entry.

Essential Functions:

Daily duties include

  • Process accounts payable including receipt of invoices, managing requests for payment, coding and data entry.
  • Monitor cash flow and prepare checks for signature weekly.  Produce reports as needed including 1099s at year end.
  • Data entry and verification of coding for cash receipts. Coordination and review of cash receipts entries for gifts and donations prepared through Raiser’s Edge by Development department personnel.
  • Maintaining accounts payable.
  • Prepare and make bank deposits.

Payroll

  • Coordinate production of employee appointment letters for signature.
  • Coordinate production of biweekly payroll checks, including processing from assembly of timesheets through providing information to payroll service.
  • Track benefits enrollments
  • Process criminal background checks and Ensure enrollment paperwork (I-9, W-4, etc) and criminal background checks are complete and processed

Other

  • Prepare bank reconciliations and monthly sales tax report.
  • Assist with other reconciliations, routine data entry, and other accounting functions. Prepare adjusting journal entries for review.
  • Assemble all data for monthly preparation of financial statements.
  • Assist with special projects as requested.

 Additional Functions:

Evaluation Criteria:

Timeliness and accuracy of reports; attention to detail; meeting deadlines; willingness to update systems and increase office efficiency; discretion when dealing with confidential information; effectiveness when dealing with fellow employees.

 Relationships:

 Internal: Other staff at both Falmouth and offsite locations

External: Primary daily contact with vendors

 Equipment: (e.g., computer, calculator, copy machines, telephone, etc.)

  • Must be able to use a calculator.
  • PC proficiency and familiarity with Microsoft Word & Excel are essential.
  • Prior use of Raiser’s Edge & Financial Edge a plus

 Qualifications: (e.g., education, training, experience, licenses and skills)

  • Accounting degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Requires 3 years of payroll and benefit processing experience.
  • Prior experience in Fund Accounting preferable.

Must be detail oriented, accurate, dependable, and organized.  Requires own transportation to go to the bank.  Ability to work in a fast paced environment, to be flexible, and be able to set priorities.  Able to develop positive working relationships with other Maine Audubon staff.  Must demonstrate complete discretion when dealing with confidential information.

Physical Requirements: (e.g., lifting, reaching, climb, push/pull, etc.)

Must be able to lift moderate amounts of mail

Regularly operates computer equipment for data entry

Regularly communicates with vendors and staff via phone

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume to jobs@maineaudubon.org with ‘Accounting Assoc. Search” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin on July 31, 2014

Maine Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 
Any job offers are contingent on a successful criminal background check.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon’s Annual Loon Count Takes Place this Saturday, July 19

Posted on: Monday, July 14th, 2014

SmithG_Strikingly BeautifulNEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

July 14, 2013

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Maine Audubon’s Annual Loon Count Takes Place this Saturday, July 19 

Statewide – Since 1983, volunteers across the state have visited their local lakes and ponds the third Saturday in July with a pair of binoculars and a shared passion – protecting the Maine loon and its habitat. The annual Maine Audubon Loon Count takes place at 7 am on Saturday, July 19. Over 900 loon counters will participate in the annual project that gathers valuable data for Maine Audubon about the status of loons in the state. Volunteers interested in participating in this year’s loon count can contact Susan Gallo at sgallo@maineaudubon.org or call (207) 781-6180 x216. The deadline to join this year’s count is Thursday, July 17.

The Maine Loon Project was launched 31 years ago as a joint effort with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to assess the status of loons in Maine. At that time, very little was known about the iconic bird, but repeated reports of fewer and fewer birds on Maine’s lakes and ponds spurred the development of a state-wide protocol to conduct a standardized count using “citizen scientist” volunteers. Over the past thirty-one years, that count, along with projects like habitat assessment and loon mortality studies, have given Maine Audubon much needed insight into the loon population and the many challenges loons face, including habitat degradation and disturbance, boats, predators and lead poisoning from lead-based fishing tackle.

Over the past 31 years, the estimate of the adult loon population in the southern half of Maine has seen a relatively steady increase, though the estimate has dipped several times over those three decades, most notably almost 10% in 2012. The 2013 estimate was just over 3,700 adults, moving the count back in the direction of a steady increase. There is, however, no apparent 30 year trend for the number of chicks estimated from the annual Loon Count. Numbers typically go up and down dramatically from year to year, never with any evidence of significant increases since the count began in 1983.

The 2013 count for chicks continued that trend, with an estimate of 324 chicks for the southern half of Maine, more than in 2012, but fewer than in 2011. Susan Gallo, Director of the Maine Loon Project, noted there are a number of factors contributing to stagnant chick production. “We know that lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for adult loons in Maine, and although not a direct cause of death for chicks, chicks who lose a parent to lead poisoning are probably less likely to survive with only one parent left behind to care for them.” There also a number of other threats on Maine’s lakes and ponds, from extreme rain events that flood nests to abundant predators to disturbance from boaters. New emerging diseases are increasingly a concern, as are changes in water quality that may result from climate change.

In 2013, loon counters answered additional questions on their survey forms about how many loons might be breeding on their lakes. Breeding loons will typically be in pairs or on their own, while non-breeders form large social groups. By differentiating these social groups from isolated pairs and individuals, Maine Audubon hopes to shed more light on the apparent disconnect between the adult and chick estimates. Since loons don’t typically breed until they are seven years old, they spend many years as “bachelors” (and bachelorettes) on Maine’s lakes and ponds. The additional questions will be on the survey forms in 2014 and over time, will help Maine Audubon better understand loon productivity and the size of the breeding population.

Tips for Protecting Loons 

  • Obey no-wake law within 200 feet of shore
  • Use lead-free tackle; alternatives are made of steel, tin and bismuth
  • Dispose of fishing line so it does not get tangled in a loons’ feet or bill
  • If you live on a lake, use phosphorus-free fertilizer and plant shrubs as a buffer along the shoreline to reduce run-off
  • If you see a loon on a nest, keep your distance and watch with binoculars
  • Keep garbage out of reach of loon egg predators like skunks and raccoons.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

Turtle Volunteer

Posted on: Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

A volunteer is needed at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center (Falmouth) to clean our turtle, Justeen.  This position would be needed 1 to 2 times per month depending on your availability, and offers a flexible schedule any day and time of your choosing.  

This job would consist of emptying her tank of water, cleaning the filter, and washing the rocks; on average this takes about 45  minutes.  This volunteer position is best suited for a teenager with a parent, or an adult.  Any questions contact Linda at 207-883-5100 or e-mail smac@maineaudubon.org 

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Seeks Volunteers to Monitor Roads in Franklin, Oxford and Somerset Counties

Posted on: Monday, June 9th, 2014

 NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 9, 2014

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-6180 x209

 Maine Audubon Seeks Volunteers to Monitor Roads in Franklin, Oxford and Somerset Counties

bearsFALMOUTH – Maine Audubon seeks volunteers to survey roads in western Maine for signs of wildlife road crossings. Information collected by volunteers about where, when and how many animals cross our roads is the critical first step in identifying ways to reduce wildlife road mortality. The western mountains region of Maine has been identified by many local, regional and international conservation efforts, including President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, as an important natural area for people and wildlife.

Since the inception of Maine Audubon’s Wildlife Road Watch program in 2010, over 460 volunteers have reported over 3,600 wildlife observations, including reports of rare and endangered species. Last year, 16 volunteers surveyed routes throughout Franklin, Oxford and Somerset counties.

Maine Audubon is looking for volunteers to survey sections of Routes 4, 16, 27 and 201. “This area of Maine has been identified as important habitat for large-scale wildlife movement in New England. We know that species movement in this area is impacted by roads and traffic,” said Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon staff naturalist. “The goal of this program is to identify areas of concentrated movement and figure out what can be done to improve the conditions for Maine wildlife and Maine drivers. We can’t do it without our team of trained citizen scientists.”

Roads can have a big impact on wildlife by impeding movement and separating populations, as well as killing individuals from collisions. Biologists with Maine Audubon and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will use the information gathered by volunteers to work with town planners and the Maine Department of Transportation to reduce road risks to rare wildlife and improve conditions for drivers.

“Maine has a unique mix of wildlife and well-traveled roads,” noted Hitchcox. “We find that people are genuinely interested in taking care of our wildlife.” Volunteers are asked to survey a designated section of road – by car or by foot – while recording any evidence of wildlife crossing. “It’s a minimal time commitment and a great opportunity for families to learn about wildlife together. It helps to get families outside on a regular basis in the summer months.”

To learn more about the Wildlife Road Watch, contact Doug Hitchcox at Maine Audubon at (207) 781-6180 ext. 237 or dhitchcox@maineaudubon.org, Learn more at www.maineaudubon.org.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

 

Volunteers Needed at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center

Posted on: Monday, June 9th, 2014
smarsh-canoelifting-volunteersIMG_5229

Who can Volunteer

  • Age 14 and up – One 4 hour shift per week either 9-1 or 1-5
  • Age 16 and up – As many 4 hour shifts you want per week
  • Children under 14 are welcome for special events and projects such as clean-ups

Volunteer Opportunities Include

  • Helping with opening and closing procedures
  • Assisting inside the store and nature center
    • greeting customers and offering assistance and education
    • passing out rental forms and explaining rental procedures
    • straightening up store, folding t-shirts, wiping countertops, etc
    • watering plants in window boxes
    • preparing nature center for the visitors
  • Helping outside with canoe rentals
    • helping distribute life jackets & paddles
    • explaining the map and which direction to paddle
    • helping customers in and out of boat.
  • Leading tours (must complete appropriate training prior to leading)
    • marsh walks-1.5 hours
    • canoe tours-1.5 hours
  • Helping with special events Biodiversity Day, Snowy Egret Day, Labor Day Extravaganza, Bird Monitoring, Marsh Clean-ups
  • Miscellaneous
    • crafts, nature art
    • computers-data entry, making signs
    • carpentry & building and trail maintenance
    • and more
  • Special Internships and projects are available

Call 207-883-5100 for more information or e-mail smac@maineaudubon.org

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Celebrates Members at Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social

Posted on: Monday, June 2nd, 2014

NEWS RELEASE Peony and Boy

For Immediate Release

June 2, 2014

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

Maine Audubon Celebrates Members at Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social

Falmouth – Maine Audubon will hold their annual Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, June 18, from 6 to 8 pm. The annual celebration recognizes the organization’s Peony Circle of Friends, dedicated members, donors and volunteers who have supported Maine Audubon with their time, energy and contributions for over twenty years. The event will take place at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth (20 Gilsland Farm Road).

Enjoy homemade ice cream donated by Toots Ice Cream (North Yarmouth) and live music from the students of 317 Main (Yarmouth). Become a Maine Audubon member that evening and receive special discounts and a free peony flower. The event also features a children’s peony craft workshop – bring the whole family!  To learn more, please visit www.maineaudubon.org or contact Agata Ketterick, Membership Manager, at aketterick@maineaudubon.org or call (207) 781-2330 x232.

Why are the peonies at Gilsland Farm so special?

David Edward Moulton (1871-1951), a prominent attorney and founder of the Portland Water District, acquired the property that was to become Gilsland Farm in 1911. His love of horticulture led him to plant many varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers on the property, but it was the peony that truly fascinated him.

By 1928, he had collected more than 200 varieties planted over four acres – reputedly one of the most complete peony collections in the country. So famous were Moulton’s flowers that individual peony roots sold for as much as $250. The Portland paper called Gilsland Farm “a show garden of peonies – wonder place of Portland.”

Though David Moulton’s fields of cultivated peonies no long exist, visitors to Gilsland Farm will find remnants of his collection blooming in the meadows and along the woodland edges every June. A cultivated formal peony garden next to the Education Center showcases the beautiful blooms that most likely bloomed during his time at the farm.

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About Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.


Conserving
Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

Environmental Education Assistants

Posted on: Thursday, May 29th, 2014

We are looking for teenagers (ages 14 to 18) to be Environmental Education Assistants (EEA’s) at our Maine Audubon summer programs. As an Environmental Education Assistant you will have a unique opportunity to develop leadership and skills towards creating a meaningful interaction between children and nature.  You will both assist in leading activities and games, and be a role model for all campers. Maine Audubon Summer programs are designed to provide children with a chance to safely explore exciting aspects of the natural world, while practicing ways to conserve and protect those natural communities. To accomplish this, each day is designed around specific questions related to Maine’s ecosystems, and local wildlife and habitats. Children will discover the answers to these questions through daily activities, whether a song, a nature game, a recyclable art project, or a low-impact hike or meal, which can lead to changes in how they interact with the natural world.

There are opportunities with both preschool (ages 3-5) and Camp (ages 6-11) programs. With either program, we ask for a commitment of at least 1-2 full weeks and attend the training session Wednesday afternoon on June 18, 2014

Preschool:

EEA’s can work a full day 8am – 4pm or ½ day morning or afternoon shifts T-F

Contact Kim Sanders at 207 781 2330 ext 231 or ksanders@maineaudubon.org

Camp:

EEA’s work 8:30am to 3:30pm M-F

Contact Karen Arno at 207 781 2330 ext 211 or karno@maineaudubon.org.

RETURNING-Environmental-Education-Assistant-Application

NEW-Environmental-Education-Assistant-Application

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Seeks Anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project

Posted on: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2014

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-6180 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 Maine Audubon Seeks Anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project
Volunteers will help fisheries conservation goals in the state

Native trout - Bastian photo

Falmouth – Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote Maine ponds and coastal streams for brook trout this fishing season. Survey information collected by anglers will be used by the nonprofit organizations and IFW to help identify populations of brook trout to be eligible for conservation management practices.

2014 is the fourth year of the Brook Trout Survey Project. Maine is home to 97% of the intact wild brook trout pond habitat in the eastern United States. Brook trout require clean, cold water and pristine habitat to survive – the population health of brook trout is a key indicator of a healthy ecosystem that also indicates the health of other species, including moose, deer, otters, kingfishers, herons and osprey. The quality and abundance of Maine brook trout has declined in recent years because of the introduction of competing species. Brook trout are important to Maine and the nation’s ecological and sporting heritage and are also a valuable recreational and economic state resource.

Hundreds of remote ponds and coastal streams have never been surveyed by fisheries biologists nor have any record of being stocked with fish. “Identifying the ponds with native brook trout will greatly assist IFW in planning our conservation management strategies over the next several decades,” noted Merry Gallagher of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “The success of this project is entirely dependent on the data collected by volunteer anglers.” The project’s focus on remote ponds and coastal streams offers anglers a chance to explore new areas of the state. “Volunteers should be enthusiastic about fishing for brook trout, be comfortable in remote settings and have a sense of adventure!” noted Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited.

To date, 197 volunteer anglers have successfully surveyed 258 remote Maine ponds for which no data was previously available. IFW biologists have also conducted official surveys on 45 ponds that volunteers identified as brook trout ponds, and confirmed brook trout presence in 34 of these ponds. This number is expected to increase after IFW survey crews complete follow-up surveys on additional ponds this summer.

In 2014, the project is expanding to include coastal stream surveys along the Maine coast. Little is known about the distribution and life history of sea-run brook trout in Maine, so volunteers are needed to help identify watersheds containing this special and elusive fish. “Enthusiasm is already running high this year,” noted Amanda Moeser, the project’s coordinator at Maine Audubon. “The project’s success will depend on renewed participation from past volunteers and new participants. This is an exciting opportunity for people who enjoy fishing and exploring Maine’s outdoors to contribute to the conservation of native brook trout, a significant and unique resource for Maine.”

Volunteer anglers are needed to survey coastal streams ranging from Kennebunk to Lubec, along with 300-plus ponds in western and northern Maine. Surveys can be completed any time before September 30, 2014. Project partners will provide maps, data sheets and instructions on how to survey ponds and streams. To sign up to volunteer, please contact Amanda Moeser at (207) 781-6180 x207 or amoeser@maineaudubon.org. For more information about the Brook Trout Survey project, visit maineaudubon.org/brooktrout.

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About Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.


Conserving
Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon