News & Notes: Conservation Issues


Who has been chewing on our building?

Posted on: Thursday, August 11th, 2016

While photographing a Sigmoid Prominent outside our Environmental Center, I noticed a series of long narrow marks along the wood siding of the building. We shared a photo of them as a quiz on our Facebook page. Do you know who made these bizarre markings?

quiz photo

It didn’t take long before their creator returned and continued the job:

Bald-faced Hornet from Doug Hitchcox on Vimeo.

If you guessed Bald-faced Hornet in our photo quiz, you are correct! Points will also be awarded to anyone who guessed one of the ‘paper nest wasps’ (or anything in Vespidae) as I doubt this photo is diagnostic for a single species. These wasps (they are not actually hornets) will use dead wood for constructing their large papery nests. Here is an excerpt from a PennState’s College of Agricultural Science ‘Entomological Notes’ with details on their nesting process:

The queen collects cellulose from weathered and rotting wood, chews the wood adding her saliva, and takes this paste and makes a papery material to construct the nest. She creates a few brood cells within the nest and deposits eggs in them and feeds the larvae when they hatch. This first brood will assume the duties of nest building, food collection, feeding the larvae and protecting the nest. As the summer progresses, the colony grows until there may be 100 to 400 workers.

We currently have one of these nests on display in our Discovery Room at Gilsland Farm

bfho nestAnd here is a closeup of the nest showing how the color of each ‘layer’ varies depending on the color of the substance the wasps are using to make it.

nest closeup

 

-DougDoug 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:

Experience Maine’s Wildlife

Posted on: Monday, August 8th, 2016

Greetings,

Summer is in full swing for Maine Audubon and we are hosting a variety of programs designed to help people engage with wildlife. One of the best ways to get out and experience the Maine summer is by paddling a canoe or kayak at our Scarborough Marsh facility. You can rent a boat or take a tour with a naturalist. The full moon tours are always a big hit and an unusual way to see this distinct habitat and the creatures who call it home.

This year the demand at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center has been overwhelming and we are looking for volunteers to help. It’s not the typical desk job and people from all over the world come through this facility so it’s an exciting place to be. All experience levels are welcome and this is a perfect opportunity for students looking to beef up their college application, earn community service hours, or add experiences with nature and science to their resumes.

On  August 18, our Speaker Series brings you a Live Birds of Prey show with Hope Douglas from Wind over Wings. At this 21+ event, enjoy a beer or glass of wine while saying hello to the visiting raptors, including Queen Solomon, a Great Horned Owl. These shows are extremely popular so get your tickets soon!

September will be here before you know it, and if you miss the birds of prey show, you can always get your raptor fix by joining us for the Bald Eagles of Merrymeeting Bay cruise sailing out of Boothbay Harbor on September 10. Over 60 eagles were counted during last year’s trip, which is a testament to the rebound of this majestic bird.

When you belong to Maine Audubon, there are so many opportunities to explore Maine’s habitats and experience Maine’s wildlife. Hope to see you outside this summer!

-Ole

Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Names L.L. Bean Executive Andrew Beahm as New Deputy Director

Posted on: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

August 3, 2016

Contact: Jeremy Cluchey, Director of Communications
[email protected]
207-781-2330 x222

Maine Audubon is pleased to announce that Andrew Beahm will be joining the team as Deputy Director. A former Maine Audubon board member and chair who has served in various executive roles at L.L. Bean for the past three decades, Beahm brings the perfect mix of knowledge and experience to this critical new position.

Most recently, Beahm has served as L.L. Bean’s Vice President of Business Transformation, where he brought his decades of rich experience and knowledge to a company-wide reengineering process focused on improving operations, simplifying systems, and building a platform for continuing innovation. During his 34-year tenure, Beahm has also served as L.L. Bean’s Vice President of Internal Audit; Assistant Treasurer; Vice President of Brand Services; Director of Strategic Planning; and in a range of other management and analyst roles.

Among his many accomplishments at the industry-leading retailer, Beahm managed a strategic review that prompted L.L. Bean’s retail expansion from Freeport to over 40 cities. He led L.L.Bean’s centralized marketing activities including strategic brand management, partnership marketing, development and circulation planning for core catalogs, advertising, and growing L.L.Bean’s e-commerce channel. Across his diverse roles, Beahm brought a focus on process improvement and critical analysis of the status quo which, combined with a disciplined approach to setting and achieving targets, resulted in improved long-term results.

Beahm’s corporate experience is complemented by his extensive work with nonprofit organizations in Maine. In addition to Maine Audubon, Beahm has served as board president for the Cancer Community Center and Greater Portland Big Brothers/Big Sisters (of which he is a founding trustee). Beahm has also served as a trustee for the Pine Tree Boy Scouts Council, Portland Nordic, and has volunteered in multiple capacities for the United Way.

Ole Amundsen, Maine Audubon’s executive director, welcomed Beahm enthusiastically to the team. “Maine Audubon has benefited from Andy’s perspective and leadership for years,” he said. “In this new role, Andy’s wealth of experience, both broad and deep, will be a true boon to our team, our operations, and our effectiveness. I can’t imagine a better fit for this crucial role.”

“I have had the privilege of being involved with Maine Audubon for many years, in many capacities,” said Beahm. “I’ve been a visitor to Gilsland Farm, a member, a trustee, and then chair of the board. For me, it is a thrill to be able to contribute to the success of such an important organization in a brand new way. I couldn’t be more excited to join this team.” A graduate of the University of Maine system, Beahm is an avid outdoorsman, paddler, runner, and cyclist. He lives in Falmouth.

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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, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Volunteers Take to the Lakes for 33rd Annual Maine Audubon Loon Count

Posted on: Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

July 13, 2016

Contact: Leslie Taylor, Digital Media Manager
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x276
Cell: (347)225-1510

loon-countphotoFALMOUTH, Maine  — On Saturday, July 16, Maine Audubon will conduct its 33rd annual Loon Count. Over 900 Mainers have volunteered to survey lakes and ponds across the state, collecting valuable scientific data that informs and supports conservation efforts.

This year’s count takes place between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. Counters are assigned areas to count from shore or by boat, and regional coordinators will compile the results and send them to Maine Audubon for analysis.

“Loons need lakes with clean, clear water and lots of fish, so they are good indicators of lake health,” said Susan Gallo, director of the Maine Loon Project. “A lake that’s good for loons is good or all kinds of other wildlife — and good for people, too.”

“The annual count has helped build support for laws that keep our lakes and loons healthy, including regulations around lead free tackle, shoreline development, and invasive plants. It’s also been a great way to get people outside, learning about where loons are, where they nest, and how easy it is to share a lake with a loon family,” Gallo said.

Photo by June LeDuc

Photo by June LeDuc

BACKGROUND
The loon count is the centerpiece of Maine Audubon’s Maine Loon Project. Through the project, Maine Audubon actively engages people in conservation, educates the public about loon biology and conservation, and collects the scientific data needed to advocate for legislation that benefits loons and the lakes where they live.

The 2015 Loon Count enlisted 850 volunteers to survey 290 Maine lakes and ponds. Despite the challenges posed by torrential rain that day, Maine Audubon calculated the loon population in the southern half of Maine to be 2,818 adult loons and 218 chicks. While this number is down about 10% for adults compared to the 2014 estimate, the long-term trend remains positive and the 2015 number is twice what the very first estimate of 1,416 adults was in 1984. The estimate for chicks has consistently gone up and down over the last 32 years, with the 2016 estimate falling just below the 32-year average of 267.

Gallo credits the success of adult loons in part to the efforts of lake associations, landowners, and Maine lawmakers, who have all created conditions for cleaner water and healthier fish populations in Maine lakes and ponds. But she remains concerned about the flat growth of chick production. Lake visitors and boaters play an important role in letting loons thrive, by keeping boat speed down and by watching loons and their chicks from a distance.

“Loon nests are very sensitive to changes in water levels,” says Gallo. “A heavy rainstorm, or wake from a boat going too fast too close to shore, can flood their nests, and eggs literally wash away. We’re coming into the busiest time of year on lakes, so it’s important for people to give loons room and follow Maine’s headway speed law when they are within 200 feet of shore.”

NEW OPPORTUNITIES
This year, loon counters and others interested in loon conservation also have the opportunity to get involved with two new projects that have developed in partnership with Maine Audubon:

  • The Signs of the Seasons phenology program is looking for volunteers to monitor loons and their chicks throughout the summer.
  • The Maine Lakes Society has created a Loon Smart Award for homeowners enrolled in their Lake Smart program.

Visit www.maineaudubon.org/loons for more information on these opportunities and how Mainers can help loons. You may also sign up for the 2017 loon count there.

For more information about the Maine Loon Project or volunteering, please contact Susan Gallo at (207) 781-2330, ext. 216, or [email protected].

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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, 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.

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

 

Planting Oaks and Counting Loons

Posted on: Friday, July 8th, 2016

Greetings,

June was an exciting month for Maine Audubon as we hosted Doug Tallamy, the author of Bringing Nature Home – a book which has really inspired a science-based movement to plant native plants. Doug’s work as an entomologist documents in a compelling fashion how native plants support a vast array of insect live, which in turn support other creatures like birds. His research points out how several tree species like oaks and willows support hundreds of insects and are cornerstones of an ecosystem that is relevant at a neighborhood scale, as well as a landscape scale.

As part of our Wildlife Stewardship Council we held a great event bringing Doug Tallamy into the field at the home of Dan Hildreth. Dan’s home is nestled under large oak trees and his wife had thoughtfully potted several red oak seedlings in case guests wanted to plant an oak of their own as result of what they had learned from Dr. Tallamy. Well, I have just the spot for an oak tree at our home in Waterville!

By doing something simple like planting one oak tree – you are helping an entire ecosystem. Plus, once the tree starts to produce nuts and seedlings, you too can share with your neighbors, friends, and family the magic that an oak tree can bring.

nesting-loons-june-leducJuly brings all sorts of opportunities to engage with Maine Audubon in citizen science projects across Maine. In greater Bangor, on July 3, Fields Pond Audubon Center hosted a butterfly walk so volunteers could help count butterflies for the North American Butterfly Count. Saturday July 16th is our annual Loon Count, which for over 30 years has been documenting the loon populations on lakes and ponds across Maine. And we are recruiting volunteers to come out to Scarborough Marsh on July 23rd for a marsh-wide survey of birds and on July 30th for a plant and insect survey. So, if you’re interested in helping scientists collect data to monitor Maine wildlife, we have your whole July planned out across the state.

See you out in the field in July!

-Ole

Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.

MEDIA RELEASE: Raise Your Glass for Maine Audubon

Posted on: Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Shipyard Brewing Company in partnership with the Migis Hotel Group, Fess Parker Winery, and Ice Pik Vodka are excited to announce the 2nd annual Raise Your Glass campaign benefitting Maine Audubon. During the month of July, $1.00 from every glass of Shipyard Beer, Fess Parker Wine, and Ice Pik Vodka sold at the Migis Group Maine properties will be donated to Maine Audubon.

Maine Audubon was selected as the beneficiary of the Raise Your Glass campaign because of their mission to keep Maine special by protecting Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. The Migis Hotel Group and Shipyard Brewing Company are both committed to the responsibility of giving back and are dedicated to efforts surrounding the protection of Maine’s environment and wildlife habitat.

The companies hope to raise $5,000 through the Raise Your Glass campaign to support important initiatives like endangered species protection, environmental education for all ages, and advocacy that helps shape effective conservation policies.

“We choose to live or visit Maine because there is something truly special about this state. And that’s why Maine Audubon exists – to keep Maine special. We are grateful to these local businesses for making wildlife conservation a top priority by investing in Maine Audubon,” Ole Amundsen, Maine Audubon Executive Director notes.

VP of Shipyard Brewing Company explains, “As a resident of Scarborough, Maine I’ve viewed the incredible diversity of birds that inhabit or pass through the Scarborough Marsh and Beaches. We are thrilled to partner with the Migis Hotel Group to help preserve this rare and beautiful place in Maine through Maine Audubon.”

Participating Migis Hotel Group properties include: Black Point Inn in Scarborough, 250 Main Hotel in Rockland, and Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake. Each location will be featuring Shipyard Summer Ale and Shipyard newest release, Island Time Session IPA. The featured wines will include Fess Parker Ashley’s Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay (rated 92 by the Wine Enthusiast) and Chickadee Central Coast Chardonnay. Locally crafted Ice Pik Vodka will be offered in several proprietary cocktails developed by the Migis Food and Beverage team.

Managing partner of Migis Hotel Group Phil Kronenthal explains, “We love to watch as our hotel teams plan for the kick-off of this campaign. Everyone gets excited! Giving our teams a way to make a positive impact while they are already doing their great work is something we can all be really proud of.”

In 2015, the Raise Your Glass campaign benefited the Autism Society of Maine which provides education and resources to support the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Corporate Sponsors

About the Fundraiser

Come enjoy a Shipyard Brewing Co beer, Fess Parker or Chickadee wine, or Ice Pik Vodka drink at Black Point Inn, Migis Lodge, or 250 Main Hotel anytime during the month of July and $1 will be donated on behalf of our corporate partners to Maine Audubon. We’ll donate $4 for every bottle of Fess Parker or Chickadee wine purchased.

Can’t make it to the event?

Maine Audubon is always accepting donations, so even if you’re unable to attend this year’s event, you can still help by donating to Maine Audubon directly.

Donate Now to Maine Audubon!

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon Presents Doug Tallamy on the Importance of Native Plants

Posted on: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 21, 2016

Contact: LeslieTaylor
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x276
Cell: (347)225-1510

Maine Audubon Presents Doug Tallamy on the Importance of Native Plants
In Honor of Pollinator Week, Learn to Make Your Garden Wildlife-friendly

tallamytalkFALMOUTH – Learn how native plants attract pollinators and other wildlife at a talk by Dr. Doug Tallamy, chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and author of Bringing Nature Home. Dr. Tallamy will speak at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center on Wednesday, June 29, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm as part of the Maine Audubon Speaker Series.  Online registration is encouraged.

Studies have shown that even a modest increase in the native plant cover on suburban properties greatly increases the diversity of insects, birds, and other animals that use the landscape. Native plants feed native bird species either directly with fruits and seeds, or indirectly by supporting native insects birds can eat.

As our population grows, wild landscapes are increasingly replaced with suburban backyards, grass lawns punctuated with non-native perennials and shrubs that support very few species of wildlife. In fact, the United States has planted over 62,500 square miles – some 40 million acres – of lawn!

In his talk, Dr. Tallamy will discuss the important benefits of choosing native plants for our gardens and emphasize the ecological, educational, physical, and emotional benefits of designing landscapes that can sustain plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S.

This program and Maine Audubon’s Bringing Nature Home project are generously funded by a gift from Jim & Ann Hancock. Maine Audubon’s Speaker Series is sponsored by Maine Magazine, Allagash Brewing Company, and Chickadee Wines  

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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, 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.

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Volunteers Needed for Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center

Posted on: Monday, June 20th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 20, 2016

Contact: Linda Woodard
[email protected]
207-883-5100

Volunteers Needed for Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
Maine Audubon seeks help on a variety of projects in support of Maine’s largest salt marsh  

SCARBOROUGH – Maine Audubon is looking for volunteers ages 14 and up to help with a variety of tasks at the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center. All experience levels are welcome and this is a perfect opportunity for students looking to beef up their college application, earn community service hours, or add experiences with nature and science to their resumes.

Depending on their interest and abilities, volunteers could help with:

  • Citizen Science Projects -  Participate in bird monitoring in July and August. This can be done by foot, canoe, or kayak. A Biodiversity Day in July will inventory all insects and plants in the marsh.  These monitoring projects provide a picture of the health of the marsh by documenting what species live there and noting any changes over time. All experience levels welcome.
  • The Nature Store – Greet visitors, organize store merchandise, answer phone calls, and assist with canoe rentals.
  • Canoe Rentals – Process paperwork, explain directions and safety, hand out lifejackets and paddles, move boats on and off storage rack, and assist visitors in and out of boats.
  • The Nature Center – Lead groups of all ages on explorations through the marsh. Lead walks, discuss animal mounts, maintain interactive exhibits, greet visitors and answer questions.
  • Buildings/Grounds Maintenance – Carry out carpentry and landscaping projects, maintain walking trails and boardwalks, paint, etc.

In addition, the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center requires volunteers for special events, such as Snowy Egret Day and special projects, such as picking up returnables to raise money for the center.

If you are interested in helping out at the marsh, there is likely a project that fits your expertise!

No experience is necessary and the time commitment can be tailored to the volunteer’s schedule. Training will be provided.

To learn more about volunteering, contact: Linda Woodard 207-883-5100or smac@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, 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.

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Penobscot River Restoration Project Celebrates Final Milestone, Reconnects River to the Sea

Posted on: Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 14, 2016

Contact: Leslie Taylor, Media Manager
[email protected]
207-781-2330 x276
mobile: 347-225-1510

Penobscot River Restoration Project Celebrates Final Milestone,
Reconnects River to the Sea
Howland fish bypass completes collaborative effort to rebalance fisheries and hydropower on Maine’s largest river

Bypass panorama - credit Don Hudson

Photo by Don Hudson.

Howland, ME – Today, federal, state, local, and tribal representatives, and project partners gathered in Howland, Maine, to mark and celebrate the completion of the last major milestone in the Penobscot River Restoration Project: the newly constructed fish bypass around the dam in Howland.

Completion of this large stream-like channel will allow American shad, river herring, and Atlantic salmon to swim freely around the dam to and from important historic breeding, rearing, and nursery habitat for the first time in more than a century. The Howland fish bypass fulfills the Penobscot Project’s goal of significantly improving access to nearly 1,000 miles of Maine’s largest river for eleven species of native sea-run fish, while maintaining energy through increased hydropower generation at other dams in the watershed.

The Penobscot Project is widely considered one of the largest, most innovative river restoration projects in the nation.

The celebration event, held in Howland at the confluence of the Penobscot and Piscataquis Rivers, features diverse speakers, art work by local students, and a fish sculpture making Howland its first U.S. stop on a world tour of globally significant fish migration sites.

“The Howland Dam may seem far from the sea, but it has long kept migrating fish like Atlantic salmon and American shad from swimming between the ocean and their historic inland habitat,” says Laura Rose Day, Executive Director of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust. “This innovative ‘nature-like’ fish bypass reconnects the Piscataquis River to the main stem of the Penobscot and the Gulf of Maine, allowing sea-run fish to swim freely past the dam.

“The Penobscot Trust thanks the Town of Howland for working with us over many years to facilitate the success of the fish bypass. Adjacent to the town’s recently revitalized park, boat launch, and reclaimed former tannery site, the fish bypass should prove to be an asset for the future.”

Four years ago, in June 2012, the Great Works Dam removal began, followed by the removal of the Veazie Dam at the head of tide in 2013. At the same time, dam owners built a fish elevator at the Milford Dam, now the only dam on the lower Penobscot.  Dam owners increased power generation at several other locations within the Penobscot watershed to maintain and even increase power generation.

Today, the river is on the rebound. This year, more than 1.7 million river herring have already passed above dams removed by the Penobscot Project – up from only several thousand before the Veazie Dam was removed. Fish are now swimming upriver past Howland and into the Piscataquis and through the Mattaceunk Dam on the Penobscot in Medway, and have been observed more than 90 miles upriver from Penobscot Bay. In addition, a record-breaking 2,700 shad passed by Milford this spring. In another exciting development, last week fisheries experts saw the first American shad in recent history passing the West Enfield dam.

New community activities abound. The new national whitewater race, a 4-day event featuring activities from Old Town to Eddington, is entering its second year.  An annual alewife festival and children’s days has begun at Blackman Stream in Bradley, where more than 450,000 river herring swam up the stream this past month.

“Construction of the Howland bypass is another milestone in efforts to restore Maine’s native sea-run fisheries in the Penobscot River,” says Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “Passage of anadromous fish species is critical to the health of our state’s marine and freshwater ecosystems. This project will not only provide access to hundreds of miles of critical habitat to Maine’s native sea-run fish, it will ensure continued opportunity for renewable power generation on the Penobscot River.”

“The Service is proud to have spent over a decade working with the partnership to creatively craft and create a better future for the Penobscot River, modeling how we should restore rivers across the globe,” says Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We have completed monumental construction projects, energy improvements, and other steps redefining how the Penobscot River serves fish, the people of Maine, and the Penobscot Indian Nation. This project has managed to do it all: restore vital habitat for fish and wildlife, support energy needs, and create new economic and recreational opportunities throughout the watershed.”

Dam owners, conservation groups, tribal, state, and federal agencies, and citizens, worked together for more than a decade to accomplish the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which better balances restoration of native sea-run fish with hydropower generation.

“NOAA Fisheries congratulates the Penobscot River Restoration Trust on their completion of the nature-like bypass in Howland, and looks forward to the continued restoration of sea-run fish to the Penobscot River watershed,” says Dan Morris, Deputy Regional Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region.“The Trust, its member organizations, State of Maine, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Penobscot Indian Nation have been wonderful partners in the Penobscot River Restoration Project over the years.”

The restored river provides many cultural, economic, and recreational opportunities from the Penobscot headwaters to the Gulf of Maine. As a result of the project, the river now better supports Penobscot Indian Nation tribal culture, renews traditional uses, provides major benefits to fish and wildlife, and increases business and regulatory certainty for dam owners.

“The Penobscot River watershed is the ancestral home of the Penobscot Nation, and has sustained our tribal members since time immemorial,” says Kirk Francis, Chief of the Penobscot Nation. “The Penobscot River Restoration Project has allowed our tribe to continue our role as the original stewards of this great resource and we are proud to have been a part of a project that will benefit generations of all peoples well in to the future.”

The Penobscot Project also demonstrates how diverse interests can work together to develop results-based approaches to fisheries restoration and hydropower basin-wide. This type of approach could serve as a model for other efforts around the world.

Like the overall Penobscot Project, the Howland Bypass was funded through a combination of federal and private sources, with major funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish Passage Program.  The Howland Bypass design and construction team included Kleinschmidt, Inter-Fluve, Inc., Haley Aldrich, CES, Inc. and SumCo Eco-Contracting.

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The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is a nonprofit organization responsible for completing the core elements of the Penobscot Project. Members are the Penobscot Indian Nation, American Rivers, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Audubon, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Trout Unlimited, and The Nature Conservancy. Other major partners include the State of Maine (Department of Marine Resources, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife), Department of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs), PPL Corporation, and Black Bear Hydro Partners LLC.      

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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, 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.

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

Celebrating the Start of Summer

Posted on: Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Kayaking at Scarborough Marsh

It finally feels like summer here at Gilsland Farm and everything is green and blooming.  Buds are just starting to emerge in our formal peony garden, right on schedule so they will hopefully be near peak flower for our Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social on June 15.

The Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social is an annual celebration of 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.  This will be my first Peony Social and I’m looking forward to meeting and honoring the special group of supporters who have shown such a deep commitment to stewardship, conservation and environmental education through their long term engagement with Maine Audubon.

Summer means it’s time to get out in the garden so I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can make my backyard wildlife friendly from Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, when he joins us for our Speaker Series event on June 29.

Summer also means that Gilsland Farm will get an influx of young energy as we’ll daily encounter summer campers on the grounds of the nature reserve, learning about wildlife and enjoying the outdoors under the guidance of our expert educators. There are still a few spots available for budding young naturalists grades K-5 for our day camps at Gilsland Farm and Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden.

Lastly, summer means that Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center is open! We began opening on weekends Memorial Day weekend and will be open seven days a week starting June 11. Before we opened for the season, I had the pleasure of an afternoon of kayaking on the marsh. It really is a special place. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit Scarborough Marsh or one of the other Maine Audubon centers or sanctuaries this summer.

Hope you are enjoying Maine’s all too brief summer!

-Ole

Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.