Friends of Casco Bay Advocate for Climate Change Initiative; Muskie’s Legacy Should be Celebrated


Anna Siegel, a Leader in the Maine Youth for Climate Justice Movement, Addressed a Crowd at a Recent Portland Press Conference.

Lisa Lizler, of Munjoy HIll Holds a Sign at the Women’s March Four Years Ago.

No Kidding!

Susan Cousins Holds a Sign: “there is no Planet B.” at a Climate Change Strike at City Hall Last Year.

The Friends of Casco Bay has announced its goal of raising $1.5 million for its climate change and Casco Bay Fund.  The Fund will be spent over the next ten (10) years to expand its number of Continuous Monitoring Stations.  These stations enable the Friends to collect data on how climate change is affecting the Bay and to engage the community in addressing and adapting to looming changes.

“This is the most important work Friends of Casco Bay has ever undertaken,” said Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell.  The non-profit is hearing its goal but the public can join the 275+ plus Friends who re supporting the Fund by visiting its website: fund.

The Friends has a Continuous Monitoring Station in Yarmouth.  It is from here that the non-profit garners data from which it makes important decisions and informs the public and governments.  Friends also monitors another 22 sites around the Bay as part of its seasonal spot-checks according to the press release issued earlier this month.

All twenty-three (23) sites have been showing hotter than usual temperatures during this past year.  “While warm temperatures may have been great for swimming in the Bay,” says Staff Scientist Mike Doan, “there are significant downsides to warming water.  Less oxygen, more invasive species, changes in the ocean food web, and the growth of nusiance and harmful algal blooms are all associated with warming temperatures.”

The data garnered from the monitoring stations is critical as we continue our advocacy work with the Maine Climate Council and Portland and South Portland’ – One Climate Future Initiative – to address and mitigate the impacts of looming changes.

“What we have been seeing this year reaffirms for me the urgency of our collective work to document change, address the root causes of climate change, and prepare for its consequences at the community regional state and national level,” said Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca.

It seems remiss to write about climate change without mentioning the “Father of Environmental Protection” the late Senator Ed Muskie (D) a Maine native.  Born in 1914 in Rumford, he rose through the ranks of hard work and intelligence to become the nation’s Secretary of State in 1980,  But prior to that, Muskie, a Bates College graduate and an attorney, was a US Senator who pioneered the development of national air, water pollution reduction and environmental protections in this country.

Specifically he chaired the Air and Water Pollution Subcommittee and authored the Clean Air Act of 1963, the Water Quality Act of 1964, the Clean Air Act of 1972 and the Clean Water Act of 1972.  In 1966, he led the creation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway as the first state wild river under the federal Wild Scenic River Act.  In 1996, he died in Washington, DC.  He and his wife Jane had multiple children.

His list of accomplishments is long, But his legacy as a pioneering protector of the environment ought to be dusted off and celebrated from time to time.