Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Mainers representing several environmental groups are headed to Paris beginning next week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The goal is to forge a historic international agreement involving nearly 200 countries to reduce global warming pollution and to transition away from fossil fuels to an economy powered by renewable energy.

As part of our ongoing series "Beyond 350: Confronting Climate Change," Susan Sharon reports that several of those making the trip are optimistic that the goal can be achieved.

WASHINGTON — Members of Maine's Congressional Delegation say they're concerned to learn that President Barack Obama plans to consider designating 100,000 acres of privately owned land in northern Maine as a national monument.

The land the delegation is referring to is owned by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., which manages Roxanne Quimby's land holdings. It's located near Baxter State Park in the Katahdin Region.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Over the three years staring July 1, the board of the Efficiency Maine Trust is proposing a budget of nearly $209 million to pay for a wide range of energy efficiency programs to save Mainers — homeowners and businesses alike — on their heating and cooling costs.

"Our programs are designed to help every customer group in every part of the state find some way they can access more energy efficient lights, air conditioners, heating system and home weatherization," says Mike Stoddard, executive director of the agency.

PORTLAND, Maine — Almost 7 of 10 Mainers live in counties that have experienced federally declared extreme weather events over the last five years.

That's according to the environmental advocacy group Environment Maine. Using federal data, an interactive map has been put together that shows weather-related disasters over the period in Maine and across the U.S.

VEAZIE, Maine — University of Maine researchers have confirmed that, for the first time in more than a century, shortnose sturgeon have returned to historic habitat upriver of the Veazie Dam.

Before the dam was removed in 2013, the "living fossils" didn't have access to that part of the Penobscot River.

UMaine marine sciences associate professor Gayle Zydlewski says shortnose sturgeon are among the most primitive fish to inhabit the Penobscot and remain very similar to their earliest fossil forms.