Friday, June 29, 2012

Song for the Penobscot

The now happening restoration of the Penobscot River is not just an historic event in our lifetime, but is told in the millenial-old origin stories of the Penobscot Indian Nation, namely the story of Glooskap and the Frog.

So it seemed fitting that this event could use a song, which you can listen to here.

The photo above was taken the week of June 18 by Steve Shepard of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Orono, Maine. It shows the excavators using hydraulic jack hammers to remove the concrete crest of the Great Works Dam on the Penobscot River in Old Town and Bradley, Maine. It will take all summer to remove the concrete and timber cribs at Great Works and bring the river back down to its natural ledges. Next summer, work will begin to remove the Veazie Dam at the Penobscot's head of tide at Eddington Bend, about 8 miles below Great Works.

While I would like to proudly claim "Song for the Penobscot" was written especially for removing the Great Works Dam, that is not exactly true. The basic elements were written in 1992 with additions in 2004. I found the files in my hard drive the other day while looking for something else and finally completed the song.

The other night it struck me the brisket of the song follows closely the story of Glooskap and the Frog. This was the song meant to celebrate the release and restoration of the Penobscot River -- I just didn't know it in 1992 or 2004.

Now the Penobscot Restoration is happening for real. It is no myth. The Frog who sat in the river, keeping it all for himself, is being vanquished every day, bit by bit, with every bop and bap of those six inch wide hydraulic jack hammers which make such a sweet sound.

All thanks and praise to Don Shields and Arthur Taylor. They made this happen.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Native Alewives to West Meadows Pond.

This 24 inch high set of wooden flashboards is all that is keeping native alewives from reaching and spawning in West Meadows Pond in the West Bridgewater State Forest in West Bridgewater, Mass.

Our recent letter to Commissioner of Mass. Dept. of Conservation seeking a solution.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SAPPI Violates State and Federal Law At Sebago Lake

This year, the first year in which SAPPI (South African Pulp & Paper) has operated under their new Maine water quality certification, SAPPI has already violated it by allowing Sebago Lake to go one foot over its maximum allowable height, to nearly 267.5 feet mean sea level (msl) from June 6 to present. The maximum allowed level is 266.65 msl.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Works Dam to Get Popped on June 11

On the Penobscot River in Old Town, June 11, 2012.

Festivities !!!

Passamaquoddy Tribe Symbolic Alewife Run

A run by people up the course of the Schoodic on June 9 and 10 to replace the native alewives who are not allowed to run up the Schoodic (St. Croix) in eastern Maine and Canada alongside them due to an illegal State of Maine law.

Press Release by Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Passamaquoddy Alewife Video

In Passamaquoddy.

Schoodic Alewives.

CLF Joins Legal Fight for Native St. Croix Alewives

The Conservation Law Foundation on May 31, 2012 filed its formal complaint in U.S. District Court against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) for failing to review a 2008 Maine law banning the migration of native alewives in the St. Croix River for compliance with the U.S. Clean Water Act.

CLF's filing of its formal court complaint comes immediately after the May 15, 2012 filing of Notice of Intent to do the same by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Douglas Watts and Kathleen McGee of Maine. Both legal actions come on the heels of a 2011 effort in U.S. District Court to have the St. Croix River alewife ban law overturned as unconstitutional, a case which was dismissed in lieu of the plaintiffs' present actions through the citizens' suit provision of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

AUDIO: Maine Public Radio News Story, May 31, 2012.

ISSUE EXPLAINER: Kennebec Reborn St. Croix Page.

RELATED LINKS: Maine Public Radio Story, May 16, 2012.
Bangor Daily News Story, May 15, 2012.
Quoddy Times News Story, May 25, 2012.

Atlantic Sturgeon found in North River, Mass.

Very interesting ... and possibly hopeful ... From the Quincy, Mass. Patriot-Ledger.