Friday, January 13, 2012

More Than $2 Million Awarded to Maine Nature Conservation

More than $2 million will help public and non-profit groups restore and protect high priority wetlands and other natural resources across Maine.
The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program—which is administered by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—announced awards totaling $2.4 million to help restore, enhance and preserve wetlands and other important habitats at 17 project sites.
The program provides flexibility for both regulators and the regulated community to choose a fee in lieu of more time-intensive traditional mitigation options. These so-called ‘In Lieu Fees’ are collected by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and then transferred to the Natural Resource Conservation Fund at The Nature Conservancy.
“This third round of grants is another step forward for the conservation of aquatic resources in Maine,” said Alex Mas, who manages the program for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “Traditional mitigation projects can often be scattered, small or poorly located; this program allows us to focus wetland mitigation funds in high priority areas to help ensure they continue to provide important benefits like habitat, clean drinking water and flood control for people and wildlife into the future.”
At a time of limited resources, this program has awarded crucial funding that will allow us to add wetland, waterfowl and wading bird habitat to a popular Wildlife Management Area,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW). “The funding also enables our Department to begin restoration work designed to enhance water quality and wetland health.”
“This collaboration between Maine DEP, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps is facilitating a systematic and strategic process for comprehensive compensation projects that are saving and strengthening our state’s highest value wetland habitats,” said Commissioner Patricia Aho of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. “In just a few years, this program has become one of Maine’s most meaningful tools, used in partnership by conservationists and developers to ensure important environmental protections. It’s a win-win for Maine’s natural environment, and its economic one.”
“After all efforts have been made to avoid or minimize wetland impacts, this program provides permit applicants an efficient and workable alternative to traditional mitigation, while providing a better outcome for our wetland habitats,” said Ruth Ladd, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. “The fees are used to restore, enhance, preserve or create aquatic resources and their associated uplands.”
This is the third round of awards from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program to advance important land and water conservation around the state. More than 2,300 acres of land will be conserved or restored statewide.
In rural Penobscot County, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will protect more than 2,000 acres of habitat, expanding the Mattawamkeag River System Wildlife Management Area. The majority of the property is wetland associated with the river and with Eagle Pond. Nesting bald eagles and rare Clayton’s copper butterflies—verified at just eleven sites worldwide—have been seen in the area.
In the mid-coast, a DIFW restoration project on Maquoit Stream in Brunswick will restore a wetland that will serve as habitat for migratory fish as well salt marsh sparrow (a Maine Species of Special Concern) and other birds—with the removal of a small earthen dam and reestablishment of a natural stream channel and more than 10-acres of wetlands.
In southern Maine, the York Land Trust will protect just over 22-acres within the watershed of Boulter Pond, which supplies drinking water for thousands of residents in Kittery, York and Eliot. The area is also an important habitat for woodpeckers and great blue herons.
The Great Works Regional Land Trust will protect 83 additional acres in South Berwick as part of the ongoing “Mount Agamenticus to the Sea” conservation effort. These wetland areas provide some of Maine’s best habitat for Blandings and spotted turtles.
In Franklin County, the Androscoggin Land Trust will protect 42-acres of forestland in the town of Jay as part of their “Expanding the Androscoggin Greenway Project.” The property will be managed for wildlife habitat, water quality protection and low-impact recreation.
Other award recipients include: Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Council; Blue Hill Heritage Trust; Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust; Georges River Land Trust; Greater Lovell Land Trust; Kennebec Land Trust; Sebasticook Regional Land Trust; Trout Unlimited; Western Foothills Land Trust; and the towns of Wells and Falmouth.

Supper Fundraiser to Support Traip Academy’s Robotics Team

On Friday, January 20, Circle Subs in Kittery will be serving a Ham and Bean Supper to help raise funds for Traip Academy’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team.
“We are so grateful that Circle Subs is helping us with this fundraiser,” said Nathan Dacy, the Robotics’ team captain. “Our biggest challenge has always been raising enough money to accomplish all of our goals. Donations can help us to cover our expenses, including registration costs for events, materials and supplies, and will help defray the cost of travel and accommodations for the competitions.”
The team, called the Robo-Rangers, is made up of high school students whose purpose is to work together to build a robot that can complete a specific set of tasks and compete against other high school teams in regional and national events. Teams are given a set of parts and the competition details at the beginning of January and have six weeks to construct a robot. FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
This is the second year for the FIRST Robotics Team at Traip. Last year they competed at Boston University. This year they will be competing at The Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, March 1-3.
Along with the homemade ham and baked beans, the dinners will also include corn bread, dessert and a drink—all for just $7. Dinners can be picked up on Friday, January 20 between 5 and 7p.m. at Circle Subs on 167 State Road, Kittery. It is recommended that dinners be pre-ordered. To order a dinner call Circle Subs at 207-439-7655. Circle Subs will be donating the proceeds raised from the dinners to the Traip FIRST Robotics Team.
Photo caption: Pictured are members of Traip Academy’s FIRST Robotics Team. (Courtesy Photo)

YCCC Receives $5,000 in Scholarship Support

York County Community College and its Foundation recently received a $5,000 grant from the Sturdivant Island Tuna Tournament (SITT) Charitable Foundation—the first phase of establishing an endowed scholarship at the college.
SITT hosts an annual fishing tournament in South Portland that has generated over $300,000 to support programs and scholarships at Maine’s community colleges. It is SITT’s goal to eventually endow each of Maine’s seven community colleges with $100,000 for scholarships. The donation this year to YCCC was the first the school has received from SITT.
Last year, the group of Maine business leaders and fishing enthusiasts, led by Phil Grondin of R.H. Grondin & Sons, received national attention and recognition in honor of their outstanding support for Maine community colleges. SITT was one of ten community college donors in the country to receive the Benefactor Award from the National Council for Resource Development (CRD).
“This is a very generous contribution, and will allow us to offer scholarships to more students in financial need,” said John Rainone, YCCC’s Dean of Institutional Advancement and CRD’s 2012 President. “It will allow us to begin to offer additional scholarships in the 2013 academic year.”
York County Community College, established in 1994, is one of seven community colleges in the Maine Community College System. The college enrolls over 1,600 students in associate degree and transfer programs and over 2,500 individuals in non-credit continuing education and professional development areas.

“The Immortal Marilyn” Authors to Speak in Portsmouth

Fifty years after Marilyn Monroe’s death, the screen legend’s influence on theater, television, film and other performing arts will be the subject of discussion at the Portsmouth Public Library on Wednesday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m.
John De Vito and Frank Tropea, co-authors of “The Immortal Marilyn: The Depiction of an Icon,” have studied more than 100 examples, ranging from documentaries to works that reference the star in more ambiguous ways. Masters of trivia on Monroe, the authors will answer questions from the audience following their talk.
Additionally, one of the plays studied by the authors, “Body” by David Mauriello, will be presented at the Players’ Ring Theatre in Portsmouth from January 27 through February 12. In “Body,” De Vito and Tropea write, “Marilyn's role is analogous to the poor young woman of so many fairy tales who is transformed by some magical, otherworldly means into a beautiful princess or golden goddess.”
This special presentation comes with much anticipation, as Monroe has been quite the topic of popular culture in the past few months. Specifically of note is Michelle Williams portrayal of the titular character in “My Week With Marilyn,” a film that has been followed by Oscar-buzz since it’s opening. The Simon Curtis-directed film was produced by The Weinstein Company.
De Vito is a film technician at the Boston Public Library and holds a BA in visual studies from Harvard University. Tropea holds a BA in English Literature and psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a MA in literature and psychology from Harvard University.
Their January 18 talk, “Marilyn Monroe: An Icon for All Seasons,” is free and open to the public in the Levenson Community Room of the Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the discussion is from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Courtesy Photo)