Dec 9, 2016

Maine offshore wind test center: FOAA docs show state wants to make it a permanent windpower site.


On November 22, 2016, Kathleen Leyden, head  of the Maine Coastal Program, responded to Friends of Penobscot Bay's Freedom of Access Act request for documents pertaining to the floating offshore wind turbines  proposed for off Monhegan.  of Part 2 Specifically for: "Public records in custody of you or your staff dating from April 1, 2016 to November 14, 2016 that pertain to the Maine Aquaventus /Volturnus floating ocean wind turbines project, slated to occupy the Maine Offshore Wind Test Center. (FOPB letter is page 34)  

Much ado about trying to tweak the rules  to make the state offshore wind test center into a permanent windpower site - which it certainly was not intended to be!
Also a bit of groaning about opposition from Protect Monhegan folks.

FOAA Part One Pages 1-12  PDF  Articles sent to each other

FOAA Part 2 Pages 13-34    PDF   Emails between the  people listed below 

People and email addresses used within the FOAA'd material:

State Agencies

PersonPositionE-mail
Kathleen LeydenDir Maine Coastal Prog (MCP)Kathleen.Leyden@maine.gov
Mark BergeronDir DEP Bureau of LandsMark.Bergeron@maine.gov
Robert G. MarvinneyME Geologic SurveyRobert.G.Marvinney@maine.gov
Patrick C. WoodcockGovernor's Energy OfficePatrick.C.Woodcock@maine.gov
Meredith MendelsonDMR Deputy CommissionerMeredith.Mendelson@maine.gov
Philip deMaynadierDIFW CoordinatorPhillip.deMaynadier@maine.gov
Todd BurrowesMCP Fed. consistency reviewerTodd.Burrowes@maine.gov
Peggy BensingerMDEP's  Asst AGPeggy.Bensinger@maine.gov
Matthew NixonMCP  GIS &  Ocean PlanningMatthew.E.Nixon@maine.gov

Monhegan Residents
PersonPositionE-mail
Barbara Hitchcock
Concerned Resident
Hitchcock House
barbaramonhegan@gmail.com
Laura T SingerConcerned Residentlsinger@maine.rr.com

Wind Industry
PersonPositionE-mail
Beth Nagusky
Lake Erie Energy Development.
Former head ME
Governor's Energy Office- Baldacci
bnagusky@leedco.org
Val Stori Clean Energy Groupval@cleanegroup.org
 "Website for the wind industry"
Email to: Info@windindustry.com   





S

Nov 27, 2016

Managing Maine’s Near Shore Ecosystems - a 1995 ME State Planning Office report

Options for Managing Maine’s Near Shore Ecosystems
A four part report produced by Maine Coastal Program's Josie Quintrell  & Gro Flatebo, Ash Cove Consulting, Yarmouth   August 1995. (pdf )
Josie Quintrell, 2015

"Maine’s near shore resources – the coastal lands and neighboring waters that stretch from Kittery to Eastport – are one of the state’s greatest assets and resources, greater in acreage and economic importance than our public lands ashore." So writes Josie Quintrell in this 1995 report where she lays out and examines principles of managing human impacts on Maine's salt water environment. Quintrell is presently (2016) director of the International Ocean Observing System Association

Title/Introduction 2pg

Ecosystem Management 14pg

Alternative Dispute Resolution 13pg


Marine Protected Areas 7pg


Marine Zoning 6pg


Report as single document 42pg

Nov 19, 2016

WRFR Penobscot Bay Report 11/19/16

On November 15, 2016. MOCA  the Maine Ocean and Coastal Acidification Partnership in conjunction with NECAN The North East Coastal Acidification Network brought together a host of reseachers legislators, agency staffers, eco activists lobstermen and aquaculturists from along the Maine coast to consider what has been learned  as it is studied more. 

Here are two important parts of the meeting - Note :often a power point presentation was being shown...

NECAN Policy Part 1. 11minutes

NECAN Policy Part 2. 18min

Point Source acidification Pt 1. 23 min

Point Source Acidification 2 32 minutes



Nov 16, 2016

Searsport Harbor dredge plans:two updates. Plus Camden & Blue Hill dredge news

Maine  Dredging Team Updates 
The Maine Dredging Team today released minutes from its October 11, 2016 meeting in Portland.  The team is led by Maine DOT  and the Army Corps of Engineers  and includes other state and federal agencies.  At the meeting, the Army Corps of  Engineers (ACOE)reviewed  the status of current navigation improvement projects in Maine. 
Below are sections from the report about Searsport Harbor,  Camden Harbor & Blue Hill Bay.  Read full 2 page report here. (pdf)  *** Meeting participants list (pdf)

Searsport Harbor (1). Ed O’Donnell (ACOE) explained that, at the request of MaineDOT, the ACOE is evaluating options for maintenance dredging of the existing federal project as a separate project, independent of the related proposed navigation improvement project. See above. Mr. O’Donnell clarified that the maintenance dredging project would be confined to the boundaries of the existing federal project, and involves dredging about 40,000 cy of material near the piers. Mr. O’Donnell further explained that ACOE is looking at various disposal options, would like to place the dredged material in a suitable upland location, and is awaiting further information from MaineDOT. 

Rob Elder (MaineDOT) noted that Maine DOT has retained an environmental consulting firm to investigate to assess upland disposal alternatives. In response to questions, 

Jay Clement (ACOE) indicated that he had no knowledge of discussions of potential dredging in the Penobscot River and placement of dredged materials in a CAD cell to be built off Castine and Cape Jellison as part of the federal court-ordered cleanup of mercury contamination. Mr. Clement said he’d check with colleagues and provide follow information. In response to the questions, Mr. Clement further explained that any such dredging and disposal project would require applicable state and federal permits, applications for which would be processed with public notice and opportunity for comment and in consultation with natural resources agencies. Mr. Clement further explained that a project-specific EA would prepared and would be the basis for determining whether an EIS would be appropriate to ensure a hard look at environmental effects.

Searsport Harbor (2) Ed O’Donnell (ACOE) explained that, at the request of MaineDOT, the ACOE is evaluating options for maintenance dredging of the existing federal project as a separate project, independent of the related proposed navigation improvement project. See above.
Searsport Harbor. Mack Point dredging, 1966.

Ed O’Donnell clarified that the maintenance dredging project would be confined to the boundaries of the existing federal project, and involves dredging about 40,000 cy of material near the piers. Mr. O’Donnell further explained that ACOE is looking at various disposal options, would like to place the dredged material in a suitable upland location, and is awaiting further information from MaineDOT.   Rob Elder (MDOT)noted that MaineDOT has retained an environmental consulting firm to investigate to assess upland disposal alternatives.

In response to questions, Jay Clement (ACOE) indicated that he had no knowledge of discussions of potential dredging in the Penobscot River and placement of dredged materials in a CAD cell to be built off Castine and Cape Jellison as part of the federal court-ordered cleanup of mercury contamination.  Mr. Clement said he’d check with colleagues and provide follow information. In response to the questions, Mr. Clement further explained that any such dredging and disposal project would require applicable state and federal permits, applications for which would be processed with public notice and opportunity for comment and in consultation with natural resources agencies. Mr. Clement further explained that a project-specific EA would prepared and would be the basis for determining whether an EIS would be appropriate to ensure a hard look at environmental effects.

Camden Harbor .  Mark Habel (ACOE) reported that ACOE headquarters approved federal involvement in a feasibility study of a proposal to improve the existing breakwater. Work on this project remains on-hold pending execution of a feasibility cost-sharing agreement with the Town of Camden pursuant to which the town would be obligated to fund 50% of the study’s cost.  The ACOE awaits the Town’s decision.  Note This project has been "on hold" since at least May, 2016.      Camden Harbor Navigation Project

Blue Hill Bay. Mark Habel (ACOE) said that the Town of Blue Hill and the ACOE have entered into a cooperative agreement for the on-going feasibility study for this project. which involves a proposed shallow-draft channel and turning basin. See news story.10/20/16 Environmental sampling showed gasoline contamination in some areas where dredging had been planned, and additional sampling showed this to be confined to surface sediments, with clean glacial till comprising the bulk of the material to be dredged. The ACOE and town are also looking at reconfiguring the turning basin to minimize the volume of contaminated material needing removal.

Nov 10, 2016

Mega challenge of marine microplastics: keeping them off mother nature's menu

Microplastics in  a crustacean larvae.
Microplastics and larger plastic bits in saltwater or fresh are problematic for the fish, birds, crustaceans, bivalves and other organisms that ingest them. How do we keep plastic out of their diets?

Recent research suggests that the key attraction of the plastic bits to fishes, birds and invertebrates is the flavor/odor of the biofilm of bacteria that has colonized these plastic particles as solid habitats.

Like other organisms, bacteria eat and breathe and emit wastes andsignaling chemicals. Those emissions are attractive to animals from protozoa to invertebrates and vertebrates, who treat the plastic particles as though they were mini-wontons or micro- matzo balls.

Since we won't be training Mother Nature to avoid plastic, and we aren't likely to stop manufacturing and using the stuff any time soon, can we make plastic unattractive to microbes?
Plastic makers have been required to tweak their products chemistry to protect public health, so it is not impossible to require plastic people to make their stuff unattractive to marine bacteria, or freshwater ones.
Pastic-filled bird carcass & plastics taken from it
But that raises more questions:
While you _could_ add an antibacterial to the plastic, the ubiquity of the plastic bits in the bays and seas is such that you would be filling the water column with antibacterial chemical-emitting particles - specifically geared toward repelling or killing natural marine or freshwater bacteria that live there.
That's not a good way to go.. How else to make plastic unappealing to marine bacteria?

Nov 3, 2016

Floating windmills off Monhegan update : UMaine’s New England Aqua Ventus 1 Offshore Wind Demonstration Project, off Monhegan Island

EA-2049: University of Maine’s New England Aqua Ventus 1, An Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project, Offshore Monhegan Island in the Gulf of Maine

SUMMARY

DOE is  funding the University of Maine to design, construct and operate a 12 MegaWatt (MW) offshore wind advanced technology demonstration project (i.e. New England Aqua Ventus 1) in the Gulf of Maine, approximately 2.5 miles south of Monhegan Island, Lincoln County, Maine and 12 miles off the mainland.  This project is also known as the Maine Aqua Ventus 1 project.

WHAT’S NEW

September 2016 – DOE intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the New England Aqua Ventus 1 project.
DOE anticipates initiating the public scoping process for the EA in Fall/Winter of 2016-2017 at which time DOE will be seeking public comments to help define the scope of environmental impacts and issues to be addressed in the EA.  It is also anticipated that public scoping informational meeting(s) would occur as part of the public scoping process.  Public scoping is a key component of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and is used to provide an opportunity for the public to help define the scope of environmental impacts and issues to be addressed in depth in the EA.  All public comment opportunities will be posted below.

OVERVIEW

For more information on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects, click here.