Join the Chorus
An open letter to all lovers of nature, science, beauty, and Maine’s coast:
It’s one of the sublime pleasures of my job, each spring, to hear the wood frogs at dusk at the Wells Reserve. Their annual chorus fills me with hope. Hope for longer, warmer days. Hope for the blooms of spring and the thrills of summer.
That vernal awakening is weeks away, but over the past few days my heart was lifted by another kind of chorus — yours.
You responded heartily and quickly to OPPOSE a proposal to eliminate the entire National Estuarine Research Reserve System, including Maine’s own Wells Reserve. An early budget from the new Trump administration showed a profound disregard for the value of the 29 national reserves, these national treasures.
I say "no thank you." No way, no how. I'm adding my voice to those who want to save these places of science and wonder. But we still need more voices in the chorus.
Local papers covered the shocking news. A TV crew interviewed Wells Reserve Director Paul Dest. We were a sensation — though we’d rather have been noticed for the science we do every day, the beauty we protect for you, and the solutions we’re creating with local communities.
Yes, my inbox, my voicemail, and my mailbox were overflowing with support. Thank you, friends, for the beautiful chorus. We will fight for our existence, I assure you. This place, protected for more than a generation, will continue to be a home for hikers, thinkers, students, and families. And frogs, too.
The chorus of support still needs more voices. Here are three ways to sing out:
1) Tell Congress what you want. The funding in jeopardy comes through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Congress appropriates NOAA’s funds. Congress works for you. Call, email, fax, and write your federal representatives. Tell them what the Wells Reserve means to you. Our national system of 29 reserves was allocated a mere $23.9 million this year to protect 1.3 million acres of coastal lands and work across 2,500 communities. That's quite a bargain, though most people I know simply call their local reserves "priceless."
2) Directly support the Wells Reserve at Laudholm by making a donation through the Laudholm Trust. We have received a strong signal that a budget cut — whatever its size — is coming, so your support for this sturdy old place is needed more than ever.
3) Sign our online petitions posted on this page. Exercise your First Amendment rights!
This year, as every year, we must defend our federal funding. We’ll only win this unprecedented fight if our friends dig in, too. Together, let us hold onto the promise of the Wells Reserve as a place to discover… and a place that brings people together in a chorus for our coast.
President, Laudholm Trust
Chairman, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve Authority