Over the past three years, it has been the practice of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm to publish a bit of make-believe each April Fool’s Day. We have posted hoax articles to draw attention to real issues like staff changes, invasive species, and the health of local rivers. Unfortunately, this year the truth-blurring antics of President Trump and his staff have convinced us that adding “fake news” to the local scene, even if only in jest, would be counter-productive and irresponsible.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The members and visitors and supporters of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, and the other 28 national estuarine research reserves, are feeling particularly aggrieved. We love that Petition Clause; let's do it. Let's get some of that ol' fashioned redress!
Here are two petitions to sign, via the online platform MoveOn.org.
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.
Today's article by Colin Woodard in the Portland Press Herald has raised some concern about the possible plight of the Wells and Great Bay reserves. We appreciate your support and we promise to keep you informed about this developing story.
The release of the "budget memo" for NOAA from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is an expression of the Trump administration's spending priorities for the agency. We have not seen anything official, so all the information is based on the memo that the Washington Post obtained late last week.
We like the sound of a new caucus announced this week. The Congressional Estuary Caucus is a bipartisan group focused on the importance of estuaries to the nation's environment, communities, and economy.
Representatives from four coastal states founded the caucus. Bill Posey (Florida), Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), Frank LoBiondo (New Jersey), and Rick Larsen (Washington) will serve as caucus co-chairs during the 115th Congress.
Twenty-seven House members have joined the new caucus as of this writing. Maine Representatives Pingree and Poliquin have not signed on… yet.
Say it with us! Join the 2017 #iheartestuaries campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and IRL on February 12, 13, and 14. Raise your voice on behalf of estuaries. Call out to Congress with a simple message: "I care about estuaries and this is why…"
WELLS, Maine, March 23, 2015 — On Friday, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm celebrated becoming the first nonprofit in Maine to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs with solar energy. Over the past two years, the reserve installed 248 solar panels that are expected to generate 73,000 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy while preventing 45 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.
“This action moves us toward full energy independence, lightens our carbon footprint, and sets the bar for Maine’s nonprofits and business community,” said Nik Charov, president of Laudholm Trust. “We want this project to show Mainers this can be done. The science is clear on what is happening to our world and the solutions to our climate problem are right in front of us.”
As a warm-up to the 2014 #iheartestuaries campaign, I asked all of our staff to fill in the blank in this sentence: "I love estuaries because __________." Here are the responses…
On February 12, 13, and 14 raise your voice on behalf of estuaries. Join our #iheartestuaries campaign to reach Congress with a simple message: "I love estuaries and this is why…"
Let your legislators know you want the NERR System funded at current levels in FY 2015. Here's how:
- Telephone, email, or tweet Maine's federal legislators.
- Share the "I Heart Estuaries" campaign on your favorite social media outlet(s).
- Write a cordial, concise note to each of Maine's federal legislators and put it in the mail. Use a postcard, letterhead, nice stationery, or a Valentine's card. Feel free to use the templates below to get started.
- Ask your friends and family to get involved, too.
Associated People Paul Dest
Not long ago, we mentioned the York River Wild and Scenic study bill. Here's an update:
The U.S. Congress has passed a consolidated appropriations bill that included the highest numbers yet for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System's operations, while also funding a new program for the system: the NERRS Science Collaborative. The total amount appropriated is $23.5 million. The bill (H3288) now awaits the President's signature.
Update: The bill was signed December 16.
It's apparently a first: Yesterday the U.S. Senate agreed to a resolution designating September 26, 2009 as National Estuaries Day. We're pleased to see Senator Susan Collins as a cosponsor, along with her colleagues Sen. Gregg and Sen. Shaheen from neighboring New Hampshire. Here's the text of the resolution (also available as a PDF):
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