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Take Action on Advocacy Issues

How you can stay informed. . .

The best way to stay up to date is to join our email list. Then, on occasion, we will email you asking you to take action to support or block legislation or policy changes that could impact the Bay. We provide our reasoning, suggested talking points, and how to contact the essential decision makers. Our supporters have been amazingly effective in affecting pending legislation at the state and local levels. We’ll also post about actions here.

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Be Prepared to be a Great Advocate for the Bay

The Environmental Priorities Coalition, which we are members of, have an Activist Toolkit. This will allow you to take actions on these issues when we do contact you, and other issues that are important to you.

Advocate for the Bay in Your Daily Life

In the meantime, consider using our Bay Papers to have conversations with your friends, and neighbors about issues important to Casco Bay. You can have a big impact on the health of the Bay by educating those you know about these important issues.

Advocacy: from town halls to Augusta to Washington, D.C.

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca Speaks to the community on a regular basis. Photograph by Kevin Morris

Part of our Baykeeping work takes place on the water—and part of work takes place in legislative hearing rooms, town halls, public forums, and state agency offices.

Friends of Casco Bay keeps our eyes on Washington, DC, Augusta, Maine, and on town halls across the region. We advocate in favor of laws, ordinances, and rules that protect the health of the Bay. We work to block harmful legislation and stop rollbacks of clean water protections.

Our advocacy efforts operate in many different forums depending upon the nature of the threat we are addressing. Sometimes we are able to protect the Bay through convincing a property owner or business to change their practices. When education is not enough, we rely on the enforcement of existing laws, for example, through commenting on Clean Water Act permits.

When education or the use of existing laws is not enough to address a threat to the Bay, we work to bring our community together for the common good through passing new laws or ordinances to protect the Bay. With every new law, state or federal agencies then need to make new rules—we comment on these rules to ensure the spirit of the law is followed.

Collaboration is vital to how we work.

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca meets with the Coastal Caucus, a bipartisan group of state legislators who represent coastal constituents, to discuss bills related to climate change and coastal acidification. Ivy reviews bills that may have an impact on the environmental health of our coastal waters.

We also work with the Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC), a partnership of 40 groups across Maine who want to protect the good health, good jobs and quality of life that our environment provides. EPC is coordinated by Maine Conservation Alliance. The Coalition provides a united voice for Maine’s environment, ensuring we all work together on issues that concern clean air, clean water, safe food, and a sustainable economy.

In 2017 alone, at a state level, Friends of Casco Bay supported bills to reduce carbon emissions, to create a marine debris study commission, to create a coastal hazards study commission, to ban certain types of plastic waste, and to properly dispose of marine flares without causing air or water pollution. We opposed bills that would have abolished the right of Maine cities and towns to ban or restrict pesticides and that would have resulted in a higher risk of oil spills during ship-to-ship fueling in Casco Bay. In Augusta, we maximize our impact by being a member of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, a group of 40 nonprofit organizations representing more than 100,000 Mainers.

At the federal level, we have opposed rollbacks of protections under the Clean Water Act and efforts to defund the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (better known as NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency, especially funding for those divisions of the agencies that conduct scientific studies, regulate and enforce pollution control laws, and work to protect us from and clean up after environmental disasters like oil spills.

At the local level, we work with municipalities on environmental issues that directly impact the Bay, such as how to limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers and how to reduce plastics pollution.

Recent Testimony

Here are recent testimony we have provided on issues facing the Bay:

Cathy L. Ramsdell, CPA, CGMA, Executive Director

Portland Pesticides Testimony

October 12, 2017

Friends of Casco Bay Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell Provided testimony to Portland City Council’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee supporting the Pesticide Use Ordinance drafted by the Committee and also identified areas of concern. Read more

Let us know your concerns. . .

While we attempt to follow state bills that relate to the environmental health of the Bay or to climate change, it is hard to keep up with the nearly 2,000 bills that may be introduced in a legislative session—not to mention the ordinances being considered by the 41 towns in the Casco Bay watershed. We welcome it when our members notify us about an issue we should be monitoring. Contact us at keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org.

Help us tackle the biggest threats to the Bay

Cover photo: Photograph by Dave Dostie