Today, I was out on our Baykeeper boat with Staff Scientist Mike Doan collecting water quality data from 22 sites around Casco Bay. Looking across the water, I could see many of the important places along the shoreline – like ecologically vital salt marshes and built environments such as roads and wastewater treatment plants – that are being impacted by rising seas and more intense storms.
With these visuals fresh in my mind, I am so excited and grateful that Casco Bay just had a BIG win in Augusta: “LD 1572 Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea Level Rise” has been signed into law!
This crucial bill was first voted on by the Maine Legislature on World Ocean Day, June 8, and passed on June 10. Governor Mills signed it on June 16. You can see our testimony on the resolve here. With this law on the books, state agencies will now have to take into account sea level rise projections and update coastal land use and planning laws to be more resilient to the future impacts of more intense storms and increased precipitation. Enactment of these policies was a top recommendation of the Maine Won’t Wait climate action plan and a top Baykeeping priority! We now have a roadmap which will help us adapt to the impacts of rising seas and fiercer storms in Casco Bay and along the coast of Maine.
Thank you to everyone who submitted testimony in support of this bill. At the Environment and Natural Resources Committee hearing on May 7, 41 people testified in support of LD 1572, and no one testified against it! Collectively, our testimony made clear that adapting to sea level rise and storm surges is an important issue for the communities of Casco Bay.
Today we are celebrating the passage of this critical first step to plan for the future and begin to protect our infrastructure and coastal ecosystems for years to come.
Thank you for caring about the health of Casco Bay,
Friends of Casco Bay