Community Connection

Community Connection: Joan Benoit Samuelson

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Friends of Casco Bay’s Board members are key partners in protecting Casco Bay. Here’s how, in their own words: Joan Benoit Samuelson: “Having grown up in Cape Elizabeth near Casino Beach, spending many a summer on Cliff Island, and now living in Freeport with tidal frontage, I know that Casco Bay is changing.  There is a lot of tangible evidence of climate change—an influx of invasive species, the decline of indigenous species, whether it’s due to green crabs or algae blooms caused by increased nitrogen.” “Whatever the cause, can all pull an oar and do something to improve conditions in Casco Bay.  We can make daily small changes, such as doing BayScaping, lawn care without using pesticides and fertilizers, and keeping stormwater from running off our yards and spaces.” “It’s important to protect this resource. This place is a jewel. I realized early on that Casco Bay is connected to the world’s oceans when I threw a note in a bottle off Casino Beach (Cape Elizabeth), and it was picked up by a schoolteacher in England.” “It’s a beautiful resource we all need to protect. Time and tide wait for no man—or woman. The time is now to take action.” You can see how other community members are partnering with us to protect the Bay on our Community Connection...

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Community Connection: Derek Pelletier

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Friends of Casco Bay’s Board members are key partners in protecting Casco Bay. Here’s how, in their own words: Derek Pelletier: “We don’t preach about what you can do. We prefer to lead by example.“ Derek is an aquatic ecologist, specializing in water quality issues. We first met Derek when he offered to help enter water quality data for Friends of Casco Bay more than a decade ago. Derek’s scientific knowledge informs his approach to caring for his local environment.“When I started in grad school, l liked thinking about systems on a watershed basis, taking the ‘downstream’ view. My background in whole systems thinking informs my awareness that “It all ends up in the ocean.’” Derek and his wife Maryann have shared that understanding with their children Levi and Charlotte. They all bike everywhere from their Deering neighborhood in Portland. They do own a car, but even in rain or snow, Derek rarely drives it to Board meetings. You can see how other community members are partnering with us to protect the Bay on our Community Connection...

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Community Connection: Barry Sheff

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Friends of Casco Bay’s Board members are key partners in protecting Casco Bay. Here’s how, in their own words: Barry Sheff: “I drive a Prius and explain to the kids why it’s not a truck.” Barry is an engineer with Woodard & Curran. “I like to solve problems. That’s what I like about Friends of Casco Bay. It’s trying to prevent and solve problems on the Bay. The work they are doing to support pesticide bans is hugely important to help municipalities. We need more catch basin stenciling. It’s education, education, education, but cities shouldn’t be relying on Friends to do it all. Doing education is part of a municipal obligation under the Clean Water Act. You can see how other community members are partnering with us to protect the Bay on our Community Connection...

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Community Connection: Kathryn Reid

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“Whenever we are boating, we take advantage of the pumpout service and advise other boaters about it.”

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Community Connection: Peter Dufour

Community Connection: Peter Dufour

“We want our legacy to be getting rid of cigarette butts.”

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Community Connection: Tollef Olson

Community Connection: Tollef Olson

“Sea farming has all the benefits with none of the detriments.”

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Community Connection: Jack Thomas

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Friends of Casco Bay’s Board members are key partners in protecting Casco Bay.

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Community Connection: Jeff Clements

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Friends of Casco Bay was founded 25 years ago, after a report described Casco Bay as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the nation. People around the Bay knew it was time to act. In late 1989, Jeff Clements joined the founders of Friends of Casco Bay and filed the legal documents to incorporate Friends of Casco Bay as a not-for-profit organization. Jeff served on the first Board of Directors. In 2009, he was invited to return to the Board. His two decades of history with Friends of Casco Bay put him in a unique and invaluable position to observe how the organization has changed over time. Jeff’s career has been marked by his work defending the public interest on environmental, financial, public health and other issues. In Maine, Jeff served as a policy planner in the State Planning Office. In Massachusetts, he served as the Chief of Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. In private practice, Jeff’s brief in the Citizens United v. FEC case and the publication of his book, Corporations Are Not People, inspired a national, non-partisan campaign to challenge the creation of Constitutional rights for corporations, to enhance the voice of people in our democracy, and to overturn Citizens United. Jeff recalls, “When we started Friends of Casco Bay, we recognized that a sense of responsibility and stewardship by everyone in the watershed offered the best, maybe the only, chance for the long-term health and beauty of Casco Bay. We wanted an organization that not merely pointed fingers, but created tools and methods, and built scientific credibility, to engage people to join in the ongoing work of protecting Casco Bay. “I am gratified to see that we were right to bet that the people of the Casco Bay watershed would respond to our call for responsibility and stewardship.” You can see how other community members are partnering with us to protect the Bay on our Community Connection...

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