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You can help

You can help

Casco Bay belongs to all of us, and it takes a community of champions to protect the Bay! You can help Friends of Casco Bay improve and protect the environmental health of our coastal waters by being informed about the issues we are working on. Our Bay Papers make it easy! Each Bay Paper is written to help you: Understand the issue at a glance Get the background information you need to explain the issue to others Take action to reduce bad impacts on the health of the Bay Learn how Friends of Casco Bay is attacking the problem By reaching out to your neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family, you can be a Champion for the health of the Bay.   You Can Make a Difference Bay Paper Friends of Casco Bay is showing you how you can make a difference in the health of Casco Bay Confronting the consequences of climate change and the changing chemistry of our oceans—specifically, the carbon dioxide that threatens our coastal waters—may seem daunting, but Maine has many advantages to help it meet the challenge. Even if you adopt only one or two of the suggestions below, you will be helping to improve the health of Casco Bay. Learn more in our You Can Make a Difference Bay Paper.   Download our You Can Make a Difference Bay Paper     Nitrogen Bay Paper Friends of Casco Bay is fighting nitrogen pollution Have you noticed that more and more of our coves and inlets are carpeted with green slime? Nitrogen pollution is a problem in parts of Casco Bay. Nitrogen runoff makes the water less healthy for marine life. Nitrogen fertilizes algae blooms that choke out clams and other intertidal creatures. Learn more in our Nitrogen Bay Paper.   Download our Nitrogen Bay Paper     Ocean Acidification Bay Paper Friends of Casco Bay is sounding the alarm on ocean acidification Did you know that acidic mud could wipe out clam harvesting in Casco Bay? Why? Sea water is becoming more acidic, which weakens or simply dissolves the shells of small clams, oysters, and other shellfish. Learn more in our Ocean Acidification Bay Paper.   Download our Ocean Acid Bay Paper     Sewage Bay Paper Friends of Casco Bay is working to stop sewage from polluting Casco Bay Did you know that when it rains, raw sewage, polluted rainwater, and industrial wastewater pour into Casco Bay? This toxic soup can sicken swimmers, make seafood unsafe to eat, and harm marine life. Learn more in our Sewage Bay Paper.   Download our Sewage Bay Paper     Snow Dump Bay Paper Friends of Casco Bay says, “Keep plowed snow away from our coastal waters.”   Did you know that “pure as the driven snow” is anything but? Learn more about how plowed snow impacts Casco Bay by reading our Snow Bay Paper.   Download our Snow Bay Paper   BayScaping Tips for green yards to keep Casco Bay blue Did you know that the fertilizers and pesticides that are applied to your lawn may end up in Casco Bay? Learn more about how to care for your lawn by downloading BayScaping: Tips for green yards to keep Casco Bay blue and Does your lawn care professional BayScape? Download BayScaping: Tips to keep Casco Bay Blue Download Does your lawn care professional...

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Keeping up with Baykeeping

Keeping up with Baykeeping

Much of our advocacy efforts are geared toward keeping bad stuff out of the Bay.  While our Baykeeper position is in transition, our staff continue to tackle Baykeeping issues in our community. In the past few months, we have been working on:   Sewage discharges from commercial development on Great Diamond Island Friends of Casco Bay recently commented on a discharge permit application by the developers of a residential hotel, Diamond Cove Associates, on Great Diamond Island. We raised several issues and pointed out that the State had mistakenly represented the area around Great Diamond Island as Class SC waters. Rather, we demonstrated that the waters around the island are Class SB which requires more stringent protection. We also raised several other issues regarding the impact on water quality by the proposed discharges. A few weeks later we received a letter from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Nearly all of our objections had been incorporated into DEP’s response to the developer’s attorney, as well as the permit the agency issued for the project. Hooray!   Portland ordinance: Plastic bags and polystyrene packaging For over two years, Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell worked with the City of Portland’s Transportation /Sustainability Committee on proposals to regulate plastic bags and polystyrene. A long-time Portland resident herself, she worked as a member of the Green Packaging Task Force to craft ordinances that encourage consumers to convert to reusable bags and that require retailers to limit the use of polystyrene packaging. On April 15, 2015, local retailers will begin charging customers $0.05 for each plastic or paper shopping bag they use to package purchased goods. The packaging ordinance prohibits restaurants, cafeterias, coffee shops, food trucks, and other food service establishments from distributing their products in polystyrene foam packaging.   Portland Stormwater Utility Fee Portland City Council’s passage of the proposed structure for applying stormwater utility fees to all users on January 21, 2015, was the result of many months of work to create an equitable to fee structure. Cathy Ramsdell and Joe Payne participated in these deliberations as community stakeholders, at the invitation of Portland’s Public Services Department. In 2014, we sent out three separate email alerts to our members and supporters to engage them in the process. The service fee goes into effect on January 1, 2016, allowing property owners time to incorporate “green practices” such as installing permeable pavement or rain gardens. These measures can reduce rainwater runoff and lower their stormwater bill.   Pesticides and Fertilizers Increasingly, community activists and conservation commissions are contacting us to ask about how they can limit the use of lawn chemicals in their communities. Some are looking to do education and outreach; others are considering measures to ban pesticides and fertilizers on public property (as in Scarborough) and on private property (as in Ogunquit). As the movement to stop using lawn chemicals gains momentum, Maine landscapers and arborists have invited us to participate in a dialogue with their members in April. We look forward to workshops with professional pesticide applicators to share our data showing that pesticides are indeed flowing into the Bay. We will explain research that may suggest that excess nitrogen from fertilizers and other sources may negatively impact clam flats where shellfish live. We will seek to find common ground on how we all can protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. FMI, go to cascobay.org/bayscaping   Weakening snow dumping rules Nearly twice-weekly snowstorms this winter have made it challenging for many municipalities to find enough places to dispose of the snow plowed from city streets. Some public works officials wanted to dump snow directly...

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Help Casco Bay by organizing a Storm Drain Stenciling Project

Help Casco Bay by organizing a Storm Drain Stenciling Project

Did you ever wonder who paints those messages Do Not Dump/Drains to Casco Bay next to the storm drains around Greater Portland? It may have been the bankers, engineers, or office workers who occupy the building next to yours.

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Be a champion and make a difference in the health of Casco Bay

Be a champion and make a difference in the health of Casco Bay

Casco Bay belongs to all of us, and it takes a community of champions to protect the Bay!

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Volunteer with us!

Volunteer with us!

It takes a community to protect our coastal waters. Volunteering is a great way to show that you are a true Friend of Casco Bay.

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Portland’s Pipe Problem

Portland’s Pipe Problem

The City of Portland, with Friends of Casco Bay’s encouragement, is working to avoid a crisis with the City’s aging pipes.

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We’re underway on the Bay!

We’re underway on the Bay!

Thank you to everyone who helped Friends of Casco Bay with our Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign.

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The Best of Casco Bay

The Best of Casco Bay

We at Friends of Casco Bay interviewed a cross-section of our friends to come up with our scientifically-inaccurate lists of “Bests” of Casco Bay.

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Used Marine Parts for Sale

Used Marine Parts for Sale

All proceeds to benefit Friends of Casco Bay.
All reasonable offers will be considered.

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The Mystery of the Disappearing Clams

The Mystery of the Disappearing Clams

Clams may be disappearing before our very eyes!

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Mud Summit

Mud Summit

Forget diplomatic conclaves and Congressional caucuses. The real action this winter was in Portland, Maine, site of the first-ever Mud Summit.

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Welcome to the Ship’s Log for our New Baykeeper Boat

Welcome to the Ship’s Log for our New Baykeeper Boat

We launched the Baykeeper Boats Fund campaign to replace our Baykeeper vessel and establish a fund to support vessel operations. The Ship’s Log entries will keep you updated

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Volunteer Appreciation Celebration & 2013 Annual Member’s Meeting Photos

Volunteer Appreciation Celebration & 2013 Annual Member’s Meeting Photos

Check out photos from our Volunteer Appreciation Celebration & 2013 Annual Member’s Meeting!

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A job well done!

A job well done!

Research Associate Mike Doan and Bowdoin College intern Jessie Turner (aka Mud Maven) are welcomed home after completing pH surveys on 30 clamflats around Casco Bay.

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Watch online now: Maine’s Coastal Waters on Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks on MPBN

Watch online now: Maine’s Coastal Waters on Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks on MPBN

Featuring Friends of Casco Bay!

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What is a Baykeeper without a Boat?

What is a Baykeeper without a Boat?

A boat is as essential to the work of the Baykeeper as a horse was to the range riders of the Old West. No wonder that Joe Payne refers to his aging vessel as a workhorse that has served him well for nearly 18 years.

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Casco Baykeeper Wins EPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Casco Baykeeper Wins EPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

On April 25th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne with its 2012 Environmental Merit Award for a lifetime of advocacy for clean water. Friends of Casco Bay staff members, Joe’s wife Kim–the Keeper of the Keeper, regional waterkeepers, and EPA colleagues cheered Joe as he stepped onto the stage at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall to receive his award for, as one EPA staffer put it, 20 years of...

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