Climate change threatens the health of Casco Bay. In March, more than 335 Friends of the Bay joined us for Sea Level Rise, Storms, and Surge Oh My! and told us the impacts of rising seas and stronger storms are a top concern.
With climate change being such a large issue, to protect Casco Bay and the communities that depend on it, we need effective policies at the state level.
Friends of Casco Bay has worked hard to help ensure threats to our coastal waters were addressed in Maine Won’t Wait, the state’s climate action plan.
Now, we are supporting legislation to implement the plan and its strategies. Through collaborative efforts, such as the Environmental Priorities Coalition, we are supporting efforts designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and find solutions to impacts of climate change.
For Casco Bay, here are three climate-related bills we support:
LD 1572, Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea Level Rise
This bill requires state agencies to incorporate sea level rise and other climate factors into Maine’s coastal land use laws. Current laws do not take into account the scientific consensus that Maine will experience at least 1.5 feet of sea level rise by 2050 and 3.9 feet by 2100. Without thoughtful planning and action, rising seas will permanently flood numerous coastal wastewater treatment plants, roads, culverts and crossings. A public hearing for this bill is scheduled for May 7. Stay tuned for more information about how you can use your voice to help protect the Bay!
LD 49, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Invest in Infrastructure To Address Sea Level Rise.
This bond would provide $50 million to address sea level rise through improvements to municipalities’ waterfront and coastal infrastructure. Access to these funds will help towns and cities leverage other funding to relocate, modify, or overhaul existing infrastructure. See our testimony on this issue here.
LD 983, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access and Outdoor Recreation
This bond proposal would provide $80 million over a period of 10 years to purchase coastal land for the public. Lands purchased will conserve critical coastal habitats and ensure public access to Maine’s coast — after all, Casco Bay belongs to everyone. See our testimony on this issue here.
State action is only one piece of the climate change puzzle. We look forward to sharing more about what local communities around the Bay are doing to mitigate and address climate change. If you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts on our work, we love hearing from you.
Thank you for caring about the health of Casco Bay.