BoatTalk 12/11/18

Producers/Hosts: Alan Sprague & Mike Joyce
Engineer: Amy Browne

Maine built boats

Key Discussion Points:
a) lobster wars movie coming to bar harbor
b) maine built boat qualities
c) maine coastal news

Jon Johanson President of the Board Maine Built Boats, publisher of Maine Coastal News
David Abel Boston Globe reporter, film maker

WERU News Report 7/29/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: John Greenman

Attorney Kim Ervin Tucker joins us today with all the latest news on the proposed dredging project in Searsport Harbor, including an important deadline coming up next week for anyone who would like to be involved as an intervenor.

For more information about becoming an intervenor:

FMI re the “Dawson Alternative”:

Special thanks to Ron Huber for allowing us to use audio clips he recorded at the 7/16/15 BEP meeting. To hear more visit his website:

Coastal Conversations 7/24/15

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Issue: Maine coastal and ocean issues

Program Topic: History, Culture, and Heritage of the Lobster Industry in Maine

Key Discussion Points:
History of the industry in Maine, including readings from “The Maine Lobster Industry: A History of Culture, Conservation and Commerce” by Cathy Billings
History of the industry on Cranberry Isles, the formation of the Co-op, and the current exhibit at Isleford
HIstorica Museum: “Boats and Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island”
Poetry and writing about lobstering and the heritage of the industry

Cathy Billings, author of “The Maine Lobster Industry: A History of Culture, Conservation and Commerce;” and Associate Director at the Lobster Institute
Retired Lobsterman from Isleford, Jim Bright
Rosamond Rea, project manager of the “Boats and Buoys: Lobstering on Little Cranberry Island” exhibit at Isleford Historical Museum

WERU Special 8/25/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

The US Army Corps of Engineers and Maine DOT are proposing a dredging project in Searsport Harbor that would result in nearly a million cubic yards of materials being dumped in Penobscot Bay near Islesboro. The project would deepen and widen the shipping channel. Supporters say that would improve commerce in the port, but opponents say the economic and environmental risks far outweigh any potential benefits.

Joining me in the studio today are Joel Pitcher of the Maine Lobstering Union, and attorney Kim Tucker. She represents the Maine Lobstering Union, Pemaquid Muscle Farm, and the Sierra Club of Maine as well as some individual members of the Zone D lobster council. The program also features excerpts from an interview with Dr. Kevin Yeager- an independent scientist who previously worked on the Holtrachem/Mallinkrodt mercury case in the federal court system. He is the author of a new report that raises serious concerns about the plan– among them the possibility that inert mercury in the sediment may be converted to a more toxic form and make its way into the food chain in Penobscot Bay. He also criticizes the methology the Army Corps used in their sediment sampling.

WERU News Report 5/6/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Continuing with our on-going coverage of the Searsport dredge and dump controversy, today we hear the impressions of Penobscot bay lobstermen and people who work in the shell fish industry, following a private presentation by state and federal officials, organized by the Maine Lobstermen’s Association

WERU News Report 4/9/14 -special hour long edition

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing producer: Matt Murphy

Segment 1: A standing-room-only crowd packed into an informational meeting at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast yesterday to hear details about the US Army Corps of Engineers and Maine DOT plans to dredge Searsport Harbor. The proposal is to deepen the channel near Mack Point to 40 feet, from the current 35, and to dump the sediment—nearly a million cubic yards of it — into Penobscot Bay.
Supporters say the depth needs to be expanded to 40 feet to accommodate larger ships and increase shipping traffic. Opponents have pointed out that Portland harbor is the same depth as Searsport currently, and does a great deal of business, and that there is already a deep water port in Eastport.
Most of the opponents of expansion dredging have voiced support of routine maintenance dredging, but there is concern about dumping of the sediment, which would most likely be done off the coast of Islesboro. While the ACoE recently stated that the materials are clean, and would not pose a risk to the fisheries in the bay, recent testing of the sediment near the adjacent docks has revealed a long list of heavy metals, carcinogens and endocrine disrupters – many present in levels severals times above the reportable limits.
After a slide presentation, which can be viewed on the Army Corps of Engineers website, the public was given an opportunity to direct comments and questions to representatives from the agencies at yesterday’s meeting. Today, in the special extended version of the WERU News Report, we’re bringing you some of the questions and comments, and the response from the reps from the state and federal agencies present. All but one person who spoke expressed concerns about the proposal, and the room was a sea of red shirts, worn to indicate solidarity with the lobstermen’s unions that have come out in opposition to the plan:

Segment 2: Matt Murphy with a report on efforts to raise funds for work against human trafficking – an interview with musician Peter Alexander

WERU News Report 3/18/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Maine Department of Marine Resources held a public hearing in Bucksport last night, as part of their process of the closure of the lobster and crab fisheries near the mouth of the Penobscot River due to elevated mercury levels. The department became aware of the elevated levels after they were given results from independent testing done in association with the Maine People’s Alliance’s decade long legal battle over the clean up of the former Holtrachem site in Orrington. The Department of Marine Fisheries decided to close this specific area rather than issuing an advisory on all Maine lobster.
Last night’s public hearing was facilitated by Kevin Rousseau & Meredith Mendelson of the Dept of Marine Resources, and Dr Andrew Smith, the State Toxicologist with Maine Center for Disease Control. It was required as part of the process of making February’s emergency closure a regular rule, before the emergency rule expires in May. DMR Deputy Commissioner Meredith Mendelson provided some back ground. An informal question and answer session was held, followed by a formal public comment period.

The deadline for comments to the Department of Marine Fisheries regarding the closure of the lobster and crab fisheries near the mouth of the Penobscot River, is Friday, March 28th