Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Mike Tetreault leads The Nature Conservancy in Maine, where he works with partners in conservation, government and community development to identify solutions which ensure that Maine's natural resources are available for people and for nature.
He holds a degree in environmental studies from Brown and a MS from the field naturalist program at the University of Vermont, and has studied resource management in Kenya, Mexico and throughout New England.
Tetreault started his career teaching wilderness leadership and environmental education, and has worked for The Nature Conservancy since 1998. He lives in Bath with his wife, their daughter and a menagerie of pets.
If you're a parent, I'm sure you know the challenge of getting a child outside.
In the competition for our children's time, there are many players: homework, sports and other after-school activities, TV, social media and the rest of the Internet, X-Box and the long list of screen games.
Research shows that, as kids age, they spend less time outside. In the U.S., preschoolers spend about 12 hours a week outdoors. By the time a U.S. teen turns 16, he or she is spending less than seven hours a week in nature.
Survey results show this same U.S. trend worldwide, with the exception of Brazil. And in Hong Kong, time spent in nature past the age of 16 is as little as 1.8 hours a week. That's crazy.
Ensuring clean water, creating jobs and protecting fish & wildlife habitat for future generations are issues that we can all support.
A proposed bond bill that lawmakers are currently considering in Augusta could create jobs and contribute significantly to Maine’s economy, while also protecting clean water and habitat for fish and wildlife. If passed by the Legislature, the Clean Water and Safe Communities Act will be on the ballot for Maine voters to consider sometime this year.
And as much as clean water and wildlife habitat are personal priorities for me in the ballot box, I also care about helping Maine families make ends meet and building the strength of our state’s economy.
The Nature Conservancy is a member of the Clean Water & Safe Communities Coalition – alongside such organizations as Associated General Contractors of Maine, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Maine Water Utilities Association – and we spoke together at a recent State House press conference.
It’s amazing what results can be accomplished when you have smart programs, strong partnerships and resources to support them.
That’s the case with 12 terrific projects that will be given funds through the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, which focuses wetland mitigation funds on high priority areas across Maine.
The program – administered by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – last week announced awards totaling more than $1.2 million to help restore, enhance or preserve wetlands and other important habitats at project sites around the state.
The program provides flexibility for regulators as well as businesses, agencies and others that are meeting permit requirements to choose a fee in lieu of more time-intensive traditional mitigation options. These so-called In Lieu Fees are collected by the Maine DEP and then transferred to the Natural Resource Conservation Fund administered by The Nature Conservancy through an annual competitive grants process.
Sen. Angus King last night mentioned good advice that Mainers have long shared with one-another: When you return your neighbor’s Rototiller, be sure it’s in as good a shape – if not better – than when you borrowed it.
The same goes for the planet, King said last night on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We’re only borrowing this planet for a short time, he said. When we give it to our children, we need to return it in better shape than when received it.
King was with other members of the Senate Climate Action Task Force to highlight the impact of climate change in Maine, warn against the many dangers it poses, and urge immediate legislative action by Congress to mitigate its effects. It was an all-night session by senators on the task force to show the need for action on climate change.
“This isn’t a theoretical discussion,” King said. “This isn’t just a science lesson. This has effects in all of our states. …In Maine, it’s the lobster – the iconic product of the coast of Maine.” Since the 1970s lobsters have moved steadily northward because of warming ocean temperatures.
The Nature Conservancy's 1998 purchase of 185,000 acres of forest along the St. John River remains one of the most important decisions the organization has ever made.
On those lands we have multiple goals, including sustainably harvesting the lands for forest products and habitat and we ensured that one-fourth of the land is set aside as a reserve – a place where nature can take its course.
Over the past dozen years, revenue from our sustainable forestry work has played an important role in northern Maine's economy, supporting wages for loggers, road contractors, truckers and researchers.
Our staff recently led a two-day tour of our operations in the St. John River forest for more than two dozen forestry professionals.