Thursday January 03, 2013 | 09:21 AM
Posted by Mike Tetreault

On the shelf in my office, I proudly display a photograph of Senator Snowe along with me and my colleagues Philip Conkling and Rob Snyder of the Island Institute, Robin Alden of Penobscot East Resource Center, and Kate Dempsey, with whom I work at The Nature Conservancy.

We were in the Senator’s office three years ago to apprise her of our plans to acquire a fishing permit as a means of supporting our local groundfish fleet during the transition to a new form of fisheries management.

The Senator was very well informed and equally supportive. In the mail the following week, I received a signed photograph inscribed; “Dear Mike - thanks for all you do for Maine. Sincerely, Olympia Snowe.”

Well, here is my chance to publicly thank the Senator for all she has done for Maine over her long and distinguished career. This is Senator Snowe’s final week representing Maine. She has served us very well for more than 30 years.

She regularly supported funding for Maine’s myriad forest conservation projects. But perhaps her greatest passion was working to support our fishing fleet and the restoration of the Gulf of Maine. She was a strong advocate for appropriate management of our oceans, and had the foresight to suggest that we establish a National Endowment for the Oceans to ensure that we dedicate sufficient funding to that end. This is an important idea, and while is not yet in place, I am hopeful that its time will come soon.

So, to Senator Snowe, I say; “Dear Olympia – Thanks for all you have done for Maine. I look forward to working with you on your newest endeavors, and we will keep focus on restoring our vital ocean resources. With warmth and respect, Mike Tetreault.”

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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.

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