October 5, 2013

Letters to the editor: Maine senators’ shutdown actions assailed

(Continued from page 1)

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A National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. Maine’s U.S. senators haven’t made constructive contributions to the dialogue over the federal shutdown, readers say.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

None of this matters to Republicans. No, it seems if the government is involved in helping fix our broken system, they are against it.

My advice? Stop whining and get to work covering more Americans. It is quite likely that someone’s life depends on it. If it needs tweaking later, then tweak it.

Tom McInerney

Cape Elizabeth

Alarmed snorkeler arrives at unfounded conclusion

Regarding the Sept. 30 letter by Benson Dana of Cape Elizabeth (“Snorkeler’s Fort Gorges visit reveals sad ecological decline”):

Science students learn that to understand an observation of the natural environment, it must be viewed in the context of ongoing scientific, cultural and sociological conditions.

Had Mr. Dana paid attention for the last 21 years, he would know that there exists more than 20 years of Environmental Protection Agency-certified data on the waters of Fort Gorges, as well as the entirety of Casco Bay. He can call 799-8574 to access data that has been recognized worldwide as a viable and important contribution to the body of knowledge on which ecologists and oceanographers, marine biologists, fisheries researchers and scientists of many other disciplines depend.

Regarding Mr. Dana’s reference to “dirty water”: Cloudiness in ocean water is most often an indicator of healthful biological activity.

Mr. Dana may have visited the fort within 48 hours of a moderate-to-heavy rain event. Under these conditions, Fort Gorges and the harbor surrounding it are engulfed in a plume of fresh water from the Presumpscot River, which carries with it silt from the riverbed, especially since the removal of dams.

Research will show appropriate turbidity (cloudiness) levels under normal conditions. Visit anywhere in Casco Bay to observe this condition.

Regarding urchins, it is well known that urchins were overharvested in the ’90s. Visit anywhere on the coast of Maine to observe this depletion.

The presumption that the “seaweed” (presumably he is referring to common rockweed, Ascophyllum nodosum) is soon to be harvested “to complete devastation” demonstrates an an absolute ignorance of the current and developing regulations for rockweed harvest, the historical harvest of this publicly held resource and the current harvest activities in Casco Bay.

Andrew Bertocci

Yarmouth

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