Friday, December 13, 2013
After reading "Fish passage is the next step for Presumpscot" (Oct. 24), I wish to clarify some of the information used in this article.
The Cumberland Mills Dam is shown in this 2007 photo. An agreement to build a fish passage there allows sea-run species full access to spawning grounds.
2007 Telegram file
By and large, the message was accurate and we are proud to have been part of this historic decision to build fish passages on dammed rivers.
What did not come across clearly was the incredible effort made by the state and federal agencies to ensure that the abundant sea-run fisheries that once inhabited the Presumpscot now have a chance to return to Westbrook and beyond. Without their considerable expertise, persistence, and genuine caring, this effort would have been lost.
The "wonderful cooperative effort" mentioned in the story was in regards to the way the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Attorney General's Office worked hand in hand with Friends of the Presumpscot River, American Rivers and our attorneys, Ron Kreisman and Sean Mahoney, to make sure we achieved the best result possible for the Presumpscot River and the fish.
Each of these agencies had several people who worked diligently through months of negotiations to ensure that the final design for this fishway would pass fish in a safe, effective, and timely manner and begin the restoration of sea run fish on the Presumpscot.
Friends of the Presumpscot River, American Rivers and our attorneys may have been the catalysts with our work on the relicensing of the five upriver dams, but much of the foundation was also laid by the Coastal Conservation Association, DMR and DEP with the removal of Smelt Hill dam.
Then, the charge was carried through by a team of great agency people who worked alongside the Friends and American Rivers to eliminate the final roadblock to fish passage on the Presumpscot.
President, Friends of the Presumpscot River
Gulf institute has done great work in science ed
In his Maine Voices column on Oct. 10 ("Maine can lead in science literacy"), Don Perkins of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute wrote about Maine's potential to lead in science literacy, and the milestone of 50,000 Maine students participating in the LabVenture! program at the institute's center in Portland.
Recently retired, I have been an educator for over 40 years with 38 years teaching and guiding fifth and sixth grade students in the South Portland school system. Over those years you can well imagine the multitude of educational hands-on learning experiences my students have had.
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute's marine science education program involves authentic hands-on research using a team approach in a technology-rich environment. There has been no other program that even comes close to our LabVenture! experiences. I am confident that I can speak for all my fifth grade professional colleagues when I say this.
Our entire South Portland fifth grade staff piloted and adopted a new marine science unit that was directly inspired by our first LabVenture! visits four years ago. The science-based learning activities that continue after our students participate only happen because of the dedicated professional staff and support from the school's administration.
The LabVenture! experience for fifth and sixth grade students throughout Maine cannot be found anywhere else in the world. We are very fortunate. I am most grateful to the private sponsors, led by Poland Spring, who have helped this world-class LabVenture! come alive for these 50,000 students, and for future students across the state.
Fresh veggies great, but not at farmers' markets
Growing up in Mexico City, I had the opportunity to have everyday fresh vegetables and meats. Just about every neighborhood has once or twice a week a farmers market like is done here now.
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