Lobstermen under industry pressure from all angles, call for the preservation of coastal communities and their livelihood

July 21, 2019 |Stonington, ME – Lobstermen from Machias to Boothbay Harbor rallied on the Stonington Commercial Fish Pier to draw greater attention to the issues facing the survival of their industry and the livelihoods of coastal Maine communities.

Maine Lobsterman, Stonington, Maine
Lobstermen from Machias to Boothbay Harbor rallied on the Stonington Commercial Fish Pier to draw greater attention to the issues facing the survival of their industry and the livelihoods of coastal Maine communities.

Lobsterman Julie Eaton led off the day saying, “NOAA knows that not one Right Whale has been proven to have been entangled in Maine rope in many years and the new proposed regulations would only cause extreme danger to our lobstermen. We are the first line of protection to the marine mammals of all types and had much rather work on sensible solutions that work for everyone. Between the proposed new regulations for the Right Whale, a bait shortage and the threat of aquacultures leases that could allow a single person sole use of 1000 acres of our fishing grounds, these are dark times for Maine’s lobstermen. We are hoping that our state and federal politicians will hear our plea and stand by us and our coastal communities.”

Eaton added if lobstermen do not get support and the industry suffers the impact will be much larger, “Here’s the deal, if we can’t make a living then we can’t buy vehicles, we don’t fix our homes which impacts contractors, we don’t spend as much at the grocery store. When a large community such as this with more than 4800 lobster license holders is impacted the ripple effect will be felt far and wide.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is likely to get an earful from lobstermen at upcoming hearings in August to discuss the Right Whale issue. Many testifying at the hearings have demonstrated concerns that more was not done sooner to protect the lobster industry.

Over the last few months, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has held hearings up and down the coast and, last week, Governor Janet Mills sent an open letter to members of the lobster industry conveying her solidarity with them.

Governor Janet Mills attended the rally saying, “Maine’s lobster industry is a critical pillar of our state’s economy, with thousands of commercial harvesters and dealers supporting their families, breathing life into their communities, providing jobs, and helping sustain a treasured way of life,” said Governor Mills. “As Governor, I will always defend our lobster industry. which is why I have directed Commissioner Keliher to evaluate a risk reduction target for Maine that is commensurate to any actual risk posed by the lobster industry. We are committed to pursuing solutions based on sound science that protect both lobstermen and Right Whales.”

Senator Susan Collins, Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden attended as well.

“Maine’s iconic lobster fishery supports the livelihoods of 4,800 licensed lobstermen and women and more than 10,000 additional Mainers who work within the industry,” said Senator Collins.  “The challenges facing our lobster industry have always transcended politics.  I am working with my colleagues in the Maine Delegation, lobstermen and women, state officials, and all stakeholders to find a solution that ensures a strong future for the lobster industry and reflects reality in the Gulf of Maine.”

Representative Chellie Pingree said, “The Right Whale population needs our help. I am concerned however that NOAA’s one-size-fits-all risk reduction tool may not be the best fit for Maine’s lobster industry, and could potentially endanger the lives and livelihoods of Maine lobstermen,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). “Before we ask them to make such significant and costly changes, we need more information about the risk factors to Right Whales to ensure that reducing lines will actually keep them from harm. Protecting our oceans and the sea life that inhabit them is one of my biggest priorities in Congress, but this regulation, and all solutions need to be reassessed to ensure the safety of those putting food on our tables.”

Representative Jared Golden said, “I was proud to stand alongside Maine lobstermen in Stonington today. The new NOAA regulations could put many Maine lobstermen out of business without a guarantee that any right whales would be saved. It is important to Maine communities and the lobster industry that we continue to fight against unfair rules and inaccurate information. We’re calling for solutions based on sound science and good data that protect lobstermen and whales.”

Earlier this month, Congressman Golden, Senator Collins, Senator King, and Congresswoman Pingree wrote to the president asking him to intervene in the implementation of new regulations on Maine lobstermen.

To read the letter click here.

 

 

 

Poland Spring Associates Provide a Helping Hand for Their Neighbors This Holiday Season

Poland Spring, Poland Spring Water, Poland Spring Water Maine
Community organizations and residents in Poland, Hollis, Kingfield, Fryeburg, Denmark, and northern Maine receive assistance through associate-driven efforts

POLAND SPRING, Maine, December 20, 2018 – Poland Spring associates from the Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield bottling facilities helped spread holiday cheer in their communities this season by supporting local families in need.

“Each year, our team of dedicated associates goes above and beyond to support local charities in their communities to help families have a brighter holiday,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Poland Spring associates don’t do this because they have to; they do this because they understand the importance of giving back and being good neighbors.”

In Poland, associates donated a total of 40 turkeys to the Lifesprings program and the Gray Food Pantry. They also fulfilled the holiday wishes of five local families through the Giving Tree program at Poland Community School. Additionally, Poland Spring held a food drive to benefit the Regional School Unit 16 (RSU 16) Mannafed Backpack Program, along with a water donation and clothing drive to benefit the Poland Food Bank.

Associates at Poland Spring’s Hollis facility donated 120 turkeys and two truckloads of food to support Thanksgiving meal service at the Hollis Food Pantry, and continued the season of giving with the purchase of gifts to help two families in need through the Town of Hollis.

At Poland Spring’s central Maine facility in Kingfield, associates participated in the annual Giving Tree Program, which provides winter clothing and toys to children in need from Kingfield Elementary School. Associates also continued to provide meals to senior citizens through the Bridging the Gap program, which associates have done each month this year.

These efforts are just a few among many in which Poland Spring is involved in helping to make the holidays brighter for local families in need. Other noteworthy charitable efforts in which Poland Spring is actively engaged, include donating $5,000 to Fryeburg’s Community Giving Tree program. These funds helped provide winter clothing to families in the Maine School Administrative District 72 communities of Fryeburg, Denmark, Lovell, Stow, Sweden, Brownfield, and Stoneham. Poland Spring also supported heating assistance programs benefitting thousands of residents in the towns of Lincoln, Passadumkeag, Enfield, Howland, and Denmark.

“We are grateful for Poland Spring’s generosity and support for residents of our community who are most in need of help,” said Jim McKay from the Hollis Food Pantry. “Thanks to their efforts, many families here and elsewhere throughout the state will have a better holiday season.”

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About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

Poland Spring “Good Neighbor Grant” Supports University of Southern Maine Environmental Science Watershed Research and Internships

Poland Spring, Poland Spring Water, Poland Spring Water Maine

POLAND, ME | NOVEMBER 13, 2018 – Continuing its long-time support of STEM education and research at the University of Southern Maine (USM), Nestlé Waters North America, through its Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, has awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the USM Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the University’s Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) program.

“At Nestlé Waters, we are committed to the sustainability of our natural resources and the environment, both in our own operations and the communities where we live and work,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Our ‘Good Neighbor Grants’ are awarded to projects with a focus on education, environmental conservation and other endeavors that help improve the future of Maine. We can’t think of a more appropriate recipient than USM’s Environmental Science and Policy program.”

The gift will specifically support internships and assistantships for ESP students working on the research project, located within the Tannery Brook Watershed/USM “Smart Forest” on the USM Gorham campus. The project entails building a network of environmental sensors that will be located throughout the watershed/forest. The sensors will provide researchers with better insight regarding the impacts of climate change and land use on small forests and mini-watersheds. Data collected at the site can be remotely accessed by the public, including educators, researchers, and interested “citizen scientists.”

Front Row, left to right: Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Robert Sanford, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy; Ainsley Wallace, President & CEO, USM Foundation; Glenn Cummings, Ed.D., President of USM. Back Row, left to right: Josh Rowe, National Resource Supervisor, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Jeremy Qualls, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Health; Joe Staples Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.

“All of the fieldwork needed to develop and maintain the environmental sensor network will be done by our ESP students,” said Robert Sanford, Ph.D., professor, and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “Poland Spring has stepped up as an important partner in this venture, enabling us to make paid watershed assistantships available to our students, who benefit from both financial support and valuable workforce experience.”

“USM is dedicated to working with the community to address real-world problems while imbuing our students with technical workforce skills,” said Jeremy Qualls, dean of the College of Science, Technology, and Health at USM. “Poland Spring’s gift is very impactful. It helps us get students engaged in the field and widens the pathway to STEM jobs here in Maine.”

Ainsley Wallace, president, and CEO of the USM Foundation said, “This investment by Poland Spring recognizes USM’s central role and commitment to growing Maine’s skilled and educated workforce. We are very grateful for this generous gift and the opportunities it affords our undergraduates.”

Since 2000, Poland Spring has given more than $7 million to local Maine community organizations, causes, and events through the Good Neighbor Grant program. Past grant recipients, include: The Ecology School, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Poland Spring Preservation Society, The Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington, as well as numerous other organizations.

About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

About USM ESP

The University of Southern Maine Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) is an interdisciplinary program offering a BA in Environmental Planning and Policy and a BS in Environmental Science. An accelerated program allows students in the BA program to work toward a master’s degree in Policy, Planning, and Management. For students who wish to become teachers, there is also a pathway leading to secondary science certification. The program also offers minors and/or certificates in Environmental Sustainability, Applied Energy, Environmental Science, Environmental Education, and Environmental Policy & Analysis.

About the USM Foundation

The University of Southern Maine Foundation engages with USM alumni, employer partners, and the wider community to encourage philanthropic support for the long-term benefit of the University and its students. The Foundation solicits and secures private funds for the sole benefit of the University and its mission. Acting as an independent, 501 (c)(3) corporation, the Foundation provides quality programs and services to USM alumni, donors and supporters and serves as the primary fundraising vehicle for the University of Southern Maine.

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Media Contact:

For Poland Spring:

Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager,

Heather.Printup@waters.nestle.com

For USM Foundation:

Erin Macey

Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations

erin.macey@maine.edu