A coalition of more than 25 Maine environmental organizations Thursday called on lawmakers to press for “priority bills” in the new legislative session to promote new jobs, improved public health, expanded energy efficiency and the protection of Maine’s water, land and wildlife.

Meeting at the State House, the group – Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition – announced its legislative priorities and urged support for four bills to achieve the economic, health, energy and environmental goals. The initiative is designed to enhance the qualities for which Maine is known in-state and beyond and which support the economic and environmental health of the state, said coalition officials.

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Specifically, the legislation is focused on bolstering “livable communities, stunning scenery, world-famous recreational opportunities and clean water so that Maine can continue to be a clean and healthy place to live, work and raise a family,” said Maureen Drouin, executive director of the Maine Conservation Alliance.

The group brings together a broad coalition of environmental organizations and interested Maine groups including Passamaquoddy tribal members, parents, clean energy professionals and registered Maine guides.

Environmental, agricultural and conservation groups in the coalition comprise a wide variety of organizations including the Appalachian Mountain Club, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Health Strategy Center, Environment Maine, ENE, Friends of Casco Bay, Maine Audubon, Maine Center for Economic Policy, Maine Congress of Lake Associations, Maine Council of Churches, Maine Council of Trout Unlimited, Maine Conservation Alliance, Maine Interfaith Power and Light, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Rivers, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Maine Chapter, Product Policy Institute of Maine, Restore: The North Woods, Sierra Club Maine, The Ocean Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, Toxics Action Center.