The first Earth Day was 50 years ago. Regional sea surface temperatures have increased almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since then. Over the past 15 years, the Gulf of Maine has warmed at seven times the global average, faster than 99% of the global ocean. In our fresh lakes and ponds non-source-point pollution enriches water with the nutrient phosphorus and excess algae, resulting from watershed development (cultural eutrophication). Stormwater carry high concentrations of phosphorus, sediment particles, and other pollutants into our precious water bodies. We have not made the strides needed to protect these perishable gems. The economic costs of theses changes in seafood harvest and real estate value is immense.

I’m voting for Sara Gideon because she understands the dangers and works for improvement. I look at her record and see a leader who has passed some of the most aggressive measures in the state’s history to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy. The League of Conservation Voters noticed her successes and endorsed her. On the local front she attends to the details like increasing the quality of road construction as it relates to effective management of ground water runoff. On the global front Gideon understands that as a nation, we need to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

Contrast that with Susan Collins, who has a 21% rating from the League of Conservation Voters’ Environmental Scorecard and subsequently lost their endorsement awarded to Gideon. Sen. Collins has also co-sponsored and voted for legislation that would endanger Maine’s waterways by weakening protections against aquatic invasive species. She has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the gas and oil industries, industries that erode both our air and water quality.

It seems pretty simple to me, a vote for Gideon is a vote for responsible management and conservation of our irreplaceable watersheds and marine resources.

Patten Williams

Augusta


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