The firm hired by the Pebble Partnership to review the company's substantial environmental baseline studies will hold a second set of independent science panels starting May 6. The panels will be held in Anchorage, and will be filmed and broadcast via web-stream live. Remote participants can submit questions and comments by email during the event.
The Keystone Center, which was commissioned to complete the review, is now accepting registrations for the science panels, which will be broken up by topic over two days. On May 6, the panel will focus on vegetation and wetlands, while the May 7 panel will focus on wildlife, habitat and threatened or endangered species.
Independent scientists have been asked to review Pebble Partnership's studies, and panelists and committee members serve without compensation other than travel and lodging expenses. Recommendations that are issued from the panels will be incorporated into a forthcoming report.
The scientific peer review panel, convened and moderated by the Keystone Center, a Colorado-based nonprofit hired to facilitate a dialogue regarding the proposed mine, convened last October amid controversy and anti-Pebble protests. Opponents say the review panel process is biased because it is paid for by the Pebble Partnership. Keystone organizers contend, however, that the scientists reviewing the data are unpaid and unbiased. At last fall's meetings, questions were raised about the methodology used to evaluate certain features of the region, which is being researched in conjunction with a hotly controversial proposed large-scale gold, copper and molybdenum mine in the Bristol Bay watershed.
The Keystone Center said last fall that it hoped to hold the next panel in Bristol Bay.
Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>
Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant application process changes
The application process is now underway for 2017 Saltonstall-Kennedy grants — and that process has changed from previous years.
A required new “pre-proposal” step is meant to weed out projects that don’t meet program criteria and save those applicants from laboring over full proposals.
“This new step provides applicants an early indication of their project's eligibility before going through the more intensive process of developing a full project proposal,” NOAA said in a statement.
NOAA expects to distribute approximately $10 million in Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant money to support fisheries projects in 2017. The pre-proposal process opened on July 22 and runs through September 20, 2016. Pre-proposals are to be submitted via email. NOAA has said the agency will conduct “at least two public webinars” to walk through the new process and answer questions.
For more information, visit the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program website.
NOAA recommends $9 million in funding for habitat restoration
NOAA has recommended $9 million in funding for 17 community-based habitat restoration projects that aim to improve protected species recovery and support sustainable fisheries.
The recommended projects, in 10 states and territories, range from coral reef restoration in Florida to fish passage improvements in California. Projects in Maine and California focus on three of NOAA Fisheries' at-risk "Species in the Spotlight" - Atlantic salmon, Central California Coast coho, and Sacramento River winter-run Chinook. Projects in Hawaii and Puerto Rico target habitat improvements in NOAA regions of focus.
"These restoration projects are a win-win for the environment and surrounding communities," said Pat Montanio, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation. "When we make smart investments in habitat restoration, we not only help sustain fisheries and recover protected resources, we also use these projects to provide additional benefits, like protecting coastal communities from flooding and erosion, and boosting local economies through increased recreational opportunities."
The 17 projects now await final approval subject to funding availability and review and sign-off from NOAA and other government officials.Applicants are expected to be notified by October 1.
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I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of lobster rolls. This is a risky admission as a Maine resident. But before you throw me to the wolves, allow me to explain: It’s because I love the taste of lobster so much that I prefer to enjoy it with as little interference as possible.
I like a tender chicken lobster (under 1.25 pounds) — Homarus americanus, of course — straight from the shell, steamed, not boiled (boiling fills the shell with water, which also washes out some of its delicious fat) — eaten warm, sometimes as is, or with melted butter and maaaaaaybe a squirt of lime.
Of course, if you want to do it right, put a bowl of steamers on the side with a few Maine-grown new potatoes, top it all off with a wild blueberry pie, and eat it at a picnic table nestled into a copse of tall pine trees. The scent of sun-warmed pine needles enhances the flavor of a lobster dinner.
We try to buy chicken lobsters (also called chix), and we usually get a few extras because, well, we’re in Maine, so why not? One of our few luxuries is getting to the end of a lobster supper and deciding to have just one more.
If there’s anything leftover at the end of the meal, we pull the meat from the shell and stash it in the fridge to make a lobster roll. Mainers are very particular about their lobster rolls. Some like the meat cold, with mayo, celery salt, diced celery, onion, and some call any adornment an unecessary affectation of tourism. But you will always find an authentic lobster roll in a buttered, toasted (or grilled) split-top hot dog roll. If it is missing any of these components, it’s just not a Maine lobster roll.
The only way I enjoy a lobster roll is served warm with just butter, and like my steamed lobster, maaaaaaybe a squirt of lime.
If you want to make these at home, I’ve got good news. Like most fisheries, Maine lobster is enjoying a major leap forward in processing. You can now buy cooked or raw Maine lobster vacuum packed in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Just follow the thawing/cooking instructions on the package.
As for split-top hot dog rolls, I don’t know. From what I gather, these are regional. BUT my Trader Joe’s does sell them! You can also order a package of them from Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. here in Maine. They freeze perfectly!
2 1.25-1.5-pound lobsters, steamed or boiled
2 split-top hot-dog rolls
5 tablespoons butter (I use Kate’s from Maine)
Optional squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of roe if you get lucky
Melt your butter in a small skillet, lightly brush the inside and outside of your buns with it and set aside.
Add your lobster meat to the remaining butter and reheat quickly, just enough to warm it up but not overcook it. I like to split my tail down the middle, if it’s a new-shell tail. If it’s a large tail from a hard-shell lobster, do a rough chop, as well.
Set your warmed lobster meat aside, and toss your buns in the skillet, toasting each side lightly but leaving the inside soft and buttered.
Add your lobster with a nice claw on top, pour the rest of the melted butter over the meat and sprinkle with roe (the red stuff) if you happened to find any. It’s like a flavor shot from the ocean. You can spread the rest of your roe on toast and dip it in corn chowdah if you really want to Maine up your day.
What’s on your list for summer reading? Well, let me suggest “A Mariner’s Miscellany” by Peter Spectre. It’s a collection of all things relevant and irrelevant concerning the sea, the whimsical and the serious; it’s about boats, ships, anchors, knots and ballast, the lore, poetry and language of the ocean and those who have traveled it.
Spectre has written several marine related books and did the yearly “Mariner’s Book of Days,” a nautical desk diary and calendar. He was also editor at International Marine, Wooden Boat and currently Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Those years spent writing about boats and correcting author’s notions of boats and the sea have endowed him with an eclectic mix of nautical knowledge.
For instance, does anybody know what “dogs running before their master” means? It’s a heavy swell in advance of a hurricane. That’s in the chapter “The Language of the Sea.”
In the same chapter is a listing of the “Different kinds of dead.”
Included is “dead horse” — a cash advance for wages to be earned, and “dead marine” — an empty beer bottle.
In the chapter “Bread is the staff of life; rum is life itself” is a recipe for Serpent’s Breath (a note says it’s enough for the entire crew):
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle light rum
1 bottle Cognac
7 cups tea
3 cups lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Stir the sugar and the lemon juice into the tea, then add the hard stuff. Allow the ingredients to meld for two hours — if you can wait that long.
If you are dumb enough to be at the wheel after sharing in that concoction, it won’t be long before you’re aground. But Spectre’s book tells you how to handle that situation in the chapter “Time and tide wait for no man.”
“If you should run aground on a falling tide and can’t get her off, climb over the side and scrub the bottom while you wait for the tide to return. Your friends will think you went aground on purpose.”
In the book’s 289 pages there’s a whole lot more, some of which you might know, most of which you never heard of. Check it out.
More Book Reviews:
Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.Read more...
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States.
The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.Read more...