2015-07-13 / Opinion

Supporting the release of LMF bonds

Thank you, Senator Linda Baker and Representative Jennifer DeChant for supporting LD 1378. The governor has vetoed the bill and I encourage you to override his veto.

The Governor is holding the Lands for Maine’s Future bonds hostage as a political bargaining chip putting 30 projects at risk. Recently, both the Senate and House voted by over two-thirds in favor of LD 1378. This bill would require the governor to release voter-approved bonds unless there are legitimate, non-political reasons for holding them.

Maine voters have spoken. Sixty percent of Maine voters in 2010 and 2012 voted to invest these conservation funds. In Sagadahoc County in 2012, 61 percent of voters supported the LMF Bond and 65 percent in Bath alone. Failure to override the veto would devastate conservation activities locally and statewide.

Near my home in Bath is the Lower Kennebec River Estuary, one of the largest tidal estuaries on the Eastern Seaboard. Its lower reaches include an extensive salt marsh, and provide rare habitat for foraging, nesting, and wintering shorebirds and waterfowl. The estuary also provides Mainers opportunities to clam, worm, fish, hunt, and bird watch. The estuary is a key component to the marine ecosystem and economy in Bath. LMF funds were an important component to making this project happen.

The Lower Kennebec River Estuary project is just one example of how LMF benefits the local community and state at-large. Thirty projects are at risk without the LMF bonds. Thank you for voting in support of LD 1378. Please vote to override the veto and support the will of Maine’s people and our own community.

Jenn Burns Gray

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