2008-2009 FOMB Speaker Series


Subject:          Endangered Species Win for Atlantic Salmon!
        Doug Watts, River Activist & Author of Atlantic Salmon ESA Petition
When:            Thursday, October 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
Where:           Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Brunswick’s Curtis Memorial Library for the first presentation of their 2008/2009 Winter Speaker Series now entering its 12th season. The presentation, ‘Endangered Species Win for Atlantic Salmon!” will feature Doug Watts, river activist and author of the endangered species petition to expand protection of the Atlantic salmon.

On September 3rd, the National Marine Fisheries Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service announced their proposal to redefine the endangered Gulf of Maine population of Atlantic salmon to include fish found in the Kennebec, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers. This decision comes in large part from pressure brought to bear by Doug Watts, Tim Watts, FOMB and the Maine Toxics Action Coalition in their 2005 citizen Endangered Species Act petition to list the Kennebec Atlantic salmon and from a 2008 lawsuit filed in federal court by FOMB, Doug Watts and the Center for Biological Diversity to force the listing decision. The listing decision was 2 years overdue in spite of support from a 2006 federal status review for expanded populations of Maine salmon to be protected by the ESA. Immediately following the listing proposal, the Services also published in the Federal Register a proposed expansion of Critical Habitat that may help protect the salmon.
Doug Watts is an expert on Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish in Maine. He was a former newspaper reporter specializing in historical accounts and currently is a freelance writer, fishery consultant and river activist. Watts also has been President of Friends of Kennebec Salmon for many years. Watts and his brother wrote the citizens ESA petition to protect the American eel and while the federal government found the petition to have scientific merit, they ultimately decided against listing the eel as an endangered species. Friends of Merrymeeting Bay continues to partner with Watts on state and federal efforts to protect American eel, Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish who are denied access to spawning habitat and or victims of turbine mortality. Watts will discuss the importance of Atlantic salmon, the proposed expansion of endangered species listing to Kennebec, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers, the Critical Habitat [CH] recommendations, how the listing and CH will help all migratory fish and how citizens can submit constructive comments before upcoming deadlines, in support of the proposals.

The FOMB Winter Speaker Series takes place monthly from October-May on the first Thursday. The November presentation, ‘Growing Up the Hard Way [Next to Swan Island]” features local historian, Jake Bishop. This event will take place 7pm. Thursday November 6th at the Merrymeeting Grange Hall in Bowdoinham. The series, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay with support and valuable door prizes from Patagonia Outlet in Freeport.  
To receive more information on FOMB’s programs call Misty Gorski, Executive Coordinator, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, at 582-5608 or fomb@gwi.net. Full speaker schedule and biographies are available [or will be shortly] .

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler
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