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State of Maine's Environment 2009 

The State of Maine's Environment is a series of reports written by the Colby Environmental Policy Group, senior environmental policy majors at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  This is the fifth State of Maine's Environment report created by students enrolled in ES 493: Environmental Policy Practicum.

The 2009 report examines four topics of importance to Maine:  Coastal and marine management, rivers and dams, organic agriculture, and sustainable communities.  For each issue, we explore the history of the topic, laws and regulations, stakeholders, the current state of the topic, future scenarios, and implications of our findings that we relate to the future state of the topic.  We conclude each chapter with recommendations for future policies.

To view a summary of the report, see the Executive Summary. To download the entire report as a PDF document, click here. To view individual chapters of the reports, click on the links below


State of Energy and Climate in Maine*Energy and Climate*
Maine households use energy through heating, lighting, and other means specific to the Maine context.  Residential energy use in Maine involves substantial fossil fuel combustion, which contributes to climate change. 

*Toxic Substances*
Mercury, arsenic and lead vary in their origins but all contribute to human health problems in Maine.  We examine geographic and temporal trends in the sources of these toxics and links between toxic exposure and health problems such as cancer and birth defects. 

State of Marine Fisheries in Maine 2008*Marine Fisheries*
We examine fish population trends, fisheries policy, fishing communities, and current threats to fisheries.  Maine's fishing communities and activities, as well as the proximity of pollution to fish spawning grounds, all influence the current state of Maine's fisheries.

*Sustainable Communites*
Mainers have varied access to privately conserved lands and to information about these lands.  We examine differences in public access to state and local land trusts.  Land type, income, and population density also may influence access to and location of land trusts. 

See the following links:

About Us

Executive Summary


State of Coastal and Marine Management in Maine

State of Rivers and Dams in Maine

State of Organic Agriculture in Maine

State of Sustainable Communities in Maine  

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