• The original name of Maine's Deer Isle

    By Bill Haviland

    Among the many treasures housed in the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society is a large map of Penobscot Bay, prepared for the society by James Eric Francis Sr., director of cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation. On the map are shown the traditional canoe routes and portages used by Wabanaki Indians, along with several of the place names. If you haven’t seen this work of art, you really should visit the exhibit barn during the summer season, where it is prominently displayed upstairs in the Indian exhibit.

    As one looks at the map, one is struck by the lack of place names on Deer Isle itself. The only one is K’chisitimokan’gan (the great fish weir), the passage between Deer Isle and Little Deer (where the causeway is today). There must have been other names here, for an important canoe route runs through the center of the island. And there must have been a name for the island itself, as we know there were for: Isle au Haut, Sulikuk (Place of the Empty Shells); Islesboro, Pitaubegwimenahanuk (Island Between Two Channels); and Mount Desert, Pemetic (A Range of Mountains).

    The reason for this dearth of place names goes back to events of the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1616 a major epidemic swept through native populations, killing off up to 90 percent of the people. Of European origin, the disease was one to which Indians had no immunity. It may not have been the first epidemic to devastate the natives, and we know it was not the last. As if this were not enough to cope with, casualties mounted in the course of a century of nearly continuous warfare as the Wabanaki people fought to defend their homeland against invasion by English speaking colonists.

    Especially vulnerable were the very young and the elderly. In societies without writing, it is the elders who serve as the repositories of knowledge, equivalent to the archives and libraries of our own society. As they succumbed to disease, elders were unable to transmit knowledge to grandchildren, and so much of this was lost. The wonder of it all is that as much of it survived as has.

    The earliest name I know of for Deer Isle appears on a map drawn in 1771 for the governor of the French province of Acadia, probably drafted by his lieutenant, Jean Vincent d’Abbadie, Baron de Saint Castin. On it, Deer Isle is labeled “The Foundry Isles.” Evidently the French considered the sections north and south of the Haulover as separate islands. Why they named them as they did is a mystery. Perhaps it was a mistranslation of an Indian word, but it certainly was not the original name for Deer Isle!

    A clue to what that original name was comes from the Daylight Mitchell family from Indian Island. Best known on Deer Isle were Lawrence Mitchell and his family, who came to Sunset every summer from the 1920s well into the 1950s to sell baskets and other craft items. They were not the first members of this family to come here, however. We have an account of Charlie Daylight Mitchell, a first cousin of Lawrence Mitchell’s grandfather, paddling a canoe from Sylvester’s Cove to Eagle Island.

    Both Charlie and Lawrence are discussed in my book At the Place of the Lobsters and Crabs. Since writing that book, evidence has come to light of a third member of this family on Deer Isle. The evidence is a brief statement by Dr. B. Lake Noyes, noticed by Connie Wiberg while looking through one of his volumes in the historical society archives. This refers to the father of Rosetta (Holbrook) Robbins-Dunbar as “Old Indian Jo. Mitchell.” Although she was known to be half Penobscot Indian, I had never been able to satisfy myself about Rose Dunbar’s paternity. This clarifies matters: Evidently Rose’s mother, Lucy Morey, had a relationship with this Indian Jo before marrying Abram Holbrook. Rose was born in 1866, and was subsequently given the surname Holbrook by her mother’s husband.

    The identity of Old Indian Jo. Mitchell must surely be Joseph Mary Mitchell, born in 1838. This was the cousin of Charlie Daylight and grandfather of Lawrence. Rose Dunbar would have been a cousin of Lawrence Mitchell’s father. So, we have an association of Daylight Mitchells with Deer Isle going back three generations.

    Another Indian Joe on Deer Isle was Joseph Lauren. I was never sure of his identity, but one Possibility was Joseph Mitchell Lolar (Lolar is a variant of Lauren) or his son of the same name. The senior Lolar is listed in the 1880 and 1899 Penobscot Indian census and the 1900 Penobscot Federal census. The middle name suggests descent from a Mitchell woman. The fact that on at least one occasion (in 1939) he was a guest in the house of Rose Dunbar suggests another tie to the Daylight Mitchells.

    Given a continued presence of Daylight Mitchell descendants on the island in the 19th and 20th centuries, information gathered by anthropologist Frank Speck around the start of the 20th century takes on special interest. He reported an ancient connection of the Daylight Mitchell family and this part of the coast. They were one of the last families to subsist predominantly on resources from the sea, and were reputed to be expert seafarers and saltwater canoeists. Mitchell (originally Michele) was their French baptismal name, while Daylight was a nickname, from their reputation as early risers. Their original Indian name was Lobster, and they are said to have always lived near the lobsters.

    Here, then, seems to lie the solution to the mystery of Deer Isle’s original name. As Isle au Haut was the Place of the Empty Shells, I propose that Deer Isle was the Place of the Lobsters. In the Passamaquoddy language, a modern version of that spoken by the Mitchell ancestors, it would be Sakhiq (pronounced “Zugheegw”), in Penobscot, Nsakek (the a is pronounced ah). The two modern words probably derive from the Etchemin word spoken by the natives of this area 400 years ago.

    I thank Connie Wiberg, who called Dr. Noyes’ s statement about Rose Dunbar’s paternity to my attention. I am grateful as well to Passamaquoddies Donald Soctomah and George Neptune, along with Penobscot Darren Ranco, all of whom read an earlier draft of this article and agreed that it made sense. To Passamaquoddy David Moses Bridges and Penobscot Carol Dana, my thanks for the translations of  Place of the Lobsters.

    This article first appeared in Island Ad-Vantages, Nov. 14, 2013

  • Local Maine Indians and the view from Caterpillar Hill

    By Bill Haviland

    Driving over Caterpillar Hill the other day, I stopped to admire the granite monuments, with their snippets of local history that have been placed at the scenic turnout. They are magnificent; the etched photos are well chosen, and the accompanying texts are informative and well written. Clearly, those responsible, particularly Buddy Folino, deserve congratulations.

    Somewhat surprising is a total lack of mention of the people who lived in this region longer than any others. These are the local Indians, whose ancestors arrived at least 8000 years ago, and whose living sites are more numerous in and around Deer Isle than anywhere else between the Schoodic Peninsula down east and lslesboro to the west.

    For those who are interested, as one stands at the turnout and looks toward the Camden Hills, one cannot help but notice the many rocks in the nearby blueberry barrens. A Wabanaki creation story has it that humans were originally made of stone. But because their hearts were hard the Creator broke them up, producing the stones that litter the landscape. (The present Wabanaki people are the result of a second creation, in which the Creator used ash wood.)

    Some of the adventures of Gluskabe, the great Wabanaki transformer, happened in places visible from Caterpillar Hill. A well-known story has Gluskabe beaching his canoe at Castine to pursue a moose. Successfully making his kill, Gluskabe dressed out the carcass and then threw the entrails across Cape Rosier. They landed on Islesboro, where they may still be seen today. Similarly, the moose’s hindquarters can be seen on Cape Rosier, and Gluskabe’s canoe, as well as his snowshoe prints, were once visible at Castine.

    Also from Caterpillar Hill one gets a wonderful view of parts of a major Indian transportation artery.

    PHOTO: Bill Haviland's Book Indian People and Deer Isle Maine sheds insights on Indians too.

    From Castine, they canoed up the Bagaduce and into Walker’s Pond, from which they carried across to the Punch Bowl on the Reach (probably the same route later used by the Maine Lake Ice Company to move the ice from Walker’s Pond to their wharf).

    From the Punch Bowl, Indians paddled between Deer Isle and Little Deer (the original Eggemoggin) and onto Deer Isle’s “inland waterway.” This gave them access to the islands further south, including Isle Au Haut where they quarried some of the stone used to make tools.

    Besides being part of an important transportation artery, Walker’s Pond was also the site of a small Indian village in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a time when Europeans were becoming active in the region. Indeed, a battle was fought here sometime around 1660, when an English expedition sought revenge for the capture of a fishing vessel in the Reach. Europeans intruded and helped themselves to the Indians’ resources, setting off a chain reaction as each side sought revenge for perceived outrages committed by the other side. But not all contacts were hostile, as attested by the burial together, on an island off Sunshine, of a European in full armor (probably a Frenchman from Fort Pentagoet at Castine) with two Native companions.

    One other important site in the region is southeast of Caterpillar Hill at Naskeag. Perhaps the largest Indian site in the entire state, this was a gathering place for people from as far afield as Nova Scotia and Cape Cod. As many as 1000 years ago, these people gathered every summer at Naskeag point for purposes of trade between northern people, who lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild foods, and people to the south whose subsistence was based largely on farming.

    Indian activities in this region did not end with the arrival of English speaking settlers in the late eighteenth century. But that, as they say, is another story.

    This article first appeared in Island Ad-Vantages, December 16, 2004

  • In Maine Mi’kmaqs, Etchemins, and the original name of the Bagaduce River

    By Bill Haviland

    One of the more important of this region’s waterways is the Bagaduce River. For at least 2,000 years, it served native people as a major transportation artery from the Penobscot River to the Reach. It was called Meniwoken (the many directions route) by the Indians who paddled to the river’s source in Walker’s Pond, avoiding the difficult waters off Cape Rosier. A short carry from the pond to the Punch Bowl, across from Little Deer, gave access to the Reach and the canoe routes of Deer Isle.

    PHOTO: Bill Haviland's Book Indian People and Deer Isle Maine sheds insights on Indians too.

    The name Bagaduce is a corruption of an Indian word, Majabigwaduce, meaning “big tideway river.” Most people assume that this is the original name of the river, but it is not. The word is a Mi’kmaq (Micmac) one, but the Mi’kmaqs are not native to this region. Their homeland lies in Canada’s Maritime provinces and far northern Maine. So how did a Mi’kmaq name get applied to a river in midcoastal Maine?

    What happened was that in the 16th century, the natives of Nova Scotia developed an important trade relationship with the French, from whom they got such things as copper kettles, iron axes, cloth, guns and ammunition. As this trade grew in importance, traditional trading relationships were disrupted. Moreover, Mi’kmaqs sought to solidify their favored position by raiding down the coast, eventually as far south as Massachusetts Bay. In this, they were aided by their quick mastery of French shallops (open vessels with one mast, about 20 feet long, that could be rowed or sailed), and their possession of French firearms. Local Indians reacted to these raids in two ways; those living east of Schoodic allied themselves with the Mi’kmaqs; those to the west with the Almouchiquois, who lived between the Kennebec and Merrimack Rivers. By 1600, the Mi’kmaqs and their allies controlled the coast all the way to Penobscot Bay, and in 1615 they defeated the head of the regional confederacy that had controlled the region from Schoodic to Cape Neddick. One of the staging areas for these raids was probably Isle au Haut, which Captain John Smith in 1614 referred to as “the Isle of Sorico.”

    The French called the Mi’kmaqs Souriquois, and Smith’s Indian guide probably told him it was the “Isle of the Souriquois.” By the time this was filtered through the Indians’ accent and Smith’s English ears, it must have sounded like Sorico.

    The people native to the coast between the Kennebec and Saint John Rivers were Etchemins, whose name means “real human beings” (the Passamaquoddy word for themselves, Skidjim, is a modem version of Etchemin). In 1611, the Jesuit Pierre Biard met with a large group of Etchemins, including their most important chief (the one later overthrown by the Mi’kmaqs), near the mouth of what we call the Bagaduce. Their name for the river clearly was Chiboctous, meaning “big bay.” Specifically, it refers to protected inland bays connected to the sea by tidal channels, such as the great bays of the Bagaduce: the north and south bays in the present town of Penobscot. Such places were attractive to Indians, as the tide brought in food fishes, and the water was often open year round.

    Today the old name for the river survives in the Passamaquoddy word Keipokotus, a slightly modified version of the original. The Passamaquoddies, for their,part, are descended from the eastern Etchemins.

    This article first appeared in Island Ad-Vantages, May 18, 2006

  • In Maine up from the depths: a stone axe and sea-level change

    By Bill Haviland

    Back in the days when scallop-dragging was a common winter activity around the bay, fishermen from time to time came up with unexpected items. One such item is a grooved stone axe, 5.25 inches long, brought up in a drag many years ago by George Sylvester; it — can be seen today in the Indian exhibit at the historical society in Sunset.

    PHOTO: Bill Haviland's Book Indian People and Deer Isle Maine sheds insights on Indians too.

    Grooved stone axes were made by Indians exclusively between 6,000 and 3,000 years ago. At the time, the sea level was far lower than today — about 32 to 33 feet lower 6,000 years ago. Over the next three millennia, it rose steadily, but was still 6.5 feet below today’s sea level. This axe was dragged up, west of Butter Island between Peak, Sugarloaf, and Western Barred Islands, where the waters today range between 5 and 19 feet in depth. Thus, this was dry land 6,000 years ago, and some of it still was 3,000 years later. Sometime in that interval, someone lost an axe, while camped out or cutting wood here.

    Such axes must have been valued possessions, as they took many hours to make. To do this, a hard stone of volcanic origin was required, often a water-worn cobble close to the size and shape of the tool to be made. This was then worked to the proper shape by pecking and pounding away with a hammer stone, the groove being produced with a pointed pounding tool. The whole thing was finished by grinding and polishing with sand abrasive in a piece of animal skin. The axe bit was sharpened by rubbing it with a rough abrading stone. Once complete, the axe was hafted in a wooden handle made from a forked branch. Smoothed down, the two sides of the fork were set in the groove and then lashed with animal hide.

    Grooved axes were one of a number of heavy-duty stone woodworking tools made at the time that also included a variety of adzes and gouges. The economy of the era was marine-oriented, with large cod and swordfish especially sought after. To be successful, people needed strong, seaworthy watercraft. Apparently, these took the form of large dugout canoes, and heavy-duty woodworking tools were required for their construction. Later on, when birch-bark canoes replaced dugouts, heavy-duty axes, adzes and gouges all but disappeared.

    As the sea level rose, the ancient inhabitants of this region successfully adapted to the changed landscapes and resources around them. Eventually, the rate of sea-level rise tapered off, but in recent years, it has begun to accelerate, largely as a consequence of our own actions. It is sobering to note that we will have to cope with changes similar to ones faced by those who have gone before us. The question is, will we be able to do so as successfully as did they?

    This article first appeared in Island Ad-Vantages, May 3, 2007

  • RGGI's Northeast regional states agree on new joint pollution limits-vote in Maine was unanimous

     By Ramona du Houx

    On February 28,2018 a bill passed unanimously by the Maine Legislature has become law, reauthorizing Maine to remain part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) through 2030, and ensuring deeper pollution cuts from power plants. 

    Since RGGI’s inception Maine has brought in $91,909,096.27 for weatherization and alternative energy projects, for businesses and homes. Many of these programs and projects are managed through the Efficiency Maine Trust, set up by the Baldacci administration in 2007.

    LD 1657, sponsored by Rep. Ralph Tucker, was prepared by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection after the nine northeast states agreed last fall on the new joint pollution limits for 2021-2030.  It became law without Governor Paul LePage's signature at midnight last night.

    “Cutting carbon pollution is essential to protect the Maine we love, and RGGI shows it is also a ticket to prosperity,” said Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. 

    RGGI is a cooperative market-based effort among nine northeastern states to reduce climate-changing carbon pollution from power plants and spur money-saving investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. 

    “The Legislature’s unanimous vote to continue and increase RGGI’s pollution reductions and energy savings is great news for our environment, our economy, and reducing energy bills,” said Voorhees. “RGGI is saving money for Mainers by improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, and spurring clean energy investments  that create quality Maine jobs. Since 2012, RGGI funds have saved Mainers $277 million on energy bills.” 

    The RGGI states are home to one-sixth of the population in the U.S. and one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product. If the nine RGGI states were a single nation, it would be the 13th largest carbon emitter in the world. This demonstrates the global significance to Maine’s climate pact at a time when the Trump Administration is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. Virginia and New Jersey are now taking steps to join and rejoin RGGI, too, further indication of its success. 

    The initiative, which began in 2009, requires power plants in the nine states to abide by overall limits to carbon pollution. That “cap” is reduced each year, currently by two percent per year and by 2.5 percent per year after 2020 under the new plan and LD 1657. Maine invests funds raised by auctioning carbon credits to support energy efficiency improvements, overseen by Efficiency Maine. (This approach is sometimes called “cap and invest.”)

    Between FY 2012 and FY 2017, Efficiency Maine used $54 million in RGGI funds to leverage $88 million in private investment and achieve $277 million in energy savings for Maine homes and businesses. Independent economic analysis of RGGI has shown that it has a net positive impact on the economy of Maine and the entire region.

    The clean air and health benefits of RGGI have also been analyzed in detail, finding at least $5.7 billion in quantified public health benefits,300 to 830 lives saved, and more than 8,200 asthma attacks avoided.

    Climate change is one of the single greatest threats to Maine’s environment. A failure to reduce carbon pollution swiftly threatens our industries from marine fisheries to tourism. Climate change will also attack our health with more polluted air and insect-borne diseases like Lyme. That’s why large, cooperative, innovative policies like RGGI are so critical.

    “We applaud the Maine DEP for its cooperative approach to RGGI within the region, and the leadership of Commissioner Mercer for shepherding through this important legislation. We also congratulate the Environment and Natural Resources Committee co-chairs, Rep. Ralph Tucker (D-Brunswick) and Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin), for continuing the bipartisan legacy of RGGI,” says Voorhees.

    RGGI History —

    The first pre-compliance RGGI auction took place in September 2008, and the program became effective on January 1, 2009.

    In 2003, governors from Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont began discussions to develop a regional cap-and-trade program addressing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

    On December 20, 2005, seven of those states announced an agreement to implement RGGI, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governor's of Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. The MOU, as amended, provides the outlines of RGGI. New Jersey is the only state to opt-out of the program under Governor Christie’s leadership, missing out on millions of revenues.

    When RGGI was adopted by the Maine Legislature in 2007, the votes were 35-0 in the Senate and 130-7 in the House.

    Throughout 2016 and 2017, the participating RGGI states conducted a thorough, transparent “Program Review” of RGGI, the second such review to date. They found that the program was working well to lower carbon emissions and providing economic benefits. In fact, the states found that emissions were going down faster and at lower costs than expected, allowing them to accelerate RGGI and capture those cheap carbon cuts.

    Cumulative proceeds from all RGGI CO2 allowance auctions exceed $2.8 billion dollars

  • Helpful Tips from State of Maine Entomologists to eliminate browntail caterpillars

    This National Invasive Species Awareness Week, entomologists from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry remind you that now is the time to remove browntail caterpillars from trees that are accessible. Browntail caterpillars cause a poison ivy-like rash and they are impacting a broad swath of Maine. Contact with this caterpillar’s hairs can cause severe reactions for some individuals.

    Browntail caterpillars spend the winter webbed in silken-wrapped leaves on the tips of branches of oak and apple trees. NOW is the time to look for the bright white silk tying a few leaves to the TIPS of your apple and other fruit trees and oak tree branches. If you see a web CLIP IT OUT and destroy the web by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water and soaking it overnight, do not just leave it on the ground. The caterpillars are ready to go once warmer weather arrives, so do this task as soon as possible!

    Browntail caterpillar webs can be found regularly in Maine from the New Hampshire border to Deer Isle, and inland to Raymond, Turner, Rome, Smithfield, Burnham and Eddington. They are worst along the coast from Falmouth to Bristol and up the Kennebec River to Richmond. In 2017, outlying patches of defoliation were found in the towns of Belgrade, Burnham, Eddington, Liberty, Lincolnville, Turner and Whitefield. The moths have been seen all the way west to Kingfield, north to Ashland and east to Topsfield on the New Brunswick border.

    As we all have heard, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” People have known that to be true of browntail for more than 100 years. Learn how to recognize browntail moth webs by visiting the websites below, then go out and check your trees for their presence. If you find them and can reach them, clip and destroy them.  If you can’t reach them and plan to treat them, now is the time to line up professional help for this spring

    Don’t have trees? Survey a public space in your town. If you think you’ve found webs, but are not sure, contact the forest service for help   

    Background information, a video showing how to clip the webs, a list of arborists who could prune webs out of your reach and a list of licensed pesticide applicators that can treat the webs can be found at:  

    For More Information: Contact the Maine Forest Service (207) 827-1813 or your localUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension Office.

  • Stonington’s lobstering focus of short documentary

    by Faith DeAmbrose

    “It’s not just work, it’s a way of life,” said fisherman John Williams part way through a recently released documentary chronicling the history of the lobster fishing industry in Maine.

    Produced by French Filmmaker Anaïs Le Guennec, the 13-minute film features local fisherman Williams and historian Bill Haviland, along with cameo appearances from many island fishermen (or their boats in the harbor) and extensive footage of the town of Stonington and Penobscot Bay.

    Guennec spent time on Deer Isle last August conducting interviews and taking in the sights. She was aided also by Walter Reed who provided transport around Stonington Harbor and Genevieve McDonald who allowed filming on her boat as well as from Cathy Billings of the Lobster Institute who provided additional historical context.

    The film does not focus on the business of lobstering, an industry that brings in roughly $40 million in direct and likely more in indirect revenue to Stonington on an annual basis, but instead focuses on the people and the place they call home.

    To see the film in its English version, visit

  • Portland Maine needs input from local citizens about pier development

    by Ramona du Houx

    Officials with Maine’s largest city are reaching out to residents to discuss possible redevelopment plans for an ocean terminal building on the city’s waterfront. The building in question is the Portland Ocean Terminal facility on the Maine State Pier.

    It's a key postion that could define the area. What the public thinks is critical to any city planning.

    Every cruise ship will dock next to it. The skyline will be dominated by it.

    It’s located in the city’s working waterfront in an area of high commercial traffic. Portland staff presented the idea of a public market within the building last year. The city held its first outreach meeting about the building’s future on Feb. 15, 2018.

    More sessions are coming up on Feb. 27, 2018 with the seafood industry, Feb. 28, 2018 with the food and beverage industry, March 7, 2018 with the Peaks Island Council and March 12, 2018 with the public.

  • Places available for Native American applicants to Culture Programs at Crazy Horse Memorial


    CRAZY HORSE, S.D. – Crazy Horse Memorial, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is currently accepting applications from Native American artists, lecturers and performers for the 2018 Summer Programs. Applications are available online and the deadline is February 28, 2018. 

    Native American artists looking for opportunities to expand, improve or share their artistic talents and culture are encouraged to apply for one of the six programs available through the Indian Museum of North America® and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center®. The programs are designed to help Native artists gain exposure and support on their journey through the arts. 

    The six summer programs are as follows:

    • National Native American Performers;
    • Gift from Mother Earth Art Show;
    • Summer Performance Artists;
    • Summer Lecturers;
    • Artist in Residence;
    • Artist Marketplace.

    Some of the programs offered also provide housing, meals and compensation to the chosen artist(s) and performer(s). For more information about the 2018 Summer Programs, call (605) 673-4681 or email at . Applications can be found at

    The sculpture in progress at the the Crazy Horse Memorial site is of the Lakota warrior Chief Crazy Horse astride a stallion with his arm and pointed hand stretched out over the horse's mane. It's taking awhile. The Crazy Horse Memorial — taller than the Washington Monument and well over two football fields wide — has been 64 years in the making. 

    Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began the project 1948.

    "He believed you can do anything in this world. Nothing is impossible as long as you're willing to work hard enough and pay the price," says the sculptor's wife, Ruth, who is now 86 years old.

  • Maine House passes resolution requesting that President Trump exclude Maine from new offshore drilling


    In Rockland, Maine classic wooden boats are dry docked for the winter. They still cruze the coastline in the summer giving folks from away vacations of a lifetime. Oil rigs would ruin all that, and hurt the state's fishing industries. Photo by Ramona du Houx

    by Ramona du Houx

    On February 15, 2018 Maine House unanimously passed a resolution asking President Trump to exclude Maine from any future offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration.

    Rep. Michael Gilbert Devin submitted the resolution after Trump announced he was lifting a moratorium on such activities earlier this year.

    “Offshore drilling could be an economic disaster for Maine,” said Rep. Devin, a three-term member of the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. “Over 45,000 jobs are associated with our coastal economy, which includes over 5,000 commercial fishermen. The risks are too high to place that many jobs in jeopardy. Maine must protect one of the world’s premier natural resources – the Gulf of Maine. Nobody comes to our coast to eat a chicken sandwich. We need to close the door on offshore drilling immediately, and I hope the president will agree.”

    In April 2017 President Trump signed an executive order reversing a ruling by former President Obama that banned drilling and leasing in the Atlantic and Arctic Outer Continental Shelf regions. President Trump's order further directed the U.S. Department of the Interior to open the Atlantic and Pacific OCS regions to new offshore drilling and exploration.

    At the federal level, all four members of the state’s Congressional delegation have expressed opposition to drilling off Maine’s coast. 

    The resolution’s next and final stop will be the Maine Senate, where it is also expected to pass. 

    Rep. Devin, a marine biologist and a member of the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee, is serving his third term in the Maine House.

    Rep. Devin is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and has an MS degree in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology where he did extensive deep sea work in manned submersibles. He sits on the Sea Urchin Zone Council for the Maine Department of Marine Resources and is a member of the Acquaculture and Marine Technical Board at the Maine Technology Institute. He founded Acadia Seafood International, Inc., a research and development company that was headquartered in Walpole.

  • Maine Rally Demands Medicaid Expansion

    The Healthcare Rally at the Maine State Capitol demanding that the voters get what they voted for in a referendum that would expand the ACA Medicaid expansion to Maine. courtesy photo

    Voters Send Message to Maine Governor, Legislators: ‘We Are Watching’

    Scores of Mainers turned out for a rally before Gov. Paul LePage’s State of the State Address to show their support for Medicaid expansion, which would provide health care to more than 70,000 people in the state. 

    “We’re here tonight to say to the governor and lawmakers: 70,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors are on track to obtain live-saving access to health care thanks to the work of Mainers who made history by expanding Medicaid at the ballot box,” said Lynnea Hawkins of Lewiston, a member of the Mainers for Health Care Leadership team. “We’re here to celebrate that victory and to ask lawmakers and the governor to implement Medicaid expansion without delay. We haven’t gone anywhere since Election Day, and we are watching.”

    Since enactment, LePage, with support from some Republicans in the Legislature, has dragging his feet on Medicaid expansion, despite last year’s ballot initiative, which passed with the support of 59 percent of Maine voters.

    “Medicaid expansion is the law. Maine people have spoken, and the obligation under the law is clear,” said Robyn Merrill, the co-chair of Mainers for Health Care and the executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners. “The new law requires that people begin to receive health care coverage on July 2, 2018. The LePage administration must follow the law. Voters sent a strong message. They want more than 70,000 Mainers to receive health coverage through Medicaid expansion. Mainers want more affordable health care, not less. They have waited long enough.”

    Members of Mainers for Health Care, including people who will be impacted by Medicaid expansion, are available for interviews in response to the governor’s State of the State Address, in which he is expected to discuss the new law.