AUGUSTA – Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York, has sponsored a bill, LD 1572, to help the state plan for the amount of sea level rise that is scientifically predicted by the turn of the next century. The Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources voted to advance the bill on a 10-3 vote last week.

“Sea level rise will have a serious impact on Maine,” said Blume. “We need to have a good idea of how great those changes will be in order to adequately plan for them and do whatever we can to minimize any resulting damage.”

Blume is a member of the Maine Climate Council, which developed the Maine Climate Action Plan. The plan is designed to help Maine prepare for and mitigate the coming changes to Maine’s climate. The project involved working with Maine scientists and the best available data to estimate just what the changes in sea level are likely to be between now and 2100. It is estimated that Maine’s sea level will rise 1.5 feet by 2050 and 3.9 feet by 2100. LD 1572 calls for state government to develop plans to prepare for and deal with those changes in sea level.   

“A whole-of-government approach is what is needed for the action plan of the Maine Climate Council to be fully realized, and it is also most certainly needed to be fully prepared for what has already started to happen along our coast,” said Blume. “This measure requires every impacted department within our state government to make preparations to manage the most likely scenario of sea level rise.”

The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate in the coming weeks.

Blume is serving her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives and represents House District 3, the coastal part of the town of York. She serves on both the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Marine Resources Committee.

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