Maine, New Hampshire Spill Responders & Partners To Study, Strategize Protection Of Sensitive Marine Resources

March 8, 2012

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson, 287-5842 or Kara Walker, Maine DEP Environmental Specialist, 446-9903 (cell)

-The two-day seminar will bring together the public, private and nonprofit responders who would be called on to contain and clean-up a marine oil spill and give them a better understanding of the value to the environment and the economy of the resources they’d work together to protect-

PORTLAND – Emergency spill responders from Maine and New Hampshire and their partners in natural resource protection will convene in Portland next week for a two-day seminar exploring the value of sensitive marine environments and how to best protect them.

Around 100 responders and related partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors – including representatives from seminar sponsors the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Friends of Casco Bay – will participate.

Experts in specific sensitive coastal resources like marshes, lobsters, sand beaches and birds will explore the unique nature of those resources and their value to both the environment and the economy that responders would need to consider in their containment and clean-up efforts in the event of a spill.

Highlights include a presentation from economist Charlie Colgan of the Muskie School for Public Service on the economic value of the environment and a panel discussion examining the response to the 1996 spill of 180,000 gallons of oil in Portland Harbor from the Julie N tanker and what the strategy would have been if conditions had been different.

The annual seminar, which alternates between Maine and New Hampshire locations, serves as an opportunity for responders to get to know and plan with their spill preparedness partners.

Portland Harbor is the second largest oil import port on the East Coast, bringing in approximately 130,000,000 barrels of oil annually to seven licensed marine terminals. Maine DEP’s Response Services Division is the State’s Oil and Hazardous Material’s Response Team and works with the U.S. Coast Guard, the marine terminals and cities of South Portland and Portland to maintain a high level of readiness in the event any oil spill issue occurs.

WHO: Responders from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Friends of Casco Bay and other protection partners

WHAT: 15th Annual Maine/New Hampshire Area Oil Spill Committee Seminar “Why Do We Protect What We Protect?”

WHERE: Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., Monday, March 12 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 13

*Please note: A complete agenda is available at http://tinyurl.com/15MaineNHSpillDrill

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