Most members of our Penobscot River communities are aware there’s been conflict over mercury contamination in the river for many years, which has been the subject of an ongoing court case. But we finally have some good news! The case has been resolved, and a lot of money (at least $187 million!) will be dedicated to cleaning up the river.
We’re very excited for this update. It means that we will have a plan in place, and work will begin, on major improvements that include reducing mercury in the river, protecting our wildlife, and making the Penobscot River safe and healthy for all the activities we love. From fishing to birdwatching to swimming and boating and simply enjoying this natural environment and beautiful views, all our Penobscot River pastimes will be better when the river is restored!
Here's another positive update: the settlement in the court case includes long-term monitoring of the river. This means the health and vitality of the river will be tracked for up to 45 years, which will help give our communities peace of mind about our river for decades to come!
Here are just a few of the projects that might take place: environmental projects designed for public benefit to our communities, restoration projects, tidal marsh projects, and projects for improving the recreational and aesthetic appreciation of the Penobscot River. Specific projects will be determined as work gets underway, and the public will have the opportunity to offer insight and input. We will keep you updated as we learn more about opportunities for public participation!
For now, we hope you’re enjoying winter and a happy holiday season in our Penobscot River communities!