Collins, King Push for Research into Warming of Gulf of Maine

 U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), urging the agency to prioritize the Gulf of Maine as an area of study. The Senators’ letter follows measurements indicating record-breaking temperatures for water entering the Gulf.

 “The Gulf of Maine is currently warming faster than almost any other body of water on Earth,” wrote Senators Collins and King. “Recent research has shown that waters of record high temperature are entering the Gulf, and these changes pose long-term threats to the balance of conditions that have fostered such a historically healthy, productive ocean ecosystem. To help better understand, prepare for, and adapt to these changes, we respectfully request that NOAA take a leadership role in prioritizing the Gulf of Maine as an area of study.” 

A drastic warming of the Gulf of Maine and other waters off the coast of Maine could threaten the state’s vital marine resources, which Senators Collins and King have repeatedly fought to protect. Following a proposal from the Department of the Interior earlier this year, the Senators sent a letter to Secretary Ryan Zinke expressing their opposition to the proposal, and joined with their New England Senate colleagues to introduce the New England Coastal Protection Act, which would bar offshore drilling of the region’s coast. The warming also poses a unique risk to the state’s fisheries, including lobster. The industry has been an economic engine and a defining cultural tradition for generations, supporting the livelihoods of Maine families through fishing, processing, shipping, and the tourism industry.