TALK – The Long Road from Pollution to Protection: History in the Making
May 1 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm| Free
Speaker: Matt Scott, Aquatic Biologist Emeritus
This talk will provide a living history of the state of water quality in Maine by aquatic biologist Matt Scott. Matt will focus on the history of Maine’s polluted waterways based on past records and personal history. We all live in a watershed, be it lotic or lentic, and our human footprints impact them all. The beginning of this living history perhaps dates back to the industrial revolution with Maine’s recovery from the great depression and World War II (1935-1945). Water quality degradation of our aquatic environment continued during the Korean Conflict (1945-1955). Lake water quality degradation persisted from 1955-1965, but it took another decade for problems to become evident and influence public policy. During this time, Maine’s major rivers; St John, Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Presumpscot, Saco and their major tributaries were also heavily impacted. However, with the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972, led by Maine Senator Ed Muskie, things were about to change for the better. From 1975-1985, we made progress in lake protection and river and stream water quality improvement. This began with treatment of major municipal and industrial waste discharges which continued through 1995. From 1995-2005, we saw the adoption of biological with narrative and numerical standards developed by the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Biological Division led by David Courtemanch and his staff. From 2005-2015, Maine was able to demonstrate how far it had come with a new classification system and mapping of those waters that have been protected by revised and new water quality standards.
Matt Scott, Aquatic Biologist, Emeritus; American Fisheries Society, American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and North American Lake Management Society.
Matt Scott was responsible for the creation of the Maine Lakes Division and Biological Program for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. He was also a former member and Chair of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection with over 46 years of service to the State of Maine. In 1970, he founded the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) along with Ron Davis and Steve Norton. Maine VLMP is the oldest program of its kind in the United States. Matt served on the Maine Guides Advisory Board for 16 years. He is a Master Maine Guide, past President of the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine and Past President of the North American Lakes Management Society. He currently serves on the Board of the Maine Lakes Society. In 2016, he presented 28 lectures pro bono to the citizenry of Maine. Matt holds a BS and MA from UMaine.