To the Editor:
During the four terms I served in the Maine Senate, I chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources. For four of those eight years, I shared the committee room with the Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Ted Koffman chaired that committee.
I came to understand that not only did we share a common room, we shared similar views on many policy issues. We both supported conservation, protection of the environment and supporting a sustainable economy for coastal communities.
Koffman was a champion for Maine’s climate change legislation to set goals, timeframes, strategies and plans to reduce greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel generators. Koffman also led efforts to encourage alternative energy development and energy conservation. He and I believe climate change, no matter how strongly denied by some, is clearly impacting our marine environment … and our fisheries.
Koffman strengthened laws protecting our drinking water as well as our lake and river water quality. He pushed through rules regulating wastewater discharge from cruise ships, further safeguarding the health of Maine’s near-shore coastal waters and the health of our fish.
In 2008, I attempted to reopen the St. Croix River to native fish passage, an effort that Koffman supported. He helped that fight five years later when, as executive sirector of the Maine Audubon, he joined a coalition of organizations to open the St. Croix to the uninhibited passage of alewives. This move could produce in excess of 2.5 million fish annually, supplying food and nutrients to inland and marine wildlife ecosystems.
Last, but certainly not least, Koffman worked with me supporting Maine’s Working Waterfront Coalition. He co-sponsored my bill, “An Act to Preserve Maine’s Working Waterfront.” The passage of that bill into law has made it possible to secure and protect areas along our coast critically necessary for our commercial fishing industry.
Koffman is experienced, trusted and effective. He cares about Maine’s quality of life, supporting communities and working for us.
He has earned my vote in the June 14 Primary. I urge you to join me by casting your vote for Ted Koffman, Democrat, for Maine Senate.
Dennis S. Damon