The goal of this project was to develop an environmental assessment for the state of Maine in 2004. After discussing a variety of possible topics, we decided to focus on global climate change, forests, the lobster fishery, municipal solid waste, and freshwater. We selected these five topics for their environmental, cultural, and economic importance to the state of Maine.
For each topic, we began by exploring the debates, problems, and themes within our issue area in both national and international contexts. Major legislation, management shortfalls, and pressures were identified and examined. Building upon this background, we placed our issue areas within the context of the state of Maine. We identified state legislation, problems and pressures specific to Maine, and related threats.
Our indicators typically illustrate trends, with the intention that this would give us material to explore past, current and future threats to Maine's environment. We also explored the spatial dimension of these problems be creating Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. Our indicators were also intended to explore underlying drivers of these environmental problems. Our indicators suggest where further attention is needed and the potential benefits and limitations of various policy responses.
Each section of the final report includes a background section putting the problem in context, a summary of the issue in Maine, followed by our individual description and discussion of specific indicators.
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