Legislative Document No. 559 H.P. 403 House of Representatives, February 5, 2019
An Act To Restore Regular Mapping of Eelgrass Beds in the State
Reference to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources suggested and ordered printed.
ROBERT B. HUNT Clerk
Presented by Representative McCREIGHT of Harpswell. Cosponsored by Senator CARSON of Cumberland and Representatives: ACKLEY of Monmouth, DODGE of Belfast, HUTCHINS of Penobscot, TUCKER of Brunswick, TUELL of East Machias, ZEIGLER of Montville, Senator: VITELLI of Sagadahoc.
Printed on recycled paper 1 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
2 Sec. 1. 38 MRSA §1805 is enacted to read: 3 §1805. Eelgrass mapping
4 In accordance with the requirements of this section and in consultation with the 5 Department of Marine Resources, the department shall establish and administer an 6 eelgrass mapping program. For the purposes of this section, "eelgrass" means the 7 flowering marine plant species Zostera marina that is primarily found in shallow, 8 protected intertidal and subtidal locations in the State.
9 1. Mapping procedures. The department shall in accordance with the schedule in 10 subsection 2 facilitate the production and update of eelgrass distribution maps for eelgrass 11 beds within the State. The data collected and the maps produced in accordance with this 12 section must, to the maximum extent practicable, be compatible with the State's 13 geographic information system.
14 2. Mapping schedule. The mapping of eelgrass beds required under this section 15 must be conducted in accordance with the following schedule. 16 A. No later than November 1, 2020, mapping must be completed for that portion of 17 the coast from Kittery to Cape Elizabeth and must be updated every 5 years 18 thereafter. 19 B. No later than November 1, 2021, mapping must be completed for that portion of 20 the coast from Cape Elizabeth to Small Point and must be updated every 5 years 21 thereafter. 22 C. No later than November 1, 2022, mapping must be completed for that portion of 23 the coast from Small Point to St. George and must be updated every 5 years 24 thereafter. 25 D. No later than November 1, 2023, mapping must be completed for that portion of 26 the coast from St. George to the Schoodic Peninsula and must be updated every 5 27 years thereafter. 28 E. No later than November 1, 2024, mapping must be completed for that portion of 29 the coast from the Schoodic Peninsula to Eastport and must be updated every 5 years 30 thereafter. 31 3. Availability of data and maps. The department shall make available on its 32 publicly accessible website the data collected and maps produced and updated under this 33 section.
34 4. Report. On or before January 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, the department 35 shall submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over 36 environmental and natural resources matters a report summarizing the data collected and 37 maps produced under this section and including an analysis, if available, of the changes to 38 the eelgrass beds within the State that are demonstrated by the data collected and maps 39 produced under this section.
Page 1 - 129LR0905(01)-1 1 SUMMARY 2 This bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the 3 Department of Marine Resources, to establish and administer a program to regularly 4 produce and update maps regarding the distribution of eelgrass beds in the State. Data 5 collected and maps produced under this program must be made available on the 6 Department of Environmental Protection's publicly accessible website. The Department 7 of Environmental Protection is directed to submit to the joint standing committee of the 8 Legislature having jurisdiction over environmental and natural resources matters on or 9 before January 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, a report on the data collected and maps 10 produced under this program.
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