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Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

Our mission is to respond to the global warming crisis by promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy, and environmental initiatives throughout the town of York, Maine.

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[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

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Protecting the ocean from lawns

Well, the problem is not lawns themselves but the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns, which can eventually run off into fragile waterways. A group in York is looking to protect our local river and ocean ecosystems.

YORK — Protecting lobsters and the ocean from the harms of pesticides and lawn chemicals is the goal of a new group in town.

Lawns 2 Lobsters, made up of community board members, town officials and other residents, held its second meeting Jan. 18 at the Senior Center. The group is seeking to raise awareness of its mission by printing brochures, having a web presence and creating lawn signs.

Members include representatives from the York Harbor Board, the Old York Garden Club, lawn company owners, town officials and others. Their aim is to reduce the amount of fertilizer that seeps into local waterways.

“Fewer chemicals, cleaner water,” is the motto of the growing statewide effort that began in Kennebunkport in 2009.

Other towns call their effort “Lawns for Lobsters.” At the first meeting in December, the local group decided “Lawns 2 Lobsters” sounded more dynamic, said Town Planner Christine Grimando, who facilitated the meeting of an estimated dozen people.

Linda Scotland of the Cape Neddick River Association made the initial pitch to start a group in York, Grimando said.

The Cape Neddick River Association is working to clean up pollution in the river, where water tests often return high bacteria levels.

Scotland is working on printing signs sporting a red lobster with a shovel that can be placed on York lawns.

Resident Carol Donnelly said the group needs to find ways to make a statement at events such as those held on Earth Day.

The group promotes alternatives to fertilizer and suggests such practices as planting clover, which chokes weeds, and also creating sustainable landscapes by allowing the growth of indigenous plants. Water runoff can be avoided by allowing a lawn to grow at least three inches before cutting and creating a rain garden beside asphalt surfaces such as driveways, they said.

In 2009, the Kennebunkport Conservation Commission, in partnership with the University of New England, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and others, developed the Lawns for Lobsters program, which has spread all over the state of Maine, according to the Cape Neddick Association website,

From the Seacoastonline article River association makes environmental push in Lawns 2 Lobsters.

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