Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition Visited Acadia National Park In September to Explore Issues Surrounding Climate Change


A delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition visited Acadia National Park in September to explore issues surrounding climate change.

U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME), Mike Quigley (IL), Nanette Barragan (CA), and Annie Kuster (NH), as well as several congressional staff members, spent three days engaging with scientists and resource managers from the National Park Service, Friends of Acadia, Schoodic Institute, and others about the scope and severity of climate change at Acadia. As they visited the Schoodic Peninsula, Sieur de Monts, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain, they learned about the forward-thinking adaption and management strategies being piloted at Acadia, and how Congress could help.

“The visit was an opportunity to highlight some of the great climate change work our team at Acadia is doing in partnership with Friends of Acadia and the Schoodic Institute,” said Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “National Parks are the most iconic landscapes in America, and yet they are also some of the places where the impacts of climate change are most visible— whether it is carriage roads that are destroyed by intense rainstorms or rapidly shrinking glaciers in Glacier National Park. We were honored they chose to visit Acadia and appreciate Representative Pingree for helping bring them here.”

Friends of Acadia’s President and CEO David MacDonald and Wild Acadia Coordinator Brian Henkel were among those who participated in the tour, highlighting the importance of the partnership and showcasing our work to pilot on-the-ground restoration projects at Bass Harbor Marsh, Great Meadow, and Cadillac Mountain, through the Wild Acadia initiative.

U.S. House of Representatives pose for a photos with Acadia National Park staff, Friends of Acadia staff, and Schoodic Institute staff during a Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, at one of the revegetation plots on Cadillac Summit. (Photo by Ashley L. Conti/Friends of Acadia)

Representative Quigley is Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition and the visit to Acadia was his sixth climate change tour visit to a national park. In a letter to National Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge, Quigley said: “Our time at Acadia provided us with deeper insight into the problems we’re experiencing and gave us a glimpse into what is being done now, as well as what can be done in the future to mitigate the worst of its effects.

“Our three days exploring the park and interacting with National Park Service [NPS] staff, and the teams at the Schoodic Institute and Friends of Acadia, further underscored our commitment to meeting the challenge of climate change around the world and strengthened our resolve to take concrete action as we return to Congress. It is vital that Congress works to give the NPS the tools and resources it needs to continue its conservation and research missions,” he concluded.

Friends of Acadia is working with the Schoodic Institute and National Park Service on a communications plan for Wild Acadia. Congressional relations will be a key component of this work to ensure that Acadia National Park secures adequate funding for resource management projects. The visit by the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition was a positive step in advancing this goal.

LORI SCHAEFER is Friends of Acadia’s Communications Director.