Yesterday I took a trip up to Augusta, Maine. It tends to be pretty hard to get me to drive around to different areas of Maine. I drive enough for work, and I have everything I need in Portland (i.e. a grocery store, restaurants, and a Reny’s to buy Carhartt’s). I guess what I’m trying to say is it takes something pretty important (like returning a pair of worn down shoes to LL Bean) to get me to venture around to other cities in Maine.
Yesterday was no different, because the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources took testimony on L.D 1040, a document which, if passed, would create a funding opportunity for YCC’s working in Maine for the benefit of shorelines.
The capitol building was shining in the Spring light, making a wonderful but deceitful view with strong winds and 30 degree temperatures. The inside of the Cross building where the hearing was held was clean and stately, with long hallways and dozens of rooms where Maine’s future is decided.During the hearing, leaders of several Maine YCC’s spoke to the merits of the programs, both environmental and societal.
AWWA’s own YCC has been in existence since 2006, and in that period has installed 670 erosion control BMP’s on 172 properties. Youth Conservation Corps programs are expensive, especially since ours doesn’t charge for designs or labor. Additionally, we have to continually buy new tools, keep the truck gassed up and running (an uphill battle), and all the other costs of running a YCC.
By the way, if this is sounding like a thinly veiled plea for money, it is. Feel free to go ahead and click that “Donate” button in the top right corner!
L.D 1040 could help alleviate some of the burden of these costs for the 11 YCC’s in Maine, or help to fund the creation of new YCC’s in areas of the state where teens aren’t spending their summers digging holes to save lakes. In addition to the environmental benefits, YCC’s help to turn today’s teenagers into tomorrow’s informed citizens, and even bring some kids into environmental fields. It certainly did for me, which is what I spoke to yesterday. You can find my testimony below.