Hello everyone,

Steve Kasprzak has written a memo to Fred Bever about an article that was published by Maine Public News and also printed in the Bangor Daily Sun. The Bever article quotes two scientists, one Andrew Pershing of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the other William Balch of the Bigelow Laboratory in Boothbay. These scientists are stating that the decline of the diatoms and phytoplankton has nothing to do with the changes in Canadian river flow by mega hydro projects and flow regulation as stated by Kasprzak and Wheeler. We made statements that related the loss of healthy diatom populations were due to reduced silica delivery and changes in timing of delivery of silica to coastal waters. Our statements were based on collections of scientific writings that overwhelmingly cited the importance of river flow and timing of nutrient delivery to the health of this important base of the food chain. Other important nutrients for phytoplankton have been similarly diminished. 

This winter we were able to assemble information about the works of the late Dr. Hans Neu of Canada and Dr. Michael Rozengurt formerly of the Soviet Union and later a U.S. citizen. Dr. Neu was a senior Canadian scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia and Dr. Rozengurt was a fisheries, hydrologist, and oceanography expert. The work of these two scientists helped us understand more specifically how these mega hydro projects are the driving force that ruined the fishery and are in themselves a significant part of more extreme climate change in our northern temperate zone. Dr. Neu predicted in the 1982 that a catastrophic collapse of the fisheries would occur in the late 1980’s. It happened about 1990 after the Manicougan project in Gulf of St. Lawrence watershed and the La Grande Project in James Bay became operational and were the final straw. Dr. Rozengurt predicted that Russian river-sea fisheries would catastrophically collapse when river flows especially during the spring freshet were reduced by 25% or more below historic averages. This happened on Russian Rivers as dams were built. A critical point to understand is, as the flow decreases the reduction in the total energy of the river is exponential as the river approaches drought flow conditions. The drought conditions in the spring and summer which occurred rarely over a century now occur every year. Dr. Neu was silenced in Canada and Dr. Rozengurt was ignored in California when he spoke against extreme reduction in river flows in the San Francisco Bay Area. The agriculture industry rules California. He had left Russia because he feared for his life.

In the Bever article Pershing who works for GMRI states that GMRI takes no position on the CMP transmission line project. What is not mentioned in the article by Bever are the following conflicts of interest surrounding GMRI with their leadership:

1. R. Scott Mahoney, a GMRI Director, is listed as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Avangrid.

2. Sara Burns, a GMRI Honorary Director, is CEO of Central Maine Power.

3. Charles Broll, an EVP and General Counsel for Nestles, is a director. Nestles is a large extractor of groundwater where water is diverted out of state.

4. Sean Mahoney, an EVP for Conservation Law Foundation, is an honorary Board of Director. CLF which opposed the transmission line in New Hampshire for strong environmental reasons, turned an about face, and was a key part of the deal that dangled some money before the Governor of Maine who now supports the CMP transmission line. 

The article stated that the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News expressed willingness to print responses from the scientific community. So far no scientist has responded or written anything pro or con that I am aware of. I doubt that any reporter from the Portland Press Herald will seek any opinions from unbiased scientists about the accuracy of the warnings of Neu and Rozengurt as they have taken a position to support the CMP transmission line.

Whoever attacks Steve Kasprzak’s writings is essentially saying Neu and Rozengurt preached “pseudoscience”. Rozengurt called the present conditions of the ocean, “a Blue Desert”. We have ocean current stagnation, nutrient disrupting starvation of the fisheries, and a demolition of nature’s climate moderating engines.

Roger Wheeler

Friends of Sebago Lake