Summer Heat Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 19th, 2013

MCKIBBEN JOINS PEOPLE’S FLOTILLA TO PROTECT SEBAGO LAKE

CONTACT:
Sarah Lachance, 350 Maine spokesperson
Phone: 207-459-0419
Email: sarah (at) campaignearth.org

Sass Linneken, 350 Maine spokesperson
Phone: 207-607-2571 
Email: Slinneken11 (at) unity.edu 
(Please do not publish individual contact info)

SEBAGO LAKE, Maine – Noted author and 350.org founder Bill McKibben will be part of a day of family fun, parades, and creative lake theater on Saturday morning, July 20, at Casco’s Sebago Lake State Park.


The Sebago Lake Flotilla to Keep New England Tar Sands Free event, which features an appearance by McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Eaarth, offers family-friendly festivities and live music by a number of acts including New England’s own “bike-powered band,” Melodeego. Sponsored by 350 Maine and a coalition that includes Sierra Club Maine Chapter, Environment Maine, Green Alliance, and Food & Water Watch Maine, the day’s activities are designed to celebrate the significant resource that is Sebago Lake and the need to protect it from the risk of tar sands oil pollution.

WHERE:Sebago Lake State Park, Casco, ME (Grove Group Sites B, D)

WHEN: Saturday, July 20th

11:00 AM People’s flotilla— and Beach Theater

12:00 PM Press conference featuring 350.org’s Bill McKibben

                   [Possible time change due to inclement weather.]


“Sebago Lake is one of Maine’s jewels and because so many rely on it for their drinking water we have to make sure the lake is protected from the threat of tar sands oil,” says 350 Maine’s Sarah LaChance of York County.


“This is an opportunity to treasure what we have now and to make sure that we don’t put that precious resource at risk of the spill tragedies that occurred in Mayflower, Arkansas and the Kalamazoo River in Michigan,” she adds.


350 Maine and other Maine environmental groups are supporting citizen initiatives to protect Sebago Lake from ExxonMobil’s plan to pump tar sands oil through a 63-year-old pipeline running within 500 feet of the lake’s edge, by reversing the pipeline’s flow. Sebago Lake is Maine’s largest public water source, supplying 15% of the state’s population with clean drinking water.


Park gates open at 8am but it is recommended people show up by 7am as popularity of the park and event will cause long admission lines to form quickly.


Event festivities include a people’s parade, flotilla of inner tubes and water craft, mock oil spill, and other lakeside activities. An educational press conference will feature Bill McKibben, Maine residents Connie Cross and Carol Masterson, Harvard divestment leader Chloe Maxmin, and 350 Maine’s Read Brugger, one of six people arrested in June for blockading a train of “fracked” oil in Fairfield, Maine.


“350 Maine joins with Maine’s other environmental groups to protect our land and our water. This is especially poignant given that July 25th will mark the third anniversary of the Kalamazoo River spill where a million gallons of thick, toxic, tar sands oil, caused the most expensive environmental disaster in America’s history, permanently polluting over 30 miles of the river,” says Bob Klotz of South Portland, 350 Maine tar sands coordinator.


“We understand that the extraction and transport of tar sands oil has an immediate impact on First Nation and other frontline communities and Mainers do not want to be complicit in that. We also understand that tar sands oil has an ultimate impact on climate change, which impacts all life on our planet,” Klotz continues.


The Sebago Lake Flotilla to Keep New England Tar Sands Free is part of 350.org’s Summer Heat, a series of events and actions across the country to call attention to the need for serious action to address climate change. These many local battles fit into the global one: even if tar sands oil doesn’t spill into Sebago Lake, it will eventually spill into the atmosphere in the form of carbon, changing the climate. Summer Heat recognizes the increasing temperatures around the globe, the rising oceans, and the lack of political will to end fossil fuel addiction and transition to a saner, sustainable way of life on Earth.


The Saturday, July 20 event will start at 9:00 a.m. with music and activities, followed by a people’s parade and lake theater, and a press conference, featuring Bill McKibben. There is an entry fee for Sebago Lake State Park admission.


350 Maine (www.350maine.org) is a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the planetary climate crisis. Members grow their power collectively to find real and lasting solutions, to end dependence on fossil fuels, and to build a healthy, sustainable life for people and the planet.


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