Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance

Bob Godfrey
Wins the People's Choice Award
Conservation Leadership!

NRCM logo The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) is the state’s leading nonprofit membership organization that, for over 50 years, has been harnessing the law, science, and over 16,000 supporters to protect Maine's land, air, water, and wildlife.

Each year, as part of NRCM's Conservation Awards, the public is invited to nominate people they believe are "environmental heros" for Maine. NRCM received 39 People's Choice Award nominations from across the state this year — so many that the finalist field was expanded from five to six.

NRCM 2014 People's Choice Award

Moment of Celebration
October 15

Announcement by Vice President Russ Pierce:

The winner of our People's Choice Award is determined by vote by NRCM supporters. We are delighted that the 2014 People's Choice Award went to Robert (Bob) Godfrey, for his efforts to protect Passamaquoddy Bay in Downeast Maine.

This year marks the 10th year of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, the grassroots organization for which Bob has provided leadership and strategic guidance that has kept liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of Passamaquoddy Bay. As one voter put it, "It has been an intellectual, soulful, physical, and financially demanding fight against a cadre of developers, more than a dozen of the nation's largest law firms, and corporate giants who have put at least $70 million into taking the bay to industrialize it." To the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Bob is an example of the power of citizen activism, not only making his own voice heard but bringing together the rally cry of many. As we have seen many times before, this kind of community effort can make a big impression upon decision makers. Bob Godfrey deserves our 2014 People's Choice Award for his tenacity, perseverance, leadership, and unswerving devotion to protecting the beauty and heritage of Downeast Maine and Passamaquoddy Bay, and it is my pleasure, on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, to present it to him tonight.


Bob Godfrey's Remarks

Thank you to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the nominators, and those who voted for the People’s Choice Award. I am honored to stand among the other persons nominated — all of whom have worked so hard for important causes. I accept this honor on behalf of Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance.

Here is a short summary of our collected work:

In 2003, liquefied natural gas terminal developers began a gold-rush attempt to obtain permits for terminals in Maine. They started in the south, and worked their way up the coast, failing along the way. Eventually, a spokesman for then-Governor John Baldacci said in a radio interview following LNG’s defeat in Harpswell, "There's always Washington County." That soon came to mean Passamaquoddy Bay — waters shared by both the US and Canada.

Well, 2014 marks the 10th year that our small organization has been following Jacques Cousteau’s advice to “Protect What You Love.” It has been an intellectual, soulful, physical, and financially demanding fight against a cadre of developers, more than a dozen of the nation’s largest law firms, and corporate giants.

It became clear immediately that this was going to be a David and Goliath effort.

We knew we had to be smart and strong, so we formed Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance, made up of people surrounding Passamaquoddy Bay — US citizens, members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and Canadians.

Our effort has been demanding in every way imaginable. We’ve been faced with three separate developers, large law firms, and venture capitalists who have thrown at least $77 million into taking Passamaquoddy Bay.

The First Developer was Quoddy Bay LNG, that planned an LNG terminal at sacred Split Rock, at Sipayik/Pleasant Point, an effort that SPB defeated.

Our Passamaquoddy affiliate, Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon (We Take Care of the Land), brought lawsuits against the Bureau of Indian Affairs over the lack of a valid lease to the proposed site. NN eventually won, establishing a precedent — as a result, individual tribal members now have standing to sue the US Government. This victory was celebrated at the 2008 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  NRCM celebrated the leader of Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon, Vera Francis, as the 2010 People's Choice Award winner. (Applaud NN and Vera’s leadership.)

Developer #2 was Calais LNG, that planned a terminal at the Red Beach village of Calais, abutting Devil’s Head Conservation Area.

With just days before a week-long Maine Board of Environmental Protection hearing, Calais LNG was forced to admit that they had hidden their loss of funding and had lost access to their proposed project site.

This was the second project Save Passamaquoddy Bay defeated.

Developer #3 is Downeast LNG, that still proposes to use Mill Cove in Robbinston, at a state-defined scenic area, and that sits atop a large, significant Passamaquoddy Tribe cultural and religious site.

In July of 2007, after a week-long Maine Board of Environmental Protection hearing, Downeast LNG realized they would fail the permits, and withdrew from state permitting. They’ve made no effort to re-enter state permitting. 

While Save Passamaquoddy Bay defeated Downeast LNG at the state level, they continue to seek permits at the federal level. In fact, we are at the most dangerous time ever in this effort to defeat them. Downeast LNG has gone completely through the FERC permitting process, even to the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement; but, at the last minute — perhaps fearing a permit denial by FERC — they have altered their project by adding LNG exporting, so they’ve just started the pre-filing process for that part of the project.

The Bottom Line is — after 10 years of Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance fighting these battles — there are no LNG terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Save Passamaquoddy Bay still has to defeat Downeast LNG at the federal level.

Please allow us to thank all those who love Passamaquoddy Bay and have made our work possible:

  1. Vermont Law School Law Clinic, who handled the NN lawsuit and provided pro bono legal services valued at about $900,000;
  2. Charles G. Wright Endowment for Humanity, through generous leadership of Kate and the late Jeff Wright of Red Beach in Calais;
  3. Kathy and Richard Berry of Robbinston who have led the effort to raise funds from the sale of 800 vintage Passamaquoddy Scale Baskets;
  4. The Strickland and Ball Family and Friends Fund;
  5. Maine Initiatives Grants for Change and an award from The Felder Fund for Art and Action;
  6. The Town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick;
  7. The Pike Family Fund of Lubec; and
  8. Loyal supporters — hundreds of individuals from 3 Nations including 9 area singers and songwriters who allowed us to produce the music CD, Passamaquoddy Bay::The Music.

We have placed bookmarks at each table, containing our website address. We welcome you to visit our website, and to sign up for frequent updates.

Each of you can engage in this effort by bringing your family and friends to beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay, and you, too, will see why we have worked so hard and long to Protect What We Love.

Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance and I thank you again for this honor.


"It's a profound honor for Save Passamaquoddy Bay and me, personally, to be part of this group of Conservation Leaders — protecting what we all love in Maine." — Bob Godfrey

NRCM 2014 Conservation Leadership Award Winners

2014 Conservation Leadership Award winners: (front row from left) Alice Bolstridge, Lorette Adams, Gail Maynard, Shelly Mountain; (back row from left) NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann, Robert Godfrey, Peter Lowell, Jim Wellehan, Kathy Wellehan, Peter Kallin, and NRCM Board Vice President Russ Pierce.


Add our banner to your webpage: Save Passamaquoddy Bay

Read about the effort to Fix FERC: FixFERC


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