ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — How much has climate change negatively impacted national parks — specifically, Acadia National Park?
Second-year ecology technician Shannon O’Brien at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park said you don’t need to look far to notice climate change.
“Seeing changes in nature that shouldn’t happen, and not necessarily due to the heat,” O’Brien said.
She said last year at this time there wasn’t nearly as much water surrounding the bridge but more rainfall has changed that this year.
“Standing water where it shouldn’t be and trees don’t always love that. And they react in ways they wouldn’t,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said she and other congress members have been going around the country to visit national parks and find ways to reduce climate change.
“One of the problems is when you lose a lot of the natural species, we get these invasive species that bring Lyme ticks, that have the brown tailed moth, come with the invasive species,” Pingree said.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who represents Illinois’ 5th Congressional District, said it’s impossible to restore the environment to what it once was, but it can be make a priority in the future.
“What you can do is adapt and help the environment that you have now,” he said. “Resist against issues like invasive species, which are extremely damaging. You are losing all the red pines you have in Acadia because of invasive species.”
Quigley said one of their plans is to bring in new plants and trees that can handle warmer weather.
He said the key is protecting what you have and planning for a new future.