However, it wasn't all doom-and-gloom. Mitchell pointed to the transformation of Maine rivers like the Kennebec and Androscoggin; as a boy, the fact that he and his family lived right on the river in Waterville was a sign of their poverty — the water was "filthy," he recalled. Moving 100 feet inland was considered a step up in the world. Then came the Clean Water Act, introduced by another one of Maine's revered politicians, Ed Muskie, whom Mitchell referred to as "the greatest environmental legislator in our nation's history." Today, many of Maine's rivers are swimmable and drinkable (not to mention real-estate boons).
Let's bring back the Muskie barometer, shall we?
Deirdre Fulton can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
: The Editorial Page
, George Mitchell, Obama, environment, More