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Annie Mackin is the Tar Sands Program Assistant for NWF in Vermont. She is working to coordinate Vermonters’ efforts to make sure that oil companies don’t use the state as a pathway to get tar sands to market. She has worked with Environment America on water, conservation and energy campaigns, and helped the Chesapeake Climate Action Network build support for offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic. Because she was raised in northwest Vermont’s Franklin County, the campaign to protect Lake Champlain from the risks of tar sands – as well as the Missisquoi River, and all of Vermont’s land and water – is personal.
An osprey seen flying over the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, followed by a black tern. Photo Credit: Ken Sturm, USFWS

Exploring the Missisquoi River – What’s at Stake from a Tar Sands Spill in Vermont?

8/15/2014 // By Annie Mackin

On a lazy August afternoon in the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, the wide river flows under gently bobbing white and yellow water lilies, around easily missed turtles basking on rocks, past watchful tall herons, and narrows on its way out […] Read more >

A moose passes through Pierce Pond in Maine. South Portland's City Council this week showed that local communities can band together in powerful ways to stand up for themselves and their wildlife. Photo credit: Flickr user Michael Lepore.

Tar Sands Vote in Maine Shows Communities Can Stand Up For Wildlife and Win Big

7/22/2014 // By Annie Mackin

The people of South Portland, Maine, made historic news last night. Based on overwhelming vocal public concern about the dangers of toxic tar sands to wildlife and the community, the City Council passed an ordinance that prevents the Portland Pipe […] Read more >

Tar sands transport threatens common loons here in New England, and tar sands extraction is decimating their nesting habitat in Alberta, Canada. Photo credit: Flickr user Ian Matchett.

Meeting of Governors and Premiers a Big Opportunity for Northeast Wildlife

7/15/2014 // By Annie Mackin

This week, the governors of New England states are meeting with leaders of Canada’s Eastern provinces in the mountains of New Hampshire, at the annual New England Governors and Eastern Premiers Conference. As they make plans and consider policies for […] Read more >

Not only would Vermont moose be threatened by a tar sands spill here, but they also face challenges due to climate change that will be exacerbated by runaway tar sands expansion. Credit: David Govatski USFWS

Vermont Leads New England on Path to Cleaner Fuel Mix

6/20/2014 // By Annie Mackin

As more Vermonters learn about the threat of climate disrupting tar sands—one of the planet’s dirtiest and most carbon polluting fuels—being transported through the Northeast Kingdom via an aging oil pipeline, it’s increasingly clear that they want nothing to do […] Read more >

Hooded merganser

From Pristine Bird Haven to Toxic Trap: Canada’s Tar Sands Threaten New England Birds

6/11/2014 // By Annie Mackin

When Americans talk about tar sands, one of the most pernicious and devastating industrial undertakings the world has ever seen, those lucky enough not to have a pipeline running through their property generally think of a faraway threat. However, while […] Read more >

Mallard duck coated in oil, March 2013 (via Arkansas HAWK Center)

A Year After Mayflower Disaster, an Oil Spill at Every Turn

4/1/2014 // By Annie Mackin

A year ago, residents of a quiet suburban neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas, watched in horror as heavy, toxic tar sands oil poured out of a burst pipeline, across their yards and into their street, covering everything in black muck and […] Read more >

Bicknell's Thrush. Photo by Steve D. Faccio (Vermont Center for Ecostudies)

You’re Invited: Retirement Party for the Portland-Montreal Pipeline

3/20/2014 // By Annie Mackin

NWF recently released documents showing the company that owns the Portland-Montreal pipeline estimated its pipes to have a 60-year life span. We did the math: The pipe built in 1950 passed its projected retirement date in 2010. So we’d like […] Read more >

The loss of boreal forest habitat from tar sands development puts the survival of thousands of Alberta woodland caribou at risk.

Brewing a Better Future in Canada

3/13/2014 // By Annie Mackin

President Obama is about to make good on a bet (technically, on two bets) he lost to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last month, when Canada beat the United States in Olympic Hockey (twice). The two bet a case of […] Read more >

Transporting tar sands through Vermont would directly threaten the moose, fish and birds that rely on clean water to survive. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Marin Packer.

Vermont Towns Protect Wildlife and Vote ‘No’ on Tar Sands

3/6/2014 // By Annie Mackin

Town Meeting Day 2014 was a great day in the continued fight to keep tar sands out of Vermont and protect wildlife like moose from this dirty oil. When people from around the state gathered in our time-honored tradition of […] Read more >

Moose foraging in late winter. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Bill Gorton.

Tar Sands in our Tanks? Tracing Extreme Energy on its way to New England

1/23/2014 // By Annie Mackin

So far, New England has remained virtually free of the extreme, polluting form of energy known as tar sands. Less than 1 percent of our fuel comes from the viscous, tarry, carbon-intensive substance that must be strip mined or steamed […] Read more >

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