The Northeast Region recently held a combined project leaders’ and biologists’ conference for all its offices. The meeting was in Baltimore. For the two ES offices, 2 Fisheries offices, and the 2 “downeast” refuges in Maine, the local joke that “You can’t get theah’ from heah’” is a truism.
It is no joke that getting to Baltimore from here is costly and time-consuming. Since we are at least two hours from the airport, flying takes between 7 and 11 hours, and driving takes 10-12. Flights cost between $350 (from Portland) and $1258 (from Bangor) for each employee, and parking and car rental would need to be added. Each office was sending 3-5 people.
So, what to do? Linda Welch and Mao Lin suggested taking a bus instead. So, we did!
The bus cost $5,800, which the regional office’s NWRS picked up for us to make bookkeeping easier and to support carbon savings. We ended up serving 48 riders, for a cost per person of roughly $120 round-trip each. Because the RO paid, many people that might not have had station funds to pay for an expensive flight were able to come. We calculated that we saved between 13.5 tons of carbon (over what it would have been if everyone flew) to 18.5 (over what it would have been if everyone drove individually).
It was also a good cross-program exercise – a pre-and post- meeting meeting!!
People from the following offices participated:
- Moosehorn NWR
- Maine Coastal NWR Complex
- Gulf of Maine Coastal Ecosystems Program
- Maine Field Office
- Maine Fisheries Resources Office
- Craig Brook NFH
- Green Lake NFH
- Great Bay NWR
- New England Field Office
- Lake Umbagog NWR
- Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office
- Nulhegan Basin Division of Silvio O. Conte NFWR
- N. Attleboro NFH
- Silvio O. Conte NFWR
- Eastern Mass. NWR Complex
- Ct. River Coordinators Office
- Region 5 Regional Office