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Governors in Vermont and Maine signed bills on Monday that will ban plastic bags in their states next year, The Hill reported.

The Maine ban will go into effect next Earth Day, April 22, 2020. The Vermont ban, which extends beyond plastic bags and is the most comprehensive plastics ban so far, will go into effect in July 2020. The wait time is designed to give businesses time to adjust to the ban.

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People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Portland Press Herald / Contributor / Getty Images

Maine became the first state to officially ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers on Tuesday.

Democratic Maine Governor Janet Mills called the bill an "important step forward in protecting our environment" when she signed it into law, The Associated Press reported.

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Wind farm with solar panels in southern California. 4kodiak / E+ / Getty Images

By Jeff Deyette

Despite the Trump administration's ongoing attempts to prop up coal and undermine renewables—at FERC, EPA and through tariffs and the budget process—2018 should instead be remembered for the surge in momentum toward a clean energy economy. Here are nine storylines that caught my attention this past year and help illustrate the unstoppable advancement of renewable energy and other modern grid technologies.

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The Portland Head Lighthouse in South Portland, Maine. traveler1116 / Getty Images

The city of South Portland, Maine has won an important victory in a three-year legal battle to stop a pipeline company from offloading tar sands crude oil on its waterfront, after a judge ruled Friday that the city's ordinance against the activity was constitutional, The Portland Press Herald reported.

Portland Pipe Line Corp. had wanted to reverse the flow of its pipeline from South Portland to Montreal as demand for foreign crude fell and Canadian tar sands production took off, but the city council blocked that move with a "Clear Skies" ordinance in 2014.

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Seal #108, left, and a small pup named "Premie" swim up to the edge of their pool for their 3 p.m. feeding at the Marine Mammals of Maine rehabilitation center on Aug. 14. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Researchers think a mysterious die-off of seals along the Maine coast could be linked to chemical pollution, the Portland Press Herald reported Sunday.

More than 400 dead or stranded seals have washed up on the Maine coast so far this year, more than in any of the past seven years, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) statistics.

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Mars Hill Wind Farm in Maine. Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Paul R. LePage, who once called wind power a "boutique energy source," has placed a moratorium on permits for most new wind energy projects in Maine, saying it could harm the state's tourism.

As it happens, LePage, a Republican, is the sole Atlantic Coast governor who favors the Trump administration's proposal to open nearly all of America's coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.

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This lucky seal pup was rescued from a Maine highway. Would you know what to do if you found an ocean animal in trouble? National Marine Life Center

By Amy McDermott

At 5 a.m. one morning last spring, a baby seal wandered into the sleepy town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The little pup waddled off the beach and onto the highway. Locals called the police. The police called Rosemary Seton.

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In this video posted to Facebook by Krystal Gamage, two fishermen off the coast of Owls Head, Maine, find a baby seal trapped in plastic fish netting. What happens next is worth watching until the end.

Even in the waters of the Antarctic, long thought to be pristine, plastic pollution has recently been measured at shockingly high levels.

Wouldn't it be great if every story about plastic pollution had a happy ending?

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Coyote Peterson and the Brave Wilderness team take kayaks to an island off the coast of Maine, where an abandoned fortress from 1858 now displays a sign reading, "ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK."

"There's always a chance that something interesting can be found," Peterson testifies as they approach Fort Gorges. Upon entering the huge castle, he exclaims, "It feels like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!"

Check out the video above, gone viral with more than 3.1 million views. Find out out what Peterson means when he observes, "It's like a whole ecosystem," and discover how you too can visit this wild place!

Katahdin Woods and Waters. National Parks Conservation Association.

Looks like you'll have to trust your map if you want to find the newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.

Gov. Paul LePage has refused to put up any official signs along the four main roads to the 87,500-acre preserve, which is on the list of 27 national monuments under Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's review.

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