The bipartisan group of Senate negotiators speak to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Recently it was reported that Maine is the world’s eighth most in-demand summer destination. The main reasons? Our beautiful outdoors, or as one professor put it best, “a brand of being authentic.”

Conserving what makes the Pine Tree State this special is key to maintaining such renowned status and vitally important for attracting and retaining the next generations of Mainers. That’s why I’m so proud of the work Sen. Susan Collins has done to elevate environmental issues in the Senate.

Since just this spring alone, her commitment to conservation efforts have collectively brought in tens of millions of dollars to clean up brownfield sites, establish new clean energy initiatives, protect our world-class fisheries and facilitate youth environmental involvement. Maine’s ecosystems will greatly benefit from these investments. As such, communities from Kennebunk to Calais can be sure to continue trusting in Collins.

This type of assistance isn’t going away either. Many of these programs would not be possible without the passage of last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law, which Collins was one of the core negotiators of. Paired with other recent legislation like the Great American Outdoors Act, her time in Congress is proof you can still pass landmark environmental legislation in a bipartisan fashion.

I know that I’ll be spending much of my own summer hiking the beehive trail at Acadia and swimming by the pier of Old Orchard Beach — all the while thankful for the stewardship of our very own senator.

Stephen Fitzpatrick