Each year, the Margaret Chase Smith Library sponsors an essay contest for Maine high school seniors. The focus of the 2011 contest was environmen­tal protection. The essay prompt quoted a 1972 statement from Sen. Smith: “We must recognize that we’re not going to eliminate pollution overnight. It’s going to be a hard, long fight. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of sacrifice on the part of each one of us.” By happy coinci­dence, the essay contest topic fits perfectly with the subject matter of this special issue of Maine Policy Review on sustainability. We feature here the three 2011 prize-winning essays, which draw upon contempo­rary and historical examples along with the personal experiences and opinions of these talented young people.

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