May 3, 2009

Sears Island - Massachusetts company plans aquaculture cages off "protected" area.

On April 29th, DMR hosted a scoping session in the Searsport town office for Massachusetts quahog & oyster cage farmer William Vaughan to air his plan to cage farm quahogs and scallops to whichever members of the interested public showed up. Listen to1st half hour of the discussion here.

Vaughan says he found Massachusetts' environmental laws too strict. Maine's must be weaker, as he and his partner now propose to run an operation just like his Massachusetts cage farm operations in Stockton Harbor. His ranch would parallel part of the Sears Island causeway and dominate much of the view from the the NE portion of the island. Remember? that area supposedly under the protective umbrella of sellout land trust Maine Coast Heritage Lost..I mean Trust.

A steel checkerboard within the viewshed of the Maine Coast Heritage Trusts' perpetual conservation easement would conflict with, completely degrade, in fact, the viewshed that both MCHT and Sierra Club declare a national treasure. Was MCHT there at the aquaculture scoping meeting sponsored by Maine DMR, letting Mr Vaughan know of their concerns overpossible impact to the value of their conservation easement? Was Sierra Club there, defending this "precious jewel of the Maine Coast" as they so fondly refer to it?

OF COURSE NOT.

The true activists were represented there, in the able person of Harlan McLaughlin, who's a Penobscot Bay Watcher and Fair Play for Sears Islander par excellence.

Listen to the discussion on Vaughan's plan, led by the timid - nay - the anti-ecologist John Sowles, formerly the Maine Department of Marine Resources Ecology Director, but in present times cheerleader for the AQ industry, and self descried "Habitat Coordinator" who has learned next to nothing, protected next to nothing in his tenure under Governor Angus King and now Baldacci.

Sowles didn't even ID himself as state marine ecologist. He was there, he said, to keep fistfights from breaking out between the shellfish cager wannabes and public. Following this cryptic statement, he pandered endlessly for Vaughan. Sigh.

I'll post the second half hour tomorrow (Sunday May 3rd)

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