Oct 10, 2009

Sears Island & the Vision of 2006: how the mighty have fallen!

At the July 12 2006 meeting of the Sears Island Planning Initiative Steering Committee,  "visions" of the future of Sears Island were expressed, from full island protection to construction of a variety of industrial port types.  The Maine Dept of Conservation has kept a 42 page compendium of these land use visions as a pdf file on the state website. Below are excerpts from a few of the many, just to show  the remarkable change of heart of some people and organizations, and the stick-to-it-iveness of others.  Click here for the Department of Conservation's pdf file of visions.

A joint Letter by Scott Dickerson of MCHT, Jim Freeman of Maine Earth First!, Steve Miller of Islesboro Islands Trust, Becky Bartovics of Penobscot Bay Alliance,  Sierra Club's Joan Saxe and others: "Our vision is founded on these two core recommendations: that the entirety of Sears Island be permanently committed to conservation, outdoor recreation, and environmental education; and  that Mack Point, as one of the three ports of Maine, be fully utilized, enhanced, and expanded."

How easily and how thoroughly these core recommendations went by the wayside!  Only months after their utterance, the above signatories were jointly signing another document - this time  calling for division of Sears Island!

 A few others...
Anne Crimaudo :“My concern is the preservation of critical habitat and the impact on the ecosystem that  any type of development would have. 168 species of birds, 28 mammals and 9 amphibian and reptile species have had documented sightings on the island.  The island is an incubator of many life forms and is an important nursery habitat for marine species in Penobscot Bay.”

John Wardwell, Lane Construction. We have in Maine several gravel pits and quarries that are accessible to rail lines and others in close proximity which would allow trucking to the facility.
Given that the island has plenty of land available next to the berth to stockpile andhandle bulk materials which could be backhauled on the same vessels would help lower the freight rates and make sure more competitive and substantially help the economy and provide jobs in the State of Maine.”

John Melrose: "Of the very few miles set aside for marine cargo handling, Searsport is distinct due to the extent of shoreline controlled by marine transportation interests. We believe the compromise struck over 25 years ago must be honored; the merits of the compromise are even stronger today and diminishing the shoreline available to the Port of Searsport broadly undermines a most significant component of our State’s maritime heritage and future."

Who knowns what 2010 will bring?

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