Sep 17, 2013

Lobster zone council to hear from opponents of Searsport dredge plan tonight

Tonight the Zone D lobster council - Muscongus Bay and West Penobscot Bay - meets in Rockland at the ferry terminal. Some guests will be there to try to fire up the lobstermen about the dredge-hell that the Army Corps of Engineers and Maine DOT hope to unleash on Penobscot Bay.
Should those agencies succeed, great plumes would arise, watery expanding mushroom clouds of tainted sediments, spreading far and wide the industrial wastes laid down there in the upper bay in the 19th and 20th centuries, as the prevailing currents at each depth demand. What would be in those plumes?

* Coal tar wastes from gas works of the19th century. Burnt coal ash & clinker waste by the megaton.

* The greases, oils and petrol of the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries' internal combustion age.

* The megatons of waste left behind by the mighty fertilizer factories of Mack Point and Kidder Point of the early to mid 20th century. (5 tons of waste for every ton of fertilizer produced)

* Dioxin & mercury contaminated effluvia of the 19th and 20th centuries from the rivers' papermills, that has come down and laid itself to rest in the upper bay's sediments.

* The sad and malodorous remains committed to the bay in the mid to late 20th century by Belfast poultry plants.

* Supporting it all, former virgin soils of the Penobscot River watershed, set free by 18th, 19th and 20th century logging and farming, travelling 100s of miles, now filling the mouth of Penobscot Bay, tinctured with the many flavors of the Maine Woods watershed plus all of the abovenamed unnatural pollutants.

There is no purpose to the expansion dredging. No Sears Island port wannabees needing more navigable space between mainland and Sears Island. Hence there is no need for the grandiose "expansion dredging" plans of Maine DOT that would set loose all that stuff in great silty toxic clouds, choking the bay-breathers, from zooplankton to barnacles to mummichogs to lobsters.

And, most dangerously for the bay's most profitable and productive

fishery, that dredge cloud would stop up our lobsters' scent receptors, making their survival in the cool dark waters of the bayfloor a matter of luck instead of smell-informed decisionmaking. "Odorem est Omnia!", Latin-speaking lobsters would contend, adding gloomily, "Nihil sit sine odore."

In short, that the maintenance dredging for the continued profitability of Mack Point be approved,with dredge spoil dumping subject to strict contamination and season limits, but the expansion dredge plan be pitilessly chopped away, for the cancerous growth that it would be

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