The dredge fighters were there as well, filling the sidewalk in front of the library, knots of fishfolk and and a few
others seem to have it together in a rather ferocious way (though until they make Maine's US Senators get their boots off the Corps of Engineers neck, so the agency _can_ call for an EIS they may make little progress).
The lobstermen-only decision is because fishing leaders have noticed that at public hearings on dredging where the greater public is there and often quite emphatic in their positions, the fishfolk feel a bit crowded out and unable to ask questions without the public ooohing or booing at what they say. Its a societal Heisenberg uncertainty principle sort of thing, where the observer modifies the observed and we anti-expansion dredge environmental interests were doing some modifying. So like it or not there it is.
I went into the room before it started and after an encounter with a worried-then-chilled-out MLA exec director, I got hold of John Henshaw of the port authority. John, you know what I want answered; when can I get you on a landline for the interview? Bloke travels around quite a lot and cellphones sound tinny, so about a week of the 12th Henshaw said he'll be back at his desk in his cubicle at MDOT HQ. He promised.
Then I had to hurry because Dave Gelinas was there and I needed to talk Belfast-to-Bangor river corridor; reenergizing the Penobscot Riverside towns' access to river deliveries on non toxic cargoes. David urged me to contact the chambers of commerce for the river towns. A great idea and I'll do so.
Then it was almost time to go; the megadredge meeting was about to start. I went out and talked with lobsterman Richard Nelson about the other end of the bay, where the UMaine is leading a well conceived but awful-in-execution offshore floating wind turbine. Nelson's been keeping an eye on the offshore wind wannabees about as long as I have; but because his Way is of thoughtful inquiry and reflection, the Windies thought they could get him to stand up at an event and give a thumbs-up to their plan (keep in mind that the state standard is 10 miles offshore including 10 miles away from inhabited islands. That they choose less than 3 miles from an island with one of the most painted seascapes in America , a world class tourist destination and arts colony, shows a certain level of contempt for the irreplaceable scenic assets of an island that has little else but a seasonal lobster fishery.
Happily there are plenty of dissident lobstermen at the meeting , so no wool is going to get pulled over anyone's eyes. It just ended; I'll check in with my lobstering sources who attended in a short time. There will also be a teach-in by dredge opponents after the meeting - but I was disinvited - told I should "stay in the weeds" and not speak there. While Maine Sierra Club and other NGOs held forth! Such is life.