Jennifer Fortier, Whole Oceans’ outreach and development associate, spoke to the Bucksport Town Council Dec. 13 about partnering with the company to fund aquaculture course scholarships. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Whole Oceans announces aquaculture course, scholarship program

BUCKSPORT — Whole Oceans and the town of Bucksport are partnering on a scholarship for 10 area residents to take an online aquaculture class.

Maine-based Whole Oceans intends to create a land-based salmon farm on the former Verso Mill site.

Jennifer Fortier, outreach and development associate for the company, announced the class and the scholarship at the Bucksport Town Council meeting Thursday. Scholarships would be available to residents of Bucksport, Orland, Prospect or Verona Island. Anyone may take the class.

University of Southern Maine Professor Theo Willis is teaching the class, which will be available online.

Fortier said the course results in three college credits and will cost around $1,000. Whole Oceans has agreed to provide $250 per student up to 10 students to take the course.

In addition, Willis has scholarship funds available.

“We’re able to bring the cost down a lot,” Fortier said.

Fortier asked — and the council voted unanimously — to provide $1,450 in scholarship funds to further reduce the cost of the class.

“Taking it doesn’t guarantee a job,” Fortier cautioned. “It’s about sparking their interest in learning more.”

Whole Oceans also donated two copies of a textbook needed for the course to the Buck Memorial Library, said Fortier.

Any residents of Bucksport, Prospect and Verona Island who are interested in the class should email Fortier at [email protected].

In other Whole Oceans news, Fortier said Jason Mitchell, chief executive officer, expects the company’s purchase and sale agreement for a parcel of the former mill site to close before the end of the year. Whole Oceans is buying a piece of the former mill property from AIM Development.

Mitchell had wanted to be at the town council meeting but had a commitment with his children, Fortier said.

Bucksport resident James Morrison asked what demolition on the site AIM is responsible for as part of the closing agreement.

“We’re still tightening that up,” said Fortier.

Bucksport Town Manager Sue Lessard said AIM has a certain number of days for cleanup after the closing.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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