New Acadia Designation Draws Skepticism



ELLSWORTH — A small but intensely skeptical crowd gathered at the Maine Grind in Ellsworth last week to hear officials from the National Park Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explain the benefits of adding Acadia National Park to the national system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

 

Islesford lobsterman Bruce Fernald (with Bar Harbor lobsterman Jon Carter behind him) listens intently to an explanation by park and government officials of what the designation of Acadia National Park as part of the nation’s system of Marine Protected Areas might mean to fishermen. — STEPHEN RAPPAPORT
Islesford lobsterman Bruce Fernald (with Bar Harbor lobsterman Jon Carter behind him) listens intently to an explanation by park and government officials of what the designation of Acadia National Park as part of the nation’s system of Marine Protected Areas might mean to fishermen. — STEPHEN RAPPAPORT

The tone of the meeting was cordial, but despite assurances that the relationship between the park and its neighbors would not change, most in the audience remained concerned about a potential expansion of federal authority.

David Manski, head of the park’s Resource Management Division, explained that joining the national system of MPAs would not result in an expansion of the park’s boundaries, or “give us any authority we don’t have now.” The park’s boundaries can only be changed by Congress and its marine, estuarine and intertidal habitats are already considered an MPA under federal law.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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