Center joins fight against “aqua-factory”



Dear Editor:

We created the Somes Pond Center to help conserve and celebrate Somes Pond as a vibrant element in the greater commons of the Acadian archipelago. We love this land and water as a gift from nature where humans have found sustenance and serenity from time immemorial. In that spirit, we proudly join the widening community of organizations and individuals who oppose the proposed American Aquafarms salmon factory in Frenchman Bay.

Opponents of the aqua-factory have ably documented that it would foul our long-conserved commons, damage our regional economy and degrade natural pleasures enjoyed by generations of residents and visitors. Bay vistas valued by millions would be violated. Technologies untested at the scale proposed risk pollution that would harm established family enterprises long adapted to our waters. Giant pumping diesels would drone day and night, spewing toxic fumes at a scale equivalent to 16,500 tractor-trailers idling annually among the Porcupines. Some 9,000 real trucks would rumble through Ellsworth Downeast and back every year hauling salmon and supplies. The proposed aqua-factory would corrupt a pristine bay that is beloved for a day, a week, a season or all year by many millions.

Stress can make us stronger, and this industrial proposal has been galvanizing for our diverse and broad community. We salute leaders who have voiced early opposition to the proposed aqua-factory, including Superintendent Kevin Schneider at Acadia National Park, which annually anchors a $511 million, 5,400-job contribution to our regional economy. We all wish to protect this foundation. Our common voice can move the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct the full Environmental Impact Statement that would aid the state of Maine in evolving regulatory oversight of aquaculture industries. The challenge of defeating the aqua-factory is uniting town leaders, lobstermen, summer residents, kelp-farmers, scientists, and common citizens in a broad united front. The Somes Pond Center is honored to join their ranks.

Onward!

Judy Goldstein and Dennis Bracale for the Somes Pond Center Board

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