Salmon farm not worth the cost

Dear Editor:

Downeast Maine has always been a natural refuge from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other cities I have lived in and their nearby hotel-and-boardwalk-lined beaches. One of the last vestiges of a wild and unpolluted world left on the Eastern Seaboard, Frenchman and other nearby bays abutting Acadia National Park have remained clear and swimmable, still clothed in their unique awe-inspiring natural beauty replete with rocky shores fringed by forests and mountains, and magical islands that only surface with the tides. Like me, millions of people visit or summer in this vacationland each year. This brings Downeast Maine a sizable portion of its revenue, while restoring the spirits of those who visit its quiet and timeless environmental sanctuary.

But that may soon change if the American Aquafarms proposal for a large-scale salmon farm is approved by state and federal officials. This operation is expected to discharge 4 billion of gallons of wastewater daily into the Frenchman Bay from each of its 15 pens — about 2,000 times the amount of effluent from Bar Harbor’s waste treatment plant. The 40 generators needed to run this operation are expected to be exceptionally noisy, along with the boats frequently ferrying the salmon to a processing plant in Prospect Harbor. In addition, lighting for 30 of the pens will mar the star-studded darkness for which nearby Acadia Park and its annual Night Sky Festival is known.

I value economic development in Maine, but not if it will cost what makes the state valuable to most of the people who live or visit there — pristine waters supporting recreational boating and lobster, oyster and mussel fishing, a quiet peaceful environment restorative to the soul and a place full of unperturbed natural wonders. I urge all of us to do what we can to oppose this salmon fishing endeavor and the damage it will wreak in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Margie Patlak

Corea and Philadelphia, Pa.

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