To the Editor:
I write to object to Acadia Aqua Farms’ proposal because the placement of this 48-acre shellfish aquaculture lease just off Leland Point in the eastern portion of Frenchman Bay represents an unacceptable and unnecessary hazard to commercial and recreational navigation in the described area.
I am very familiar with the navigational hazard that this installation would create for kayakers, sailors, lobstermen and others using waters that are held for the benefit of all, not for the business of one.
First, the economic impact on lobstermen will be significant. This bay produces $10 million a year in harvests. The proposed lease will remove 48 acres of active lobstering ground from lobstermen fishing out of Lamoine and Salisbury Cove and congest an area that is seeing more recreational and working waterfront activity every year.
What about the kayakers? This proposed installation would also create a navigation and safety hazard for kayakers and paddle boarders whose companies (Bar Harbor’s Coastal Kayaking tours, as one example), launch their boats off Hadley Point to the west and proceed around the point eastward between Googins Ledge on their left and the coast of Mount Desert Island, normally paddling directly across the location of the Acadia Aqua Farms’ proposal. In rough weather, the kayakers, often inexperienced first timers, will likely be forced farther out in the bay adjacent to Googins Ledge where winds and waves will expose these boats to greater hazard.
This single installation will create an undo adverse impact on the navigation of many groups, both professional and recreational, within this area of Frenchman Bay for the benefit of one company at the expense of many others. This is a greedy overreaching approach as the applicant already leases 300 acres in the area.
On the basis of my 45 years of navigating these very same waters in diverse weather conditions, I urge the Department of Marine Resources to reject this proposal on the grounds that it significantly impedes navigation safety as well as adversely affects the livelihood of others who have utilized this area of the bay to support their businesses for many years.
James L. Boyer