PENOBSCOT, Maine — The Maine Department of Marine Resources plans to hold another community meeting this week about controversial aquaculture operations in the tidal Bagaduce River.
The increasing number of aquaculture projects in the river, which separates the towns of Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot and Sedgwick, has been a divisive issue among area residents. Some have raised questions about the impact the oyster growing operations have on the environment and quality of life, while others have said it is a sustainable activity that provides them with much-needed economic opportunities
A meeting held April 30 at the local elementary school on the topic drew more than 170 people.
Another meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at Penobscot Community School on North Penobscot Road, just north of Penobscot village on Route 199.
It will be geared toward providing local residents with scientific information about the ecological impacts of shellfish aquaculture, DMR officials have indicated in a prepared statement.
“We had a very constructive conversation during the April 30 meeting,” Meredith Mendelson, deputy commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources, said in the prepared statement. “We had an opportunity to clarify the review and administrative process for leases and licenses, to discuss issue of impact on our coastal economy and ecology, and to listen to the concerns and feedback of stakeholders.”
Given the number of people who attended the April meeting, and summer residents who are able to attend this week, another large turnout is expected, according to Department of Marine Resources officials.
For more information about aquaculture in the Bagaduce River, call the Department of Marine Resources at 624-6553.