FRENCHMAN BAY, Maine — Hancock County Planning Commission, Frenchman Bay Partners, and the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee are pleased to announce receipt of a capacity-building grant from the Maine Community Foundation. The grant will fund the planning and foundation-building process for building capacity toward water quality monitoring and data analysis. The focus will be on identifying and mitigating sources of pollution in order to re-open clam flats currently closed to harvesting. These efforts promise to be a boon to the area economy. A U-Maine Machias study by Kevin Ahearn indicated that closed clam flats along the coast of Maine represent a potential annual loss in harvester sales of between $288 and $14,400 per acre.
The grant will allow the regional shellfish committee to build on recent collaborative efforts. These include the enactment of a nine-town shellfish harvesting ordinance, which requires commercial and recreational harvesters to purchase a license, volunteer conservation hours to clean up the mudflats, and engage in management activities like clam surveys and restoration efforts to seed future clam crops. This project will strengthen the shellfish committee by providing diversified training for people within the organization and improving their outreach abilities for more effective communication and enhanced participation within their membership.
Contact: Tom Martin, HCPC Executive Director
395 State St.
Ellsworth, ME 04605