Press Release

Planning Commission and Consultant Complete Blue Hill Bay Needs Assessment

Following 18 months of research and input from conservation and planning specialists, fishermen, businesses, and residents, Hancock County Planning Commission and its consultant, Barbara S. Arter Associates, are pleased to announce the completion of the Blue Hill Bay Needs Assessment. This report is a preliminary study of the environmental, economic, and social assets of the Blue Hill Bay Watershed. The bay and its watershed are popular destinations for tourists and seasonal and year-round residents seeking recreation and scenic touring opportunities. The report, full color maps, presentations and analyses can be found at:

The data portray a bay with good water quality and many healthy wildlife species. The regional economy shows steady growth with many jobs tied directly or indirectly to the bay. The bay also faces several challenges. Fisheries have been subject to unsustainable practices, leaving some species severely depleted. Tourism and recreation are highly seasonal, creating significant swings in available jobs. The high demand for coastal property threatens traditional marine-dependent users. There are also many threats to water quality.

This study focuses on the bay’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and suggests strategies to balance economic and environmental goals. Funding for this study was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Maine Coastal Program.

Contact: Tom Martin, HCPC Executive Director

395 State St.

Ellsworth, ME 04605

207-667-7131 (office)

207-667-2099 (fax)