Penobscot fisheries rebounding
I would like to respond to the March 11 opinion piece “Aquaculture Innovation won’t hurt environment” by Marianne Naess. In her OpEd she states that “there is no growth in sight for wild fisheries.” A wonderful thing is happening in the Penobscot River. We have removed most of the dams, and river herring are beginning to spawn in the entire watershed for the first time in two centuries. River herring and codfish co-evolved for thousands of years in a system that is in the process of restoration. Fresh-caught wild fish is in high demand, and it will not be many years before we can have abundant hook caught fish coming out of our bay.
Not in favor of large aquaculture
I believe in supporting new businesses that will bring tax revenue and jobs, but I’m not in favor of large industrial-scale agriculture. The effects of climate change make this an outdated food production model. The factory Nordic Aquafarms is proposing to build in Belfast would be one of the most massive in the world, and Maine currently does not have enough regulations for aquaculture.
It’s easy to make positive declarations when there’s nothing to back them up except the word of those who stand to profit. If the owners of Nordic are sure their factory will cause no environmental harm, then there’s no reason for them to be concerned about oversight. Why are they going to Augusta to speak against new laws to protect our water resources?
LD 199 to create the Water Resources Planning Committee is a good step towards better management. Healthy, biodiverse fisheries in Penobscot Bay will bring jobs and a healthier environment for generations to come.
Transmission line has nature costs
While Governor Mills may have good intentions, her statement that the transmission line crossing through Maine will “cost Maine ratepayers nothing” is like saying the iconic Maine forests, rivers and streams have no value.
It may seem to the governor and others that the benefits to this gigantic scar on our landscape are substantial, but they do not outweigh the true costs. Power lines are a blight on the land. They open a wound that leads to deeper wounds, not only to our forests, rivers and streams, but to our identity as a state with extraordinary and relatively untrammeled natural beauty.
Surely we realize the intrinsic value in that. It is something that cannot be replaced with charging stations and slight decreases in electric charges for those in poverty. We would be better served by replacing all lighting with LED lights and making homes more energy efficient, or installing small scale solar farms, or teaching students about ways to be more connected to where our power comes from and what its true costs are. A combination of these things would go much further in decreasing our carbon footprint in the long-run.
Allowing the power line — which New Hampshire wisely rejected, by the way — is the wrong thing to do no matter what the benefits might be. The governor is a very smart person with a good heart. I believe that if all the people who oppose this travesty speak out, she will change her mind.
If she does not, then it is up to the people to create a citizens initiative to let the people decide.
John G. Pincince