FBC & Local Organizations Formally Oppose AA Proposed Large Scale Aquaculture Project
Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) sent a letter to Governor Janet Mills on Thursday, November 18, 2021 formally opposing the American Aquafarms (AA) proposed large-scale aquaculture project and requesting the Governor oppose the project applications.
Twenty-one additional organizations signed the letter including land trusts and conservation organizations, place-based owner operated Frenchman Bay businesses, and regional citizens groups and institutions. The letter penned by FBC states that after a review of the available information, they “conclude the project poses an unacceptable risk of deterioration to unimpaired ecosystems, water resources, wildlife habitat and landscapes in and around Frenchman Bay.”
The letter further cites eight principal concerns including: unprecedented scale, unproven technology, increased risk of pollutants in Frenchman Bay, the economic impact on local wild fisheries, the ecological and visual impact on Acadia National Park and other conserved lands, inconsistency with the Maine Climate Action Plan, long-term climate change risk, and the inadequacy of existing regulations to evaluate an offshore project of this scale.
“Very rarely, if ever, does the broad spectrum of environmental, economic, and cultural interests represented by the 22 organizations that signed this letter come together with such a clear,
single voice. The AA project is not just a small local issue, it is an ill-advised development proposal with ramifications far beyond Frenchman Bay,” said Paul Parshley, FBC Board of Directors president.
Of the organization’s decision to draft the letter: “We are deeply concerned that this massive development risks catastrophic damage to the ecology of Frenchman Bay and to the livelihoods of local, small-scale harvesters” said Aaron Dority, FBC Executive Director.
Previously, on May 17, 2021, FBC requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act on the AA project. Regulatory review of the AA application has not progressed yet to the federal level and the USACE EIS decision is pending.