Frenchman Bay United! STOP THE FISH FARM

A7HK2D North America, US, ME, Aerial. Porcupine Islands in Frenchman Bay.

Frenchman Bay United  

An update on the opposition to American Aquafarms  

May 12, 2021  

The opposition to American Aquafarms’ plans to build a massive industrial salmon farm in  Frenchman Bay is growing larger by the day. We’ve got websites, videos, signs and lots more in  the works. For now, here is a quick update on what is going on and how you can help. 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)  

Thanks to everyone who participated in the “public informational meeting” on May 6th. Although  the company wouldn’t let us see each other (we now know 173 people signed in), lots of good  questions were asked and no one in the three-hour meeting expressed support for the project.  

What’s next? 

• Once American Aquafarms submits its wastewater discharge applications to the DEP, there  will be a public comment period. We’ll let you know when that starts and ends. 

• Once the wastewater discharge application is accepted by DEP for processing, the public  will have 20 days to request a public hearing, which is held at the discretion of the DEP.  We need to let the DEP know that a public hearing is absolutely needed! 

Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR)  

American Aquafarms submitted its draft application to lease 120 acres in Frenchman Bay to the  DEP in early March. The draft application still has not been posted on the DMR website, which  means that DMR staff have not been able to review it or it has not yet been accepted. 

What’s next? 

• Once the draft lease application has been accepted, the company will be required to host  a “scoping session”, similar to the DEP’s public informational session, to explain the  application and take questions. After that, the company will finalize and its lease  application and a public comment period will open. Stay tuned. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)  

The USACE must grant a permit allowing the company to place its massive pens and other  structures in the waters of the bay. It also coordinates with other federal agencies that have an  interest in the project, such as the National Park Service due to the proximity to Acadia. 

There hasn’t been any public activity yet, but many individuals and groups have already written to  the Corps to request a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a comprehensive review that  outlines the full impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. Unlike permits that  look at individual impacts, an EIS evaluates the combined influences of a project.   

Ways you can help  

While the permitting process is getting underway, there are many ways to help:   

✔ Make sure you participate in all upcoming “scoping sessions” and public hearings. ✔ Provide written comments on all applications once they are filed. 

✔ Write your state legislators, Governor Mills, Maine’s Congressional delegation and local  selectmen. Your voice matters! 

✔ Write letters to the editor of local and statewide newspapers.  

✔ Talk to friends and neighbors. 

✔ Follow us on social media and share with your networks. 

✔ Consider making a donation to support this effort. 

As a reminder, here are some of the key reasons why this project is bad for Maine and our bay: 

It will end the balance that has existed for generations among the many users of the bay: the  dozens of people who fish for lobsters, scallops and mussels; clammers; mussel, oyster and kelp  farmers; year-round and seasonal residents; tourists and tourism businesses; researchers and  educators; and recreational boaters. That balance and the health of the bay is now threatened. 

It will take prime fishing ground from lobstermen and impact other fisheries, like scallops, shrimp  and mussels. 

This industrial development has no place in the waters off Acadia National Park, a key driver of  Maine’s tourism economy and a crown jewel of the national park system.  

The company will be using experimental semi-closed pens that have never been used on a scale this large anywhere in the world. They could never build a project this large or pack fish so  densely in pens in their home country of Norway. So, why here? 

There will be water pollution from billions of gallons of effluent produced daily by fish waste and  feed, more than 2000 times the effluent from Bar Harbor’s waste treatment plant. 

There will be air and noise pollution from 40 diesel generators burning 3-4 million gallons of  diesel fuel annually to power pumps and lights, plus light pollution at night from the 30  illuminated pens. A land-based incinerator will burn the sludge biproducts. 

The likelihood of fish escapes, die-offs and disease that will impact other species and organisms.

Opposition groups  

Please join one of these groups for the latest information and to support their role as leading  opponents of the American Aquafarms’ proposal. 

Friends of Frenchman Bay http://friendsoffrenchmanbay.org 

Friends of Eastern Bay www.friendsofeasternbay.org 

Friends of Schoodic Peninsula www.facebook.com/salmonproposal/ 

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation www.protectmaine.com 

Key agencies  

Maine Department of Marine Resources U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Patrick Keliher, Commissioner Jay L. Clement, Senior Project Manager 21 State House Station Maine Project Office Augusta, ME 04333-0021 442 Civic Center Drive, Suite 350  www.maine.gov/dmr/aquaculture/index.html Augusta Maine 04330  jay.I.clement@usace.army.mil 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection 

Melanie Loyzim, Commissioner 

17 State House Station 

28 Tyson Drive 

Augusta, Maine 04333-0017 

www.maine.gov/dep/contact/index.html 

Governor and Congressional Delegation  

Governor T. Janet Mills 

1 State House Station 

Augusta, ME 04333 

207-287-3531 

www.maine.gov/governor/mills/contact 

U.S. Senator Angus King 

202 Harlow St., Suite 20350 

Bangor, ME 04401 

Phone: (207) 945-8000 

www.king.senate.gov/contact 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree 

2 Portland Fish Pier, Suite 304 Portland, ME 04101 

(207) 774-5019 

pingree.house.gov/contact/ 

U.S Senator Susan Collins 202 Harlow Street, Room 20100 Bangor, ME 04401 

Main: (207) 945-0417 

www.collins.senate.gov/contact 

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden 

6 State Street, Suite 101 

Bangor, ME 04401 

(207) 249-7400 

https://golden.house.gov/contact

State Legislators who represent towns on the bay  

Hancock County Gouldsboro, Hancock, Sorrento, State Sen. Louis Luchini Sullivan, Winter Harbor P.O. Box 1311 State Rep. William “Billy Bob” Faulkingham Ellsworth, ME 04605 P.O. Box 121 

(207) 664-4699 Winter Harbor, ME 04693 Louis.Luchini@legislature.maine.gov Cell: (207) 460-6967 

William.Faulkingham@legislature.maine.gov 

Bar Harbor, Lamoine, Mt. Desert Trenton  

State Rep. Lynne Williams Rep. Nicole Grohoski 13 Albert Meadow P.O. Box 1732 

Bar Harbor, ME 04609 Ellsworth, ME 04605 

Cell: (207) 266-6327 Cell: (207) 358-8333 

Lynne.Williams@legislature.maine.gov Nicole.Grohoski@legislature.maine.gov Town governments  

http://www.barharbormaine.gov 

https://www.gouldsborotown.com

http://www.hancockmaine.org 

http://www.lamoine-me.gov 

http://sorrentomaine.blogspot.com/p/town-office-info.html 

Bangor Daily News 

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram 

https://www.pressherald.com/reader-services/letters-editor/

The Ellsworth American 

news@ellsworthamerican.com 

(350-word limit for letters) 

Mount Desert Islander 

news@mdislander.com 

(350-word limit for letters; 500 for op-eds)