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December 1, 2015

State approves Bar Harbor oyster-growing operation near contested site

The Maine Department of Marine Resources approved an application to grow oysters on a 3.36-acre lease site in Bar Harbor.

The location south of Oldhouse Cove is near the site of another proposed oyster-growing operation that opponents say will endanger aircraft using the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, the Ellsworth American reported.

Last week, the department approved Western Bay Oyster Co.’s three-year experimental aquaculture lease for the 3.36-acre site off the shore of land owned by the company owner, Matthew Gerald, according to the paper.

Opponents of the other operation, a 50-acre shellfish aquaculture site in Trenton’s Goose Cove, are trying to persuade the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits it issued last March.

The manager of the regional airport, Brad Madeira, wrote a memo to Federal Aviation Administration officials saying that allowing Acadia Sea Farms LLC’s oyster growing operation near the end of the airport runway would be “a blatant disregard for public safety,” according to the Ellsworth American. Madeira expressed concern that if the nearly 50 acres of cages in Goose Cove aren’t cleaned, the operation could attract seabirds near the runway.

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