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To the Editor: An Issue Not to be Taken Lightly

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Letter to the Editor

February 18, 2022

Ellsworth American

Dear Editor:

One of Maine’s largest environmental issues is taking place as I type this letter: the proposed aquafarm that would tarnish the pristine waters of Frenchman Bay by a Norwegian-backed company.

As a 16-year-old, I am certainly not an expert on this topic. However, after taking three high school classes discussing faults in our environment, including the effects of industrialization, I worry that Maine is underestimating some of the effects of the proposed project.

There are many examples throughout history of countries and states that have sacrificed environmental health and natural resources for a short-term economic benefit. My generation will basically have to clean up the mess of poor decisions. I ask Maine to consider the broader impact of this proposed project not only on Frenchman Bay, but also on the many generations of people that will be affected by it.

I’m lucky enough to spend my summers working in a small town that is incorporated into the bay. When I’m not working, I sail, kayak, paddleboard and swim in Frenchman Bay. For these reasons I care deeply about this area of Maine. Even as a high school student I can see the drastic effects and harm that American Aquafarms will cause if it secures Frenchman Bay to grow farm-raised salmon.

The first element of this industrial fish farm that is concerning is the new type of fish pen that would be used: semi-closed pens. Semi-closed pens are really semi-open, and they could enable large amounts of effluent to seep into the ocean and mix with foreign elements.

The second concerning effect of the American Aquafarms proposal is the amount of carbon output that would result from plant operations. Salmon farming requires many generators for pumping water, as well as fuel for service vessels and trucks to transport food, fuel, waste and harvested fish.

And finally, if the proposal is passed, many other companies will follow suit. If we don’t take action we will likely see a rapid increase in industrial fish farms all over Maine, which would drastically affect the lives of many locals who rely on Maine’s clean waters.

It is now in the hands of Maine citizens to take action against the Norwegian-backed company that wants to industrialize Frenchman Bay. You do not need to be a fish farm specialist to voice your concerns.

Sophie Zalosh

Sorrento and Manchester, Mass.

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