News‎ > ‎

Attorney Hired for Oyster Fight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Written by Dick Broom of Mt. Desert Islander

TRENTON — A group of waterfront property owners has hired Ellsworth attorney Sally Mills to help them fight a proposed 50-acre oyster farm at the mouth of Goose Cove in Western Bay.

Ms. Mills is a member of the Hale & Hamlin law firm. Her practice areas include environmental law. She said Tuesday that she had been retained by the property owners’ group only a few days earlier and was not yet ready to comment on their strategy.

Trenton resident Warren Pettegrow has applied to the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for two 25-acre aquaculture leases. Up to 10 million oysters would be raised in as many as 5,000 cages that, according to Mr. Pettegrow’s application, would float on the surface of the water in the summer and rest on the ocean floor the rest of the year.

David Rand, a member of the group opposing the leases, said Tuesday that the group has grown to about 75 property owners from around Goose Cove and on both the Trenton and Bar Harbor sides of Western Bay. The group, Friends of Goose Cove, contends the oyster farm would ruin the view and would adversely affect both the marine environment and navigation. At the group’s urging, the Trenton board of selectmen voted unanimously June 29 to send a letter to the DMR expressing their opposition to the oyster farm.

To deny a lease for an aquaculture operation, the DMR must find that it would interfere with at least one of the following: navigation, fishing or other uses of the area, significant wildlife or marine habitat, the coming and going of shore front landowners, or the public’s use and enjoyment of public parks or facilities.