Midcoast Village Residents Join To Oppose Offshore Wind Project

Published: Oct. 17, 2017 at 5:46 PM EDT
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Residents of a coastal town are voicing opposition to plans for a wind farm in the area.

Tuesday, a group including local fishermen got together to hand in a petition to try and stop it.

Alyssa Thurlow tells us how this could affect local fisheries if it goes into affect.

"St. George is a fishing community. We're made up of numerous villages, two of which are historic 250 year old fishing villages and the fishermen are against this project," says Port Clyde resident, Scott Sullivan.

Residents of the town of St. George, which includes Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde are voicing their opposition in the form of a petition with more than 300 signatures.

Over the past few months the town has been concerned about plans made by Maine Aqua Ventus to build a wind farm near Monhegan Island and bring the cables from the turbines onto the shore in St. George.

"A couple of months ago there was a meeting held right here where I'd say over 200 fishermen came and voiced their concerns about this project overall and there was not a single voice of support."

The non-profit group, Preserve Our Remarkable Town (PORT) joined forces with the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association to share concerns that this project may have on the way of life for many in the area.

"This is not good for their long term future and for the fishing economies and fishing businesses in St. George and therefore we need to take a stand against it."

Many fishermen in the area believe that this move will not only hurt their businesses but also their way of life, while folks at the Maine Aqua Ventus have a different story.

In a statement on their website, Maine Aqua Ventus says, "they look forward to continued dialogue with residents and fishermen of St. George as to what the facts of the proposed MAV demonstate project are and that information being distributed through the recent petition effort does not accurately reflect project plans."

The proposal includes the building of two floating wind turbines with cable running through St. George, which fishermen say could put them out of business.

"With the math I've done four farms would eliminate the fishing grounds I'd fish in my whole career. That's just too much," says Port Clyde fisherman, Randy Cushman.

Residents say they're willing to work together with Maine Aqua Ventus to come up with a better solution.

"We need food and we need electricity. I'm not sure what the exact balance is but we've got to be careful that we don't take away too much of the food production in order to generate wind power," says Port Clyde President, Glen Libby.