I have a multitude of concerns about the proposed oyster farm on Maquoit Bay. The project will grow from a quarter-acre to more than 40 acres by next summer. The permit application for this floating factory speaks in depth to how the cages will be cleaned. Power washers will use high-volume water for what is called “defouling.”

While most oyster farm operations use power washing on land to clean oysters, this company will be pressure washing barnacles, mussels, oysters, moss and sea growth off cages, boats, barges, oysters and trammels just 100 feet from a culvert that dumps into the bay. However, the proposal is silent about the environmental permits for this point source pollution. This is absolutely something the town of Brunswick should weigh in on and not kick the ball to the Department of Marine Resources.

In just the past few weeks, I have counted bald eagles, porpoises, dozens of harbor seals and one hooded seal in the bay. There is a natural bed of oysters only 3 miles from this planned high-density project.

The shame is that we know the solution. It is called consensus. Brunswick has some of the most gifted minds in the world – why not use them? We have professors, scientists and intellectuals from the most advanced institutions on the planet, and fishermen who have spent a lifetime on the bay and know its pulse. We have fantastic businessmen and engineers who know how to create a win-win-win solution.

But the oyster company is stubbornly plowing forward with a plan that will cost us all dearly. Brunswick taxpayers will end up cleaning up the mess on 40 acres of bay bottom after the investors have made their money and sold out. Brunswick should take control of its environmental responsibilities before they slip away.

Mark Wyman