Maine’s Department of Marine Resources, by allowing Mere Point Oyster to provide no notice to residents prior to applying for its proposed 40-acre Maquoit Bay operation, endorses irresponsible aquaculture, which dupes the public, residents and competing users.

On Sept. 12, my neighbor forwarded an application for a 40-acre aquaculture operation directly in front of our homes and docks. The application described on-site operations with tumblers, high-powered water sprayers, water pumps and a generator. All nearby homes will be affected by the noise. The 10-year lease is salable and may operate at night.

The application states that they tested the tumblers and residents provided positive feedback. This apparently was done on the other side of Mere Point away from the proposed site and without notice to those to be affected. We’ve since discovered they also received feedback (not noted in their application) that the noise level was objectionable.

They filed their application in January. We were just learning about it, but not from the applicants.

How could an application for such a large operation occur without notice? Because the applicants placed the operations just beyond 1,000 feet from our homes, the DMR requires no notice to residents.

One applicant is our neighbor, whom we see regularly. Never once did he mention that he’d applied for a 40-acre aquaculture operation directly in front of our homes.

Pushing the proliferation of aquaculture, the state passed legislation that doesn’t allow the loss of value in our homes as a valid objection. Simultaneously, the DMR and the applicants are disenfranchising the public. Mere Point Oyster sent us notice to visit their operations, but provided no notice of their pending application for a 40-acre operation directly in front of our homes. These rules, laws and practices constitute cheating residents of their right to responsible notice when they are adversely affected.

We’ve had no notice, voice, recourse or rights. We will boycott Maine aquaculture shellfish products.

Connor Shortsleeve