I am increasingly alarmed at the number of cruise ships allowed to dock in Portland. In a Dec. 26, 2019, New York Times article, Lisa M. Collins pointed out that “when not using shore power, a single cruise ship docked for one day can emit as much diesel exhaust as 34,400 idling tractor-trailers, according to an independent analysis verified by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Taking the 34,400 idling tractor trailers and multiplying by the 95 cruise ships expected this year totals the equivalent of roughly 3,268,000 tractor-trailers – an enormous amount of toxic air pollution that we are breathing for months.

Staff Writer Peter McGuire reported March 7 (“Bane or boon, massive cruise ships returning to Maine,” Page A1) that “Maine’s tourism industry had a near-record-breaking year in 2021 without the cruise market, which critics say offers a negligible economic benefit to the state.”

He goes on to note that “cruise passengers in Maine spent about $70 each at every port they visited, according to a 2019 study by the Maine Office of Tourism. Last year, overnight travelers staying at paid accommodations spent about $200 a day, while day-trippers spent about $87 … .”

How long are we going to ignore the serious health and environmental implications of allowing cruise ships in Casco Bay? And why are we ignoring the obvious facts that indicate tourists staying overnight spend almost three times more than cruise ship passengers?

Susanne Newman

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