Maine has a magnificent coastline. Unlike the equally beautiful coasts of Oregon and California, however, public access to much of it is blocked by private ownership.

Why is the state considering further reducing what is available for us to enjoy? To develop state-owned acreage on pristine Sears Island as an industrial cargo port to manufacture and ship offshore wind turbines.

While I’m all in favor of offshore wind as one pillar of a clean-energy future, I’d very much like to hear why the proposed development couldn’t be done on Mack Point, an existing industrial port nearby.

Sears Island is a gem, one of the largest undeveloped islands on our Atlantic coast. Easy access, beaches, hiking trails and world-class birding give it great recreational value. This would be put at risk by development-related fences, nighttime lighting and noise that might well drive away many ecotourists (and their wallets) who visit Sears Island for peaceful interaction with nature, so important for sanity in our rushed 21st-century world. Already-stressed migratory birds that depend on this serene place as a stop may well be forced to look elsewhere. And fisheries in the area depend on eelgrass meadows that will be destroyed, along with productive shellfish beds.

Why must we lose this island oasis ourselves and deprive our children of it when such an obvious alternative, Mack Point, exists?

Pamela B. Blake

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