Brunswick leads Maine in clam production 4 years in a row

Brunswick has secured its position as the leading clam producer for four consecutive years, but the future of its harvests hangs in the balance. The exceptionally warm seawater temperatures recorded in 2022 and 2023 are poised to disrupt the local shellfish populations, a recurring phenomenon in history. Among the species most at risk are the soft-shell clams, affectionately known as Maine’s steamer clams.

For nearly a century, the Town of Brunswick has actively participated in the management of local shellfish resources in partnership with the state. Their primary focus is on overseeing the commercially valuable shellfish species inhabiting the intertidal zone, with a particular emphasis on soft-shell (steamers) and hard-shell clam (quahog/littlenecks) resources. In response to the challenges posed by ocean warming similar to those experienced in 2011 and 2012, which resulted in reduced soft-shell clam harvests, Brunswick has shifted its focus to conserving the more resilient hard-shell clam populations. This strategic shift has paid dividends, with Brunswick consistently leading in hard-shell clam production.

Soft-shell clams, especially those in smaller size classes near the surface, face heightened vulnerability to predation by crabs and other predators like milky ribbon worms. As ocean temperatures rise, the predator populations are expected to surge, creating a more favorable environment for the likes of blue crabs and black sea bass to migrate northward over time.

In addition to the rising seawater temperatures, the region is grappling with increased storm intensity and frequency, leading to elevated upland runoff that sporadically introduces nutrients into the coastal waters. This nutrient influx often triggers algal blooms, which in turn deplete oxygen levels and raise acidity, posing a significant threat to the native shellfish populations year on year.

Despite the advancements in the town’s shellfish management programs, the Brunswick community must face the reality that future harvests will continue to be impacted by the recent years of intensified ocean warming. Understanding the implications of current and past conditions is crucial in implementing robust soft shell conservation measures like enhanced spawning closures, rotational harvesting restrictions, and reduced harvesting activities, increased propagation, and species diversification. 


While Brunswick has excelled as a top producer of soft-shell clams, it is imperative to prioritize the increased conservation of the cherished Maine Steamer and not abandon its preservation, as some may suggest. Soft-shell clam don’t need to go down without a fight. 

Dan Devereaux,
Co-owner of Mere Point Oyster Co.,

Jean Guzzetti for Maine Senate

What makes a great state legislator? A great state legislator is focused on ensuring that the State infrastructure is in place to allow all of us to live our best lives and to enable us help others in our communities.

That is why I am supporting Jean Guzzetti for State Senate District 24. Jean has the right experience to get the job done. Through her work as a non-partisan policy analyst in the Maine Legislature, her work for Efficiency Maine and at the Public Utilities Commission and her work as register of probate, she brings a deep understanding of and practical experience with policy and legislative process.

It is clear that Jean has the right background to take on the role of state senator. But perhaps most important to me, is Jean’s philosophy regarding this role. Jean believes a state senator should ensure that the State puts in place the infrastructure required to make our lives better; ensuring that our electric grid is adequately funded to meet our future needs; funding our school system so that our kids have access to a great education; finding solutions for affordable housing and healthcare; identifying climate change solutions and implementing common sense gun laws so that we all remain safe in our schools, businesses and homes.


Jean Guzzetti is smart, energetic and determined, and Jean has my vote in the Maine primary on June 11.

Marcy Leger,

Vote for Tepler

Denise Tepler has been a steadfast supporter of Maine’s environment during her eight years in the Maine House. Now we are fortunate that she seeks to represent Sagadahoc County and Dresden in Maine Senate District 24.

In all my years working to protect Maine’s environment, I could rely on Denise when important bills were up for a vote. Whether it was vital funding for the Land for Maine’s Future program or fair tax treatment of the land conserved by our local land trusts, Denise was there to help.

As a member of the Taxation Committee, she saw to it that unfair, anti-conservation legislation was defeated. While on the Appropriations Committee. she supported efforts to renew funding for the Land for Maine’s Future Program. Check out her strong credentials at Now Maine, including its coastal communities, face the challenges of Climate Change. I know that Denise will work to ensure the right decisions are made in Augusta. On June 11, Vote for Tepler!Tim Glidden,Former director, Land for Maine’s Future Program, and former president, Maine Coast Heritage TrustTopsham


There is no perfect gun legislation

There are almost always unintended consequences to every law that is passed.

But we are in our late 80s and we are tired of waiting.

We believe in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — and that includes the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

We are so weary of seeing all the lives shattered by guns and know it is time to pass a 72-hour waiting period so at least some suicides will be averted, a background check that includes gun shows and a red-flag law that will enable our marvelous but frustrated police to take effective and timely action.

Though we must indeed address such issues as mental health , domestic violence, bullying, racism, rage, and poverty we cannot use that as an excuse to hold off on important gun laws. And legislators have to set aside their worries about re-election and do the right thing for Maine.  With the hundreds of millions of guns out there it will take a long time before many lives are saved. 


But Mainers support and yearn for these laws. It’s time for action. Please legislators, do the right thing. As we said, we are so tired of waiting. 

Sandra and Ole Jaeger,

Community center for Topsham

I support a community center for my town, but with some important caveats. To make it affordable for those of us who are retired or live on a fixed income, we should consider getting donations from area businesses and individuals. Importantly, we should look at the available town-owned resources and structures to consider renovating or repurposing an existing building or facility.

At the listening session I attended with members of the Community Center Committee, Ken Stockford of Six Rivers, who owns the former sports dome and roller rink facility on Route 201, volunteered that he was open to partnering with the town. What a wonderful possibility!What if the school district came on board as a funding partner? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every child in our district, and not just those who live in Harpswell, could learn to swim as part of their pre-K-12 physical education program? Perhaps the community center could be built in phases so we can have more time to raise money for our big wishes like an indoor pool.

My point is that we have to think outside the box and consider the needs of families, retirees, and new Mainers in our deliberations. Personally, I would love to have an indoor and outdoor place to lead my “Healer Within” tai chi and qigong group in Topsham. And another important wish is for our Topsham families to have more options for high quality preschool. Additionally, our home-bound seniors and new Mainers could use a meeting place and resource center.


So yes, I am in support, but I don’t think we should be quick to add to the tax burden without some serious strategic planning and public–private partnerships. What do you think? The Community Center Committee wants to hear from you. Please fill out the survey (find the link on the town website home page) by April 30 and let them know your thoughts.

Robin Brooks,

The tale of two presidential candidatesH.L. Mencken once stated, “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

Given these two choices, by which to evaluate our two presidential contenders, candidate Trump must be overwhelmingly declared the man “American people admire most extravagantly” because, when president, he issued some 30,537 false or misleading claims. On the other hand, is candidate Biden without fault? No. However, if putting forth the most honest and truthful public statements was the “litmus test” for judging the fitness of the man who must be elected our next President, candidate Biden would be that individual “who [tries] to tell them [American people] the truth.”

As a nation, we are at a crossroads. Why? The 2024 presidential election could well determine which direction America will take both domestically and internationally. One direction, lead by the proverbial liar, promises us that America will be great again, but offers no solutions, only chaos. The other direction would be directed by the truth-teller, who believes America can be better, but only by addressing its problems openly, with plans to combat our ills.

After this November, who will be the protagonist of our tale: the liar or the truth-teller? Therefore, when casting your ballot remember what Alice Walker declared, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” So, think and vote. You have the “power” to decide how this tale ends.John M. MishlerHarpswell

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