A plan to dredge the harbor in Searsport has been in the works for 10 years now, but some locals and environmentalists don’t think it’s a good idea.
the last time the Searsport Harbor was dredged was 1964. The Maine department of Transportation says it’s time to do it again.
“We need the additional depth of the channel and additional width of the channel to accommodate these vessels,” says John Henshaw, ME Port Authority Executive Director.
The dredging would occur at Mack Point and increase the depth of the harbor from 35 feet to 40 feet. It would also widen the channel. The U-S Army Corps of Engineers explained the project, currently in the feasibility phase to the public, Monday.
Coastal residents and environmental groups are asking for an Environmental Impact Statement, basically an environmental survey, to give the project more credibility.
“Which is the highest form of review that they army corps can undertake and it’s very appropriate of a project of enormous size,” says Arch Gillies, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen of Isleboro.
The material taken out of the harbor would be placed in Penobscot Bay. Robert Young, owner of Young’s Lobster Pound says this would be detrimental to the lobster population.
“If they gonna dredge it, dredge what they need to dredge take it down off rockland where it should be and dump it,” said Young.
Henshaw says they hope to improve the harbor and protect the fishery.
“The goal of this project is certainly to not damage the fishery in anyway but to also accommodate shipping interest in the state as well,” Henshaw said.