DOWNEAST LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION

Shore and Harbor Grants Awarded to Six Maine Communities

Maine Department of Marine Resources sent this bulletin at 09/14/2017 02:52 PM EDT

September 14, 2017 - The Maine Coastal Program, a Division of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), announces the award of $141,879 to six coastal municipalities. These awards will provide support for harbor management, waterfront infrastructure planning and design, and public access.

Funding for the grants comes from DMR’s federal coastal management award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and from Maine’s Submerged Lands Program. Each grantee will provide a minimum of 25% in matching funds or services.

Grants were awarded as follows:

Chebeague – Harbor Master Plan for Sunset Landing: $28,000 for developing design and cost estimates for a facility to meet the island’s transportation needs at Sunset Landing.

Damariscotta – Waterfront Restroom Design and Engineering: $17,300 to design a public restroom and visitor’s kiosk in Damariscotta’s downtown waterfront area.

Frenchboro – Deepwater Municipal Landing Study: $18,150 to investigate opportunities for a new all-tide landing in Frenchboro Harbor.

Gouldsboro – Prospect Harbor Working Waterfront Revitalization Plan: $21,000 to develop plans for an industry and tourism friendly working waterfront in Prospect Harbor.

Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission – Assessing the Feasibility of Purchasing a Dredge: $27,429 for a multi-municipal partnership to assess the potential for purchasing a regional dredge. 

South Portland - Portland Street Pier Master Plan and Feasibility: $30,000 for a plan which considers expanding the city-owned pier to support the aquaculture and fishing industries, and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

This is the eleventh round of Shore and Harbor Planning Grant solicitations. Since 2006, 75 grants have been awarded for a total of $1,082,034. More information on the grant program can be found online.

DMR Update: Scallop Closures

January 20, 2017 - Three scallop areas along the Maine coast are scheduled for closure or limited closure based on DMR survey data. Two of the areas, Muscle Ridge and Inner Cranberry Isle, will remain open on a limited basis for divers, while the Chandler Bay/Head Harbor area will be closed to all harvesting. The effective date of the closures will be Monday, January 22, 2017.

The Muscle Ridge Area, located near Spruce Head, has been open this season two days per week (Monday and Tuesday) for draggers and two days a week (Wednesday and Friday) for divers. Recent DMR survey work has revealed high concentrations of sublegals (smaller than the legal 4 inch diameter size) in the Muscle Ridge area.  Survey work has also shown recovery in the area from last season, prompting the Department to continue this rebuilding trend in the Muscle Ridge area as overall densities in this area of the coast are low, making it vital to afford protection to remaining productive areas. The area will remain open to hand harvest by divers when they are able to resume their fishing season on March 1.  

Fishermen reports and DMR survey work have revealed high concentrations of seed scallops in or near the Cranberry Isle rotational area, which was closed the past two seasons as part of the department’s rotational management plan. The area includes the MDI Limited Access Area, which encompasses Somes Sound. After 7 weeks of fishing primarily in the inner portion of the rotational area, the majority of drag boats have moved out of the area, indicating that a significant proportion of the harvestable product has been landed from the inner Cranberry Isle area. Therefore, an immediate closure of the inner portion of the Cranberry Isle Area, including the Mount Desert Island Limited Access Area is being implemented for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The area will remain open to hand harvest. Because very little fishing has occurred in the offshore portion of the rotational area, and the area south of the Cranberry Isles shall remain open to both draggers and divers.

Since the closure on January 1, 2017 of the upper part of the Chandler Bay near Jonesport, the lower part of the Bay and the Moosabec Reach Limited Access Area have been the target of increased fishing pressure. DMR survey work has revealed a 50 percent decrease in harvestable biomass in the area, prompting a closure which, along with the others, will take effect Monday, January 22, 2017. Mud Hole Channel and offshore areas southeast of Mark Island will remain open.

For information on the Maine scallop season visit the DMR website.