Northeast
Harvard Political Review

ME - Lobstermen Protest Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine

I’m from Maine, and I return every time I can. I’m not from the coast, but my cousins are, and boiled lobster is the standard at any summer gathering. I remember my lobsterman cousin pulling up in his pickup with two big Styrofoam coolers packed full of bugs.

I’m from Maine, and I return every time I can. I’m not from the coast, but my cousins are, and boiled lobster is the standard at any summer gathering. I remember my lobsterman cousin pulling up in his pickup with two big Styrofoam coolers packed full of bugs. I would hang out with my uncles as they stood around the steaming pots in the garage, grabbing lobsters with claws waving and gingerly dropping them into the boiling water, pulling them back out bright red and ready to eat. I’d carry the loaded trays to the table, set with dishes of butter and paper plates, and listen to them chatter about the price of lobster as the sun went down over the lake, outlining those classic jagged pines. The air cooled enough for my aunt to fetch me an old sweatshirt from the camp, and mosquitoes thickened around my ankles.

An ambitious wind power project in the Gulf of Maine could, years from now, make these family lobster dinners less frequent. Local lobstermen believe offshore wind will significantly disrupt the ecosystem and displace fishermen. Supporters say a project will provide clean energy for the region.

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On March 21, more than 80 boats from the Midcoast of Maine formed a two mile line between Monhegan Island and Boothbay Harbor, tracing the route of the underwater cable that will carry electricity from two offshore wind turbines to shore. The sign on one boat, which also flew a Jolly Roger, read “SAVE THE LOBSTERMEN… STOP THE MILLS.”

The wind turbines, which will be located about two miles south of Monhegan, are a joint project between New England Aqua Ventus and the University of Maine at Orono that is intended to provide proof of concept for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. It is supported by Gov. Janet Mills, as well as Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden who hailed it, in a joint statement, as “so significant for Maine’s clean energy future.”


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