Camden Herald letters to the editor, Feb. 18

Feb 18, 2021

Thoughts on Offshore Wind Development

[Editor’s note: the following letter is in response to a letter to the editor, “Statement from Maine’s Fishing Community on offshore wind development,” in the Jan 28 Courier-Gazette.]

There’s nothing better than enjoying a summer day on one of Maine’s pristine beaches and then watching the sunset with a lobster roll in hand. Our seafood is some of the best in the world, and the fishing tradition that has sustained us for centuries provides more than just our next meal — it’s a pillar of our identity as a state. Climate change poses a direct threat to that industry, but our ocean holds the key to protecting us from its worst effects.

Maine is poised to invest in its enormous offshore wind potential by developing a 12-turbine research array in the Gulf of Maine, dedicated to studying the impacts of floating offshore wind. Not only is offshore wind a cost-competitive resource with the ability to power the entire state many times over with renewable energy, it’s also at peak production in the winter, when energy demand is highest. In other words, it’s clean, abundant, and reliable, and Europe is already showing us how successful it can be.

Offshore wind stands ready to be an ally in the fight against climate change, not an enemy industry. Using our treasured coastline to deliver clean and renewable energy means investing in a world where our marine life and the fishing industry don’t just survive, but thrive for generations to come. Only a small portion of the Gulf area would need to be utilized to provide our energy needs, and working with the fishing community will be instrumental in ensuring responsible development.

The research array presents us with a unique opportunity to study the effects of floating offshore wind on our marine ecosystems, and thus allow us to mitigate them in the future. We can’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of this unique resource when the future of our state and our livelihoods depend on it. I don’t want to lose either the beach or my lobster roll — but in the future I’ll have offshore wind to thank for both.

Anya Fetcher

State Director, Environment Maine

On Impeachment

I keep remembering Trump saying “I could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue & not lose any voters.” I’m sure he believes he’ll get away with the deaths incurred during the insurrection. Will he continue to “not lose any voters” or will his supporters hold him accountable? He must be convicted and disqualified from public office again.

Chris Haines-Carter

Camden

A Heartfelt Thank You from New Mainers Coastal Task Force

As recently as mid-January the New Mainers Coastal Task Force reached out to the larger Midcoast community on behalf of the 85 families of asylum seekers who arrived in southern Maine since the pandemic began. See "Aiding asylum seekers in Maine" letter, Jan. 14.)

NMCTF became aware of their needs thanks to our connections with the Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition in Portland. These families, primarily from strife-ridden Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, include 296 individuals, 162 being children.

By federal law, asylum seekers are not permitted to work until one year after filing an official asylum application. The work restriction means that all of their needs must be met by voluntary community efforts and municipal General Assistance. MIRC Executive Director Mufalo Chitam suggested that Hannaford and Renys gift cards would do much to relieve distress among the asylum seekers.

The response from our Midcoast community has been overwhelming. Within two weeks of launching this campaign we sent our first delivery of gift cards to MIRC totaling $4,200. A week later we sent a second package containing $2,395 worth of gift cards. This empathy and generosity are providing such warmth and comfort to people very much in need of just that as they arrive in a country where everything is new to them. They, and the members of NMCTF, are deeply grateful to each and everyone of you for your support.

Our collection containers will remain at the public libraries of Camden, Rockport, and Thomaston until Feb. 26.  You can also mail checks or gift cards to NMCTF, c/o Squibbs, 24 Central St., Camden, ME 04843. Checks should be made out to St John’s Church with “New Mainers” on the memo line. Thomaston’s St John’s Episcopal Church serves as the treasurer of NMCTF.

Brenda Squibb

Camden

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