Shellfish Management Authorities Watchdog
MCA has consistently monitored Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Marine Resources (DMR), and Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to ensure the best possible protection of the intertidal zone throughout Maine. In this way, MCA played a critical role in establishing interagency collaboration that benefits Maine’s fishing communities. When necessary, the MCA takes action to advocate for statutory changes in regulations and the standard way things were done. For instance, after Maine clammers incurred almost $4 million in losses from red tide closures and run-off in 2005 after a high rains occurred after a couple years drought, MCA helped the ME Bureau of Public Health implement more reasonable and common sense waterquality management tools. This allowed for a more complete picture of the shellfish resource to emerge.
Through the years, MCA has cultivated a relationship with DMR that has facilitated a heightened sense of urgency within the agency about the issue of water quality. Through that relationship, the MCA was able to assist DMR in identifying and addressing serious concerns around their water testing program, shoreline surveys, and rain gauge testing.