Monday, April 21, 2003
Army Corps of Engineers to Set Hearing on Controversial Oyster Plan
The Army Corps of Engineers, responding to hundreds of complaints, will hold a hearing in June on a controversial plan to harvest oysters from Long Island Sound off of Westport using cages suspended above the bottom.
Recreational boaters say the plan, if approved, will severely impact the ability to hold sailboat races in waters off of Westport as well as pose possible safety concerns.
Cori Rose, a senior project manager for the Corps in Concord, Mass., told WestportNow that the hearing has been scheduled in response to about 500 comments received about the plan, most of them in opposition.
She said no exact date or location has been set for the meeting, but it will be held sometime in June somewhere between Westport and Milford.
The aquaculture company seeking the oyster farming permits has also applied for permission to work waters off of Milford.
Westporters concerned about the plan will meet Tuesday evening at Town Hall under the auspices of the Boating Advisory Committee.
Rose said the public comment period on the application by Mariculture Unlimited LLC, owned by Westport obstetrician John Garofalo, which had been set to expire April 17, has been extended.
She said the public hearing date and place will likely be set in early May as it must be noticed at least 30 days in advance.