MCFA Hosts Latest Waterfront Panel in Kennebunkport
At the close of 2023, MCFA hosted another panel to bring together various perspectives along the waterfront in a Maine coastal community. The latest in the series, following upon
the first presentations in Harpswell and Brunswick, was in Kennebunkport. The event, “Getting to Know Our Town’s Waterfront” was a collaboration between the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust (KCT) and MCFA, and was held on a chilly December evening at the KCT office. But, attendees were warmed by samples of our Maine Coast Monkfish Stew, a collaboration between MCFA and Hurricane Soups & Premium Chowders in Greene, Maine that uses sustainably harvested monkfish along with Maine produce and dairy. The proceeds from the sale of the Stew benefit MCFA’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers program that has donated more than 650,000 seafood meals to schools, food pantries and community groups statewide.
As with many towns along the Maine coast, Kennebunkport’s waterfront heritage is something that defines it. But, there are increasing competing demands for an array of uses along the state’s more than 5,000 miles of coast. Despite that vast mileage, there are only about 25 miles of working waterfront.
To that end, MCFA has made it a priority to focus on ways to support Maine’s working waterfronts (www.mainecoastfishermen.org/workingwaterfront), one of which is to hold educational events such as the most recent one co-hosted with KCT. Panelists for the Kennebunkport event included Theresa Wilson from Coastal Maine Kayak & Bike, Werner Gilliam from the Town of Kennebunkport’s Planning Office, Kortney Nadeau, member of the Select Board of Kennebunk, and two students, Delaney Grant and Lilly McGovern, from the Kennebunk High School who are a part of KCT’s Gulf of Maine Field Studies program.
As Gilliam pointed out, “Working waterfront is distinctly defined in the town’s ordinance. That’s for a reason. It shows its historical importance to the town.” Nadeau added that, “People move here because of the waterfront and because they care about it. We ought to look at it as an opportunity to tap into their knowledge and experiences because these issues aren’t just in Maine, they’re everywhere.”
MCFA will be hosting the next working waterfront panel in Freeport at the Merrymeeting Arts House on March 7th from 530-7pm. As with all of these panels, they are free and open to the public and will be available by Zoom as well as in person. Stay tuned for details on registration for this and other upcoming events.