Public Participation in Aquaculture Leasing

The Maine Department of Marine Resources welcomes and encourages comment on aquaculture lease applications.


Stay Informed: Watch for notices in local newspapers, municipal offices or from riparian owners who have been notified. Visit to recieve email notifications for aquauclture related news.

Understand the Process: Please see the links below for information on the standard and experimental lease application process.

Attend Scoping Sessions: Standard lease applicants are required to hold an informal public meeting (called a scoping session) to present their lease proposal. These meetings are widely advertised and are a good opportunity for the public to learn about the proposed lease and ask questions of the applicant. DMR requires standard lease applicants to submit a "draft application" to the DMR prior to holding a scoping session.

Obtain Pending Lease Applications: Standard lease applications are reviewed and deemed complete by DMR after a scoping session. Experimental lease applications do not require a scoping session, but must be deemed complete by DMR before moving through the lease process. Once deemed complete, standard and experimental lease applications are available on DMR's website. Copies of pending applications that have been deemed complete can also be obtained by contacting DMR staff.

Submit Comments: Submit written comments by mail, e-mail or fax. All comments submitted before the end of the public comment period established by DMR will be considered during the lease review.

Speak at a Public Hearing: Provide testimony at the public hearing or ask questions of other speakers. Anyone can attend and speak at a public hearing. The Department welcomes and encourages the public to speak at hearings.

If you speak at a public hearing, you are testifying in a formal proceeding and will be sworn in. To be effective:

  • Prepare your testimony in advance
  • Address your testimony to the statutory decision criteria (PDF file, 1 page)
  • Support your points with evidence
  • Be prepared to answer questions by DMR and the applicant about your testimony

Apply for Intervenor Status: If the proposed lease will substantially and directly affect you, you may apply for intervenor status. DMR must receive your completed application by the deadline specified in the applicable public notice. Based on your application, DMR will determine whether you meet certain criteria specified in rule and law to be granted some form of intervenor status. In general, intervenors may provide testimony and present witnesses during the public hearing. Intervenors may also be able to comment on the draft decision. However, this is not always the case. Please note:

  • You do not need to be an intervenor to provide testimony at a public hearing.
  • DMR will decide whether or not to grant intervenor status five days before the public hearing.

If you are interested in applying for intervenor status, please email or call the Aquaculture Division for an application: