Statement from Commissioner Keliher on Governor Mills Letter Urging Passage of LD 2225

In response to Governor Mills letter to Senator Jackson yesterday (attached), please see the following statement from Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher:

"The urgency of need for this funding cannot be overstated. Wharf owners, co-op managers, and other businesses that rely on our working waterfront are struggling to re-build but are facing devastating economic hardships without the support LD 2225 promises. I echo Governor Mills' statement and urge our legislature to move this bill forward as quickly as possible and to avoid any further delays in helping sustain and protect Maine's vital marine economy. 
Patrick Keliher - Commissioner, Maine Department of Marine Resources

Additional Statements regarding LD 2225 are below:

"As Maine’s number one lobster landings port, Stonington and many other coastal fishing towns need this crucial funding in LD 2225 to rebuild our working waterfronts. It is and should be a Maine priority to keep working waterfront for our fishing industry. By not being able to rebuild better and stronger and keeping fishing jobs, we may lose the few miles of valuable waterfront access to gentrification pressures which we will never get back."
Kathleen Billings – Stonington Town Manager

"Chipman's Wharf of Milbridge, Maine urges the State of Maine to expedite LD 2225 in order to aid working waterfront businesses with much needed financial support from the January storms that decimated the Maine coast. On January 10, 2023, our wharf was demolished leaving us with the unexpected task of rebuilding and funding the project. Under the current economic climate, we are looking at high commercial interest rates and a slow-moving Small Business Administration relief program leaving us in extreme hardship as we race to rebuild. We have 32 fishermen who depend on our wharf to land their catch, and they have already started setting their gear for the season. Again, we implore you to immediately vote to support Maine working waterfronts."
Jason and Chris Chipman - Owners, Chipman's Wharf

"We’ve had to use a line of credit to replace our whole dock. The delay in getting this funding out is causing us serious financial hardship. It is vital for our sense of security and ability to pay our bills that this funding be made available.”
Linda Vannah – Manager, New Harbor Co-op

"Prolonging getting this funding out to support our working waterfront will be devastating to Maine’s lobster industry.”
Ronald Trundy – Manager, Stonington Lobster Co-op.