Governor LePage to Travel to Edmunds Boat Launch in Cobscook Bay State Park

October 16, 2013

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Oct. 16 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – On Thursday, Governor Paul R. LePage will travel to Edmunds Boat Launch in Cobscook Bay State Park to meet with local fishermen affected by the recent closure of the boat ramp. As a result of the federal government shutdown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week forced the closure of Cobscook Bay State Park, which is a state-managed park and accesses Edmunds Boat Launch.

“The State has not received notification from the Obama Administration indicating that Edmunds Boat Launch is open. I am calling on the Administration to ensure local working fishermen have access to this critical boat ramp. It is a lifeline for local working fishermen and it is a disgrace that the federal government is interfering with that.”

Today, Congressman Mike Michaud released a statement stating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “will not prohibit public access” to the boat launch after it was announced that the Governor was working on the issue.

“It appears that after my administration raised this issue on behalf of local fisherman, Congressman Michaud has announced federal agents will stop enforcing their barricade. There has been no official announcement that fishermen will not face legal ramifications if they cross this barricade. Mr. Michaud is not the President and he does not direct this federal department. The questions are then: why is Mr. Michaud announcing policy and why did it take my announcement of a visit for him to take action?”

State officials have been attempting to work with federal officials on an agreement to allow for the reopening of Edmunds boat launch that is used regularly by local working fishermen. Federal agents have issued warning notices to fishermen who have continued to use the boat launch. On Tuesday, federal officials placed barricades to block the entrance of the ramp, signaling the area would remain inaccessible for an indefinite period. As of Wednesday afternoon, the barricades were still present.

WHEN: 10:15 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 17

WHERE: Edmunds Boat Launch, Cobscook Bay State Park